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John Inman memorial Aug. 5

A memorial celebration for John W. Inman, 69, retired University of California Monterey County Cooperative Extension farm advisor, will be held Aug. 5, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Salinas, Calif., Elks Lodge.

Inman died June 28 after suffering a stroke at his Salinas home.

After retiring from UCCE after almost 30 years, he never slowed down and became an ag engineering consultant for suppliers and manufacturers worldwide.

Inman was a frequent collaborator on articles in Western Farm Press. “John was an amazing supporter of agriculture in the Salinas Valley and California. He took great pride in helping not only the farmers of the Valley with his considerable expertise, but in being a community leader,” said Harry Cline, editor of Western Farm Press.

“A call to John always provided a good story lead and valuable contacts. He was very well respected by everyone,” Cline said. “He will also be missed as my friend.”

John’s life totally encompassed agriculture. A native Oregonian, he grew up on his family’s northeastern Oregon cattle ranch. An active FFA member in high school, he went on to Oregon State University where he graduated with degrees in both agriculture and agricultural engineering. At a university social he met his future wife, Jody. The young couple moved to Salinas in 1965 to take the UCCE farm advisor post where John conducted research studies and helped design and modify new farm machinery to meet the needs of vegetable, strawberry, grape and field crop growers.

His projects included equipment and techniques for seeding, transplanting, harvesting, and pest and disease control. He retired from Extension in 1993 and began his consulting business, working with manufacturers, dealers, importers, distributors and growers. He traveled the world visiting farm equipment shows searching for equipment that would benefit California agriculture.

New technology and equipment always fascinated him.

Community and education were his second love. He served on the Hartnell College Board of Trustees for 15 years. He remained on the Hartnell College Foundation Board until his death. He was a founding board member of Monterey County Agricultural Education. In 1970 John started the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce Ag Business Day tours.

He led the tours for 29 years. He was also very proud of his community for its Ag Against Hunger program. Fresh vegetables are distributed statewide from generous donations by Valley growers and shippers. John served on the Ag Against Hunger board for nearly a decade.

“For several years John insisted that Western Farm Press publish a story about the Ag Against Hunger program,” said Cline. “It is a truly unique program to provide healthy, fresh produce to the needy of California. Not only do growers donate produce, but they also provide cold storage to keep it fresh. It became so successful that growers and shippers donate far more than can be utilized in the area around Salinas. Trucks run routes throughout the state dropping off the fresh produce at homeless shelters and other places where the poor are fed.”

Besides his wife of 46 years, Joyce "Jody" Inman, he is also survived by his daughter, Janet Sutton and husband Rob of Anacortes, Wash., sister-in-law, Karen Inman, of Tallahassee, Fla., and nieces, Ann Gaylord, Amy Demins, Jill Marie Inman-Ryan, and Marla Blair and their families.

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