Top Exhibitors Honored at Farm Bureau Foundation’s Awards Dinner

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


Francesca Gambonini and Regina Pozzi Named Outstanding Fair Exhibitors for 2013 and winners of Farm Bureau’s $1,500 Gold Cup Awards

By Tim Tesconi

Love of the Land

The Sonoma County Fair’s cream-of-the-crop took center stage at the Sonoma County 4-H and FFA Awards Dinner where Francesca Gambonini and Regina Pozzi, both of Petaluma, were named the outstanding Sonoma County Fair exhibitors for 2013.

Francesca, 18, a graduate of St. Vincent de Paul High School, and Regina, 18, a graduate of Petaluma High School, were recipients of the Gold Cup Awards. The Gold Cup Award, which included a $1,500 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.

Francesca, the daughter of dairy farmers Frank and Stacey Gambonini, will be attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, this fall to study dairy science, with the goal of becoming a dairy cattle geneticist.

Regina, the daughter of ranchers Martin and Sally Pozzi, will be attending the University of California, Berkeley where she will study plant genetics. Her goal is to attend graduate school and study law or public policy, becoming an advocate for agriculture.
Both Francesca and Regina have outstanding projects and a stellar record of community service and leadership with the 4-H and FFA organizations. Francesca currently serves as District 3 Dairy Princess.

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. The Awards Dinner was held on Aug. 7 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 Steven Easter, president of the Farm Bureau Foundation of Sonoma County.

There were more than 600 4-H and FFA fair exhibitors and their families at the Awards Dinner. Kenn Cunningham of Exchange Bank was the master of ceremonies. Sonoma County supervisors Susan Gorin, Mike McGuire, David Rabbitt and Shirlee Zane joined in presenting the trophies, plagues and special awards that went to the top exhibitors in beef, swine, sheep, goats, rabbits, poultry, agriculture mechanics, dogs and other categories.

Sonoma County Fair president Doug Beretta and Easter, president of the Farm Bureau Fundation, welcomed the guests to the event, which has become the fair’s grand finale for junior exhibitors and their families.

Easter presented the $1,500 Gold Cup Awards. The Dinner and Awards Ceremony was coordinated by the Farm Bureau Foundation of Sonoma County in cooperation with the Sonoma County Fair.  PG & E, 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. The photographs captured 4-H and FFA livestock exhibitors in the barns and show rings during the fair. Steve Knudsen, marketing coordinator at Sonoma County Farm Bureau, created the presentation, which included photographs taken by him and fair photographer Brenda Hawkes.

At the Awards Dinner, 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 market animals were:

Supreme Lamb: owned by Davey Dorr of Healdsburg 4-H and purchased by G & G Supermarket, the Press Democrat and Petaluma Creamery.

Davey Door

Supreme Hog: owned by Gianna Ricci of Live Oak 4-H and purchased by La Prenda Vineyard Management, The Cliff House, Wilber Ellis and Ricci Vineyards.

Supreme Steer: owned by Gianna Ricci of Live Oak 4-H and purchased by the Ferronato Stainless Tank and Precision Crane.

Supreme Meat Goat:  owned by Owen Clark of Green Valley 4-H and purchased by Animal Hospital of Sebastopol.

Champion Poultry Meat Pen: owned by Madison Shelley of Santa Rosa FFA and nd purchased by Frizelle Enos in Sebastopol and McClure Dairy in Inverness.

Champion Meat Rabbit Pen: owned by Taylor Mills of Forestville 4-H, and purchased by The Friends of Supervisor David Rabbitt.


There were a number of other special awards presented to outstanding exhibitors at the Sonoma County Fair.

Jessie Peterson of Petaluma 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.

Seth Camilli of Steuben 4-H Club and Gianna Pendleton of Sebastopol FFA won the $250 Sonoma Kiwanis Club Youth Agricultural Awards.

Melanie Hanlon of the Liberty 4-H 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.

