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October 19, 2021

This Week in Pajaro Valley’s Past, Feb. 12-18

Compiled by Steve Bankhead

25 years ago on Feb. 6, 1996

Some workers from the closing Norcal-Crosetti plant at Ford & Walker streets will be hired by Dean Foods (former Richard Shaw Frozen Foods) which purchased Norcal Crosetti when it failed last August.  Dean Foods plans to retain 300 of its current 700 workers. Sergio Lopez of the Teamsters Local 912 said it was “the best we could hope for…” Teamster vice-president Pam Cheaney also said she was pleased with the negotiations, considering the circumstances. The displaced workers will be behind current Dean Foods workers in seniority, but will be hired by Dean before any outside workers. Many of the Norcal Crosetti workers started with Watsonville Canning, which went broke in 1987 after an 18-month strike. Laid off workers will also get severance pay of up to $400. Dean officials did not return phone calls this morning.

50 years ago on Feb. 9, 1971

Wealthy family heir and former Pajaro Valley cattle rancher John DuPont attended the first day of a three-day dispersion auction at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds of his Rancho San Andreas herd of registered Angus cattle. And it was a bull named RSA Colossal 2, which brought a top bid of  $7,200 from the Red Top Ranch at Mundelein, Illinois. The bull’s half-brother, RSA Collosal, brought $1,700 for a half interest from Herb Guinn of Napa; and Paul Pagliarulo of Delano paid $3,500 for a one-third interest in Diamondhead Bondoliermere 26Z and 1,000 vials of his sperm. Nearly 300 heads had sold as darkness fell, and owner DuPont said some cattle brought more than he’d hoped. Opening day sales were $147,980. It  drew cattlemen of many states. All came to look and some came to buy, with many Stetson hats and western boots. Total gross sales should hit $225,000.  

75 years ago on Feb. 8, 1946

(Pajaronian editorial) The Pajaro Valley’s fresh frozen food industry in the past few years has reached a place of prominence in the far west. Already we’re known as “The fresh frozen food capital of the world.” Now frozen apple juice looms as an important commercial reality, allowing producers to extend their market period far beyond the normal season, and provide another outlet for our apples. This prediction is borne out by experiments conducted by the food technology division at UC Berkeley. They showed frozen apple juice and hard cider retained their natural color and flavor longer than by other means of preservation. If so, that could mean more jobs and a longer work season for local farms, which is great news for all those now returning home from service in the war. This week alone, that includes Navy men Manuel Cardoza, Robert Hornbaker and Chester Turley. 

100 years ago on Feb. 11, 1921

Monterey County Farm Advisor J. C. Campbell visited Pajaro School and addressed students with hope to interest them in some branch of agricultural work. It is his plan to develop a competitive contest between pupils in the school district to excel in some particular activity. The Pajaro pupils will probably take up the raising of fine calves, and a suitable prize or prizes will be awarded. The Pajaro Valley Bank of Watsonville has generously offered to supply money to make initial purchases of calves for any who might otherwise be shut out of the competition for lack of funds to make the start. Mr. Campbell held a similar meeting at Aromas School in the afternoon, and it is understood a competition will be launched there, but instead of calves, the students will see who can raise the finest poultry. The plan is to form such agricultural clubs across the county with the assistance of local farm bureaus.  

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