|Soledad, CA – (6-11-10) Karen Antle was recognized as the Ag Woman of the Year for Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties at an annual event hosted by Ag Against Hunger on June 11 at Paraiso Vineyards in Soledad.
This annual luncheon recognizes a woman who has contributed significantly to the success of the tri-county agricultural industry. The Ag Woman of the Year award is a surprise to all guests including the recipient. More than 220 people were in attendance to recognize Karen Antle.
This year, the committee made up of previous honoree’s and the Ag Against Hunger Board of Directors chose a woman who has worked to the great benefit of the agricultural industry in the Salinas Valley and beyond. Karen Antle is a third generation member of the Tottino family that in 1924, along with 4 other families, launched the California Artichoke & Vegetable Growers Corporation, now renamed Ocean Mist Farms. She has made a lifelong commitment of selflessly volunteering for agricultural advocacy and for her community.
Antle is currently the Vice President of the Salinas Valley Heritage Foundation; a foundation that is responsible for sustaining and improving the Salinas Valley Fair in King City. She also served as the Chairwoman of the Davis House Legacy Committee, which was responsible for raising the funds needed for renovations of the new headquarters for Monterey County Agricultural Education, Inc.
Antle has tirelessly volunteered for the Monterey County Agricultural Education, Inc. in many other ways as well. She has served on the Teacher Workshop committee, worked as a guide for the “Careers in Ag” program, and has volunteered for many other organization functions, such as the Farm Day Experience in Monterey, Salinas and King City.
This past March, Antle also helped to raise funds for the Benefit for Gavin Ribaya, an infant stricken with a rare form of kidney cancer. The benefit raised over $100,000 to help the Ribaya family pay for Gavin’s medical expenses, and provided $30,000 to King City’s Mee Memorial Hospital to buy a new mammography machine.
Antle is also a volunteer for many other organizations including: the Artichoke Festival in Castroville, the Salinas High School Booster Club, the Notre Dame Booster Club, the Palma Booster Club, the Spreckels Parent Club, and the Monterey County Friends of the Fair.
The Agricultural Woman of the Year award seeks to honor unique leadership qualities held by women working within the local agricultural industry. These qualities include a selfless spirit of engagement in promoting and celebrating agriculture with one’s heart, mind and soul; and a perpetuation of the pioneering traditions and tenants of independence, integrity, and innovation from our agricultural history, for and with humanity.
Previous Ag Women of the Year include: Sharan Lanini (1994); Claudia Smith (1995); Karen Miller (1996); Susan Gill (1997); Betty Ichikawa (1998); Mary Hansen (1999); Elia Vasquez (2000); Connie Quinlan (2001); Kay Filice (2002); Dorothy Errea (2003); Nita Gizdich (2004); Mary Orradre (2005); Lorri Koster (2006), Margaret D’Arrigo-Martin (2007), Celeste Settrini (2008) and Darlene Din (2009).
This year’s keynote speaker was Nicole Parra. Nicole Parra has more than 17 years of extensive legislative and political experience in California – having served as both as an elected official in the California State Legislature and a high level appointee of the Executive Branch.
About Ag Against Hunger
Ag Against Hunger is a non-profit agency providing fresh donated produce to food banks in the tri-county of Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties, then statewide and out-of-state when the fresh produce needs of local food banks are satisfied. Since 1990, area growers and shippers have donated over 167 million pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables to help feed the hungry.