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Two Young Agriculturalists Earn Farm Bureau Honors

» December 6, 2004 «
Farm Bureau
A fifth-generation farmer and a fourth-generation cattle producer have been honored for achievements on the farm and service to agriculture, in annual awards presented by the California Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers program.

Jim Spinetta, a fifth-generation grape grower with Charles Spinetta Winery in Amador County, earned the YF&R Achievement Award, based on farm management skills, leadership qualities and service to Farm Bureau and community. He serves as vice president of the Amador County Farm Bureau and chairs the Amador/Sacramento YF&R chapter.

Holly Foster, a fourth-generation Butte County cattle producer who serves as public relations coordinator for the California Beef Council, received the Excellence in Agriculture Award. It is presented annually to a young farmer or rancher who actively contributes and grows through involvement in agriculture and Farm Bureau, but who does not derive the majority of income from an owned farming operation. Foster serves on the Butte County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and several county Farm Bureau committees.

Spinetta and Foster received their awards during the California Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Sparks, Nev. They will represent California in national competitions to be held during the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting next month in Charlotte, N.C.

As winner of the Achievement Award, Spinetta earned $1,000 from the California Farm Bureau plus $1,000 from the Bank of America, $500 from Dodge Trucks, a $500 Allied/Nationwide Insurance Award of Excellence, $500 from the California Farm Credit Association and a $250 State Compensation Insurance Fund Award of Distinction.

He also received use of a Kubota tractor for one year, furnished by the Kubota Tractor Corp., and $500 in products from Syngenta Crop Protection.

The winner of the Excellence in Agriculture Award, Foster, earned $500 from the California Farm Bureau plus $500 from Dodge Trucks, a Farm Boss chainsaw from Pacific Stihl and a trip to the 2005 National YF&R Leadership Conference in New Orleans.

The Farm Bureau also honored runners-up in each award program.

Brandon Fawaz, who farms alfalfa and grass hay in Siskiyou County, was named first runner-up in the Achievement Award competition. Fawaz, who recently completed a term as Siskiyou County Farm Bureau president, received $150 from the California Farm Bureau and Bank of America, a $500 Allied/Nationwide Insurance Award, $250 from State Fund and $300 from the California Farm Credit Association.

The second runner-up in the Achievement Award competition, Timothy Chiala, works for a family-run business in Santa Clara County that grows garlic, peppers and a variety of row crops. Chiala serves on the Santa Clara County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and the YF&R State Committee. He earned $150 from CFBF and Bank of America, a $250 Allied/Nationwide Insurance award, $250 from State Fund and $250 from the California Farm Credit Association.

In the Excellence in Agriculture Award competition, Sam Dolcini of Marin County was named first runner-up. Dolcini, whose family runs a multi-generational beef and dairy farm, serves as first vice president of the Marin County Farm Bureau. He earned $250 from CFBF.

The second runner-up, Ray Prock Jr., received $150 from CFBF. He works as primary herd manager on a Stanislaus County dairy farm and is developing a certification program to control and eradicate the cattle ailment Johne's disease. Prock also serves on the YF&R State Committee.

A produce field buyer for Albertsons supermarkets, Melissa Heinrich of Monterey County, was named third runner-up and received $100 from CFBF. Heinrich, who is active in the Central Coast YF&R chapter, works with farmers to deliver fresh produce throughout the nation.

The CFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers program encourages members aged 18 to 35 to be active in agricultural leadership.

Contact: Dave Kranz
Phone: 916/561-5550
Spinetta wins 2005 Discussion Meet

» December 14, 2005 «
Farm Bureau
After the most highly contested competition ever, an Amador County farmer emerged the winner in the annual Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet.

Family farmer Jim Spinetta of Plymouth won the 2005 Discussion Meet, which was held during the California Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Monterey.

A record 68 contestants participated in the competition. Participants in the annual contest discuss a pre-determined topic and are judged on their ability to exchange ideas and information, think logically and solve problems cooperatively.

The final round of the Discussion Meet focused on the topic, "Where will tomorrow's agricultural work force come from?"

"A nation that fails to secure its work force cannot be secure at home," Spinetta said during the contest. "Ultimately, we need a system that is going to work for the farmers and the people, to sustain it into the future."

Spinetta, who was recently elected president of the Amador County Farm Bureau, is a graduate of the Leadership Farm Bureau program who earned the Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award in 2004. He will represent California in the national Discussion Meet, to be held next month during the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

For winning the statewide competition, Spinetta earned a 2006 Dodge 1500 quad-cab pickup truck and $4,000 in cash.

Each of three runners-up in the competition earned cash prizes. Tim Chiala of Santa Clara County was named first runner-up, Justin Oldfield of Sacramento County was second runner-up and Megan Bowen of Kern County was third runner-up.

In a separate competition, Beth Sequeira, a senior in agricultural communications at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, won the 2005 Collegiate Discussion Meet, earning a $500 cash prize. Lucas Browning of California State University, Chico, earned first runner-up honors; Meggie Fagundes of CSU Fresno was second runner-up and Bryanna Fissori of CSU Chico was third runner-up. A team from Cal Poly won the team competition.

The California Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers program encourages members aged 18 to 35 to become active in leadership to protect family farms and ranches.

Contact: Dave Kranz
Phone: 916/561-5550
We encourage you to visit the CFBF website to read more about the goings on in modern day agriculture. Consider yourself cordially invited to join the Farm Bureau -- look for your local county's group on their website. Everyone is eligible to apply for Farm Bureau membership. Read about the Nov. 14, 2004 broadcast on California Country Television (a Farm Bureau show) that follows the last day of harvest in Spinetta Family Vineyards. Read about the 2002 Leadership Farm Bureau program.
Amador County
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