Kylee Minehan of the Sonoma Valley 4-H won the Alphabet Photo Challenge and a $250 savings bond. This award is sponsored by Brenda Hawkes the fair’s official livestock photographer.

Ashley Corbett of Green Valley 4-H won the Christine Bergue Award for Outstanding Non-Livestock Exhibitor and the Donna Winkler Koch Memorial Outstanding Food Preservation Award, sponsored by the Stornetta Family.

Jessica Crowhurst of the Potter Valley FFA won both the FFA Large Animal Round Robin Showmanship Contest and the FFA Small Animal Round Robin Showmanship.

Melanie Hanlon of Liberty 4-H won the 4-H Junior Small Animal Round Robin Showmanship Contest. Ellie Slick of Sequoia 4-H won the 4-H Senior Small Animal Round Robin Showmanship Contest..

Courtney King of Liberty 4-H won 4-H Junior Large Animal Round Robin. Regina Pozzi of Wilson 4-H won 4-H Senior Small Animal Round Showmanship.

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.

Born and Bred Awards

Courtney King, Liberty 4-H, Sonoma County Market Hog Barrow Challenge Champion, Sponsor: Farm Bureau, The Sonoma County Project Pig Producers, and The Ron Carli Family.

Madison Ambrosini, Santa Rosa FFA, Champion Sonoma County Bred & Born Market Goat, Sponsor: Sonoma County Farm Bureau

Rio Pagliaro, Live Oak 4-H, Sonoma County Bred & Born Market Lamb, Sponsor: Sonoma County Farm Bureau & Sonoma County Purebred Sheep Breeders Association

Blake Bartlett, Stueben 4-H, Sonoma/Marin County Bred and Born 4-H Market Steer, Sponsor: Sonoma County Farm Bureau & Sonoma-Marin Cattlemen and Cattlewomen

Siena Byrd, Sonoma FFA, Sonoma/Marin County Bred and Born 4-H Market Steer, Sponsor: Sonoma County Farm Bureau & Sonoma-Marin Cattlemen and Cattlewomen

Ag Mechanics

Garrett Walker, Sonoma FFA, Outstanding FFA AG Mechanics Exhibitor, Sponsor: Jack & Carol Trimmingham.

Sonoma FFA, Outstanding FFA AG Mechanics Chapter award, Sponsor: Jack & Carol Trimmingham.

Poultry & Rabbit Awards

Bailey Glashand, Sequoia 4-H, Best Junior Poultry Exhibitor, Sponsor: The Barbara Klein Family in Memory of Glenn Klein

Ellie Slick, Sequoia 4-H, Best Senior Poultry Exhibitor, Sponsor: The Barbara Klein Family in Memory of Glenn Klein

Erin Martin, Two Rock 4-H, Trophy for Best Display of Rabbits, Sponsor: Sonoma Marin Rabbit Association

Bailey Glashand, Sequoia 4-H, Best 1st Yr. Rabbit Project 14 years old & under, Sponsor: Little Rocking M Farms

Wyatt Gersley, Sequoia 4-H, Best Cavy Project, Sponsor: Western Farm Center.

Goat Awards

Kate Tackmier, Green Valley 4-H, Premier Breeder and Exhibitor Awards for Pygmy Goats Sponsor: Sonoma County Fair

Ellorine Carle, Penngrove 4-H, Ramona "Rae" Geraldi Memorial Award for Outstanding Dairy Goat Exhibitor Sponsor: The Geraldi Family.

