Three in St. Helena, CA Receive American AgCredit Scholarships

The following members of St. Helena High School’s Class of 2015 received scholarships at the recent Awards Night:

Alondra Alcala De Haro: Damian Maldonado Memorial Foundation Scholarship, Lola M. Thorburn Scholarship

August Alfaro: Betty Wood Memorial Scholarship, Cummings Family Scholarship

Landin Ambrosini: American Legion St. Helena Post 199 Scholarships, Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Spirit Award

Carly Anderson: Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Spirit Award, St. Helena Performing Arts Scholarship, Thespian Honor Cord

Thomas Aquilina: Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Spirit Award, Thespian Honor Cord

Lesly Arranaga Partida: Wood Family Memorial Scholarship

Emma Behrens: SHHS Community Service Awards, St. Helena Native Sons Scholarship, Wood Family Memorial Scholarship

Raul Bernal: Betty Wood Memorial Scholarship

Macklin Bickford: Dr. Mark B. & Gerry Rhea Memorial Scholarship

Naomi Bluband: Thespian Honor Cord, Wood Family Memorial Scholarship

Rebecca Brown-Dehner: American AgCredit Scholarship, Betty Wood Memorial Scholarship

DaVon Browne: Jim Ryan Memorial Scholarship, Wood Family Memorial Scholarship

Karla Camacho: Aldo Delfino Scholarship, American AgCredit Scholarship, French Honor Society, SHHS Class of 1962 “Tribute To Our Teachers” Scholarship

Jazmin Chavez Haro: Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Spirit Award

Selena Colin Gonzalez: Cummings Family Scholarship, Dr. Mark B. & Gerry Rhea Memorial Scholarship, Elks Larison High School Scholarship, SHHS Community Service Awards

Francisco Cortes-Bernal: Aldo Delfino Scholarship, American AgCredit Scholarship, Appellation St. Helena Oenology/Viticulture Scholarship, Keith Bowers Memorial Scholarship, SHHS Class of 1968 Memorial Scholarship

Griffin Craig: Dr. Mark B. & Gerry Rhea Memorial Scholarship

Erica Crean: Al Ponce Scholarship in Memory of Terri Strange, Soroptimist International of St. Helena Scholarship

Andrew Davis: Dr. Mark B. & Gerry Rhea Memorial Scholarship, St. Helena Teachers’ Association Scholarship

Madelyn Decker: American Legion St. Helena Post 199 Scholarships, Betty Wood Memorial Scholarship, St. Helena Native Sons Scholarship, Thespian Pin, Tri-M Music Honor Society

Christopher Diaz: Dr. Mark B. & Gerry Rhea Memorial Scholarship

Oscar Diaz Fregoso: Betty Wood Upward Bound Award, Thespian Pin

Lucas Dohring: St. Helena Teachers’ Association Scholarship

Anna Ely: American Legion St. Helena Post 199 Scholarships, Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Spirit Award, St. Helena Performing Arts Scholarship, St. Helena Teachers’ Association Scholarship, The Peter A. and Vernice H. Gasser Foundation Scholarship, Thespian Honor Cord

Alani Flores Carrillo: Cummings Family Scholarship, Damian Maldonado Memorial Foundation Scholarship, Federated Women of Upper Napa Valley Scholarship, Independent Order of Odd Fellows Scholarship, Kirsten Venge Memorial Scholarship, SHHS Community Service Awards, St. Helena Performing Arts Scholarship, Tri-M Music Honor Society

Anahi Fregoso Pelayo: Betty Wood Upward Bound Award

Joshua Fulton: The Peter A. and Vernice H. Gasser Foundation Scholarship

Saidy Gallegos: Dr. Mark B. & Gerry Rhea Memorial Scholarship

Danelli Gallegos Serrano: Dr. Mark B. & Gerry Rhea Memorial Scholarship

Victoria Gerdes: Aldo Delfino Scholarship, Pope Valley Scholarship Fund, St. Helena Native Sons Scholarship

Alicia Gomes: California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer, Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Spirit Award

Nicholas Gomez: Wood Family Memorial Scholarship

Estefani Gomez Carrillo: American Association of University Women Award, AVF: Mary Antonich Health Sciences Scholarship, California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer, Napa County Hispanic Network, SHHS Community Service Awards, Soroptimist International of St. Helena Scholarship, Stephen C. McCullagh Memorial Scholarship

Nicholas Gonzalez: Dr. Mark B. & Gerry Rhea Memorial Scholarship, Pope Valley Scholarship Fund

Lily Graff: AVF: Mary Antonich Health Sciences Scholarship, California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer, Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Spirit Award

