Hundreds braved temperatures that had risen to the mid-80s by 11:30 a.m. for the annual Harvest Luncheon at Graceada Park on Friday.
The lunch, which dates to 1956, celebrates Stanislaus County’s biggest industry and raises money for scholarships given to Modesto Junior College agriculture students.
“There is no better place to be,” said Mike Henderson, director of vocational education for Modesto City Schools and chairman of the event.
Attendees munched on melon, grapes, cheese and chili, along with Mape’s Ranch tri-tip donated by the Lyons family.
Dave Gianelli, president of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce, told the crowd, “We’re here to celebrate agriculture. It’s simply the lifeblood of Stanislaus County.”
Since the lunch started, organizers said, more than 350 students have received more than $200,000 in scholarships.