‘The Farmer’s in the Dell, and the cheese stands alone’

Madera, California, is right smack dab in the center of our state, within what we know as the Central Valley.


Most of us are very proud of our little section of the world. We can boast that if you live in “The Valley,” you are close to any kind of entertainment you want. The mountains, the coast, the cold, the hot, the cool, San Francisco, Disneyland, Hollywood, and peace and quiet are all within a short distance from wherever you are in the Central Valley.


I am especially proud of Madera, because it is where I call HOME. I love the people, and I love our community of good folks who love to love others. Here, in Madera, you can get across town in five to ten minutes, no matter where you start.


One of the first things I remember learning about the geography of this area is that there is a point which is said to be the geographical center of California (which is not exactly correct), and it was marked by two trees, a pine tree and a palm tree. The pine tree died a few years ago, and was replaced by another, less beautiful, tree. I don’t even think the replacement is a pine tree. The palm tree was situated just south of the pine tree, and designated the southern part of the state. The pine was the symbol of the northern part of the state. The trees are inside the median on Highway 99, about half way between Madera and Fresno. There is nothing marking them; you just have to know they are there and what they mean.


I am happy to report that the pine tree signified the northern part, which is where we are, and it also is an approximate mark of where the wine countries begin (smile). There are many wineries found north of that “pine” tree.


Not only is Madera in the center of the state, but it is also in the heart of California’s agricultural world. We should be very proud of the farmers in our community and all throughout the Central Valley. Their calling is to produce so that the world can be fed. Without our farmers, how would we get the nourishment we need? I feel that the farmers are under-appreciated. They work very hard, often in the stifling heat, to take care of the animals and fields in order to do what God has called them to do. Just like doctors, they must receive an education to learn the basics of farming before they can specialize in a particular type of farming. Even the individuals, who are raised in a farming family, must learn how to work the soil, plant, and take care of the animals. They face many challenges, such as water shortages, weather issues, funding, and continually rising costs.

But the farmers don’t stand alone in this world. We need the farmers, and the farmers need us.


This year, with the collaboration of the Madera Farm Bureau, The Madera Tribune decided to honor a young farmer who has the drive to make our land good for our society, and to provide for us. We are very thankful for this community, for the Farm Bureau, and for the Chamber of Commerce, who have all made tremendous efforts in honoring some of the great senior farmers in our fair county of Madera. Over the many years that the Senior Farmer has been honored, the Farm Bureau has worked together with the Chamber, and the Chamber with the Tribune, to show appreciation to the seasoned farmers.


This year, The Madera Tribune and the Madera Farm Bureau will honor the first Junior Farmer of the Year in a special section that will publish next week. The name chosen by the Farm Bureau is Doug Brunner. Be sure to pick up your edition of the March 30 Tribune to read about this young farmer.


Later this year, we will support the Chamber in their efforts to honor the Senior Farmer of the Year, a tradition the Chamber has followed for many years. Their award dinner was put on hold during the days of COVID, but we are all hoping that, soon, we will be able to share in the celebration with that farmer as well.


Take care, and if you know farmers, be sure to thank them for their great work and contributions.


My love to all,


— Nancy


• • •


Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.


— Genesis 1:11-12