Clair Griffin: California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer, Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Scholarship, Napa County 4-H Council Scholarship, SHHS Community Service Awards, Soroptimist International of St. Helena Scholarship

Antonio Gutierrez: Betty Wood Upward Bound Award, Damian Maldonado Memorial Foundation Scholarship

Haley Hart: Cummings Family Scholarship, Dr. Mark B. & Gerry Rhea Memorial Scholarship, First Presbyterian Church of St. Helena — Peacemaking Scholarship, SHHS Community Service Awards

Madison Hechler: Associated Student Body Service Award, California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer, Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Scholarship, Soroptimist International of St. Helena Scholarship — Gertrude Vasconi Memorial, The Peter A. and Vernice H. Gasser Foundation Scholarship, The Schulze Family Foundation Scholarship Program

Jesus Hernandez: Mexican-American Golf Association, Otto & Ramona Beringer Memorial Award

Mel Ico: Wood Family Memorial Scholarship

Lauren Jaffe: Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Spirit Award, French Honor Society

Priscila Jimenez: Art Association Napa Valley, Federated Women of Upper Napa Valley Scholarship

Maraya Jones: Associated Student Body Service Award, California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer, French Honor Society, Shannon Nicole Lemieux Memorial Aquatics Scholarship, Wood Family Memorial Scholarship

Stephen Kashani: Betty Wood Memorial Scholarship, Burrell Wilson Mathematics Scholarship

Tessa Kelly: St. Helena Rotary Scholarship, Thespian Honor Cord, Wood Family Memorial Scholarship

Gannon Laidlaw: Dr. Mark B. & Gerry Rhea Memorial Scholarship, Pope Valley Scholarship Fund

Taylor Leinen: Soroptimist International of St. Helena Scholarship, Wood Family Memorial Scholarship

Nestor Leon: Betty Wood Upward Bound Award

Enrique Lopez-Segura: Betty Wood Memorial Scholarship

Trinity Lyman: California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer, SHHS Community Service Awards, Wood Family Memorial Scholarship

Cole Lyons: California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer, Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Scholarship

Arilyn Martin: Aldo Delfino Scholarship, Napa County Young Farmers & Ranchers Scholarship, Napa Valley Masonic Lodge #93, St. Helena Junior Women’s Vocational Scholarship

Karina Martinez Arroyo: Betty Wood Upward Bound Award, California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer, The Fruit of the Vine Scholarship

Amanda Mascherini: Wood Family Memorial Scholarship

Michele McClure: American Legion St. Helena Post 199 Scholarships, Damian Maldonado Memorial Foundation Scholarship, Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Scholarship, Napa Valley Masonic Lodge #93

Rafael Medina: Betty Wood Memorial Scholarship, Damian Maldonado Memorial Foundation Scholarship, Pope Valley Scholarship Fund

Vanessa Medrano: Associated Student Body Service Award, California State Employees Association Chapter 287 Scholarship, Saints Music Idol 2014 Scholarship Winner, Thespian Honor Cord, Tri-M Music Honor Society

Nilbia Molina: Dr. Mark B. & Gerry Rhea Memorial Scholarship

Victor Manuel Moreno: Betty Wood Upward Bound Award, Dr. Mark B. & Gerry Rhea Memorial Scholarship

Paola Moya: Community Projects Inc. Scholarship In Memory of Elva Stockton

Zachary Neal: Betty Wood Memorial Scholarship

Enefiok Okon: Dr. Mark B. & Gerry Rhea Memorial Scholarship

Clara Olguin: Damian Maldonado Memorial Foundation Scholarship, Napa Valley Marathon Scholarship, Sons of Italy Lodge Scholarship, The Fruit of the Vine Scholarship

Norma Otero-Guerrero: Betty Wood Upward Bound Award

Emily Panovich: Wood Family Memorial Scholarship

Kayla Pelaez: Betty Wood Memorial Scholarship

Alondra Plancarte: Community Projects Inc. Scholarship In Memory of Elva Stockton, Napa County Bar Association Scholarship

Adriana Plancarte-Hernandez: Betty Wood Memorial Scholarship, California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer

Michael Pollock: Betty Wood Upward Bound Award

John Preston: Associated Student Body Service Award, California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer, Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Scholarship, SHHS Community Service Awards, Soroptimist International of St. Helena Scholarship — Greta Ericson Lifetime Achievement Award, St. Helena Chamber of Commerce Scholarship, St. Helena Rotary Scholarship in Honor of Roger Adams

