Grower-Shipper Association Honors Dennis Caprara Posthumously With E.E. ‘Gene’ Harden Award; Christopher Valadez Comments
SALINAS, CA - This past Friday, October 7, the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California (GSA) hosted its Fall Recognition Event. During the event, the organization posthumously awarded Dennis Caprara with the E.E. ‘Gene’ Harden Lifetime Achievement Award. Presented to Caprara’s wife, Janice, and the Caprara family, the award recognized his extraordinary contribution and lasting legacy benefitting Central Coast agriculture.
Over the years, Caprara received many honors and awards, including the CSUMB Distinguished Fellow-Ag Businessman of the Year, Salinas Area Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Leadership Award, and Future Farmers of America Honorary Chapter Farmer. He started RC Farms in 1971 with Sonny Rianda and RC Packing in 1986. Caprara was a past Chairman of GSA as well as past Director of the Salinas Valley River Coalition, according to a press release.
He was also the President of the Monterey County Swiss Rifle Club, a proud supporter of 4-H and Future Farmers of America, and a member of the Salinas Valley Fair and Monterey County Fair Livestock Heritage Foundations.
GSA’s event was attended by over 300 people, and all proceeds raised from the luncheon benefited Salinas Valley Fair’s Heritage Foundation in Caprara’s memory.
“When I became president of GSA, Dennis was so generous in sharing his time and knowledge with me. He was always available whenever I needed advice, counsel, or to provide a historical perspective,” said Christopher Valadez, President. “The Salinas Valley just isn’t the same without him.”
Valadez continued, “It is hard to measure all of Dennis’ contributions to our region. He was a larger-than-life and beloved man whom many of us looked toward for guidance. We will always remember Dennis for his loyalty, tenacity, and fairness. He earned respect from all he encountered, and he gave respect and support in return. GSA is proud to remember and honor Dennis with the E.E. ‘Gene’ Harden Lifetime Achievement Award.”
We raise a glass to Dennis Caprara and his many integral contributions to the industry.