Tim and Jenny Holtermann of Wasco received the Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award, which recognizes accomplishments in production agriculture and leadership activity.
Jennifer Beretta of Santa Rosa received the Excellence in Agriculture Award, presented to young agricultural professionals who contribute through involvement in agriculture, leadership activities and Farm Bureau.
The Holtermanns, who met working on the farm at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, co-own H&H Family Farms. After each graduating with degrees in agricultural business, the fourth-generation farmers married and started their own almond farm and family. Tim Holtermann is president of H&H Family Farms, serving as farm manager, and also operates a custom harvesting business.
Jenny Holtermann, who is the farm’s secretary and treasurer, is active as a blogger, freelance writer and social media advocate, and has worked as sales/grower relations specialist for several agricultural firms. In 2018, she started a direct-marketing almond business after developing a customer base from social media. In discussing how she advocates for agriculture, she said, “My advocacy voice has changed and evolved as social media has. Social media and advocacy are part of my daily life.”
She serves as first vice president of the Kern County Farm Bureau board of directors and is active in local, state and national levels of Farm Bureau. She serves on committees of the Almond Board of California and is a member of California Women for Agriculture, among other boards and positions.
Beretta works as the herd manager for Beretta Family Organic Dairy, which has been organically certified since 2007. She focuses on responsibilities surrounding the health and well-being of the animals, such as feeding, milking, vaccinating and breeding. Other duties include conservation management, grant writing and public relations. After graduating from California State University, Chico with an animal science degree in 2010, she began working full time on the family dairy.
A dedicated advocate for agriculture, Beretta is a 4-H leader and serves on an advisory committee for the local community college and several state livestock boards. Active in Farm Bureau and currently serving as the Sonoma County Farm Bureau board president, Beretta has been active in the Young Farmers & Ranchers program since age 18 and is past chair of the state YF&R committee.
Asked to discuss three important issues facing agriculture, Beretta cited the need to address the state’s broken water system, the shortage of employees and communicating accomplishments by the agricultural sector to combat climate change.
“While I work daily in the dairy industry, one of my biggest interests is ensuring there is a vibrant agriculture industry for generations to come,” Beretta said. “I have tried to make sure that my involvement in agriculture impacts the industry as a whole, not just locally. I seek out opportunities to engage with the next generation of agriculturalists and encourage them to get involved.”
As winners of their respective awards, the Holtermanns and Beretta each earned a $4,000 cash prize. The Holtermanns also earned 250 hours’ use of a Kubota tractor, furnished by Kubota Tractor Corp.
The winners will represent California in national competitions next month during the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention.