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San Diego County Farm Bureau
Friends of Agriculture

2015 Kevin Grangetto

If the game of farming was played on an athletic field you would be certain to see a cheerleader running up and down the sidelines. When you look closer you would see that the cheerleader is Kevin Grangetto and he hasn’t picked sides. He’d be shouting encouragement to all players on the field. The spectators would hear from him too.

“We feel like somebody has to be out there letting people know about ag and the importance of it,” Kevin recently said in response to a question about his cheerleading. He added, “For farmers there are so many things every day that can be a nail in the coffin: water rates, pest issues, foreign competition. It seems there’s something on every corner that tries to knock you off balance. For me, having grown up in the business and seeing my father’s involvement, spurred me to do what I can to support farmers.”

The Grangetto family is a local farming institution and Kevin could just focus on his wholesale and retail farm and garden supply business. But he takes it another step. Actually several steps. He will personally engage anyone at any time on the topic of supporting local farmers.

With a constant smile and optimistic outlook, Kevin can be counted on to speak positively about local farming whether at one of his stores, at church with his family, at the Rotary Club, or at a Farm Bureau function. “Whenever we see an opportunity to talk about ag and the importance of it, we feel it’s our soap box to get on and talk about it,” Kevin has said in summing up his attitude about local farming.

2012 Valerie Mellano, PhD.

As a local farm advisor Valerie Mellano, departing University of California Cooperative Extension
Director, has shown that the farm community is important to her and she has been responsible for the creation of innovative programs that benefit all farmers.

2011 Gary Arrant

Valley Center Municipal Water District General Manager Gary Arrant has looked beyond the boundaries of his water district to spread the word about the value of agriculture in our community.  As a frequent contributor to local newspapers and in his position as a director of the San Diego County Water Authority, Gary speaks tirelessly about the importance of farms.

2010 Bill Kolender

Spanning four elected terms totaling 15 years of service as Sheriff of San Diego County, Sheriff Gore heeded the concerns of farmers who were suffering from thefts of their products and supplies.  Sheriff Gore made it his personal objective to improve communications and training for greater prevention of ag crimes and for better response once a crime had occurred.

2009 Cathey Anderson

During her career as a school teacher in Valley Center, Cathey was known for her enthusiasm about agriculture and providing real farm experiences for her students.  After retirement she has remained active as a board member for San Diego Ag in the Classroom.

2008 Liz Silva

Deputy District Attorney Elisabeth Silva is known as a tough prosecutor when it comes to thieves who prey on farmers.  As the district attorney’s point person on agricultural crimes, Liz has taken it upon herself to become an expert on farming practices in order to help secure convictions.

2006 Jackie Cruz

As the County of San Diego Sheriff’s Department Ag Crime Prevention Specialist, Jackie took a very personal approach in helping farmers and ensuring good communications between her department and the farm community.  She went far beyond her duties by treating every farmer as a friend.

2005 Martha Deichler

Throughout Martha’s career as a teacher and school administrator, she has worked to bring agriculture into the classroom through lesson plans and school gardens.  A long-time board member of San Diego Ag in the Classroom, Martha has inspired many other teachers to use agriculture as a teaching tool.

2004 Bob Shuster

The proprietor of Shuster Oil in Escondido, Bob has provided excellent service to his agricultural customers for years.  His recognition as the Friend of Agriculture was for his continuous support for Farm Bureau programs and willingness to be a dependable and outspoken ally of local farmers.

2003 Charlene Zettel

While serving two terms in the California State Assembly, Charlene was particularly interested in agricultural issues that affected San Diego County farmers and often solicited input from farmers on important matters.

2002 B. Diane Wallace

When Diane served as the County Director for the University of California Cooperative Extension Service she exhibited keen interest in the success of local farmers.  That interest resulted in excellent programs that were highly regarded by the farm community.

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