Cathlina Ramirez: Betty Wood Memorial Scholarship, Pope Valley Scholarship Fund

Omar Rios: Paul Galleron Memorial Scholarship, SHHS FFA Scholarship, St. Helena Post 199 Dave Curtin Scholarship

Laura Rios Almanza: Betty Wood Upward Bound Award, Elks Larison High School Scholarship

Rosa Rodriguez: California Wine Grape Growers Foundation Scholarship, Pope Valley Scholarship Fund, Special Recognition Award, Turtle Rock Café Community Scholarship

Alejandra Rodriguez-Fregoso: Betty Wood Memorial Scholarship, Ernie Navone Memorial Scholarship

Julio Rojas Flores: Appellation St. Helena Oenology/Viticulture Scholarship

Vanessa Edith Roman: Federated Women of Upper Napa Valley Scholarship

Elia Rubio: American Legion St. Helena Post 199 Scholarships, AVF: Mary Antonich Health Sciences Scholarship, California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer, Damian Maldonado Memorial Foundation Scholarship, Deanna Becker Scholarship Award, Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Scholarship, French Honor Society, Napa County Hispanic Network, Paul Alexander Scholarship Foundation, Special Recognition Award, St. Helena Kiwanis Scholarship Program, The Fruit of the Vine Scholarship

Anya Ruston: California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer, Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Scholarship, The Schulze Family Foundation Scholarship Program

Christian Saladin: SHHS Class of 1952 Scholarship in Memory of Larry Burroughs, Wood Family Memorial Scholarship

Karla Salazar Martinez: Aldo Delfino Scholarship, California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer, Deanna Becker Scholarship Award, McPherson Presidential Scholarship, SHHS Community Service Awards, SHHS FFA Scholarship

Saul Sanchez: Dr. Mark B. & Gerry Rhea Memorial Scholarship, Ernie Navone Memorial Scholarship, The Peter A. and Vernice H. Gasser Foundation Scholarship

Sara-Sita Sanders: Shannon Nicole Lemieux Memorial Aquatics Scholarship

Julia Scibetta: Associated Student Body Service Award, Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Spirit Award

Elizabeth Sklar: California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer, SHHS Community Service Awards

Alex Skupny: Damian Maldonado Memorial Foundation Scholarship, Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Spirit Award, Jim Ryan Memorial Scholarship

Jeffrey Smith: SHHS Community Service Awards, Soroptimist International of St. Helena Scholarship

Ruby Solano: Associated Student Body Service Award, Cummings Family Scholarship, St. Helena Junior Women’s Vocational Scholarship

Sabrina Stevenson: Wood Family Memorial Scholarship

Alexander Titus: Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Spirit Award, Quirici Family Memorial, St. Helena Chamber of Commerce Scholarship

Leidy Tovar: California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer, Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Scholarship, First Presbyterian Church of St. Helena — Violet Young Memorial Scholarship, Napa County Hispanic Network, St. Helena Rotary Scholarship in Honor of Mark Terrell

Valentina Valenzuela: Napa County Hispanic Network, The Peter A. and Vernice H. Gasser Foundation Scholarship

MarieElise VanKeuren: Associated Student Body Service Award, Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Spirit Award, Saints Music Idol 2015 Scholarship Winner, St. Helena Performing Arts Scholarship, Thespian Honor Cord, Tri-M Music Honor Society

Tanner Ward: Bill Ashby Memorial Scholarship, SAA Scott Zumwalt Memorial Scholarship

Josephine White: Associated Student Body Service Award, Dr. George & Elsie M. Wood Spirit Award, SHHS Community Service Awards

Lawrence Whiteside: Dr. Mark B. & Gerry Rhea Memorial Scholarship

Morgan Wilson: Aldo Delfino Scholarship, AVF: Fred Giacomini Agriculture Scholarship, Harold U. Smith Memorial Scholarship, Napa Valley Marathon Scholarship, Sons of Italy Lodge Scholarship, Soroptimist International of St. Helena Scholarship — Jeanne Bothe Memorial, St. Helena Native Sons Scholarship

