Sonoma County Farm Bureau

Sonoma County Fair’s Top Exhibitors Honored at Farm Bureau Foundation’s Awards Dinner

Amanda Moretti and Jordan Grove Named Outstanding Fair Exhibitors for 2011

Sonoma-Marin Farm News, September 2011
Story by Tim Tesconi

Sonoma County Fair’s cream-of-the-crop took the stage at the Sonoma County 4-H and FFA Awards Dinner where Amanda Moretti of Petaluma and Jordan Grove of Santa Rosa were named the outstanding Sonoma County Fair exhibitors for 2011.

Amanda Moretti
Amanda Moretti, a member of Tomales FFA, receives the Gold Cup Award and a $1,000 scholarship from Tito Sasaki, vice president of the Farm Bureau Foundation of Sonoma County, which sponsors the Gold Cup Award for the Fair's top Exhibitors.
Jordan Grove
Jordan Grove, a member of Santa Rosa FFA, receives the Gold Cup Award and a $1,000 scholarship from Tito Sasaki, vice president of the Farm Bureau Foundation of Sonoma County, which sponsors the Gold Cup Award for the Fair's top Exhibitors.

Amanda, 18, a graduate of Tomales High School, and Jordan, 18, a graduate of Santa Rosa High School, were recipients of the Gold Cup Award for agricultural excellence. The Gold Cup Award, which includes a $1,000 scholarship for each of the winners, is sponsored by the Farm Bureau Foundation of Sonoma County to recognize young agricultural leaders for overall achievement, leadership, scholarship and participation in the Sonoma County Fair.

Amanda, the daughter of Marin County dairy farmers Mike and Monique Moretti, is attending Cornell University in upstate New York where she is studying animal science. Jordan, the son of Robert and Debbie Grove, is attending Santa Rosa Junior College where he is studying agriculture with an emphasis on dairy science. Following SRJC, he plans to transfer to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, to continue his education in dairy science.  

Both Amanda and Jordan have outstanding dairy cattle projects and a stellar record of community service and leadership with the 4-H and FFA organizations.

The Gold Cup Award was established in 2008, coinciding with the Farm Bureau Foundation’s sponsorship of the Sonoma County Fair 4-H and FFA Awards program in partnership with the Sonoma County Fair. This year’s Awards Dinner was held on Aug. 10 at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building.

Farm Bureau Foundation officials said the Sonoma County Fair 4-H and FFA Awards Dinner is one of the most meaningful and enjoyable events staged by the charitable foundation. It pays tribute to the young people who will one day be leaders in agriculture and the community.

“The Farm Bureau Foundation of Sonoma County is honored to sponsor the Awards Dinner to recognize the fair’s top junior exhibitors. We believe the hard work of the 4-H and FFA exhibitors should be celebrated at an event that showcases their remarkable achievements and dedication to agriculture. These young people are our future leaders,” said Santa Rosa rancher Robert Muelrath, president of Farm Bureau Foundation of Sonoma County.

There were more than 500 4-H and FFA members and their families at the Awards Dinner. Robert Muelrath was the master of ceremonies at the dinner. Sheila Quince, the fair’s exhibit and premium coordinator, announced the awards that went to the top exhibitors in beef, swine, sheep, goats, rabbits, poultry, agriculture mechanics and dogs. Sonoma County supervisors Shirlee Zane, David Rabbitt and Mike McGuire joined Dairy Princess Amanda Moretti and Rabbit Princesses Melanie Hanlon and Taylor Mills in handing out the trophies and other awards.

The $1,000 Gold Cup Awards, presented by Tito Sasaki, vice president of the Farm Bureau Foundation, were among the special awards presented at the Fair Awards Dinner. The Dinner and Awards Ceremony was coordinated by the Farm Bureau Foundation of Sonoma County in cooperation with the Sonoma County Fair. American AgCredit and the Sonoma County Grange Credit Union joined the Sonoma County Fair and Farm Bureau Foundation in sponsoring the pasta dinner, prepared by Art Ibleto, the Pasta King.

A highlight of the Awards Dinner was a photographic overview set to country music, that captured 4-H and FFA livestock exhibitors in the barns and show rings during the three week fair. Steve Knudsen, Communications and Development coordinator at Sonoma County Farm Bureau, created the presentation, which included photographs by fair photographer Brenda Hawkes and contributing photographers Tye Lokka, Lisa Bauer and Emilie Strand. Many of the photographs were taken by Knudsen himself who spent hours at the fair getting the images that captured the spirit of 4-H and FFA exhibitors.

