Agriculture leaders to be honored at Sonoma County event

Jul 1, 2011
by WLJ
Sonoma County Farm Bureau will be honoring Clos du Bois vineyard and winery of Geyserville, CA, the Mulas Family of Sonoma Valley, CA, and Tom Crane, a fourth-generation Santa Rosa, CA-rancher, in recognition of excellence in conservation, stewardship, environmental enhancement and generational dedication to farming and ranching in Sonoma County on Wednesday, July 13, 2011, at Love of the Land, a benefit dinner to protect farmlands and clean water. The event will be held at Richard’s Grove and Saralee’s Vineyard located in the heart of Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley.

Crane, 72, is a fourth generation Santa Rosa rancher who raises sheep, cattle, hay and grain on land settled by his great-grandfather in 1852. Crane has lost little of his pioneer family’s can-do spirit and work ethic as he diligently produces food and fiber on the Crane Ranch, which meanders along Petaluma Hill Road between Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park. He and his wife Cynthia are committed to community and family values, volunteering on many fronts to preserve Sonoma County’s rich farming heritage. Crane has been a guiding force at the Sonoma County Fair and Cloverdale Ram Sale for a half century. As one of Sonoma County’s most respected ranchers, Crane has earned a prominent place in Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s Hall of Fame.

Three generations of the Mulas family work together producing wine grapes and milk on a family ranch that has become an agricultural landmark along Highway 121 between Sonoma and the community of Shellville in the Sonoma Valley. The Mulas family epitomizes the spirit and determination of the family farmers who are the backbone of the agriculture industry in Sonoma County. The Mulases, a close-knit clan dedicated to family unity and community, work together on the family’s 1,000 acres. The family enterprise includes more than 300 acres of vineyards and 500 acres of silage and pastureland for the 800 dairy cows. In addition to being top-notch farmers, the Mulases are fixtures in the Sonoma Valley and stalwarts of the Schell-Vista Volunteer Fire Department. The Mulases, blue-ribbon farmers and vocal champions for agriculture, are Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s Farm Family of the Year.

Conservation and stewardship are the guiding principles at Geyserville’s Clos du Bois winery, which was promoting sustainability long before most people had even heard of it. Through integrated pest management, composting, habitat restoration, wetland preservation, energy efficiency and other conservation programs, Clos du Bois has become the recognized leader in developing, implementing and promoting sustain able agriculture and environmentally responsible business practices. In addition to caring for its land and workers, Clos du Bois is dedicated to building healthy, sustainable communities by supporting local organizations and hosting fund-raising events for nonprofits like the Geyserville Fire Department. Clos du Bois’ caring ways and environmental ethic have earned this award-winning winery Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s Luther Burbank Conservation Award.

Love of the Land is open to the public and begins at 5 p.m. with a Taste of Sonoma County Reception. A dinner featuring an array of Sonoma County-grown products will be served at 7 p.m. The dinner will be followed by the awards presentation and live auction.

Individual tickets are $65 per person, Reserve Table (8) are $600, and Premier Sponsor Tables (8) are $1,250. Please RSVP by July 6. For more information, please contact Sonoma County Farm Bureau at 707/544-5575 or visit www. sonomacountyfarmbureau. com. — WLJ