Achievements bring awards for two young agriculturalists
» December 5, 2005 «
Achievements on the farm and service to agriculture have yielded statewide awards for two young California agriculturalists. Brandon Fawaz of Fort Jones and Sam Dolcini of Petaluma earned awards presented by the California Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers program.
Fawaz, who grows hay and operates a custom-farming business, earned the YF&R Achievement Award, based on farm management skills, leadership qualities and service to Farm Bureau and community. He is a board member and past president of the Siskiyou County Farm Bureau.
Although born in the city, Fawaz moved to the country as a child and began his custom-farming operation while still in high school. He calls his involvement in production agriculture "a dream come true" and says he became active in Farm Bureau because "I always perceived agriculture needing a voice."
Dolcini, who manages his family's cattle ranch and replacement dairy-heifer operation, earned the Excellence in Agriculture Award. It is presented to a young farmer or rancher who actively contributes through involvement in agriculture and Farm Bureau, but who does not derive the majority of income from an owned farming operation. Dolcini serves as first vice president of the Marin County Farm Bureau and chairs the Marin Agricultural Land Trust.
He says young farmers must develop effective strategies to remain economically viable in a heavily urbanized state. He urges young farmers and ranchers to "adapt to our surroundings and become integrated in the decision-making process that affects our industry."
Fawaz and Dolcini received their awards during the California Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Monterey. They will represent California in national competitions to be held during the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting next month in Nashville, Tenn.
He also receives use of a Kubota tractor for one year, furnished by the Kubota Tractor Corp.
The winner of the Excellence in Agriculture Award, Dolcini, earned $500 from the California Farm Bureau, $500 from Dodge Trucks and a Farm Boss chainsaw from Pacific Stihl.
The Farm Bureau also honored runners-up in each award category.
Jeff Young, a diversified-crop farmer from Bakersfield, was named first runner-up in the Achievement Award competition. He received $200 each from the California Farm Bureau and from Bank of America, $400 from the California Farm Credit Association, a $500 Allied/Nationwide Insurance Award and $250 from State Fund.
Marc Breckenridge, a rice farmer from Woodland, was named second runner-up for the Achievement Award. He received $100 each from the California Farm Bureau and from Bank of America, $250 from the California Farm Credit Association, a $500 Allied/Nationwide Insurance Award and $250 from State Fund.
The runner-up in the Excellence in Agriculture competition is Melissa Heinrich, a produce buyer from Monterey. She received $500 from the California Farm Bureau.
The CFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers program encourages members aged 18 to 35 to be active leaders in protecting the state's family farms and ranches.
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