Local philanthropists and long-time supporters of farmland protection, Jeani and John Ferrari, were honored by California Farmland Trust (CFT) as the 2021 Vance Kennedy Award recipients.
The Vance Kennedy Award was established in 2014 in honor of Dr. Vance Kennedy, a founding member of CFT, because of his extraordinary contributions and efforts to the organization. Recipients of this prestigious award demonstrate significant commitment and dedication to furthering the protection of farmland in our most valuable regions. The Ferraris are the third recipients to receive the Vance Kennedy Award.
“Being recognized by California Farmland Trust, an organization we hold in the highest regard, is a meaningful recognition,” John said. “CFT does the work that our region desperately needs, protecting our most important farmland for the long-term. It’s an esteemed award and Jeani and I are honored.”
As second-generation growers of sweet potatoes, almonds, walnuts, and peaches, Jeani and John’s passion and dedication to agriculture and farmland protection runs deep through Stanislaus and Merced counties. In addition, the Ferraris almond orchard is home to the first agricultural conservation easement enacted by Central Valley Farmland Trust (CVFT), now CFT, and Jeani served as a founding CVFT board member.
Jeani and John exemplify community engagement, spanning from the Farmland Working Group that Jeani spearheads to inform the public about land use policies, to the “new” Turlock and CSU Stanislaus libraries, and the arts including the Carnegie Arts Center. John served on the Emanuel Medical Center’s foundation board and fundraising committees in support of the Cancer Center and Cardiovascular Operating Suites, where his dedication throughout the planning and fundraising process was invaluable.
“The contributions Jeani and John have made since CVFT’s inception and within our communities are extremely worthy of recognition, and the Vance Kennedy Award is especially fitting,” said Charlotte Mitchell, executive director at California Farmland Trust. “We are honored and thankful to work with such amazing community supporters and farmland protection advocates.”