Friend of Agriculture Award

Al Smith Friend of Agriculture

2012 Friend of Agriculture
Michael Olson 2012 Friend of Agriculture Photo:Monterey Bay News & Views John Chown
Wed, 03/21/2012


For additional information, please contact: Jess Brown, Executive Director
818-1193 or 724-1356

The 2012 Al Smith Friend of Agriculture award was presented today to the Michael Olson who is an award winning broadcast personality and speaker.  The award was presented at the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau and Agri-Culture’s National Agriculture Day Spring Luncheon held at the Codiga Center & Museum located at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.  This year’s presenter was Laura Tourte, Director, University of California Cooperative Extension Service which was the 2011 award recipient.

Al Smith was the founder of Orchard Supply Hardware and donated 3,000 acres (Swanton Pacific Ranch) on our north coast to Cal Poly.  The ranch has row crops, timber and even a one-third-scale railroad, which was Al’s hobby.  This is why the award is on a piece of redwood with a train depicted on it. The award is presented annually to an individual, business or organization not involved in production agriculture but has done much for the industry.

Also presented at the luncheon were the winner of the 2012 National Ag Day Poster and Poetry Contests.  Attached is a list of the winners.

It was announced at the luncheon Kevin Bargetto was selected as the 2012 recipient of the Jimmie Cox Memorial Scholarship.  Attached is information about Kevin.

Masters of Ceremonies for the event were Past-President John E. Eiskamp and 1st Vice President Cynthia Mathiesen.  Willy Elliott-McCrea, Executive Director, Second Harvest Food Bank, was the featured speaker, speaking on the topic of “Health Grows Here.”


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