Executive Director Julia Berry has been an excellent leader for the Madera County Farm Bureau for seven years. So, with mixed emotions, I must inform you that Julia has accepted a position with Assemblyman Bill Berryhill as his Chief of Staff and will be leaving our organization in early September 2011.
Julia’s management skills during her tenure at the MCFB have been outstanding. Not only has she effectively guided MCFB’s executive committee, board of directors, and membership, she has steered the political, social, and environmental elements of Madera County to fully appreciate our number one commodity—agriculture. Going beyond her job description, Julia also has been very active in many outside organizations that represent our livelihood, including being a director of the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition and being on the board of the Madera County Fair. Julia’s leadership in all of these areas (and more) has made her the ‘go-to’ person for local and national media when it comes to agricultural issues in the Valley.
Best of luck, Julia, and a big “THANK YOU” from all of us for everything that you have done!
Listing her job duties and volunteer positions does little justice to what Julia really brings to the table. For example, I have been amazed over the past three years to watch Julia lead, educate and motivate the people of Madera about the high-speed rail project. Seeing her at meetings dealing with this controversial issue was a sight to behold. Not only were her public comments to the point, but watching her shaking the ‘right’ hand, having a short discussion with the appropriate person, and then seeing the events unfold in favor of agriculture were always worth the price of admission.
Julia’s stewardship of the MCFB’s two biggest yearly events cannot go without mention either. Our Agricultural Issues Conference, held annually in February, has become a premier event in Central California, bringing in leaders from throughout California to discuss critical impacts to farming. And our May wine tasting extravaganza has become a ‘must attend’ affair, not only providing a fantastic time for attendees but generating greatly needed funds to enable local students to further their education as they become the next generation of Madera County farmers.
I am very excited for Julia as she steps up to meet the challenges of her new position. Despite feeling a twinge of sadness about her departure, I know she will continue to be a great asset to agriculture in Madera County and all of California. Best of luck, Julia, and a big “THANK YOU” from all of us for everything that you have done!