The prestigious 2017 California Cultivator Award was presented to Clinton Shick, past chairman of Blue Diamond Growers, on March 9th during Ag Council’s 98th Annual Meeting in Carlsbad, California.
“During Clinton’s tenure as vice chair and chair, Blue Diamond’s growth catapulted,” said Emily Rooney, president of Ag Council. “Clinton helped lead the cooperative into an era where they handled more almonds than ever before. That growth was fueled by the development of several innovative marketing initiatives, including the development of a new plant in Turlock, and the expansion of the Almond Innovation Center in Sacramento.”
Shick is a third generation farmer from Kern County, growing several hundred acres of almonds and also operating a farm management business devoted to almonds, walnuts and cherries. A past president of the Kern County Farm Bureau and current member of the Central Valley Almond Association, a cooperative huller/sheller, Clinton began his professional career after graduating from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a degree in Farm Management, and a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics at University of California, Davis.
“His impeccable character represented Blue Diamond well to our industry, employees, customers and grower-owners,” said Dan Cummings, current Blue Diamond Chairman of the Board. “Clinton had a thoughtful way of drawing out others’ input on the Board while also sharing his sage insights. He was instrumental in the recruitment of our current CEO and this may very well be his most lasting legacy to Blue Diamond Growers.”
Shick was first elected to the Blue Diamond Growers Board of Directors in 1983, served as vice chair for 16 years and as chairman of the board from 2006 to 2014. He was formally honored by his peers during lunch on March 9th at Ag Council’s annual meeting.
As background, the purpose of the California Cultivator Award is to publicly recognize and honor one who clearly has made significant contributions to agriculture or has demonstrated leadership and personal commitment beyond the normal expectations of a person serving the farmer-owned business sector.