2018 Recipient – Dr. Marit Arana, PhD., P.A.S.

Dr. Arana was instrumental developing, planning, and implementing the Champion Challenge, the CA State Fair’s Learning Laboratory. The Champion Challenge tests youth exhibitors’ eligible knowledge about their animals in the small or large animal livestock competition. Dr. Arana began her support of the California State Fair as the Dairy Cattle Superintendent in 1995. She has always been a strong advocate on behalf of all agriculture at the CA State Fair, including her support of the Sale of Champions, the Farm, the Gala, the Youth Scholarship Program and the CA State Fair Agricultural Advisory Council, where she has served as a since 2015.

Dr. Arana has been an animal nutritionist for A.L. Gilbert Co. since 2003. She graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a B.S. in Animal Science in 1986. She continued her education at CSF, Fresno and earned a Master’s Degree in Agriculture & Animal Science in 1989, followed by a PhD in Animal Nutrition from the University of Arizona in 1994.

Prior to her career at A.L. Gilbert, Dr. Arana served as the Area Dairy Advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension from 1995-2003. She has been a member of the CDFA Feed Inspection Advisory Board since 2013; San Joaquin Chapter President and member of the California Women for Agriculture; past president and member of the California Chapter of the American Registry of Professional Animal and Scientists (ARPAS).

Past Recipients

2017 – Chris Zanobini
2016 – Judy Culbertson
2015 – Judy King Barkett
2014 – Harold Petersen
2014 – Patsy Gilbert
2013 – Tomme Jo Dale
2013 – Michael H. Bradley
2010 – Blue Diamond Growers
2010 – Sacramento County U.C. Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program
2009 – Solano County State Fair Exhibit Team
2008 – University of California, Davis
2007 – Dr. Robert Dowell
2006 – Richard Breitmeyer
2005 – Wendy Hall
2004 – Marden Wilber & JoAnn Switzer
2003 – Mr. Jim Reeves
2002 – Leon Adams
2001 – Mr. William “Bill” Silveria
2000 – Edward “Ed” Leal
1999 – Gina Gallo & Leonard Bianchi
1998 – Len Richardson
1997 – Martin Boyle
1996 – Gail Kautz
1995 – Edwin Genasci
1994 – Abbie Nelson
1993 – Claudia Frost Bist