Recognized for elevating the standing of local farmers and Farm Bureau in the eyes of elected officials, regulatory agencies and the public, former San Diego County Farm Bureau Executive Director Eric Larson has been presented the Helen Roberti Lifetime Service Award by the California Farm Bureau Federation. Larson, of Carlsbad, received the award last night during the 101st CFBF Annual Meeting in Monterey.
Larson retired from his position at the San Diego County Farm Bureau in September, after 23 years of service. He had previously worked for 13 years as general manager of the California Floriculture Growers Association, after a career in cut flower and nursery crop production.
“As an agricultural executive in a rapidly urbanizing county, Eric Larson recognized early the need to reach out often and speak plainly about the benefits of a thriving local agriculture,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “Under his guidance, the San Diego County Farm Bureau became one of the most innovative and successful anywhere.”
During his tenure, the county Farm Bureau launched the San Diego Grown program, established the San Diego Farm & Nursery Expo, defeated two countywide ballot measures opposed by farmers and created the San Diego Regional Irrigated Lands Program, among other accomplishments.
“Eric has been a visible and effective advocate for family farmers and ranchers, making frequent appearances before local commissions and in the media,” Johansson said. “His efforts have assured agriculture will remain, as the county Farm Bureau describes it, ‘an intrinsic part of the fabric of San Diego.’”
Named for the longtime manager of the Plumas-Sierra County Farm Bureau and presented for the first time in 2013, the Helen Roberti Lifetime Service Award recognizes dedicated service by a staff member of CFBF or a county Farm Bureau in California.