Sonoma County wineries raise $3.4M for 84 nonprofits in CA

Friday, April 3, 2015, 3:03 pm

A record-breaking total of $3.39 million in contributions to 84 Sonoma County nonprofit organizations was distributed Thursday afternoon from the hugely successful 2014 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend.
More than 150 guests representing Sonoma County’s wine industry leadership, non-profit organizations, local dignitaries, and top donors celebrated the momentous donation at a reception hosted by American AgCredit at Vintner’s Inn.
The record-breaking figure includes more than $1.7 million from the Fund the Future initiative to support children’s literacy programs. That was raised during the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction last August.
Beginning in 2013, the Fund the Future literacy initiative supports successful Sonoma County organizations focused upon childhood literacy and preparing kids to read. These funds will be divided between Fund the Future beneficiaries Sonoma Valley Education Foundation: Summer Reading Academy and the Grade Level Proficiency Program, Healdsburg Education Foundation: Accelerated English Program, Community Action Partnership: Pasitos Playgroups and AVANCE, and United Way: Schools of Hope.
In addition, $1.67 million-plus in Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Community Grants ranging from $2,000–$50,000 were awarded to 79 charitable groups located across Sonoma County. Last year’s contributions to Fund the Future and Community Grants from the 2013 event totaled $1,086,350 reflecting a 211% increase in revenues for 2014.
Squire Fridell of GlenLyon Vineyards & Winery and the president of the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Foundation announced the donation total to the group.
“As Sonoma County’s leading wine fundraising event, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend brings the wine industry and our guests together to support our community by investing in our youth and children for their future success, by preserving our environment and natural resources, and by improving health and welfare of our local communities,” he said.
To date, the event has given more than $16 million dollars to help secure Sonoma County’s future through the work of important non-profit organizations.

CoBank and American AgCredit Donate $100,000 to Bee Research

The grant, from CoBank and American AgCredit, will fund research that will provide growers with healthier bees resulting in better pollination and increased crop yields.

The research is being conducted by Project Apis m., a non-profit organization that serves as a conduit between bee industry researchers and funding sources, which will use the donation to fund research into potentially new and innovative ways to control the Varroa mite. The pest, which weakens honey bees, reproduces quickly, and is capable of quickly spreading viruses within a bee colony, has grown to be a formidable threat to the bee industry since its discovery in the U.S. in 1987.

CoBank provides loans and other financial services to agricultural cooperatives and other agribusiness providers across the United States, including many in California. It is also the funding bank for Santa Rosa-based American AgCredit and other Farm Credit associations serving farmers, ranchers and growers throughout the state.

“We’re delighted to partner with American AgCredit in search of a solution to this major problem,” said Leili Ghazi, Western Region president for CoBank. “The mission of Farm Credit is to stand behind agriculture and the U.S. rural economy, and we hope the knowledge and insight gained from this research will reduce the threat to bee colonies on which so many producers depend.”

“For this project, we’re not only going to solicit scientists within our normal honey bee research institutions, but we’re going to approach entomologists who might be working on other pests, particularly mites in other agricultural or livestock areas,” says Christi Heintz, executive director of Project Apis m.

“The health of our insect pollinators is crucial to our farmers and to the American public,” said Rep. Jeff Denham, co-chair of the Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus. “We must work to understand what’s causing the decline in health of our honey bee colonies. I look forward to seeing the funding for this research help us meet that goal.”

Project Apis m. derives its name from the scientific name for the European honey bee, Apis mellifera. Founded in 2006 and based in Paso Robles, Calif., it has steered more than $3 million into research toward improving the health of honey bees and honey bee colonies.

Farm Credit Alliance Sponsors California Farm Academy Scholarships

Farm Credit West, American AgCredit and CoBank are sponsoring four students with scholarships to attend the California Farm Academy. This program, run under the umbrella of The Center for Land Based Learning, serves as training for beginning farmers. Maureen Thompson, Farm Program Manager, explains that the students range from their 20s to their 60s. “This program is for beginning famers,” she says. “Many of them are people who have decided for a change of careers or a late interest in farming.”

The Academy runs 32 weeks from January through October. Students spend an average of ten hours per week at the CFA. Each student will create personalized lesson plans that include creating a business plan and also an in-depth study project focusing on their end goals.

There are three components to the curriculum. During the winter most of the sessions consist of classroom courses on business planning, goal setting, soil science, crop planning, etc. The second component consists of farm visits. These field trips take students to various farming operations where they can learn about different aspects of the trade. The final part of the program is actually working the fields for practical, hands-on experience.

The CFA has a one acre plot and each student is responsible for a few crops. There are about 20 different crops growing, with many varieties of each crop.

For more information:  http://landbasedlearning.org/farm-academy.php

American AgCredit Donates Major Gifts For FFA and 4-H Fundraiser

Agricultural lender American AgCredit is kicking off a massive 7‐week fundraiser for the region’s agricultural youth groups. Beginning April 25 through June 14, any donation of $100 or more to the Future Farmers of America (FFA) ‐ Sonoma Section Chapter or the Sonoma County 4‐H Foundation will be eligible to win free sports tickets, six cases of wine, or a guitar signed by all the artists appearing at the Country Summer concert!