Delegates from county Farm Bureaus throughout California have re-elected the statewide California Farm Bureau Federation officer team of President Jamie Johansson, First Vice President Shannon Douglass and Second Vice President Shaun Crook.
Each of the officers was re-elected unanimously to second two-year terms at the conclusion of the 101st CFBF Annual Meeting in Monterey.
Johansson, the 16th CFBF president, grows olives and citrus fruit in Oroville and operates an olive oil company, Lodestar Farms.
“It is the honor of a lifetime” to serve as CFBF president, Johansson said following his re-election. He thanked the House of Delegates and other Farm Bureau members for “the faith, trust and expectation you put in the officer team and me personally as president.”
Douglass, of Orland, is an owner of Douglass Ranch, which raises beef cattle, sunflowers, pumpkins, corn and forage crops, and founder of CalAgJobs, an online listing of employment opportunities in California agriculture.
A licensed timber operator, Crook is a vice president of a family timber business in Groveland and a real estate agent specializing in ranch, commercial and residential properties.
In addition to statewide officers, delegates returned members to the CFBF Board of Directors: Al Stehly of Valley Center represents Imperial and San Diego counties; Terry Munz of Lancaster represents Los Angeles and Orange counties; Jenny Holtermann of Wasco represents Kern and Kings counties; Donny Rollin of Riverdale represents Fresno County; Tom Rogers of Madera represents Madera, Mariposa and Merced counties; Jan Garrod of Saratoga represents San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties; Joe Martinez of Winters represents Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano counties; Ron Peterson of Hilmar represents Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties; David Barhydt of Grass Valley represents Butte, Nevada and Yuba-Sutter counties; Dominic Carinalli of Sebastopol represents Main, Napa and Sonoma counties; Tom Stewart of Tulelake represents Lassen, Modoc and Plumas-Sierra counties; and Blake Alexandre of Crescent City represents Del Norte and Humboldt counties.
Jennifer Beretta, a fourth-generation Sonoma County dairy farmer, was appointed to chair the Young Farmers and Ranchers State Committee and serve on the CFBF board. Ronnie Leimgruber of Holtville was reappointed to chair the CFBF Rural Health Department.
In other business at this week's meeting:
County farm bureaus recognized
County Farm Bureaus earned recognition for excellence in policy implementation, leadership, member services, agricultural education and public relations during a dinner Monday night.
For county Farm Bureaus with up to 499 agricultural members, the Monterey County Farm Bureau earned the County of the Year Award. The county Farm Bureau implements a diverse communication plan to keep members informed on local, state and national issues; offers workshops on employment law; partners with a number of local agricultural groups; and participates in numerous coalitions to address current issues.
The Sacramento County Farm Bureau was named County of the Year in its membership class of 500 to 799 members. The county Farm Bureau hosts an annual farm safety seminar that provides safety training for more than 150 farm employees; holds monthly Farm Bureau University seminars on topics including estate planning, legal services and legislative updates; and manages successful discount programs it uses as a recruitment tool.
Among county Farm Bureaus with 800 or more agricultural members, the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau was honored as County of the Year. During 2019, the county Farm Bureau revamped one of its membership categories and underwent a rebranding effort that included a new logo and slogan. It also worked to improve connections with both agricultural and associate members. Through its newspaper and e-newsletter, the county Farm Bureau highlights specific local commodities and profiles the farming and ranching lives of its board members.
The Humboldt County Farm Bureau received the Innovator Award, which recognizes the most creative, forward-thinking program undertaken by a county Farm Bureau. The Humboldt County Farm Bureau organized a Resource Rally, a one-day program to encourage high school students to seek careers in agriculture. The program allowed high school juniors and seniors to learn about job opportunities and connect with professionals who could guide them toward an agricultural career path that suits their interests.
Eleven county Farm Bureaus earned recognition for outstanding membership recruitment and retention: Amador, Calaveras, Imperial, Madera, Marin, Napa, Orange, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego and Stanislaus.
In addition, three county Farm Bureaus have been selected by the American Farm Bureau Federation among 24 from across the country for County Activities of Excellence. The Humboldt County Farm Bureau was selected for its Resource Rally program. The Sacramento County Farm Bureau earned recognition for creating a mobile app. The San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation was honored for its Healthy Dinner Program, which shows adults how to prepare healthy meals using local agricultural products. The three county Farm Bureaus will exhibit at the AFBF Annual Convention next month in Austin, Texas.
Recognized for elevating the standing of local farmers and Farm Bureau in the eyes of elected officials, regulatory agencies and the public, former San Diego County Farm Bureau Executive Director Eric Larson has been presented the Helen Roberti Lifetime Service Award by the California Farm Bureau Federation. Larson, of Carlsbad, received the award Monday night.
Larson retired from his position at the San Diego County Farm Bureau in September, after 23 years of service. He had previously worked for 13 years as general manager of the California Floriculture Growers Association, after a career in cut flower and nursery crop production.
“As an agricultural executive in a rapidly urbanizing county, Eric Larson recognized early the need to reach out often and speak plainly about the benefits of a thriving local agriculture,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “Under his guidance, the San Diego County Farm Bureau became one of the most innovative and successful anywhere.”
During his tenure, the county Farm Bureau launched the San Diego Grown program, established the San Diego Farm & Nursery Expo, defeated two countywide ballot measures opposed by farmers and created the San Diego Regional Irrigated Lands Program, among other accomplishments.
“Eric has been a visible and effective advocate for family farmers and ranchers, making frequent appearances before local commissions and in the media,” Johansson said. “His efforts have assured agriculture will remain, as the county Farm Bureau describes it, ‘an intrinsic part of the fabric of San Diego.’”
Named for the longtime manager of the Plumas-Sierra County Farm Bureau and presented for the first time in 2013, the Helen Roberti Lifetime Service Award recognizes dedicated service by a staff member of CFBF or a county Farm Bureau in California.
Distinguished Service Award
Citing his 45 years of advocacy on behalf of California farmers and ranchers, the California Farm Bureau Federation has presented its former administrator, Rich Matteis, with its Distinguished Service Award. Matteis, a resident of Roseville, received the award Monday night.
Matteis retired in March after serving as CFBF administrator since 2007, overseeing the organization’s advocacy and service to members.
“Having grown up on a farm and maintained a love for agriculture throughout his career, Rich channeled his energy into improving the legislative and regulatory landscape for family farmers and ranchers,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “He was certainly one of the most respected advocates at the state Capitol, and he guided Farm Bureau successfully during a period of significant change.”
Matteis began his career as manager of the Santa Clara and Alameda County Farm Bureaus and as a CFBF field representative. In 1980, he became chief executive officer of the California Grain and Feed Association, which provided management and legislative services for two-dozen other agricultural associations, where he served before rejoining CFBF.
“Rich’s distinguished service to Farm Bureau has continued since his retirement,” Johansson said, “in his work as a strategic advisor on special projects. His knowledge, experience and expertise continue to benefit California family farmers and ranchers.”
The Distinguished Service Award has been presented annually since 1953 to dedicated Farm Bureau members from California. In addition to the award to Matteis, CFBF presented the Distinguished Service Award to longtime San Benito County Farm Bureau board member Al Bonturi.