Farm bureau claps for bravo lake garden grower

The man responsible for innovative techniques to grow blueberries in Tulare County and for creating a community garden that educates people about local agriculutre will receive a much deservd award tonight.

Manuel Jimenez, a Farm Advisor with the University of California, Cooperative Extension office in Tulare will be honored for special contributions to the agriculture community of Tulare County during the Tulare County Farm Bureau’s Annual Dinner at 6 p.m. at the Heritage Complex in Tulare.

As a local county Farm Advisor, Manuel has gone above and beyond as a farm extension advisor and his long time support in building the Bravo Lake Botanical Garden in Woodlake.  He and his wife Olga have dedicated their life’s work to building the Bravo Lake Botanical Garden in Woodlake, where they encourage disadvantaged youth and community members to take part in beautifying their community.

For over two decades, Manuel has been a dedicated extension agent to the agricultural community assisting farmers with crop services, research, advice, and support.

One of Manuel’s major areas of crop research has been on working with small farms, minority farmers, and introducing unique crops to the area like blueberries.  His pioneer innovation has made the growing of blueberries and other specialty crops in Tulare County possible, and has built a tremendous wealth of experience in advising growers about these crops.

Reservations for dinner are $40 each and can be made by contacting the Tulare County Farm Bureau at 732-8301. In addition to the following awards, TCFB will also be graduating the 28th class of youth leaders and awarding $13,500 in local scholarships to deserving students.  Being honored this year with major awards are:

Agriculturalist of the Year

Eric Shannon

Eric Shannon will be awarded this year’s Agriculturalist of the Year Award, for his dedicated service to the agricultural industry of Tulare County and his countless years of service and philanthropy to many worthwhile organizations.  Eric is an owner and partner in CRS Farming, SK Ranch Management, and Shannon Ranch Village and farms grapes, walnuts, and other commodities in the north part of Tulare County. Eric is an active member of the Visalia Rotary and supports many of their philanthropic efforts thru Visalia Rotary Foundation.  Eric brought a partnership to the Farm Bureau several years ago, providing for a major donation to the Education and Scholarship Fund to underwrite half of the Youth Leadership Program that Farm Bureau has sponsored for 28 years. Eric serves on the Board of Trustees for Suncrest Bank and on their marketing committee and dedicated these funds to make the Youth Leadership program sponsorship possible.


Service to Farm Bureau Award

Craig Knudson

Craig Knudson will be honored as the Service to Farm Bureau award winner, for his more than two decades of service and dedication to Farm Bureau.  Craig started his service as a leader and board member on the Tulare County Farm Bureau Board in the 1990s, and served in all of the executive board positions, and serving as County President from 2004-2006. During the Farm Bureau’s change in management, Craig took a direct role in supporting the day to day work of the Farm Bureau.

After completing his term as President, Craig continued to be a strong leader in Farm Bureau serving on the executive board, Finance Committee, and co-chairing the Land Use Committee. For the past four years he volunteered to represent the Tulare County Farm Bureau as their district director to the California Farm Bureau Federation’s Board of Directors.

A position he held until December 2012 upon his retirement. Although Craig has retired from many of his leadership roles within Farm Bureau, he is still active on the county’s Land Use Committee and the CFBF Membership Ad Hoc Committee. Craig and his wife Lynn live in Badger, and he farms berries, cherries and raises meat goats.

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