Tami Jo Nix/ The Madera Tribune
Madera County Farm Bureau officers and guests, from left, president Jay Mahil with scholarship recipients Natalie Corpus, Lauryn Flores, Jordan Miles, Helena Johnson Lusk, Amaranta Galindo, Michele Lasgoity scholarship chairwoman, and (not pictured) Gary Nieuwkoop, Bailey Samper, Nicholas Urrutia and Felipe C. Vallejo at the Ag United Harvest Celebration and annual meeting.
Nearly 300 people gathered Sunday in Chowchilla for the annual Ag United Harvest Celebration and officer installation.
“Thanks to the generosity of its members the Madera County Farm Bureau awarded $40,000 in scholarships,” said president Jay Mahil.
He introduced Michele Lasgoity, chairwoman of the scholarship committee.
“The $40,000 includes two endowed scholarships from Franklin and Elaine Secara and the Tesei family,” Lasgoity said.
She then introduced the scholarship recipients in attendance.
The Secara and the Tesei scholarships are $1,500 per year. The general scholarships are four-year awards in the amount of $1,000 a year, she said.
Natalie Corpus received the Tesei family scholarship, Lauryn Flores the Secara award and Amaranta Galindo earned the Progeny of Agriculture Laborers award. Additionally Helena Johnson Lusk, Jordan Miles, Gary Nieuwkoop, Bailey Samper, Nicholas Urritia and Felipe C. Vallejo were awarded the Madera County Farm Bureau general scholarships.
The prime rib dinner was cooked by Donald Vincent, Joe Pia and Steve Miller. Vincent is a member of the Lions Club of Dos Palos, he said. Members of the Chowchilla Union High School FFA served the food.
The table centerpieces were comprised of toy tractors and bags of pistachios and almonds.
“Special thank you to the local tractor dealerships, Kuckenbecker Tractor, Midland Tractor and Quality Machinery, who donated the tractors which will be distributed during Christmas at Valley Children’s Hospital,” said Mahil
The keynote speaker was Sacramento Bee political columnist Dan Walters. He spoke of the changing policies and the continuing struggle for water in California.
The event’s sponsors included Platinum Jubilee: Ryan and Laura Gutite, Hostetler Ranch, Crop Production Services, Western Ag & Turf.
Gold Jubilee: Agriland Farming Company, Anderson Pump Co., Consolidated Insurance Services, Duarte Nursery, Madera Pumps, Michael Naito and TEP.
Silver Jubilee: Agri-World Cooperative, Arysta Life Science, Bank of the West, Boman & Associates, Dow Agro Sciences, Fermin Campos Farms, Foster & Parker Insurance Company, G3 Enterprises, Helena Chemical, McKinney Farming, Pitman Farms, Root Creek Farms, Solar City, U.S. Water Services and PG&E.
The event was held at the Madera County Fairgrounds in Chowchilla, where a plaque on the recently re-built building reads: “Eastman Hall; this building is named in memory of H.V. Eastman one of the founders and original director of the Chowchilla Junior Fair in appreciation of his efforts to this community and this fair, May 1960.