Keiana Grima, Penngrove 4-H, Premier Breeder & Exhibitor Awards for the Alpine Breed Sponsor: Sonoma County Fair

Janet Kracker, Forestville FFA, Premier Breeder and Exhibitor Awards for the La Mancha Breed Sponsor: the Sonoma County Fair

Ellorine Carle, Penngrove 4-H, Premier Breeder & Exhibitor awards for the Saannen Breed Sponsor: Sonoma County Fair

Kelsey Carstensen, Premeir Breeder & Exhibitor Awards for All Other Purebreds, Sponsor: Sonoma County Fair

Ellorine Carle, Penngrove 4-H, Premier Exhibitor Award for Grade Dairy Goats, Sponsor: Sonoma County Fair

Swine Awards

Kody Petrucci, Canfield 4-H, Best 4-H Breeding Swine Project, Sponsor: JDC FARMS

Davis Crawford, Forestville FFA, Best FFA Breeding Swine Project Sponsor: Yosemite Meats

Kody Petrucci, Canfield 4-H, Premier Breeder & Exhibitor Awards for the Duroc Breed, Sponsor: Terry Durocs & Tim Tesconi

Kody Petrucci, Canfield 4-H, Premier Exhibitor Award for the Yorkshire Breed, Sponsor: Dayna Justice

Courtney King, Liberty 4-H, Premier Breeder for the Yorkshire Breed, Sponsor: JDC Farms

Shavanna Sousa, Stueben 4-H, Premier Breeder & Exhibitor awards for All Other Breeds, Sponsor: Ghisla Family

Horse Awards

Heidi Taylor, Forestville 4-H, English Overall High Point Award, Sponsor: North Coast Equine Physical Therapy; Western Overall High Point Award, Sponsor: The Reece Family and Combined Overall High Point Award, Sponsor: Jim & Jessie Reece

Dairy Cattle Awards

Jack Stafford, Two Rock 4-H, Supreme Jr. Champion Grade Dairy Female, Sponsor: The Moretti Family

Benny Spaletta, Two Rock 4-H, Supreme Grand Champion Grade Dairy Female, Sponsor:The Moretti Family and Danny Butke Memorial Award for Grand Champion Grade  Holstein Female, Sponsor: Petaluma FFA

Christian Cunningham, Petaluma FFA, Supreme Jr Champion Registered Dairy Female, Sponsor: Crown Trophy

Jeremy Spaletta, Supreme Grand Champion Registered Dairy Female, Sponsor: The Manuel Gonsalves Family and Supreme Best Bred & Owned by Exhibitor Perpetual Award, Sponsor: Sonoma AG Art

Frankie Gambonini, Petaluma FFA, Steve Medeiros Memorial Award for Most Effort in a Jr. Dairy Project, Sponsor: Sarah Lukenbill.

Gina Barnacle, Live Oak 4-H, Dairy Cattle Premier Breeder & Exhibitor Awards for Registered Holsteins, Sponsor: Sonoma County Fair

Regina Pozzi, Petaluma FFA, Dairy Cattle Premier breeder & Exhibitor awards for Registered Jerseys, Sponsor: Sonoma County Fair

Connie Jones, Petaluma FFA, Dairy Cattle Premier Breeder & Exhibitor Awards for Registered All Other Breeds, Sponsor: Sonoma County Fair

Nicole Cheda, Dairy Cattle Premier Exhibitor Award for Grade Holsteins, Sponsor: Sonoma County Fair

Christa Nygard, Tomales FFA, Dairy Cattle Premier Exhibitor Award for Grade All Other Breeds, Sponsor: Sonoma County Fair

Sheep Awards

Davey Dorr, Healdsburg 4-H, Rodney Jacobsen Perpetual Plaque for the 4-H Grand Champion Market Lamb, Sponsor: Richard Jacobsen.

Victoria Shura, Alexander Valley 4-H, Wool Sweepstakes Award. Sponsor: North Bay Woolgrowers Auxilary.