The buyers of the supreme champion market animals presented checks to the exhibitors who raised the fair’s best steer, hog, lamb, meat goat, meat birds and rabbits.

The buyers of the supreme champion animals were:

Supreme Lamb Buyer Supreme Hog Buyer Supreme Champion Market Goat Buyer
Lamb Hog Goat
G & G Supermarkets and George Peterson Insurance paid $31 a pound for the supreme grand champion market lamb raised by Isabella Leventini of the Santa Rosa FFA. G & G is represented by members of the family that owns and operates the markets in Santa Rosa and Petaluma. The family from left to right, Alex Drake, Jaime Lowe and her son Robert, family patriarch Bob Gong, Trevor Drake and John Drake. Kirk Lokka, a partner in Emeritus Vineyards in Sebastopol, paid $9 a pound - a total $2,277 - for the supreme champion market hog raised by JD Ferrero of the Gateway 4-H Club. Miss Wine Country Rodeo Tracy Hinson joined in the photograph celebrating the purchase of the perfect pig. Lombardi’s BBQ in Petaluma, represented by Lee Lombardi, bought the supreme grand champion meat goat at the fair for $14.50 a pound, for a total $1,044. Siena Carvalho of the Gateway 4-H raised the fair’s top meat goat.
Supreme Champion Steer Buyer Champion Pen of Meat Birds Buyer Champion Pen of Meat Rabbits
Steer Meat Pen Rabbits
La Tortilla Factory owners Willie and Darlene Tamayo paid $4 a pound – a total of $5,000 – for the fair’s supreme grand champion steer raised by Jacob Dorr of the Healdsburg FFA. The Tamayos are joined by family members for the photograph following the purchase of the fair’s top steer. Petaluma Poultry Processors, represented by Matt Junkel, left, and Mike Leventini, paid $1,000 for the champion pen of meat birds at the Sonoma County Fair. Carter Proaps, a member of the 4-H, raised the champion chickens. Sequoia Wealth Management of Petaluma, represented by owners Harry Bookstein, left, and Matt Shafer, paid $1,800 for the champion pen of meat rabbits raised by Corey Sceales of the Harvest 4-H Club.


There were a number of other special awards presented to outstanding exhibitors at the Sonoma County Fair. Samantha Spaletta of Liberty 4-H won the $750 Arthur “Big Boy” and Catherine “Honey” Kunde Memorial Award. The award, presented by Richard Kunde in memory of his parents, is based on farm projects, leadership and dedication to the preservation of Sonoma County agriculture.

Kayla Camilli of Steuben 4-H won the $250 Sonoma Kiwanis Club Youth Agricultural Award.

Jessie Peterson, a member of the Liberty 4-H and Petaluma FFA, won the Babe and Bernetta Tesconi Memorial Award for the scope and diversity of her many projects – livestock and non-livestock -  entered in the Sonoma County Fair. The award includes a $250 cash award and silver belt buckle, donated by members of the Tesconi Family.
Makensie Floyd of the Liberty 4-H Club won the Alphabet Photo Challenge and a $250 savings bond. This award is sponsored by Brenda Hawkes the fair’s official livestock photographer.

The $3,000 Steve Olson Leadership Scholarship, awarded by the SRJC Ag Trust, was presented to Victoria Hamilton, a former 4-H and FFA members from Sebastpool who completed two years of agriculture education at SRJC and is now an agriculture student at the University of Kentucky.

Regina Pozzi of Petaluma FFA won the FFA Large Animal Round Robin Showmanship Contest.  Magdalen Grismer of the Independence 4-H won the 4-H Large Animal Round Showmanship contest for exhibitors 14 years and older. Steven Pozzi a member of the Wilson 4-H, won the 4-H Large Animal Round Robin Showmanship for exhibitors 9 to 13 years age.

Winning Round Robin is considered the pinnacle of success at the fair because it demonstrates an exhibitor’s abilities at expertly showing a range of different livestock species while possessing knowledge of farm animals and their care.

Magdalen Grismer also won the senior division 4-H Small Animal Round Robin Showmanship Contest. Melanie Hanlon of the Liberty 4-H won 4-H junior division Small Animal Round Robin Showmanship.

