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San Diego County Farm Bureau
Friends of Agriculture

2014 Hal Clement

If you don’t immediately recognize the name, you’ll know his face. Hal Clement reported San Diego news for 40 years serving as a beloved anchor at KFMB Channel 8 for 18 years, and 10News for 22 years. Throughout his journalism career he earned 13 Emmy Awards, and interviewed the likes of George H.W. Bush and Cesar Chavez. Hal also had a soft spot for a good ag story, and often went looking for one. He recalls a time following a series of stories on avocado trees being stumped, pest quarantines, and drought effects, asking Farm Bureau’s Director, Eric Larson “Is there any good news?” It had been a good year for honeybees and Hal immediately got a crew and went to Noel Stehly’s farm to see beehives. He recalls, “We got into his hives shooting closeups, and our photographer was just covered in bees. I’m telling him, Mike, get out of there! But he’s wading into those bees looking for a good shot, saying no no this is great!” Always willing to go out to a farm for a story, Hal says what impresses him most about farmers is their attitude. “One the first things that struck me was how cooperative the farmers were, letting us onto the property and really telling us what they were dealing with. I knew farming was hard, but I had no idea! I’m impressed with everything growers deal with and overcome and still keep a great attitude.”

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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