Agriculturalist of the Year Award

The Agriculturalist of the Year award is presented to an individual or individuals who have contributed extensively, in a professional capacity, to California’s agricultural industry.

Award criteria stipulates the individual or individuals must have demonstrated leadership and clearly represented the industry over a number of years in one or more of the following areas: production agriculture, education, labor, and research. The individual can be from any area of the agriculture industry. The individual will not be judged on his/her contributions to the State Fair. All Nominees will remain in nomination for one year after their formal introduction.

In celebrating the tradition and innovation of the State’s number one industry, agriculture, the California State Fair Board of Directors, upon the recommendation of the Agricultural Advisory Council, selects the Agriculturalist of the Year.

Chandler family posing in their farm

Bill and Carol Chandler, 2020 Agriculturalists of the Year

Coming Soon!

Year Past Recipients
2020 Bill and Carol Chandler
2019 Karen Ross
2018 Paul Wenger
2017 Tom Nassif
2016 Sarbjit “Sarb” Johl
2015 Charles D. “Chuck” Ahlem
2014 Craig McNamara
2013 Edward H. Nishio
2012 A.G. Kawamura
2011 Robert “Bob” Gilbert
2010 Bill Lyons, Jr.
2009 Ron Schuler
2008 Bill Pauli
2007 Len Richardson
2006 John Harris
2005 George Gomes
2004 Alfred Montna
2003 Ann M. Veneman
2002 Cecil L. Wetsel, Jr.
2001 John A. De Luca
2000 A. J. Yates
1999 Gertrude “Gertie” Zerhrung
1998 John Kautz
1997 John Lacey
1996 Guido Lombardi
1995 Henry J. Voss
1994 William F. McFarlane
1993 Leland “Lee” Ruth
1992 Richard Rominger
1991 Gordon Van Vleck
1990 Dick Markarian
1989 Dean Brown
1988 Senator Rose Ann Vuich
1987 Clare Berryhill
1986 Richard Lyng
1985 Carolyn Leavens
1984 Bill Staiger
1983 Gailen Martin
1982 Assemblyman John Thurman
1981 Ed Rutherford