By Doug Beretta, President

It is that time of year when each of us as board members must submit a letter of intent to continue to serve as a director on the Sonoma County Farm Bureau Board. At our August board meeting, I was informed that one of our long-time board members was not going to continue to serve on our Board. 

Kathy Reese and I were appointed to the Sonoma County Farm Bureau Board at the same meeting back in 1996. We were newbies, but both of us had been around agriculture all our lives. We stuck together as we learned the Farm Bureau way. We volunteered together because we both had a lot of the same thoughts and ideas, but this lady brought so much more to the Board! 

She had knowledge of agriculture issues that I didn’t even know existed.  She brought a sense of passion to a lot of issues that made people listen to her. She wasn’t afraid to tell it the way it really was. We grew to become very good friends.  Her late husband Steve and I barbequed for many dinners and fundraisers over the years, and Kathy was always there to help. We traveled to many Farm Bureau conventions together, but I think the one that I will always remember was one in Reno where Kathy, Steve, my wife Sharon, and I entered the clay shooting contest. We all had a great time laughing throughout the day, but I saw a little side of Kathy late in the shoot that I had never seen before. I think we had one more station and all of us realized Kathy was leading the group. Sharon and I were not going to catch her, but Steve had a chance. The determination on Kathy’s face was priceless. There was no way she was going to lose to Steve. That’s when I saw the real Kathy! That competitive and determined attitude is what Kathy always brought to the tough issues in agriculture. But that happy, fun side made Kathy the leader she became in agricultural education efforts. 

Kathy has been the chairperson of our Sonoma County Ag Education committee for years. She was never short on new ideas for our annual Ag Days program, and she was committed to seeing them through. She has been very involved with the beef advisory committee at the Sonoma County Fair and has always been there to support Sonoma County youth in agriculture.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Kathy for all her years of dedication and hard work for agriculture at the county and state levels. She will be missed tremendously as a Farm Bureau board member, and I wish her well in her next adventure in life.