Premium Members Gather to Discuss Sonoma County Agriculture at Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Article and photo by Rachel LaFranchi
Published May 1, 2016
|Steve Dutton greets more than 40 agriculture leaders for the premium member lunch at Francis Ford Coppola Winery.|
On April 20th, Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s Premium Members gathered at Francis Ford Coppola Winery for a luncheon. More than 40 top agricultural leaders in Sonoma County gathered near the pool with sweeping views of Geyserville and Alexander Valley on a sunny and 75° day.
Guests enjoyed a 2014 Director’s Sonoma County Chardonnay and a 2014 Director’s Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. For lunch, hand carved New York Steak was served alongside salmon, roasted potatoes, fresh salad and a chocolate mousse.
Steve Dutton, Vice President of Sonoma County Farm Bureau and chair of the membership committee, introduced special guest Efren Carrillo, Fifth District Supervisor, and hosts Ryan Stapleton and Krishna Hendrickson of Francis Ford Coppola Winery.
“We were happy to be the hosts of this year's Premium Member Luncheon,” said Stapleton. “It's really important for us to be part of the conversation when it comes to state and local issues that impact agriculture and our industry. The luncheon was a great opportunity meet industry leaders and policy influencers while having a meal by the pool with some wonderful Sonoma County wines.”
Carrillo, chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, attended the event to mingle with guests and speak about pressing issues in Sonoma County. Carrillo addressed issues including the sustainable groundwater management act and affordable housing in Sonoma County. He also discussed rural roads in the county and said funds approved by the Board of Supervisor this year would begin to fix roads in 2017.
Carrillo also addressed the fifth district race for his spot on the Board of Supervisors. He said he believes that whoever is elected will have a strong effect on Sonoma County agriculture, and Lynda Hopkins would support the Sonoma County agriculture industry. Carillo encouraged all to get involved in the fifth district race saying, “it matters who you support.”
Carrillo fielded questions from Premium Members about unions and SEIU as well as a discussion about the current ag overtime bill. Carrillo offered suggestions to members on each situation and Premium Members appreciated his honesty and transparency.
Duff Bevill, owner of Bevill Vineyard Management, thanked Carillo for his eight years of service on the Board of Supervisors. Bevill said, “I appreciate everything you’ve done for the ag industry. Good luck.”
“It was a great pleasure to attend the Farm Bureau Premium Membership luncheon at Coppola Winery,” said Kevin Barr, owner of Redwood Empire Vineyard Management. “The Farm Bureau is one of the most important organizations in agriculture today. As I looked around the table at the luncheon, I realized how lucky I was to be sitting next to leaders in our industry. People that give so much to ensure the survival of this great farming community. The leadership that the Farm Bureau provides is second to none.”
Sonoma County Farm Bureau launched the Premium Membership category in the fall of 2014. Premium Membership was designed for large scale supporters with a strong belief in Farm Bureau’s mission. Members may join at $1,000 or $1 per acre over one thousand acres.
Sonoma County Farm Bureau currently has 26 Premium Members.