This year’s Madera Senior Farmer honoree has been selected, and readers can find a special section in this issue devoted to him and others noteworthy in agriculture. But far beyond the spotlight and celebration lies the less well-known process by which the winner was chosen.
Debi Bray is president and CEO of the Madera Chamber of Commerce, the agency that has bestowed the award since 1981 to a farmer who has devoted their life to developing Madera’s agricultural community. In order to be considered, Bray said, nominees had to have an application filed either by them or on their behalf, but it was rare for farmers to nominate themselves.
“Our farming community is very humble,” Bray said. “Most often the honorees feel like there’s somebody else that’s more deserving. Usually it’s family or friends that nominate them.”
Any nominated farmer — Bray said there were an average of 3 to 6 each year — is graded on a point scale by a committee made up of past winners...