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Sonora-area turkey ranch a Pioneer

Diestel Turkey Ranch near Sonora received the 2008 Pioneer Award from the California Poultry Federation at its annual meeting near Lake Tahoe last week. The ranch, founded by Jack Diestel in 1949, is renowned for its range-fed birds. The federation gave its top honor, the Golden Rooster Award, to Richard and Kathy Zacky of Zacky Farms, a turkey company based in Fresno. The Allied Award went to Evans Keller, a Fresno-based consultant on poultry marketing.

The 46th annual Good Egg Breakfast is set for 7 a.m. Oct. 9 at the DoubleTree Hotel, 1150 Ninth St. The event will include presentation of the Good Egg Award to a yet-to-be-named contributor to the poultry industry. The guest speaker will be Richard Matteis, administrator of the California Farm Bureau Federation. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. They are available from the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, 522-7278. It is sponsoring the breakfast with the California Poultry Federation, the Mo- desto Chamber of Commerce, and the Pacific Egg and Poultry Association.

Children in third- through eighth-grades can help tell the story of farming through a contest sponsored by the California Foundation for Agriculture in the classroom. The contest, named Imagine This, is for factual or fictional stories that show the state's farming in a positive light. The entry deadline is Nov. 1. The six top stories statewide, one from each grade, will be published in a book illustrated by high school art students. The winning authors, along with their teachers and parents, will win a trip to the Sacramento award ceremony in March. The judges also will name 48 regional winners. Entry forms are at

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