Directors at Large
Former president of the SLO County Farm Bureau (1995-1997), Steve Arnold has served as a Farm Bureau director since 1989. He and his wife, Debbie, own and operate Pozo Valley Vineyard. The family vineyard produced its first harvest in 1998 with varietals including Merlot, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Arnolds also manage a commercial cow/calf herd at the ranch. Steve is a Class 20 graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership program. Steve was selected as the Agriculturist of the Year in 1999.
Third-generation viticulturalist, Steve Carter is the vineyard manager of J. Lohr Vineyards in SLO County. Arriving in Paso Robles in 1989, Steve went to work for Jerry Lohr, and today oversees 740 acres primarily planted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other red varietals. He also manages his own 100-acre vineyard contiguous to the J. Lohr vineyard, consisting of Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah. He has served as a Farm Bureau director since 2001.
Don Clark - Rural Health & Safety Director
A SLO County Farm Bureau Director since 1991, Don Clark is a resident of Creston where he owns and operates D. Clark Trucking. He and his wife, Lorraine, run a commercial Angus cross cow/calf operation and grow hay at their farm in Creston. Don and his wife Lorriane recieved the Freddy of the year award in 2006.
Lifelong Edna Valley resident, Chris Darway is a fourth-generation native of San Luis Obispo County. A former president of SLO Co. Farm Bureau (1997-1999), he first became involved in the organization in 1976, when elected to serve as Edna Farm Center. Chris later joined the Farm Bureau Board of Directors in 1983. Chris is a Class 25 graduate and Region Two District Director of the California Agricultural Leadership Program. Most recently, at Cattlemen and Farmers Day 06, Chris received the Agriculturalist of the Year Award.
Fifth-generation native of San Luis Obispo County and a Farm Bureau member since 1987, Kate Loftus is a lifelong cattle rancher and a fifth-generation agriculturalist from the Central Coast. For the past 25 years, Kate has been involved in preserving and promoting the history of the Santa Margarita Ranch, along with extensive research into the ranch's history. The Santa Margarita Ranch has become a premiere destination for all types of events.
A director at large since 2001, cattle rancher Hugh Pitts is a former SLO Co. Farm Bureau president (1999-2001) and a native Texan. He and his wife, Leslie, run a cow/calf operation at their home on Chimney Rock Ranch in the Adelaida area. Hugh stepped into Farm Bureau involvement back in the late 1980s as chairman of the Adelaida Farm Center.
A Cal Poly graduate, Megan Silcott earned her degree in Agricultural Science with minors in Ag Business, Ag Communications and Spanish. Having grown up in east Santa Maria, Silcott always has been surrounded by row crops, vineyards, horses and cattle. She and her husband, Dean, are involved with the Young Farmers and Ranchers program. Silcott currently is the Brock Center for Agriculture Communications Director at Cal Poly; she assists the Western Bonanza Junior Livestock Show program; and she works with agriculture’s enthusiastic students who develop the Ag Circle magazine and helps students prepare to take on industry challenges.
Nipomo avocado grower Bill Struble has been a Farm Bureau Director since 1992. Bill and his wife Laurie own and operate Erwin Farms and Nursery, a family-operated avocado farm located on their home ranch on the Nipomo Mesa. The family sells their produce to packing houses in Oxnard and San Diego.
Former president of SLO Co. Farm Bureau (1977-1979), Don currently raises Angus beef cattle, and grows a variety of vegetables. His ag operations are integrated both on his own Highland Ranch, plus additional leased property within the Los Osos Valley area. Don currently serves as a representative on a number of local organizations and is a member of the College Advisory Council at Cal Poly. Don was the very first recipient of the Agriculturalist of the Year award in 1988.
A fourth-generation farmer from Modesto, Luke worked from a young age on his family's ranch where they grew walnuts, almonds, alfalfa, oats and corn. He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as an Agriculture Systems Management major in 2011 and returned to his family's Modesto ranch to continue farming. Soon after, he married college sweetheart, Olivia, whom he met through their fathers' involvement in Farm Bureau. The couple moved to Olivia's hometown of Paso Robles at the end of 2012 to pursue their own agricultural endeavors. They recently planted an eight-acre, dryland wine grape vineyard with hopes to make wine in the future.