Farm Bureau Hall of Fame: Tito Sasaki
Sonoma Valley grape grower, scientist and businessman Tito Sasaki is a respected leader on water issues. He became involved with Farm Bureau in 1985, realizing the organization’s crucial role in representing farmers’ interests, protecting property rights and preserving agriculture for future generations. His keen intelligence, analytical skills and bulls-eye business acumen helped define the rights and livelihoods of farmers and landowners. Tito led efforts to develop a blueprint to find a balance for water use by farmers, fish and urban residents. The longtime Farm Bureau director and former president has filled the role as agriculture’s water warrior. Tito’s many contributions to agriculture will be honored with his induction into the Sonoma County Farm Bureau Hall of Fame.
Luther Burbank Conservation Award: Beretta Family
Doing the right thing is the guiding philosophy at the Beretta Family Dairy where four generations work together to produce organic milk for Clover Sonoma while farming in a way that enhances the natural resources that are part of their 400-acre farming domain in west Santa Rosa. The Beretta family strongly
adheres to the Old-World philosophy that if you take care of the land it will take care of you. For the Berettas, this means giving back to the land by composting, managing manure, pastures and waterways and always being mindful of the land’s carrying capacity.It’s this culture of care and stewardship that has earned the Beretta Family the 2019 Luther Burbank Conservation Award.
Farm Family of the Year: Sanchietti Family
For 100 years the Sanchietti Family has farmed a piece of ground between Santa Rosa and Sebastopol, growing prunes, apples, pears, walnuts and poultry while being pillars of the agriculture community and Catholic Church. Today, three generations of the Sanchiettis focus on farming more than 400 acres of premium winegrapes. They continue a family farming tradition started in 1919 when Italian immigrants Luigi and Filomina Sanchietti bought the property on Irwin Lane. The historic family compound, resembles a farm in Tuscany with its immaculately maintained homes, flower gardens, fields and verdant vineyards. The Sanchiettis are Farm Bureau’s Sonoma County Farm Family for 2019.
Friend of Farm Bureau: Western Farm Center
Western Farm Center, a feed, seed and pet emporium in west Santa Rosa, is the kind of place national magazines would describe as uniquely Sonoma County. It was founded by brothers Larry and Lou Bertolini, who opened the store in 1967 and is now owned and operated by the next generation, Maria Bertolini Frampton and her husband Trevor Frampton. They continue the Bertolini brothers’ philosophy of supporting the community. For more than 30 years Western Farm Center has brought chicks and ducklings to Farm Bureau’s Ag Days, delighting thousands of city kids each year, and also provides other resources for Farm Bureau events. Western Farm Center truly is a friend of the Sonoma County Farm Bureau.