Focus Agriculture is an opportunity for community leaders to participate in a nine-session intensive program acquiring knowledge about a broad spectrum of agriculture. Click here to learn more.
"Santa Cruz County Agriculture" DVD
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JJ Crosetti, Jr. Memorial Fund Established
At a press conference held June 15th at the historic Crosetti Ranch, it was announced that the three daughters of JJ Crosetti, Jr. are establishing an endowment fund in his honor. It will be called the JJ Crosetti, Jr. Memorial Fund. The purpose of the fund will be to provide scholarships and local farming grants (see attached description). The daughters, Lea Andes, Gina Chekouras and Josie Warren, set up the endowment fund through the educational organization, Agri-Culture. The initial $25,000 gift will come from the Crosetti Lands Company, which includes the three daughters, their Aunt, Jeanette Crosetti, and their cousin Rob Johnston. The family plans to increase its contribution in future years and also encourages those who knew JJ to contribute. The endowed fund be housed at the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County.
JJ Crosetti, Jr. was a local farmer for almost 50 years and had a deep commitment to the community. He was the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau's first Farmer of the Year in 1979.Steve Bontadelli, President of Agri-Culture, stated, "This is a wonderful tribute from three daughters for their father who was a special person in our community. How appropriate that it was announced during Father's Day week."
Lea Andes and Gina Chekouras, both stated in a prepared statement, "We set up this fund in honor of our dad's generous spirit and his love of agriculture, so that he can continue to touch the lives of the people within this community that he loved."
Josie Warren added, “Dad loved this community, and he loved farming; we really wanted to do something in his name that incorporated both.”
Anyone interested in contributing to the JJ Crosetti, Jr. Memorial Fund should send a check payable to: Agri-Culture, designate the fund in the memo section, and send donation to:
Agri-Culture, 141 Monte Vista Avenue, Watsonville, CA 95076
or click this link to donate online and select JJ Crosetti, Jr. Memorial Fund from the drop-down menu
9th Annual Down to Earth Women Luncheon
7th Annual Testicle Festival
It was announced that Lance Greig of San Juan Bautista won the “It’s All in the Sauce” contest at the 7th Annual Testicle Festival held in Watsonville on Saturday, September 26th. The contest invites attendees to prepare and bring their favorite dipping sauces for everyone to try out with the Rocky Mountain Oysters served as appetizers. Lance’s sauce was the favorite of the sauces entered in the competition. Karen Pisturino of Watsonville won the coveted “Best Sauce Name” section of the contest.
There was also a competitive horseshoe contest at the Testicle Festival. The winning team was comprised of Artie Vargas and teammate Billy Gonzales.
All contest winners were presented with plaques memorializing their triumphant performances.
8th Annual Down to Earth Women Luncheon
The 8th Annual Down to Earth Women (DEW) Luncheon, held on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at Driscoll’s Rancho Corralitos in Watsonville, had a record attendance – over 300 women! This event is for women who are involved in, or support, agriculture in Santa Cruz County and the Pajaro Valley. The purpose of the luncheon is to raise funds for Agri-Culture’s Focus Agriculture program, the Jimmie Cox Memorial Scholarship fund and the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau’s school programs.
This year’s featured speaker for the event was Brittany Nielsen, News Anchor, KSBW Action News 8, who spoke on the topic “Growing Up Local.”
Also speaking at the event was Cathy Conway, Hospice of Santa Cruz County, who spoke about her experience as a participant in Agri-Culture’s Focus Agriculture program. Matthew Clifton, 2015 Jimmie Cox Memorial Scholarship recipient, spoke about his schooling and how the scholarship made a positive impact in his education.
Check out photos from our:
Teaching educators about the diversity of agricultural jobs in the Pajaro Valley
Agri-Culture’s 18th Annual Progressive Dinner
“Celebrating 25 Years of Focus Agriculture” was a success!
The educational organization, Agri-Culture, held its 18th Annual Progressive Dinner on Saturday night (October 25th). The event raised over $35,000. The purpose of Agri-Culture is to educate the public about local agriculture in Santa Cruz County and the Pajaro Valley. This year’s theme was “Celebrating 25 Years of Focus Agriculture.” The event is limited to 100 guests, and each year it sells out early. Guests are transported (via buses) to three different locations not normally open to the public. The hors d’oeuvres were served at the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County – welcomed by Robin Larsen and hosted by Ralph and Kerri Miljanovich. Robin spoke about the connection between the ag community and the Community Foundation. Dinner was served at Kitayama Brothers – welcomed by Robert and Stuart Kitayama. The guests were provided a tour of the greenhouses growing Gerbera Daisies and gardenias. A wonderful dinner was prepared by Barbara & Company. During dinner, Robert and Stuart spoke about the history of Kitayama Brothers. The dessert location was Del Mar Food Products Corp. – welcomed by its President, PJ Mecozzi. PJ spoke about the history of Del Mar Food and their increased product lines. A tour of the operating spinach line was provided. Guests enjoyed caramel cheesecake and peaches provided by Del Mar Food. Later, guests were given a bag and a box of local produce to take home and enjoy.
The many guests included: Ted Burke, owner of Shadowbrook Restaurant; Mary Anne Carson of Santa Cruz County Bank; Dick and Marisela Peixoto, Lakeside Organic Gardens; Debbie Parsons, Best Western Seacliff Inn; Maria and David Vasquez of Watsonville; Stephany Aguilar, Councilmember, City of Scotts Valley and Progressive Dinner Chair; Steve Bontadelli, Agri-Culture President. Nita Gizdich sold the raffle tickets.
6th Annual Testicle Festival
Tony Colee Wins “It’s All in the Sauce” Contest -
Other Winners Announced
It was announced that Tony Colee of Redondo Beach won the “It’s All in the Sauce” contest at the 6th Annual Testicle Festival held in Watsonville on Saturday, September 20th. The contest invites attendees to prepare and bring their favorite dipping sauces for everyone to try out with the Rocky Mountain Oysters served as appetizers. Tony’s sauce was the favorite of the 16 sauces entered in the competition. Emily Youmans of Watsonville won the coveted “Best Sauce Name” section of the contest. Emily’s sauce was appropriately named “Ballapallooza.”
There was also a competitive horseshoe contest at the Testicle Festival. The winning team was comprised of Arnett Young and teammate Dan Legard.
All contest winners were presented with plaques memorializing their triumphant performances.The Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee of the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau held its 6th Annual “Testicle Festival at Estrada Deer Camp in Watsonville. The Rocky Mountain Oysters were served as hors d’ oeuvres and the sauces were enjoyed and judged by the record-crowd attending. A full chicken barbeque was served for dinner, with s’mores, made around the campfire, for dessert. The event also included a raffle, live and silent auction.
If you haven’t tried a rocky mountain oyster, make sure to attend the 2015 event!
Down to Earth Women Luncheon
Down to Earth Women (DEW) Luncheon
2013 Testicle Festival
Gold-Medal Winning State Fair Booth
17th Annual Progressive Dinner - "Ocean, Outreach and...OMG!"