Pat Burns has joined Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors.
Burns has served as the General Manager of Vineyard Operations for M. Draxton Wines since 2013 where he oversees the vineyard operations of 250 acres of Cabernet in Alexander Valley. Additionally, Burns is in charge of Grower Relations and purchasing grapes for Draxton Wines.
Burns was born and raised in Healdsburg but wasn’t involved in agriculture until 1993 when he started working for Bevill Vineyard Management. He started with Bevill in 1993 working as a vineyard manager until 2013 when he began his current job with Draxton Wines.
Although Burns didn’t’ grow up involved in agriculture, he was surrounded by it all his life. His career in agriculture started when he was looking for a good job working outside and his friend’s father talking to him about working in vineyard management. Burns said the father arranged an interview which took place in the field in the middle of a vineyard redevelopment job. He was offered and accepted the job on the spot, took a cut in pay, gave his two weeks notice and started two weeks later.
Burns said his passion for agriculture stems from the challenges faced every day by being outdoors, gambling with Mother Nature and watching vines grow. In addition to that, working in challenging places with great people that are driven to take care of plants and to ensure that things are done correctly makes him passionate about his career in agriculture.
“Even after being involved for 25 years, I still get a sense of accomplishment when we complete a new vineyard installation or replant, or when I see the ground being tilled at the right time, and the best sense is at harvest,” said Burns. “I think that being able to harvest a crop that you have worked is one of the most fulfilling things. Every year we get to see an end product to all of the hours that were put in throughout the growing season.”
For Burns, water and labor are two of the most important issues regarding agriculture. Burns knows it’s important to keep up with the evolving water issues and regulations. In addition to water, many other regulations that affect farming need to be watched and contested when needed. In many situations farmers are having their rights taken and their hands tied when it is unnecessary.
Burns joined the Sonoma County Farm Bureau Board to stay current on issues affecting agriculture. He is looking forward to learning more and having the opportunity to educate the general public about agriculture and how it affects them. Burns said there are many things the general public doesn’t understand about ag and what it to produce a product whether that is a fruit, vegetable, grain, livestock, feed for livestock, timer or winegrapes.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to do some traveling and I thoroughly enjoy it,” said Burns, “but in my opinion there is no place like Sonoma County. We are fortunate to have what we have.”
For more information visit sonomafb.org/directors.
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