On Tuesday November 21st, Sonoma County Farm Bureau and the Gerhardt family suffered a great loss with the passing of Al Gerhardt. Al died suddenly while on his way to the Farm Bureau office for a natural resources committee meeting.
Al was the type of board member that will be hard to replace. He had a true passion for Sonoma County agriculture and Farm Bureau. Al join the Farm Bureau board in 2001, and during his tenure, he served on the membership committee, ag education committee, natural resources and environment committee and the water committee.
Many of us joked that Al was the one board member who would read his board packet cover to cover. He was always prepared and always willing to ask questions. But the most important thing Al did was give his time and support of Sonoma County agriculture by attending board meetings, committee meetings, every FFA and 4-H fundraiser, and volunteering at Farm Bureau events. Al was ever passionate about ag education and could always be found passing out local apples to children at Ag Days.
Al was a consistent fixture in Sonoma County, and his leadership will surely be missed.
I would like to believe Al passed on his way to do something he loved. As Al’s family decides how his life will be celebrated, and how we can give in memory of Al, Sonoma County Farm Bureau will let our members know.
For Farm Bureau, things to continue to change with direction and the board’s leadership. We are making strides to strengthen Farm Bureau in Sonoma County. Please stay tuned as we continue to improve our new building and look for new leadership. If there is someone out there that would like to talk about a board position or if you know someone that would be interested, we have openings in some of the districts. Feel free to contact me through the Farm Bureau office.
I would like to wish you all Happy Holidays and a happy new year. As you’re making holiday toasts, please raise your glasses to Sonoma County agriculture that supports us all this holiday season!
To make a donation in Memory of Al, please consider donating to one of the following organizations:
A mass for Al Gerhardt will be held at St. Phillips Church in Occidental at 1 p.m. on Friday January 12th. A reception will be held at 3 p.m. at Sonoma County Farm Bureau (3589 Westwind Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403).
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