Union Democrat staff

Agriculturist of the Year

The California State Fair Board of Directors chose Robert "Bob" Gilbert to be its California State Fair Agriculturalist of the Year, an award that recognizes outstanding leadership in agricultural finance, government, production agriculture, education, labor, research, communications, trade and or public service.

He will be presented this award at the California State Fair Gala and Auction on July 8.

A native of Oakdale, Gilbert is the chairman of the A.L. Gilbert Company board of directors, a company established by his father, A.L. Gilbert, 118 years ago.

He graduated from University of California, Berkeley with an agricultural economics degree and was an officer aboard the U.S.S. Guam during World War II.

After the war, he began traveling throughout California studying soil conditions with Earl Storie, author of the "Storie Soils Index." The knowledge Mr. Gilbert gathered during this project helped farmers grow more than 150 crops.

For more information call 916-263-3237.

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