In the 30 year history of the Madera Chamber of Commerce Senior Farmer of the Year, only two honorees have been females. Elsie Buchenau was honored in 1994 as Senior Farmer of the Year. Last year, Milenda Meders became the second female to be selected as the Senior Farmer of the Year.
Buchenau and her husband Herb, who were married in 1937, raised thousands of Hereford cattle. She also kept the ranch books and cooked for the ranch hands.
“I don’t want people to think I was named just to show that a woman could be in that position,” she said in The Madera Tribune’s 1994 Salute to Ag edition. “I don’t think that we’re any better than the men.”
She said in 1994 that each person should be awarded the honor based on their own ability and time in the community. Buchenau was active with the Madera County Cattlewomen’s Association and was Cowbelle of the Year in 1969...