Ferndale rancher receives lifetime achievement award from Humboldt County Farm Bureau

Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

The Humboldt County Farm Bureau presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to one of its own at its annual meeting last weekend at the Scotia Inn. Ferndale resident Sanford Lowry received the award and said "I'm honored to have been in Farm Bureau all these years." Addressing the audience Lowry said, "I'm glad to see so many new faces in Farm Bureau," and added, "that is important to keeping it moving ahead."

It was Lowry's father who built the building on Spruce Point just south of Eureka, where the Humboldt County Farm Bureau office is now located. Lowry's own involvement goes back more than 40 years and includes serving as President of the organization from 2002 to 2004. Lowry is a beef and sheep producer in the Bear River area.

The theme for the dinner was "Home Town Harvest" and the meal of locally produced ingredients was served at 6 p.m. to a crowd of more than 100 people. A silent auction held that evening raised $2,200 and the proceeds will be used for planning next year's 100th Anniversary of the Humboldt County Farm Bureau. Humboldt was the first County Farm Bureau established in California, in 1913.

Farm Bureau president for the past two years, John Vevoda of Ferndale, presided over the annual meeting and before its conclusion, passed the gavel to incoming Farm Bureau President Greg Dale, owner of Coast Seafoods in Eureka. Dale has served on the Farm Bureau Board of Directors for more than 10 years.

"Agriculture and local food production is a key to our County's economy," Dale said. "We currently produce high quality products in Humboldt County which are in demand both locally and outside our area," he added. He is looking forward to coordinating activities and events to showcase the local agricultural community, in preparation for the 100th Anniversary celebration of the Humboldt County Farm Bureau.

Outgoing Farm Bureau president Vevoda said he thoroughly enjoyed his two-year leadership of the County organization and will continue to serve as the State Farm Bureau representative for the next three years. "The focus continues to be on education and fighting state regulations in order to survive," he said. He noted the diversity of attendees at the annual meeting in Scotia, with representatives from aquaculture, timber, beef and dairy cattle, and vegetable growers "all having a common goal: to feed the world."

Keynote speaker at the meeting was Jamie Johansson who was born and raised in Fortuna and currently operates an olive ranch (Lodestar Farms) in Oroville. Johansson is also second vice president of the California Farm Bureau, a position he has held since 2009.

Photo caption

Photos by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

Sanford Lowry, who joined the Humboldt County Farm Bureau in 1969, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by that organization at the Annual Meeting held in Scotia.