Joseph Murnin, Live Oak 4-H, Highest Placing 4-H Dorset Market Lamb. Sponsor: Sonoma County Purebred Sheep Breeders Association in Memory of Ron Olson

Jake Hankins, Tomales FFA, Highest Placing FFA Dorset Market Lamb, Sponsor: Sonoma County Purebred Sheep Breeders Association in Memory of Ron Olson

Rio Pagilaro, Live Oak 4-H, Steve Dorfman Perpetual Bell Award for Supreme Young Flock, sponsored by Diane Dorfman;  Harland Wagner Memorial Award for the Best Jr. Breeding Sheep Project, sponsored by Stony Point Ranch; the “Bud” Wilfred Memorial for the Best 4-H Breeding Sheep Exhibitor, sponsored by the Wilford Family and Premier Breeder and Exhibitor Awards for the Southdown Breed, Sponsor: Sonoma County Purebred Sheep Breeders Association & the Sonoma County Fair

Zack Albers, Santa Rosa FFA, Severa "Bud" Wilford Memorial Award for the Best FFA Breeding Sheep Exhibitor, Sponsor: The Wilford Family.

Kiley Anderson, Gold Ridge 4-H, Breeding Sheep Excellence Award 9-10 year olds, Sponsor: North Bay Woolgrowers Auxilary.

Amanda King, Liberty 4-H, Breeding Sheep Excellence Award 11-12 year olds, Sponsor: North Bay Woolgrowers Auxilary and Premier Breeder and Exhibitor Awards for the Hampshire breed, Sponsor: Sonoma County Purebred Sheep Breeders Association & the Sonoma County Fair

Hilary Brennan, Gold Ridge 4-H, Breeding Sheep Excellence Award 13-15 year olds, Sponsor: North Bay Woolgrowers Auxilary.

Cole Pruett, Petaluma FFA, Premier Breeder and Exhibitor Awards for the Dorset breed, Sponsor: Sonoma County Purebred Sheep Breeders Association & the Sonoma County Fair

Francesca Pharo, Sonoma Valley 4-H, Premier Breeder Award for All Other Meat Breeds, Sponsor: Sonoma County Purebred Sheep Breeders Association & the Sonoma County Fair

Jessica Bailey, Alexander Valley 4-H, Premier Exhibitor Award for All Other Meat Breeds, Sponsor: Sonoma County Purebred Sheep Breeders Association & the Sonoma County Fair.

Alexandra Kasper, Sonoma FFA, Premier Breeder and Exhibitor Awards for the all Other Wool Breeds, Sponsor: Sonoma County Purebred Sheep Breeders Association & the Sonoma County Fair

Beef Cattle Awards

Hannah Noren, Bennett Valley 4-H, 4-H Hobart Carter Award for the Top Placing De-Horned Hereford Steer, Sponsor: Friends of Hobart Carter.

Courtney Mackling, Sonoma FFA, FFA Hobart Carter Award for the Top Placing De-Horned Hereford Steer, Sponsor: Friends of Hobart Carter

Francesca Pharo, Sonoma Valley 4-H, 4-H Best Jr. Market Beef Project for 11-13 Year Olds, Sponsor: Sonoma-Marin Cattlewomen.

Julia Dayton, Healdsburg 4-H, 4-H Best Senior Market Beef Project, Sponsor: Sonoma-Marin Cattlewomen.

Emma Briggs, Petaluma FFA, FFA Best Breeding Beef Project, Sponsor: Sonoma-Marin Cattlewomen

Ashley Corbett, Green Valley 4-H, Outstanding Shorthorn Exhibitor, Sponsor: California Shorthorn Breeders Association

Robby Tunzi, Petaluma FFA, George Bath Memorial Plaque for the Most Effort in a Jr. Beef Project, Sponsor: George Bath Family.

Regina Pozzi, Petaluma FFA, Premier Breeder and Exhibitor for the Angus Breed, Sponsor: Sonoma County Fair and Premier Breeder for the Hereford Breed, Sponsor: Sonoma County Fair

Steven Pozzi, Petaluma FFA, Premier Breeder and Exhibitor for All Other Breeds, Sponsor: Sonoma County Fair

Logan Pomi, Tri- Valley 4-H, Premier Exhibitor Hereford, Sponsor: Sonoma County Fair

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