Karen Ross, Neal Van Alfen, Mary-Ann Warmerdam, Ben Carter and Alex Ott were honored on Oct. 18 with leadership awards from the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation.
Ross and Van Alfen were presented with the 2012 Honorary Fellow Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated consistent commitment and uncommon excellence in the furtherance of education and leadership in California agriculture. Recipients are also dedicated and longtime supporters of the California Agricultural Leadership Program.
Ross is the secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. She has been involved with Ag Leadership for nearly 25 years, serving on the alumni board and the CALF board. Van Alfen is a professor of plant pathology at the University of California, Davis, and former dean of its College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. In his role as a CALF partner university dean, he served on the CALF board and on candidate screening committees.
Warmerdam, Carter and Ott were presented with the 2012 Profiles in Leadership Award. The award recognizes Ag Leadership Program alumni for their leadership actions resulting in the betterment of industry, community, business, government, education and/or the environment.
Warmerdam is the external regulatory affairs leader in the global stewardship and innovation division of the Clorox Company. She is a Class 17 alumna who was recognized for lifetime achievement in the agricultural industry and contributions to her community. Carter is the owner and operator of BENDEN Farms in Colusa. He is a Class 24 alumnus who was recognized for his leadership roles with the Central Valley Flood Protection Board and numerous other groups. Ott is the executive director of the California Apple Commission, California Blueberry Commission and California Olive Committee. He is a Class 37 alumnus who was recognized for his active volunteerism in his community and continued involvement with Ag Leadership.
CALF operates the Ag Leadership Program, which is considered to be one of the premier leadership development experiences in the United States. Since it was first delivered in 1970, nearly 1,200 men and women have participated in the program and have become influential leaders and active volunteers in agriculture, government, communities, business and education.