How We Grow

2019 May/June How We Grow

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17 in fact, that's inspired her special project: to build ag-related, STEM- incorporated curriculum for the Salida School District. "This project brings my career full circle: I have a love for farming and almonds, and also for education and helping teachers and students learn more about our amazing industry," Nuckles said. From a self-propelled zapper to ag-based STEM curriculum, the 2019 Leadership class is driven to push themselves to serve the industry both this year and for years to come. "The work ethic of those in the Almond Leadership Program is truly representative of the grit, tenacity and desire to do what's right that is exemplified through the entire almond industry," said Mike Curry. Are you interested in applying for next year's Almond Leadership Program? Attend The 2019 Almond Conference, Dec. 10–12, to meet this year's participants, and learn more about the program at LeadershipProgram. MOVERS AND SHAKERS William (Bill) Lyons Gov. Gavin Newsom recently appointed Bill Lyons of West Modesto to Agriculture Liaison in the Office of the Governor. Lyons served as Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture under Gov. Gray Davis from 1999 to 2004 and also received the United States Department of Agriculture National Environmentalist Award. A third-generation farmer, Lyons formerly oversaw his family's 95-year-old operation in Stanislaus County, which includes almond farming and cattle ranching. Rebecca Bailey and Jenny Nicolau California Future Farmers of America (FFA) Association awarded the Honorary State FFA Degree to ABC's Rebecca Bailey and Jenny Nicolau at the State FFA Leadership Conference in Anaheim on April 27. The Honorary State Degree is the highest award presented to an individual/group of individuals by the California FFA Association, and the degree program aims to recognize those who have rendered outstanding service to California agricultural education and the California FFA Association. Bailey and Nicolau both participated in FFA throughout high school. Looking to recommend a "Mover and Shaker" for a future How We Grow? Email Ashley Knoblauch ( with the person's name and a paragraph explaining why you believe they deserve recognition. Raj Kahlon Raj Kahlon of RHM Farms in Merced donated $5 million to Merced College to support the institution's agricultural programs and its future 20,000-square-foot agriculture and industrial technology complex. Kahlon, who grows almonds and pistachios, will be honored as the President's Medallion recipient at the State of the College luncheon, and Chris Vitelli, the superintendent/ president of Merced College, will recommend to the Merced College Board of Trustees that the college's new agriculture and industrial technology building be named after Kahlon. According to Vitelli, "This is the largest gift in Merced College history." (Courtesy of Merced College)

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