WATSONVILLE—Guy George has been selected as the 2022 Farmer of the Year by the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau.
The annual award is presented to farmer(s) who have contributed “beyond their normal farming duties to help the community,” according to SCFB.
George has been farming in Santa Cruz County for 70 years. After graduating from Watsonville High School, he enlisted in the Navy and worked as an aviation mechanic before returning to his hometown to start farming strawberries and fruit trees with his dad, while continuing his education at San Jose State. He graduated from San Jose State and started farming full time on the Redmond Ranch on Lakeview Road.
George farmed vegetables and cabbage, delivering to the Monterey Bay Shipping Company in Castroville before eventually packing and shipping under his own label, “King George.” He farmed cabbage and lettuces for 20 years on the George Braycovich property and spent another 25 years farming vegetables on many individual properties all over the Pajaro Valley.
In 1998, he shifted his focus, growing strawberries for Driscoll’s, Inc. before forming his own LLC, Rancho Alitos, which grows strawberries and blackberries. He has been a continual supporter of organizations such as the County Fair, the Agricultural History Project and SCFB.
The SCFB board of directors said they wanted to honor him because of his leadership and his role as a mentor to young farmers in the community over the past seven decades. George received the award during the Farm Bureau’s 105th Annual Meeting/Dinner held at the Rodgers House at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville on June 23.
The event also saw the election of new directors for both the first and second terms: Sean Baird (Cattle), James Cunningham (Cannabis), Adriana Silva, Tom Broz, Amanda Peixoto-Castro (Organics), Brendan Miele (Ag Support Industry), Nita Gizdich (Apples) and Cynthia Mathiesen (Berries.)
All newly elected terms commence on Nov. 1.