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State Fair accepting nominations for Agriculturist of the Year

As the state fair in the largest agriculture producing state in the country, the California State Fair wants to recognize individuals who contribute extensively and professionally to the state’s agricultural industry.

“We generate $32 billion in agricultural products,” reported marketing director Jennifer Castleberry. “Anybody who is contributing to such an important business within the state is somebody who should be recognized and we want to make sure they receive that recognition.”

With the Agriculturalist of the Year award, the California State Fair aims to honor an individual who has displayed effective leadership qualities, as well as demonstrated a clear representation of the industry in one or more areas, including finance, government, production agriculture, education, labor, research, communications, trade, and public service.

“As the state fair, part of what we do is further agriculture in the community and throughout the state,” said Castleberry. “We want to recognize those who contribute extensively to those types of advancement in agriculture.”

Last year’s recipient was Craig McNamara, who is the president and owner of Sierra Orchards, an operation that focuses primarily on the production of organic walnuts, as well as the president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture.

McNamara is also the founder of the Center for Land-Base Learning, an organized effort that that encourages high school students to build increased social and human capital within their community.

Those interested in submitting a nomination and supporting documents to the California State Fair for the 2015 Agriculturalist of the Year Award have until January 30. For more information, call Carrie Wright at 916-263-3598.

 “The California State Fair has always been about showcasing the best of California,” concluded Castleberry. “With this type of award, we are trying to award those folks who can be recognized as the best within agriculture throughout the state.”