Ernie Gemperle’s seven children have carried on his Turlock egg business and philanthropy. Thursday, they got a major honor from the state industry.
The Good Egg Award went to the second generation at Gemperle Farms during the 54th annual breakfast gathering at the DoubleTree Hotel in Modesto.
They were recognized for their work at the egg company, one of California’s largest, and their support of education, health, arts and other causes in and near Turlock.
“We learned that if you work hard and you’re successful, you need to share your success with others,” Stephen Gemperle told the audience of about 330.
He received the surprise award along with brothers Peter, Richard and Michael Gemperle, and sisters Heidi Gemperle, Anita Mahaffey and Susan Abdo.
As usual, the Good Egg Breakfast featured hundreds of custom-made omelets and raised scholarship money for Modesto Junior College agriculture students.
Ernie Gemperle, born in Switzerland, started his company in 1950. His achievements earned him a Good Egg Award in 1993, 15 years before his death.
The family is among Stanislaus County’s top supporters of civic causes and groups, donating several million dollars over the years. Those include Emanuel Medical Center, the Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Church, the United Samaritans Foundation, the Turlock Regional Sports Complex and California State University, Stanislaus.
Award presenter John Bedell said the Gemperles are a model for how to sustain a family-owned business.
“Will the next generation take up the mantle with the same vigor, work ethic, community responsibility and charitable conscientiousness?” he said. “The answer in this case is yes. Seven children did exactly that.”
The award goes to industry leaders or supporters, notably then-Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1970.
Scholarships of $850 each were presented Thursday to MJC students Matt Young, Deena Migliazzo, Makayla Toste, Rebecca Russo, Christopher Galhano and Audriana Farmer.
The breakfast is sponsored by the Pacific Egg and Poultry Association, the California Poultry Federation, the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau and the Modesto Chamber of Commerce.
John Holland: 209-578-2385