Ron Carli, the Sonoma County farm boy who became one of California’s most influential business leaders as president and CEO of American AgCredit based in Santa Rosa, is being honored at the Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Ag Trust’s Agstravaganza on October 25.
The event, held at SRJC Shone Farm Dutton Pavilion in Forestville, is a fundraiser for SRJC’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Department and the students it serves. The Agstravaganza is open to anyone who wants to join in honoring Carli or supporting the SRJC agriculture program. The theme of this year’s barbeque fundraiser is “A Career Dedicated to Agriculture and Education.” In addition to dinner, the evening includes local wine and beer tasting and an auction.
With 40 years of devoted regional agriculture experience, Carli is a highly-respected industry figure. Raised on a Petaluma dairy, he participated in both 4-H and FFA as a youth, showing Jersey cattle locally, as well as at the California State Fair. Later he became a 4-H swine leader and a 4-H Foundation Director. Carli holds a Bachelor of Science degree in dairy science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, a Secondary Teaching Credential from U.C. Davis and a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Science, also from Cal Poly.
“I’m honored to be acknowledged by the Ag Trust,” Carli said. “It’s been a long journey from milking cows to teaching to running a large national organization, but throughout I’ve always focused on the bigger picture in agriculture and how to make it better and easier for the farmer. My gratitude goes out to the SRJC Ag Trust and all the people who worked with me along the way.”
Carli became one of the youngest CEOs in the Farm Credit System and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of American AgCredit for more than three decades until his retirement. Under Carli’s leadership, American AgCredit, which provides financing to more than 6,000 farmers and ranchers in five states, grew from $50 million to $5.7 billion in assets. American AgCredit has more than 400 employees .
During his tenure, Carli forged the creation of Agricultural Credit Associations (ACA) by integrating short, intermediate and long-term credit authorities under one umbrella, and negotiated multiple mergers, including the first System merger of non-contiguous Farm Credit territories. The company recognized substantial growth during his tenure, becoming the seventh largest Association in the System, with nearly 500 employees throughout six states. Recently retired, Carli lives in Santa Rosa with wife Veronica.
Last year, the Sonoma County 4-H Foundation honored Carli with its 4-H Alumni Recognition Award. The annual award recognizes a former Sonoma County 4-H Club member who upholds the values of leadership, citizenship and community service, which are the hallmarks of the 4-H program.
“Ron’s been the leader who helped build this organization into the size and scale that it is today,” said Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President Terry Lindley. “His impact on agriculture, both throughout the region and nationally, is significant. He has in many ways changed the face of agriculture and how we do business.”
The Agstravaganza begins with a 5:30 p.m. reception featuring Sonoma County wines produced by SRJC alumni, followed by a 6:30 p.m. barbecue dinner. A program honoring Carli will follow dinner, as well as a live auction featuring select hand-crafted items, ultra-premium wines, and unique trips and experiences. Tickets for the Agstravaganza start at $75 for individual seats and are available at www.agstravaganza.com. Named tables with associated marketing benefits may also be purchased. Space is limited, and early reservations are recommended. For more information, call Cathy Barnes at (707) 521-6156.