Citing his 45 years of advocacy on behalf of California farmers and ranchers, the California Farm Bureau Federation has presented its former administrator, Rich Matteis, with its Distinguished Service Award. Matteis, a resident of Roseville, received the award last night during the 101st CFBF Annual Meeting in Monterey.
Matteis retired in March after serving as CFBF administrator since 2007, overseeing the organization’s advocacy and service to members.
“Having grown up on a farm and maintained a love for agriculture throughout his career, Rich channeled his energy into improving the legislative and regulatory landscape for family farmers and ranchers,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “He was certainly one of the most respected advocates at the state Capitol, and he guided Farm Bureau successfully during a period of significant change.”
Matteis began his career as manager of the Santa Clara and Alameda County Farm Bureaus and as a CFBF field representative. In 1980, he became chief executive officer of the California Grain and Feed Association, which provided management and legislative services for two-dozen other agricultural associations, where he served before rejoining CFBF.
“Rich’s distinguished service to Farm Bureau has continued since his retirement,” Johansson said, “in his work as a strategic advisor on special projects. His knowledge, experience and expertise continue to benefit California family farmers and ranchers.”
The Distinguished Service Award has been presented annually since 1953 to dedicated Farm Bureau members from California. In addition to the award to Matteis, CFBF presented the Distinguished Service Award to longtime San Benito County Farm Bureau board member Al Bonturi.