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Alex Ferreira receives Placer Conservator Award

The Placer County Board of Supervisors recently honored a local agricultural organization, in addition to honoring a long-time resident with the Placer Conservator Award. The Board bestowed these honors during its regularly scheduled meeting held in Auburn.

The Board approved and presented a Proclamation declaring the third Friday of November as the start of the mandarin season. The Board also encouraged all citizens to support the local Mountain Mandarin Growers Association farmers by purchasing locally grown mandarins at the Mandarin Festival, farmers markets or by visiting member orchards.

In presenting the Proclamation, Supervisor Jim Holmes commented on the historical, cultural and economic importance of locally grown agriculture and singled out the Satsuma mandarins for not only being a sweet and healthy food, but also being considered a super food for their high doses of vitamin C and synephrine. Mountain Mandarin Growers Association members have been growing mandarins for more than 50 years in the fertile soil of Placer County. The Association's primary goal is to provide quality mandarins and expand markets to support local agriculture. Placer County's local agricultural production is a significant part of the local economy, accounting for $65,000,000 in gross sales.

The Board also honored Alex Ferreira for his work on behalf of agriculture, farmers, and the citizens of Placer County, recognizing him as this year's recipient of the Placer Land Trust's 2012 Placer Conservator Award.

Ferreira, a lifelong Placer County resident, has served as an elected official in Placer County for more than 40 years, as a director of the Nevada Irrigation District, a six-term member of the Placer County Board of Supervisors, and is currently serving his fourth term on the Placer County Water Agency. He is also a long-time member of the Placer County Farm Bureau and a board member of the Wildlife Heritage Foundation.

He has long advocated that agriculture should play a role in the future of Placer County's landscape, culture and economy during a time when development seemed the inevitable end for most agricultural land. He has helped protect and expand agricultural markets by supporting farmers' ability to sell directly from their properties and being instrumental in the creation of farmers markets in Placer County.

Placer Land Trust presents the Placer Conservator Award each year to an individual or organization which enriches the quality of life in Placer County through resource conservation. Ferreira was awarded the Conservator Award for embodying this spirit. He was a farmer before he was a politician, maintaining a dairy, vineyard and winery, but it was through his position as an elected official that he made a significant contribution towards protecting Placer County's open space, particularly agricultural lands.

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