2017 Award Winners
Every year the Sonoma County Fair and the Western Fair Association are proud to recognize those individuals within our community that make an impact. The recipients have shown support to the Fair and local communities through their knowledge, phlianthropy and accomplishments.
The Western Fair Association's Blue Ribbon Award
The Western Fair Association's Blue Ribbon Award recognizes those individuals or groups who have provided outstanding support to the Fair industry. Honorees are often volunteers, sponsors or educators.
PG&E has been involved with the Fair in one way or another throughout a long and treasured history…. be it as a power provider, exhibitor, and this year as a major sponsor of the Director’s Patio. Before the Fair each year, PG&E crews come out to perform a courtesy check of the Fair’s electrical facilities. These hard-working men and women make sure everything from the Ferris wheel to the cotton candy machines to the lighting in the livestock facilities has the power needed to work without a hitch.
PG&E also plays an active role during the Fair—providing an exhibitor to present an electrical safety demonstration for Fair guests and information for agricultural customers.
As a Patio Sponsor, PG&E is credited with highlighting and preserving Sonoma County’s agricultural roots. Upon learning of this award, the folks at PG&E expressed the joy they’ve had as a sponsor over the years.
Terry is newly retired from his longtime position as chief marketing officer and senior vice president of American Ag Credit, a company he worked with for 40 years. During his tenure, Terry played a key role in growing American Ag Credit from a hometown farm lending agency to one of the largest Farm Credit Associations in the nation. He also played an invaluable role in shaping the North Bay agricultural industry as we know it today.
For decades, Terry has generously invested time and resources to promote agricultural education programs and fair activities, such as Sweet Lil's Farm and Farmer's Day. He has positively impacted many generations of youth with his tremendous support of the fair's junior livestock auctions. Most recently, Terry has been a champion for the Sonoma County Fair Foundation, playing a pivotal role in the fundraising campaign for Saralee and Richard's Barn.
Charlie Hawkes of Sebastopol has a knack for uncovering and molding great potential—whether that’s discovering underground water or leading youngsters down healthy pathways. Hawkes is a leader in California’s water well industry and a talented water witcher/dowser. But when he’s not tapping into great sources of water, he’s a dedicated proponent for Sonoma County agriculture—bringing forth the promise of its young, future leaders.
Hawkes graduated from Analy High School and attended Santa Rosa Junior College where he studied Ag Business, played football and judged livestock. He started his career in the drilling business in 1972 and went on to become a leader in the industry. He served as president of the California Groundwater Association and established Sonoma County’s water well ordinance that’s still in place today. Throughout his career success, he remained close to what’s always served him well—family, athletics and the Sonoma County Fair. He spent many hours over the years camping in back at the Fair with his family and working with thousands of exhibitors—which were among the best times of his life.
Hall of Flowers Dedication
UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County
The Master Gardeners of Sonoma County are not only University of California trained and certified green-thumbs extraordinaire, they’re teachers, volunteers and nature lovers who year-after-year bring the sweet sights and smells of great abundance to the Fair and to our community.
Each year, the Master Gardener demonstration garden at the Sonoma County Fair is a core undertaking for the organization. It’s also one of the venues where the group makes the most contact with the public…typically engaging with several thousand people over the course of the Fair. The group’s garden theme always centers on sustainable gardening practices…showing just how beautiful a low water use, sustainable garden can be! Their garden is a must stop— always— just outside the Hall of Flowers if you want to learn about proper plant selection, water conservation and capture, composting, and integrated pest management. It’s also a real treat for the senses and a prime spot to simply relax and enjoy amid the bustle of the Fair.
Outstanding North Bay Rancher
Steward of the Land is a title well-deserved for Sam Dolcini. His farming roots in the Hicks Valley of Marin County date back to the 1850s, so you could say it’s in his DNA. From lessons on his family’s ranch…to the one-room school house he attended… to Boy Scouts, Sam learned a core message: To make the world better for those who come next. As a fifth generation rancher, Sam’s footprints reflect his family’s love for the land. He put himself through college, earned a degree in Agricultural Business and joined Sonoma-Marin Young Farmers and Ranchers—which he calls the ‘gateway’ to his career. When asked what he’s most proud of, Sam cites a fence he built under deadline (and the bet he won!)…working to preserve land so families can stay on their ranches…helping to start youth Ag scholarships… and inspiring people about agriculture.
Outstanding Dairy of the Year
The Sonoma County Fair and local dairymen present the honor in loving memory of Edward J. Maddalena. This year, the Sonoma County Fair is pleased to honor Mulas Dairy. Not a day goes by when the Chief’s kids don’t think about their dad. Mitch Mulas was a lifelong dairy farmer and volunteer fire chief. He and his brother Mario worked from sun up to sun down to build Mulas Dairy into a large and thriving business—from just a few dozen head to one of the county’s largest at the time.
Located off Highway 121, Mulas Dairy has 850 cows and produces a combination of organic and conventional milk. The Mulas ‘children’ were raised with farming as the foundation of their lives. They helped their dad, participated in 4-H and the Sonoma County Fair, and learned early on about responsibility, teamwork and leadership. Vicki says her dad always worked with integrity and had a passionate love for promoting and protecting the farming lifestyle. She says she and her siblings are now blessed to carry on that legacy and honored to be recognized for excellence…because it would make her father proud.
Award of Excellence in the Horse Industry
A gifted horse and business woman from early on, Nancie Carlson was young when she entered negotiations with her folks to trade her Brownie Camp money to buy a horse. Nancie was raised in the rural Oakland hills and has been in love with horses her whole life. She won that trade with her parents and from then on rode her horse, bareback, everywhere—even to school. Carlson spent her high school years working at a stable, leading rides and hay wagon parties. Each fall and spring, for over 30 years now, she’s worked on a ranch in Nevada to gather and process cattle. Throughout her life, she’s raised horses for breeding, pleasure and competition.
Nancie moved to Sonoma County in the early 1970s. She sold and repaired saddles and tack out of her home. By the ‘80s, she opened her successful Santa Rosa Saddlery. This led her to join a number of Ag programs and to become a leader among Sonoma County’s equine community. Over the years, Nancie has provided tireless support to the Sonoma County Horse Council, the Petaluma Riding and Driving Club, the Western Cow Horse Association and the Sonoma County Fair. She has volunteered for Farmers Day for 28 years and is this year’s Chairman of the Farmer’s Day Committee.
Miss Wine Country Rodeo
Katie’s skills in horsemanship and impromptu public speaking earned her the title. She receives a $500 scholarship, a commemorative belt buckle, and the privilege of representing Sonoma County Fair at events statewide. As the Fair’s Rodeo Queen, she’ll preside over the PRCA Rodeo, Farmers Day and other activities at the Sonoma County Fair this summer. Katie was only two days old when she joined her mother on horseback at the Grand National Rodeo in San Francisco. By the ripe old age of 5 she had already logged 80 hours with the American Quarter Horse Association Ride program.
Katie loves all disciplines of riding and most recently has been showing cutting horses, freshening up her roping skills, patterning her young barrel horses and showing reining horses. When she isn’t riding, Katie loves hiking, snowboarding, and welding! Her next goal is to enter the workforce as a medical assistant and eventually a nurse practitioner. Katie’s believes: “Good, Better, Best! Never let it rest until your good is better and better is best!” It’s a motto she brings with her as she looks forward to an exciting year as Wine Country Rodeo Queen.