National Ag Day Luncheon to be held March 14

WATSONVILLE--The Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau in conjunction with the organization, Agri-Culture, will again host the National Agriculture Day Spring Luncheon. The luncheon will be held on Wednesday, March 14 at the Heritage Hall located at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds.

One of the highlights of the National Agriculture Day Luncheon will be the presentation of the Al Smith Friend of Agriculture Award. Al Smith was the founder of Orchard Supply Hardware and donated 3,000 acres (Swanton Pacific Ranch) in the north coast to Cal Poly.  The ranch has row crops, timber and even a one-third-scale railroad, which was Smith’s hobby.

The award is presented annually to an individual, business or organization not involved in production agriculture but one who has done much for the industry. This year’s award will be presented by last year’s honoree, Ted Burke, owner of Shadowbrook Restaurant in Capitola.

Farm Bureau and Agri-Culture co-sponsor a poster contest (grades K-6) and poetry contest (grades 7-12) in Santa Cruz County and Pajaro Valley schools. The winning entries will be displayed during the luncheon and a placemat featuring the 2017 poster contest winner, Daisy Mendoza, sixth-grader from E.A. Hall Middle School in Watsonville, will be used on the tables. Also on the placemat will be the 2017 poetry contest winning entry by Alyssa Burchell, seventh-grader from Creekside School in Santa Cruz. Approximately 20,000 placemats will be distributed to restaurants throughout Santa Cruz County. This year’s contest winners will be introduced at the luncheon.

Another feature of the National Agriculture Day Spring Luncheon is the presentation of the Jimmie Cox Memorial Scholarship.  American AgCredit has teamed up with the Jimmie Cox Memorial Scholarship to double the award. It is now a $4,000 scholarship for a student entering or currently enrolled in college and majoring in agriculture.

Tickets for the National Agriculture Day Spring Luncheon are $45 per person. Reservations and sponsorships for the luncheon are available at or by calling 724-1356.