John P. “Phil” Larson, a lifelong farmer, community leader and Fresno State alumnus, will be the 2014 honoree at the Ag One Community Salute, March 14 at the Fresno Convention Center, Exhibit Hall.

“Phil was selected because of his well-known passion for Valley agriculture and education. As an ex-Marine and Korean War veteran, he has been a champion of service to his community,” said Ryan Jacobsen, Ag One president.

Larson was elected to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors to represent District One in November 2002 and was reelected in 2006 and 2010. Larson will complete his third and final term on the Board of Supervisors in 2014.

Proceeds from the $125-per person fundraiser will establish an endowment in Larson’s name to support deserving students in the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.

“I commend the Ag One Foundation for bestowing its Community Salute distinction on Phil Larson,” said Dr. Charles Boyer, dean of the Jordan College. “His statewide leadership on agricultural issues and expertise on water have had a lasting impacting on the Central Valley.”

Larson’s distinguished career includes leadership positions in the agriculture and business community. He was president of the Fresno County Farm Bureau and served as the State Director, California Farm Bureau District 7.

From 1962 to 2000, Larson worked for Wilbur-Ellis Company, an international marketer and distributor of agricultural products, animal feed and specialty chemicals and ingredients. Wilbur-Ellis has signed on as naming sponsor of the Community Salute.

“Phil was instrumental in developing the west side of Fresno County from the time the California Aqueduct was installed,” said John Thacher, president and CEO of Wilbur-Ellis. “His dedication to agriculture and water supply issues shows that he is a true steward of his community, not to mention the support he has for Ag One and Fresno State.”

Past Ag One Foundation Community Salute honorees include Stewart Resnick (2012), Fred R. Ruiz (2007), Jack Woolf (2006), Virgil E. Rasmussen (2005), Fred Machado (2003), Bill Jones (2003), Sid Cox (2001), Rodger B. Jensen (1999), Vernon Conrad (1996), Vince Petrucci (1994), Harry Kubo (1991), Dick Markarian (1990), Joe Souza (1988) and Fred Rau (1987).

The Ag One Foundation, begun in 1979, encompasses 100 named funds totaling approximately $16 million that provide approximately $500,000 annually to deserving students and programs.

For more information about the event and sponsorship opportunities contact the Ag One/Jordan College Development Office at 559.278.4266

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