Events raise money for ag scholarships

08/01/2014 4:54 PM

08/01/2014 4:56 PM

The 53rd annual Harvest Luncheon will take place in Modesto on Sept. 12, kicking off a season of fund-raisers for ag scholarships.

Events each fall raise money for students studying for farm-related careers, including programs at Modesto Junior College and California State University, Stanislaus.

The Modesto Chamber of Commerce puts on the Harvest Luncheon, which will start at 11:30 a.m. in Graceada Park, at Needham Street and Sycamore Avenue. As usual, the event will feature Mapes Ranch tri-tip and other locally grown food.

The proceeds will go to scholarships for MJC students. More information is at (209) 577-5757.

The Good Egg Breakfast, just a year younger than the Harvest Luncheon, will be Oct. 23 at the DoubleTree Hotel, 1150 Ninth St., Modesto. The event starts at 7 a.m. eggsactly, as the promoters can’t resist saying every year.

The breakfast is put on by California egg producers. It will feature custom-made omelets, comedian Dan St. Paul and the awarding of the Good Egg Award to an industry supporter.

Ticket information is at the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, (209) 522-7278. It sponsors the breakfast with the chamber, the California Poultry Federation and the Pacific Egg and Poultry Association.

This column will have details on other events as they are released.

BEGINNING FARMERS – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has more than $9 million to help veterans and minorities get started in farming.

Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced the funding through the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program. It works with community-based groups to help clients buy and operate farms and take advantage of other USDA programs.

“The future face of agriculture needs to be varied in experience, background and knowledge to meet the demand of the 21st century,” Harden said.

More information is at

FROM THE AUTHOR – This column, like many Modesto Bee articles, has information at the bottom on how to reach the author. As the ag reporter, I occasionally get queries from online readers around the world about how to buy a product mentioned in the column. I leave the deal-making to the farmers and processors but do like to engage readers on ag issues in general.

One email this week from New Delhi was especially entertaining, thanks to a smartphone spellchecker run amok: “I really apricot if you can just give us your opinion on new almond crops and the price compare to last year price.”

I’m thinking the sender meant “appreciate,” but you never know.

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