Farm Bureau honors young agriculturalists
December 10, 2013
A fifth-generation rancher from San Benito County and an agricultural lender from San Joaquin County have been selected as winners of awards recognizing achievement and excellence by young agriculturalists. Allan Renz of Tres Pinos and Daniel Meza of Stockton were presented with their awards last night during the California Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Monterey.
Renz won the Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award, recognizing efforts in production agriculture and leadership activity. In partnership with his parents, he raises beef cattle and hay, and oversees the family’s cattle and custom harvesting businesses. A graduate of California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, Renz serves as second vice president of the San Benito County Farm Bureau, president of the county cattlemen’s association and serves on the county Fish and Wildlife Commission.
“I work seven days a week because I believe in what we do and want our family operation to survive,” Renz wrote in his award application. “It is extremely important to me to serve as an advocate for agriculture.”
Meza earned the Excellence in Agriculture Award, given to an individual who does not earn a majority of income from production agriculture but who contributes through involvement in agriculture, leadership activities and Farm Bureau. As an assistant vice president for F&M Bank in Lodi, Meza manages a portfolio of primarily agricultural customers. He has also been active in Farm Bureau as chair of the San Joaquin Young Farmers and Ranchers, a frequent volunteer at educational activities and a member of the Leadership Farm Bureau class in 2012.
In his award application, Meza said he hopes “to be a voice for the industry and continue the fight for agriculture by advocating and spreading the message of the importance of agriculture.”
A graduate of California State University, Fresno, Meza also serves on the board of Sus Finanzas, a nonprofit organization that provides free financial literacy courses to underserved minority residents of San Joaquin County.
As winner of the Achievement Award, Renz receives use of a Kubota tractor for one year, furnished by Kubota Tractor Corp., and a cash prize of $4,000. For his award, Meza earns a $4,000 cash prize. Contest sponsors include the California Association of Pest Control Advisers, Farm Credit West, CoBank, American AgCredit and State Compensation Insurance Fund.
Renz and Meza will represent California in national competitions to be held next month at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in San Antonio.
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 78,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members.
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