Dec 4, 2017San Joaquin County agriculturalists earn Young Farmer awards
A walnut and cherry farmer and a married couple of agricultural professionals, all from San Joaquin County, have earned awards recognizing achievement and excellence among young farmers and ranchers. The awards were presented Dec. 4 during the 99th California Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Garden Grove.
Joe Ferrari of Linden received the Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award, which recognizes accomplishments in production agriculture and leadership activity.
Tyler and Amy Blagg of Lodi received the Excellence in Agriculture Award for an individual or couple who does not earn a majority of income from an owned production agriculture operation but contributes through involvement in agriculture, leadership activities and Farm Bureau.
A fourth-generation farmer, Ferrari partners with his father and brother in a farming operation that includes a walnut huller and dryer. Educated as a certified public accountant, Ferrari oversees the farm’s pest control and crop nutrition programs and its compliance with government regulations. He has taken particular interest in food-safety policy and the impact of regulations under the federal Food Safety Modernization Act. Ferrari is a member of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors.
Tyler Blagg works as an agricultural real estate agent and is a former chairman of the California Young Farmers and Ranchers State Committee. Amy Blagg serves as executive director of the Lodi District Grape Growers Association. Together, the couple operate a small farm where they grow winegrapes, winter forage and raise dairy heifers. Each serves on the San Joaquin Farm Bureau board.
Asked to name three issues agriculture needs to address in coming years, the Blaggs cited employment costs, the need for farmers and ranchers to remain engaged in agricultural organizations, and the problem of rural crime, noting that agriculturalists, neighbors and law enforcement officials must form better relationships while laws are strengthened to reduce crime and penalize perpetrators.
As winners of their respective awards, Ferrari and the Blaggs each earned a $4,000 cash prize sponsored by Farm Credit, Rabobank and Southern California Edison. Ferrari also earned 250 hours’ use of a Kubota tractor, furnished by Kubota Tractor Corp.
The winners will represent California in national competitions to be held next month at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention in Nashville.
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 40,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 5.5 million Farm Bureau members.