California Farm Bureau Federation Honors Paul Wenger

Former CFBF President Paul Wenger Gets Distinguished Service Award

News Release From California Farm Bureau Federation

Citing his passion for agriculture, his tenacity, and his decades of service to Farm Bureau, the California Farm Bureau Federation presented its Distinguished Service Award to former CFBF President Paul Wenger. Wenger accepted the award during the organization’s 100th Annual Meeting last night in San Diego.

A third-generation farmer who grows almonds and walnuts on a family farm in Modesto, Wenger served as CFBF president from 2009 to 2017, ending his term after serving the maximum eight years in office. He has been a Stanislaus County Farm Bureau member since 1980, serving as county farm bureau president before being elected to the CFBF board and then as a statewide officer beginning in 1997, when he was elected the organization’s second vice president. Wenger also served on the American Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors.

Current CFBF President Jamie Johansson described his predecessor as “tireless” in his work on behalf of the farm bureau and California agriculture.

“In his speech to our Annual Meeting last year, Paul reminded us that those who work the hardest, the longest, and invest the most are probably going to be successful. Although he was referring to Farm Bureau, the words certainly apply to Paul himself. He has remained actively involved in Farm Bureau and agriculture, and we look forward to his continued contributions,” Johansson said.

In nominating Wenger for the award, the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau pointed to his “lifetime in leadership roles in agriculture,” starting as a state Future Farmers of America officer in 1973, and cited “his passion for the industry and his tenacity to resolve problems and get things done.”

The Distinguished Service Award has been presented annually since 1953 to dedicated Farm Bureau volunteers from California. In addition to the award to Wenger, CFBF presented the Distinguished Service Award to longtime Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau leader James Marler.

The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 36,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of nearly 5.6 million Farm Bureau members.

Spray Safe Meeting Nov. 17 in Modesto

Event Organized by Stanislaus County Farm Bureau

By Laurie Greene, Founding Editor

Wayne Zipser, executive director of the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, announced the Farm Bureau will hold a Safe Spray and Safety Event on November 17, at the Modesto Junior College’s West Campus Ag Pavilion, located at 2201 Blue Gum Ave. in Modesto. The Stanislaus County Farm Bureau is a non-profit, volunteer membership organization that provides many programs like Spray Safe to assist its members and to educate the general public.

“The Spray Safe meeting will be a big event,” Zipser said, “not only because will it cover how to safely apply pesticides, but also provide tractor safety training, [pesticide application] mask fit testing and physicals [if needed for mask fit testing] for farm employees.”

“Registration opens at 7 AM,” Zipser explained. “A grower panel will start the day at 8 AM with a discussion of the safety and procedure challenges encountered by some of our folks who do pesticide applications. Given the new rules for pesticide applications around schools and preschools, we want to hear how they cope with and mitigate these new challenges.”

The Safe Spray Meeting will also feature a trade show. Attendance is free, courtesy of event sponsors, and lunch is provided.

Additional topics will include: drift prevention, school notification requirements, calibration, sexual harassment prevention, equipment safety and heat illness prevention. The meeting also offers 4 hours of Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) Continuing Education (CE) credit.

The all-Ag committee coordinating the event includes the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, the Ag Commissioner’s Office, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE).

For more information, contact the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau at 209-522-7278.

Bridging the Farm-City Gap

Stanislaus Outreach Bridges Farm-City Gap  

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Deputy Editor


Wayne Zipser, executive director of the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, noted that he, his staff and farm bureau members are working hard to bridge the farm-city gap. “We certainly do a lot of outreach,” Zipser said. “We mainly try to reach out to our young people and change their attitudes towards production agriculture.”

“We teach them where their food actually comes from,” he explained, “so when they grow older, they have a different opinion and know exactly where their food comes from—not just from the grocery store off the grocery shelf. It takes a lot of people to make that happen so consumers can appreciate the nutritious food they are consuming.”

”We have several Ag Days in the County. We visit schools individually and do presentations,” said Zipser. “One of the big presentations is something we call ‘Ag Adventure.’ We bring third graders because we’ve been told that third grade is when they absorb the most information into their minds.”

“We bring classes out to the fairgrounds and introduce every child to our industry, to where their milk and eggs come from. We also talk about how rain and snow filter down into reservoirs for storage. The teachers are also become immersed; they take the lessons back to the classroom and apply them to their own curriculum.”

Zipser explained the staff is big on social media now, “Social media benefits our industry; almonds being the number one commodity—but we’ve all heard it takes one gallon of water to produce one almond. We want to go back and say, “Look, it may take that, but look at the benefits coming back to the community.”

“One of our biggest outreaches is letting people know that our farmers and ranchers are suffering through this drought too,” Zipser said. “We, as producers, are suffering, and we have made tremendous strides in conserving water. We see many of the irrigation districts in our county now have extra water that they didn’t know they were going to have because the farmers did such a good job conserving,” Zipser clarified.

Record Crowd of Tree Nut Growers in Turlock

Big Crowd in Turlock for Tree Nut and Vine Expo

More than 800 growers and PCAs were at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds TODAY, to hear from many speakers, visit with hundreds of exhibitors, talk about tree nuts and grape vines, and enjoy breakfast and a barbeque Tri-Tip lunch.

“It was the 18th annual event and with a record crowd. All growers were upbeat following a good harvest and good nut prices. Also, both domestic and export sales are increasing,” said Patrick Cavanaugh, editor of Pacific Nut Producer magazine and co-host of the event.
tree nut growers
Exhibitors speak with tree nut growers about products and services
“We are pleased that both the nut and grape industry are doing well in California. All we really need is a lot of rainfall this winter,” said Dan Malcolm, publisher of Pacific Nut Producer as well as American Vineyard magazine, and co-host of the show.
Crowd gathers outside to look over equipment.

Speakers came from UC Davis, Stanislaus County Ag Commissioner’s office, UC Cooperative Extension, Almond Board of California, California Walnut Board, Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, and CalAgSafety.

“We appreciate the support of the event sponsors and the record number exhibitors,” said Cavanaugh.
Ryan Genzoli with Cal Ag Safety speaks. tree nut growers
Ryan Genzoli with Cal Ag Safety speaks.
Sponsors Included:
    • Agromillora
    • American Ag Credit
    • Big Tree Organics
    • California Walnut Board
    • Compass Minerals
    • Dave Wilson Nursery
    • Diamond Foods
    • Fresno State Viticulture and Enology Dept.
    • JKB Energy
    • Novozymes
    • Principal Financial Group
    • Yosemite Farm Credit