Three Recognized For Work
By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor
The Conservation Agricultural
Systems Innovation (CASI) Center’s honored three pioneers in conservation
tillage (CT) Thursday during the dinner portion of the popular Twilight Field Day at the UC Westside
Research and Education Center in Five Points.
was recognized for outstanding service to CASI for his truly exceptional
contributions that he has made to conservational agriculture in California,
noted Jeff Mitchell, a UC Davis cropping systems specialist and field day
Harben is the Project
Director at California Association of Resource Conservation Districts.
“Ron is responsible for our
strategic planning initiative, and very pivotal to the work we are doing in
conservation farming,” said Mitchell.
Ralph Cesena Sr.
received the CASI Industry Innovator Award. “This award is a means of providing
great visibility to conservation pioneers in California,” said Mitchell.
Cesena is president of Cesena
Distributing in Stockton. His contributions to the development and expansion of
conservation tillage go way back to the 1980s. “He painstakingly worked to
demonstrate and encourage farmers from
Yolo County to San Joaquin County to implement CT practices, including
no-till and ridge till planting, and high residue cultivation,” said Mitchell.
“During this very early era
of the introduction of CT approaches in California, Ralph literally stood by
himself as a true loan voice for a better way. He was unquestionably way ahead
of his time,” said Mitchell.
was recognized for the CT Farmer Innovator Award.
Ramos is the manager of the
Morning Star company’s Lucero Farms with operations in the central San Joaquin
Valley. “Ramos is responsible for the company’s farming operation and he is the
developer of efficient production paradigms for crop productivity and quality
for the largest processed tomato company in the world,” said Mitchell
Ramos has implemented a whole
host of conservation tillage practices on the farm over the past few years on
tomatoes, corn and cover crops. “His work is nothing short of phenomenal,” said
Ramos began a very ambitious
conservation tillage work at Morning Star in 2010, when he initiated a series
of demonstration evaluations involving the use of off-season cover crops,
coupled with minimum and strip-tilled management for tomato production.
“He also organized farm field
evaluations of different cover crops, different cover crop management, followed
by strip-tilled and minimum tillage in both Hollister and Madera, and invited
CASI workgroup members to see the work and evaluate the performance of these
approaches,” said Mitchell. “And he continued to improve the conservation tillage
In 2012 Ramos did something
that has never been done before in California. “He effectively doubled cropped
tomatoes and strip-tilled corn in the same field,” said Mitchell.
In 2013 Ramos made a positive
out of near failed wheat crop due to reduced water allocations. In that no-till
wheat residue he planted and irrigated up cotton on 60-inch beds that he rotates
tomatoes and wheat on in a field south of Dos Palos. “Currently he has a good
stand of cotton and has graciously hosted a no-till field event,” said Mitchell.
He is deserving of this high honor.”
Labels: CASI, Danny Ramos, Jeff Mitchell, Ralph Cesena Sr., Ron Haben, Twilight Field Day