Humboldt County Farm Bureau annual meeting at Scotia Inn

Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

Recently, members of the Humboldt County Farm Bureau joined together to honor Dick Hackett with a lifetime achievement award, introduce new president John Vevoda, and welcome new board of director members.

The evening's festivities were held at the historic Scotia Inn and hosted a cocktail hour wrapped up by a welcome from current president Jay Russ. The food, which was beautifully prepared by Dorris and Daughter Catering, came from local businesses and citizens. The meal consisted of a beautiful display of vegetables locally grown stuffed in a tomato with a slice of melon and prosciutto. The salad was followed by a fluffy bed of mashed potatoes smothered in a moist beef stew and served with dinner rolls. To satisfy the pallet attendees finished their meal off with a perfectly sweetened apple crisp with ice cream.

The salad was a combination of CR Farm tomatoes and cucumbers provided by Noah Corp and Franz Rulofson with the melon provided by John LaBoyteaux. The rolls were made from Humboldt County Wheat grown by John LaBoyteaux and provided by Glee Brandon. Bill Fales provided the Valley Flower Vegetables potatoes for the mashed potatoes. The mountain of stew came from Jay Russ and Lee and Eileen Mora of Humboldt Grass Fed Beef. Drew Clendenen of Clendenen's Cider Works provided the apples for the dessert which was topped off with Humboldt Creamery Ice Cream. The tables were adorned with flowers from Holly Kreb and wine was from Briceland Vineyards.

The Humboldt Farm Bureau is Humboldt County's largest general agricultural organization and represents dairy, cattle, timber, produce, oysters, wineries, and the local floral industry. It is that pride and dedication that was shining brightly during the most recent annual meeting in the display of local products from beginning to end. The organization is grass roots and is dedicated to promoting and preserving agriculture in Humboldt County.

In 2006 agricultural production was $294,787,100 with 690,000 acres in agricultural use and 67,000 of those acres intensively farmed. During this same time, the top five crops were Timber at $171,631,700, Nursery Products at $49,116,900, Milk at $29,727,000, Cattle at $19,816,200, and Pasture/Range at $8,672,500. ( Significant agricultural resources are located near Fortuna, Arcata, and Blue Lake among other locations.

Humboldt County Farm Bureau is a member of the California Farm Bureau Federation, which provides a network of support within the farming business and off. The resources provided can give discounts, scholarships, breaking local and legislative news, and educational tools. Locally the Humboldt County Farm Bureau can be reached by calling 443-4844 or e-mailing

The highlight of the meeting was honoring Dick Hackett of Ferndale with the "Lifetime Achievement Award" for his years of dedication to the Humboldt County Farm Bureau and the agriculture industry. As a member of the Farm Bureau for over 30 years he served as President of the Humboldt County Farm Bureau from 1981 to 1983, and then went on to hold the very prestigious position of Vice President for California Farm Bureau in 1989. According to Katherine Ziemer, Executive Director of the Humboldt County Farm Bureau, "Dick Hackett served on the board of directors of the Humboldt County Wool Growers Association, the Cattlemen's Association, member of the Humboldt County Animal Damage control Commission and the Legislative Action Council of the American Sheep Industry." Ziemer added that Hackett is a past President and member of the Ferndale Rotary Club, member and past board member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church and Board Member and Chairman of St. Luke's manor in Fortuna. For 25 years Hackett worked for bank of America as an appraiser specializing in Ag Appraisals with special assignments of timber operations in Northern California, Oregon, Nevada, and Central America.

Hackett was overwhelmed with the honor as he shared the moment with family and friends.

Two former Fortuna residents made their way home as guest speakers for the night. Jamie Johansson who is the Vice President of the California Farm Bureau and Jack Rice who is the attorney for the California Farm Bureau in the Natural Resources and Environmental Division. Johansson provided an update to the group on the California Farm Bureau sprinkled with sports hype as the Giants were earning their place in the World Series. Rice discussed the growing water issues here on the North Coast. Also speaking during the evening was Rich Matteis who is the administrator of the California Farm Bureau in Sacramento.

President Jay Russ was the Master of Ceremonies and recapped the Farm Bureau's accomplishments over the previous year. Included were the detailed inputs on the Humboldt County General Plan Land Use Element, organizing landowners in the Elk River Watershed to comment on the Regional Water Quality Regulations, input to the Salt River Draft Environmental Impact Report, and awarding over $50,000 in Scholarships to local students who are attending college.

The last order of business for exiting president Russ was the nomination and acceptance of board members for the coming year and introduction of the new president, John Vevoda. Those new Humboldt County Board members are Andy Albin, Lauri Barnwell, Noah Corp, Greg Dale, Larry Ford, Bill Fales, Jane Fraser, Everett King, Bill Kleiner, Holly Kreb, John LaBoyteaux, Sanford Lowry, Marty McClelland, Dona Moxon, Butch Parton, Shane Radelfinger, Jim Regli, Bill Rice, Jay Russ, Gary Rynearson, Janet Sclar, Gene Senestraro, John Vevoda, and Gene Whitney. The Board Members were unanimously elected.

New President John Vevoda of Ferndale expressed his commitment to the Farm Bureau Organization and encouraged all members to become involved in the current and future issues which effect agriculture in this community.

Further information or to become a member of the Humboldt County Farm Bureau can be obtained at

Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon

1. Former Fortuna residents Jamie Johansson and Jack Rice spoke at the Farm Bureau dinner.

2. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Dick Hackett of Ferndale.