Three outstanding leaders in the San Luis Obispo County agriculture community were honored at the 29th annual Cattlemen and Farmers’ Day Dinner at the California Mid-State Fair on Thursday.
Jim Brabeck was named 2015 Agriculturalist of the Year by the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau; Lorraine Cagliero was named Cattlewoman of the Year by the San Luis Obispo County Cattlewomen’s Association; and Chuck Pritchard was honored as Cattleman of the Year by the San Luis Obispo County Cattlemen’s Association.
Brabeck became the president of Farm Supply Company at the age of 23 in 1969. He was chosen as Cuesta College Alumnus of the Year for 1999, and named 2009 Agribusiness Person of the Year for Santa Barbara County and Citizen of the Year in 1987 by the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce.
In honoring Brabeck for his hard work, business success and community activism, the Farm Bureau said he has lived up to his mottos of “never start anything unless you are going to finish it,” and “failure is not an option.”
“His success served the greater good of agriculture and all of those who depend on it for their food and livelihood,” the Farm Bureau said.
Lorraine Cagliero was born to a pioneer family west of Templeton and has been a cattlewoman for 37 years, according to the Cattlewomen’s Association. She and her husband, Pete Cagliero, married in 1961 and built a life around ranching and raising their children Dena, Jon and Phillip. At the Cagliero Ranch, which is now operated by son Jon as the Slash C Ranch, the family managed a cow/calf operation and grew alfalfa and grain.
In 1986, Lorraine and Pete Cagliero purchased the Vineyard Wildlife Ranch, which has a cow/calf operation and produces alfalfa, grain and forage hay. Pete Cagliero died in 2004 and the Vineyard ranch is now operated by sons Jon and Phillip.
Lorraine Cagliero has served on the Cuesta College Foundation board, the French Hospital Medical Center Foundation board, and has been active with Mission San Miguel projects.
In recognizing her as Cattlewoman of the Year, the association said Cagliero has been an accomplished cattlewoman who has passed the ranching life on to two more generations.
Agricultural organizations and the county as a whole, “have been fortunate and are grateful to have a friend and supporter in her.”
Chuck Pritchard is a fourth generation San Luis Obispo County rancher.
Following his graduation from Cal Poly in 1962, Pritchard and his family leased a dry land farm and cattle ranch they eventually purchased in 1986. The Bitterwater Land and Cattle Company is a partnership between six members of the Pritchard family.
Pritchard and his wife of 55 years, Fran, have been active in agricultural groups through the years and follow Chuck’s principle, “where much is given, much is expected.” He has received numerous local, state and national awards related to his work in resource conservation and grassland management.
The Cattlemen’s Association chose to honor him because of Pritchard’s “many accomplishments, dedication and commitment to the cattle industry, his fellow cattlemen and women — in addition to his outstanding contributions to managing resources.”