Four members of the Borba family, longtime leaders in Central Valley agriculture, will be honored at the Ag One Community Salute on Friday, July 14, at the Fresno Convention Center Exhibit Hall.

The event’s 18th edition is the first to honor a family and will spotlight third-generation member Tina Borba and her sons, Ross, Jr. and Mark, as well as Mark’s wife Peggy Brown-Borba.

​Tina served as a partner and bookkeeper in the early operations of Borba Farms. Ross Jr. provides legal and accounting advice while Mark and Peggy oversee operations and provide guidance to the fifth generation, their son Derek and his wife Jennifer, who operate the farming and custom farm management operation.

The J.R. Simplot Company, a privately-held international agribusiness firm headquartered in Boise, Idaho, is the naming sponsor for the event that starts with a social at 6 p.m.

Community Medical Centers, which operates four local hospitals and several other health care facilities, is the sponsor for the dinner that starts at 7 p.m.

“The Borba name is a recognized leader in the agricultural industry throughout California and beyond,” said Peter Niboli, J.R. Simplot California retail director. “The family shares a continued passion for progressive and sustainable farming practices, optimized water rights usage and analysis and education outreach. It is a privilege to salute the Borba family, and we look forward to many more years of working together to meet the needs of a growing world population.”

Proceeds will benefit the Ag One Ross Borba, Sr. Family Endowment established in 1990, which supports deserving Fresno State students pursuing Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology degrees.

Borba Farms, Inc. was established in 1976, yet the operation’s Central Valley roots date back to the early 1900s. A.J. Borba, an immigrant from the Azores, started the family’s first farm near Hardwick with 40 cows and 120 acres while becoming an advocate for area agriculture. Subsequent generations oversaw a move to Riverdale in the 1940s as it evolved into a Westside row crop leader and expanded to 23,000 acres.

Today, almond orchards comprise a third of their 9,000-acre operation that also grows tomatoes, garlic, melons, lettuce, wheat and cotton. Its diversified operation also includes the Rancho Vista del Rio horse ranch on the San Joaquin River near Fresno that hosts the Ag Boosters BBQ, Ag One’s largest annual outreach event held in partnership with California Women for Agriculture.

The family has long advocated for area water, marketing and political issues, as well as supporting hospitals, medical teaching programs and the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation.

“We sincerely thank the Borba family for all their support in helping students realize their goals of obtaining a college degree,” said Dr. Sandra Witte, dean of the Jordan College. “Their family has emphasized the importance of higher education for generations and the shared belief that it can bring people together toward creating a stronger, healthier community.”

Six types of event sponsorships range from $500 to $25,000 that include tickets and recognition in the event program. Tickets are $125 per person.

Past honorees include Antonio “Tony” Campos (2015), Phil Larson (2014), Stewart Resnick (2012), Ed Baloian (2010), 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, which started in 1979, encompasses over 100 named funds totaling more than $19.5 million and will provide nearly $600,000 to deserving students and programs in 2016-17.

Event sponsor J.R. Simplot Company oversees mining, fertilizer, farming, ranching and food processing divisions that market products in more than 40 countries. The company supports 4R nutrient stewardship principles – using the right source of fertilizer at the right rate at the right time and in the right place – which are the cornerstone of its mission of “Bringing Earth’s Resources to Life.”

For more event information, contact 559.278.4266 or g0 online.
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