Several women throughout the Central Valley were recognized for their involvement in the ag industry Wednesday.
In their honor, a luncheon was held at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District, and among the honorees, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.
“Their achievements, you know, they are all connected with ag but they also have done different things and have reached out into the communities and inspired in different ways,” says Cristel Tufenkjian, Chair of Common Threads Committee, of the women honored.
Like creating literacy programs, or cracking down on ag crime, organizers say these women do it all.
“They’re also the type of ladies who would roll up their sleeves to get the job done, whether it’s managing ag businesses or whether it’s going out to their orchards and checking their drip systems,” Tufenkjian says.
And while some might think agriculture is a man’s job, Sheirff Mims who was honored for her public service says make no mistake tjhat women play a key role in the industry.
“It’s poignant also to make sure that we recognize the women who many times are the driving force behind the industry itself,” Mims says.
Mims’ family members were not farmers, but farm workers, and her first job: picking grapes in a filed outside of Caruthers.
“It taught me the value of very, very hard work and how much it takes to get where you want,” Mims explains.
That hard work led her to become the Sheriff of Fresno County where she works to protect the people, but also the industry that gave her a start.
She says, “Our ag crime task force works very hard to make sure that we hold those accountable who want to use our farming industry as victims.”
The luncheon’s honorees are below:
- Kathy Briano, Tulare County
- Tina Carreiro, Kings County
- Giovanna Depaoli, Tulare County
- Marcia Shafer, Fresno County
- Honorary Award: Sheriff Margaret Mims, Fresno County