Sacramento, Shasta Farm Bureaus recognized for innovation

Tim Hearden/Capital Press Shasta County Farm Bureau manager Tiffany Martinez, left, talks with Teresa Urricelqui, a Redding, Calif., city recreation supervisor, about the national recognition they are receiving for putting on an agriculture-themed summer camp.

PALO CEDRO, Calif. — Tiffany Martinez and Teresa Urricelqui eagerly pored through photos from an agriculture-related camp they put on this summer, choosing the best for a display board.

The board will be shown at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention in January, highlighting one of 24 projects nationwide that have been recognized for innovation.

“It’s exciting,” said Urricelqui, a Redding, Calif., city recreation supervisor. “I’m glad that everyone got the recognition. I’m excited to get the word out and maybe have other counties try it.”

About 75 youngsters took part in the week-long camps put on in July by the recreation department and the Shasta County Farm Bureau, which Martinez manages.

The youngsters started each morning with light chores — feeding animals, looking for chicken eggs and cleaning pens — before spending the rest of the morning at one of four stations dedicated to horses, welding, caring for sheep and cultivating a pumpkin patch. The camp also offered classroom instruction.

The camp was one of two projects in California to receive the AFBF’s County Activities of Excellence awards. The Sacramento County Farm Bureau was recognized for its Farm Bureau University program, which offered 16 classes and seminars attended by more than 200 area producers on topics such as estate planning, water quality regulations, handling of hazardous materials and safety training, according to a news release.

The office also offered a Farm Bureau Ambassadors activity to introduce high school students to the organization and agricultural issues.

“It’s great to be recognized,” said Charlotte Mitchell, the Sacramento Farm Bureau’s executive director. “There are so many counties that are doing great things all year long, every year for their members. When one or two counties get pulled out ... for a year to be recognized, it feels good.”

The county Farm Bureaus will demonstrate their programs during the AFBF’s meeting Jan. 10-14 in San Diego. No Pacific Northwest counties were recognized this year.

For Martinez, it’s the second time in four years that her office has received the AFBF award. It was recognized in 2011 for a unique ranch rodeo that drew entrants from three states and raised $13,000 for the organization.

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