Other top exhibitors honored at the Fair Awards Dinner were:

Born and Bred Champions

  • Champion Hog Born and Bred in Sonoma County: Jeremy Spaletta of Liberty 4-H.
  • Champion Meat Goat Born and Bred in Sonoma County: Madison Ambrosini of Green Valley 4-H
  • Champion Lamb Born and Bred in Sonoma County: Dominic Leventini of Forestville FFA.
  • Champion Steer Born and Bred in Sonoma/Marin County: Lane Norman of Tomales 4-H.

Sheep

  • Rodney Jacobsen Perpetual 4-H Grand Champion Market Lamb, Davey Dorr of Healdsburg 4-H.
  • Wool Sweepstakes Award, Victoria Shura of Cloverdale.
  • Ron Olson Memorial Award High Placing 4-H Dorset Market Lamb, Joseph Murnin of Live Oak 4-H; Ron Olson Award for FFA high placing Dorset Market Lamb, Jessie Peterson of Petaluma FFA.
  • Steve Dorfman Memorial Award for Supreme Young Flock, Cole Pruett of Petaluma FFA.
  • Harlan Wagner Memorial Award Best Junior Breeding Project, Cole Pruett of Petaluma FFA.
  • Sheep Excellence Award – 9 to 10 years old, Amanda King of Liberty 4-H; Sheep Excellence Award, 11 to 12 years old, Courtney King of Liberty 4-H.
  • Severa "Bud" Wilford Premier Exhibitor Award for Best FFA Breeding Sheep Exhibitor, Cole Pruitt of Petaluma FFA.
  • Severa "Bud" Wilford Premier Exhibitor Award for Best 4-H Breeding Sheep Exhibitor, Courtney King of Liberty 4-H.
  • Premier Breeder  & Exhibitor Awards: Dorset, Cole Pruett, Petaluma FFA; Hampshire, Adrianna Poore of Canfield 4-H; Southdown, Joseph Stefenoni of Sebastopol FFA; All Other Meat Breeds, Joseph Stefenoni of Sebastopol FFA; All Other Wool Breeds, Zach Albers fof Forestville 4-H.

   Dairy Cattle

  • Danny Buttke Memorial Award for Grand Champion Grade Holstein Female: Jeremy Spaletta of Liberty 4-H.
  • Steve Medeiros Memorial Award for the Most Effort Put into a Junior Dairy Project: Jessie Peterson of Liberty 4-H.
  • Supreme Jr. Champion Grade Dairy Female: Jessie Peterson of Liberty 4-H.
  • Supreme Grand Champion Grade Dairy Female: Ryan Beretta of Sebastopol FFA.
  • Supreme Jr. Champion Registered Dairy Female: Regina Pozzi of Petaluma.
  • Supreme Grand Champion Registered Dairy Female: Rocco Cunningham of Petaluma FFA.
  • Supreme Best Bred and Owned by Exhibitor: Amanda Moretti of Tomales FFA.
  • Premier Breeder Awards: Holstein, Jordan Grove of Penngrove 4-H; Jersey, Kelli Carstensen of Petaluma; All Other Breeds, Connie Jones of Petaluma FFA; Grade Holsteins, Michelle Cheda, an independent junior; Grade All Other Breeds, Ryan Beretta of Sebastopol FFA.
  • Premier Dairy Cattle Exhibitor Awards: Holstein, Rocco Cunningham of Petaluma FFA; Jersey, Catie Kunde of Green Valley 4-H; All Other Breeds, Catie Kunde of Green Valley 4-H; Grade Holstein, Jeremy Spaletta of Liberty 4-H; Grade All Other Breeds, Ryan Beretta of Sebastopol FFA.

