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The Santa Clara County Farm Bureau has selected the recipients of two annual awards that will be presented at its Family BBQ on Sept. 17 from 12:30-4:30pm at Kirigin Cellars in Gilroy.  

The 2023 George Chiala Farmer of the Year award will be presented to Louie and Judy Bonino.  The award is given annually to a grower or farming organization who has gone above and beyond to contribute to agriculture in Santa Clara County.  

The Boninos are being recognized for their long-term dedication to agriculture and the agricultural community. The family has been farming in Santa Clara County for more than 100 years, and the fifth generation of the family now works for the farming operation.

The 2023 Linda L. Lester Friend of Agriculture award will be presented to Andrea Mackenzie, general manager of the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. This award is given annually to an individual or organization who is not directly involved in production agriculture, but has done much for the local agricultural industry. 

Mackenzie has worked for multiple public land conservation agencies to preserve open space, farmland and biodiversity around the San Francisco Bay Region. She has focused her work on regional conservation policy, urban and regional planning, and conservation finance.

The event will feature a barbecue lunch, live music by the Alison Sharino Band, games for the family and more. To make reservations, visit and search for “Farm Bureau Family BBQ” in Gilroy.  

For information, contact Executive Director Jess Brown at 831.818.1193 or email the office at [email protected].

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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