Ag One Community Salute to honor Borba family
Four members of the Borba family were honored at the Ag One Community Salute, an event that raised $850,000 for student and program support for the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.
Proceeds from the event on July 14 at the Fresno Convention Center included support from sponsors and ticket sales towards the Ag One – Ross Borba, Sr. Family endowment.
The event’s 18th edition was the first to honor a family and spotlighted third-generation member Tina Borba and her sons Ross, Jr., Mark and his wife Peggy Brown-Borba. The audience of nearly 900 people, which included family, friends, industry members and Fresno State officials, recognized them for their area agricultural industry leadership and health and education philanthropy
“The honor bestowed on our family is one that we will cherish forever,” said Mark Borba, “and we are pleased for it to have been the catalyst for scholarships that will help students expand their knowledge and employable skills. Ag families in the Central Valley are so generous, and it speaks loudly to their appreciation that Fresno State and the Jordan College are priceless assets that benefit the community as a whole.”
Fresno State president Joseph I. Castro, Jordan College Dean Sandra Witte, Borba scholarship recipient and viticulture and enology sophomore Dianna Vazquez-Rosas; recent Ag One presidents John Migliazzo and Debbie Raven; family friends Tony Mendes, Stuart Woolf and Alan Autry; and master of ceremonies George Soares.
The family was also presented with a painting of Tina and her late husband Ross Borba, Sr., that was created by David Hembree, Fresno State director of student affairs and enrollment management.
The event was capped by Alcidia Freitas Gomes, Ag One Executive Director and Fresno State senior development director, who revealed the amount raised and thanked the audience for its transformational support.
“The Jordan College is so fortunate to have the Borba Family's commitment to supporting the next generation of agriculture industry and community leaders,” said Dr. Sandra Witte, dean of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. “It was such a wonderful evening for such a deserving family.”
Borba Farms, Inc. was established in 1976, but its Central Valley roots date back to the early 1900s when A.J. Borba started a family dairy near Hardwick with 40 cows and 120 acres, then moved it to Riverdale in the 1940s. Today’s 9,000-acre operation grows almonds, tomatoes, garlic, melons, lettuce, wheat and cotton and the Rancho Vista del Rio horse ranch near Fresno.
Since 1987, the Community Salute has honored extraordinary individuals for their devoted service to California agriculture as well as their unwavering commitment to the community.
Past honorees include Antonio “Tony” Campos (2015), John P. “Phil” Larson (2014), Stewart Resnick (2012), Ed Baloian (2010), Fred R. Ruiz (2007), Jack Woolf (2006), Virgil E. Rasmussen (2005), Fernando C. “Fred” Machado (2003), Bill Jones (2003), Sidney B. “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 2017-18.
For more information on Ag One, contact 559.278.4266 or online.