The Lake County Chapter of the California Women for Agriculture's AgVenture 2015 class includes, top step, left to right, Danielle Matthews Seperas, Lisa Wilson, Andrew March, Barbara Ehr, Brenna Sullivan and Terre Logsdon; bottom step, left to right, Jim Steele, Rick Hamilton, Jan Coppinger, Dr. Karen Tait, Kerrie Lindecker and Tiffany Ortega. Courtesy photo.
LAKEPORT, Calif. Twelve community leaders attended session four of AgVenture 2015 on Nov. 13, the final session of the program.
The day showcased Lake County olives, olive oil and farm labor issues, and marked the close of the sixth year of the AgVenture program.
Created by the Lake County Chapter of the California Women for Agriculture, AgVenture is an agricultural educational program devised for non-farming community leaders who aspire to understand the vital role that agriculture plays in the local economy.
Class members acquire knowledge about agriculture and farming in general, and more specifically about the heritage, culture, economy and business of Lake County agriculture during the program.
Class members are selected yearly through an application process. Selection into the program is based on the applicant's interest in the program, their professional position in the community, and their ability to help maintain a viable agricultural industry in Lake County. Program acceptance is competitive.
Members of the 2015 class included: Barbara Ehr, clinical supervisor with the Lake County Office of Education; Brenna Sullivan, executive director, Lake County Farm Bureau; Danielle Matthews Seperas, manager, government and community affairs, Calpine; Jim Steele, District 3 supervisor, county of Lake; Jan Coppinger, Lake County Special Districts Utility Systems compliance manager; Dr. Karen Tait, health officer, county of Lake, Health Services Department; Rick Hamilton, commercial Realtor and owner of RAH; Kerrie Lindecker, district representative, Lake and Mendocino counties, Sen. Mike McGuire; Tiffany Ortega, assistant administrator, Sutter Lakeside Hospital; Andrew March, constituent service representative, office of Congressman John Garamendi; Terre Logsdon, Farm-to-School coordinator, North Coast Opportunities; and Lisa Wilson, general manager, Shady Acres Campground and Mobile Home Park.
"I will never downplay Lake County. This program made me proud of our county. I now appreciate what I'm seeing when I drive from Lower Lake to Kelseyville," said Coppinger upon graduating from the AgVenture program.
"This program demonstrates that today's farmers have to be businesspeople to keep up with regulations, pay attention to science, and be extremely competent and talented in order to be successful," said Sullivan.
Class sessions took place on Aug. 7, Sept. 11, Oct. 16 and Nov. 13. The sessions focused on the pear industry, the winegrape industry, walnuts, and olives and labor.
Class members heard from a variety of industry experts and specialists including: "The Pear Doctor" Broc Zoller, PhD, PCA; Frances Spivy-Weber, vice chair of the State Water Resources Control Board; and Cecilia Chi-Ham, PhD, director of Global Strategy and Innovation, HM.CLAUSE among many others. AgVenture participants also toured local a pear orchard, an olive mill, a walnut orchard and several wineries.
Generous sponsors for the 2015 series of seminars included Calpine; Umpqua Bank; Sutter Lakeside Hospital; Broc Zoller, PhD, "The Pear Doctor;" Adobe Creek Packing; Harbin Hot Springs; Scully Packing Company; American AgCredit; Beckstoffer Vineyards; Bob Bartley Pump, Inc.; Quackenbush Mountain Resource Recovery; Lake County Winegrape Commission; Laujor Estate Winery; Gregory Graham Winery; Tallman Hotel and Blue Wing Saloon Restaurant; Lake County Winery Association; Lianne Campodonico; Judy Cortesi; Lake County Farm Bureau; Quackenbush Mountain Resource Recovery; Tibor & Petra Major; Sharron Zoller; Bengard Marketing; Janet King; Wilda Shock; North Lake Medical Pharmacy; Savings Bank of Mendocino County; Polestar Computers; Mendo-Lake Credit Union; Lakeport Tire & Auto Service; Janice Stokes; Peggy Campbell, CPA; Chacewater Wine and Olive Mill; Suchan Farm and Nursery; Henderson Orchards; Military Funeral Honors Team.
The AgVenture program Steering Committee, all CWA members, are Annette Hopkins, Paula Bryant, Toni Scully, Diane Henderson, Terry Dereniuk, Debra Sommerfield, Sharron Zoller and Rebecca Southwick.
To learn more about the Lake County Chapter of California Women for Agriculture, visit www.lakecountycwa.org .
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