Agriculturalist and Ag Business of the Year Announced

Oct 09, 2013 No Comments by

FRESNO – The Fresno Chamber of Commerce and Baker, Peterson & Franklin, CPA, LLP announced the Agriculturalist and Ag Business of the Year this morning at The Big Fresno Fair.

Phil Larson

The 2013 Agriculturalist of the Year is Supervisor John P. “Phil” Larson of the Fresno County board of supervisors, a lifelong resident and farmer in Fresno County.  Larson worked for the Wilbur Ellis Company from 1962 – 2000, and was a founding member of the Fresno County Chapter of California Association of Pest Control Advisors.  He is a past president of the Fresno County Farm Bureau, and has served as the state director of California Farm Bureau District 7 as well as the Fresno Chamber of Commerce.  Larson has called the family farm home since 1942.

When acknowledging his award, Larson referred to a poem.

“The poem says, on the eighth day, God created a farmer,” Larson said.  “And every day I’m honored to be that.”

The Ag Business of the Year also has strong ties to the local agricultural community.  Gar Tootelian, Inc. was established in 1949 and is one of California’s oldest and largest independent agricultural chemical and fertilizer retailers.  It serves over 1,400 growers from Madera to Kern County.  All throughout its history, Gar has kept the same location, address and phone number.  Last year, the company completed a five-acre expansion that included new offices.  It is now in a phase of building a million gallon tank farm for fertilizer blending and storage.  In 2014, it will finish a 60,000 square foot warehouse to store package products.

In 2003, the company established the Gar & Esther Tootelian Foundation, which has granted more than $2 million to local colleges, high schools and FFAs.

“Our roots are planted very deeply here in the Central Valley, and we try to show our appreciation every day by giving back to our community,” said Gar Tootelian, Inc. partner Karen Musson.

The 2013 awards recipients will be honored at the Fresno Chamber of Commerce’s Ag Awards Luncheon, coming to the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center on Nov. 13.  Tickets can be purchased by contacting Angela Vasquez of the Fresno Chamber at (559) 495-4825.

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