Beef Cattle

  • 4-H Hobart Carter Award: Ben Codding of Bennett Valley 4-H
  • Sonoma-Marin Cattlewomen Awards for Outstanding Beef Projects:  4-H Market Beef Project, 11-13 years, Steven Pozzi of Wilson 4-H; 4-H Market Beef Project, 14 years and over, Suzanne Amaral of Sonoma Valley 4-H; Best FFA Market Beef Project, Jacob Dorr of Healdsburg FFA.
  • FFA Outstanding Angus Exhibitor: Regina Pozzi of Petaluma FFA.
  • 4-H Outstanding Angus Exhibitor: Kayla Camilli of Steuben 4-H.
  • 4-H Best Junior Breeding Beef  Project, 11-13 years, Robby Tunzi of Live Oak 4-H.
  • FFA Best Breeding Beef Project: Jessica Arndt of Tomales FFA.
  • George Bath Memorial Award for the Most Effort in a Junior Beef Cattle Project, Sergio Guzman of Sonoma FFA.
  • Premier Beef Cattle Exhibitor Awards: Angus, Regina Pozzi of Petaluma FFA; Herefords, Hannah Noren of Bennett Valley 4-H;  All Other Breeds, Jordan Isaacs of Elsie Allen FFA.
  • Premier Beef Cattle Breeder Awards: Angus, Regina Pozzi of Petaluma FFA; Herefords, Regina Pozzi of Petaluma FFA; All Other Breeds, Jordan Isaacs of Elsie Allen FFA.

Swine

  • Best 4-H Breeding Swine Project: JD Ferreo of Gateway 4-H.
  • Best FFA Breeding Swine Project: Davis Crawford of Forestville FFA.
  • Premier Breeder Awards: Duroc, Cole Crawford of Forestville 4-H; Hampshire, Adrianna Begley of Independence 4-H; Yorkshire, Davis Crawford of Forestville FFA.
  • Premier Exhibitor Awards: Duroc, JD Ferrero of Gateway 4-H; Yorkshire, Davis Crawford of Forestville FFA; All Other Breeds, Patrick Hinde, an independent junior from Santa Rosa.
  • Special Junior Breeding Showmanship: Ashlyn Williams of Cloverdale.
  • Supreme Champion Female: Katie Mora, an independent junior.

Horses

  • English Overall High Point Award: Sarina McCoy, an independent junior
  • Western Overall High Point Award: Brenda Arisman, Morning Star 4-H.
  • Combined Overall High Point Award: Brenda Arisman of Morning Star 4-H.

Dairy Goats

  • Supreme Champion Doe: Rebecca Kracker of Forestville FFA
  • Supreme Best Three Females: Janet Kracker of Foretville
  • Ramona “Rae” Geraldi Memorial Award for the Outstanding Dairy Goat Exhibitor: Janet Kracker of Foretville FFA.
  • Skil-A-Thon Competition: First place junior division, Kaynen Schuldt of Penngrove 4-H; First place senior division, Magdalen Grismer of Independence 4-H.
  • Premier Dairy Goat Breeder & Exhibitor Awards: Alpine, Magdalen Grismer of Independence 4-H; Saanen, Ellorine Carle of Penngrove 4-H; Nubian, Savannah Warner of Forestville 4-H; All Other Breeds, Janet Kracker of Forestville FFA; Grade, Lindsey Coffman of Independence 4-H

Fur & Feathers

  • Glenn Klein Memorial Award Best Junior Poultry Exhibitor: Talia Morones of Forestville 4-H.
  • Glenn  Klein Memorial Award Best Senior Poultry Exhibitor 13 & over: Suzanne Amaral, Sonoma Valley 4-H
  • Best Display of Rabbits: Melanie Hanlon of Liberty 4-H.
  • Lynn Burrell Peterson Memorial Award for Best 1st Year Rabbit Project 14 years and under: Melanie Hanlon of Liberty 4-H.

Dog Care

  • Best Handler, 11 years: Melanie Hanlon of Liberty 4-H
  • Best Handler, 12-13 years: Kristen Beth of Alexander Valley 4-H
  • Best Handler, 14 years and older: Rosie Canfield of Independence 4-H
  • Best Handler, FFA: Patrick Hinde of Santa Rosa FFA
  • Highest Scoring in Trial: Holly LaGallee of Warm Springs 4-H

Pygmy Goats

  • Premier Pygmy Goat Breeder: Leeza Biasca of Fortuna FFA
  • Premier Pygmy Goat Exibitor: Kate Tackmier of Liberty 4-H

Agriculture Mechanics

  • Outstanding FFA Ag Mechanics Exhibitor: Danny Moretti of Petaluma FFA.
  • Outstanding FFA Ag Mechanics Chapter: Petaluma FFA

Non-Livestock Award

  • Christine Bergue Award for Outstanding Sonoma County Fair Exhibitor in Competition other than Livestock: William Hamilton of Green Valley 4-H.


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