Phil Larson Honored as Agriculturist of the Year
Gar Tootelian is Ag Business of the Year
By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor
Larson, a life-long Fresno County farmer, pest control advisor, 3-term Fresno County
Supervisor and major advocate for Fresno County Agriculture, became the 2013 Agriculturalist of the Year.
|Phil Larson, Agriculturist of the Year|
He was honored during a lunch
with more than 500 Valley Ag leaders, including past recipients of the award.
Larson’s distinguished career
had him facing off with Fish and Game in Washington D.C. and pressing ever
forward for common sense in the Endangered Species Act, which has had a very
negative and dramatic effect on both Central San Joaquin Federal water users and
altered water deliveries to Central Valley farms.
“Farming has always been in
my blood, but I went to college, joined the Marines and then came back to the
farm to work with my father. During his farming years, Larson met his wife of
54 years, Joyce, a special education teacher, who retired in 2000. They have a
son Tim, and a daughter Lisa, who are married with children.
While farming, Larson joined
the team of Wilbur Ellis Co. and consulted for 38 years with other farmers on
pest and disease control needs. He became a part of Farm Bureau, CAPCA and the
School Board. “With Farm Bureau, we traveled and visited State legislators and representatives
in Washington D.C. to talk about agriculture and the critical need for water.
“If we do not tell our story
then no one is going to know,” said Larson.
“I can honestly say that in all
my years with farming and Wilbur-Ellis, and as a County Supervisor, there has
never been a day that I did not want to go to work,” said Larson, who will soon
retire after serving out his current term as a County Supervisor. “When it’s
over with, it won’t be over with, because I am going to still be around,” he
|Karen Musson, Gar Tootelian|
Gar Tootelian Inc. was also
honored TODAY as the Baker, Peterson & Franklin Ag Business of the Year.
Established in 1949, the
company still prospers as one of California’s oldest and largest independent
agricultural chemical and fertilizer retailers. Second generation and family-owned,
it serves more than 1,400 growers from Madera to Kern County.
Partner Karen Musson, whose
parents started the business, produces daily spots for KMJ 580 Radio for
awareness of the value of agriculture. Today Musson and her husband Greg run
The Gar & Esther
Tootelian Charitable Foundation established in 2003 has granted more than $2
million to local colleges, high schools, and FFA.
The Foundation was
instrumental in establishing the recent Valley Farm at Fresno Chaffee Zoo.
| A Crowd Gathers for Award Lunch|
“I do not think my parents
could have had any idea, as they started that small business in their barn
behind our home, that we would be here today with so many employees and a $70
million business,” said Musson.
The event was presented by
the Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce, along with major sponsors Lyons (a
leader in Food Service); Fresno Equipment Co.; Baker, Peterson & Franklin,
CPA, LLP; Inland Star Distribution; and Wells Fargo Bank.
Labels: 2013 Agriculturalist of the year, and Karen Musson Gar Tootelian Honored in Fresno, Phil Larson