(Santa Rosa, CA) – Steve Dutton, a fifth generation Sonoma County farmer growing apple and winegrapes in Graton, is the new president of Sonoma County Farm Bureau, the county’s oldest, largest and most influential agricultural organization.
Dutton succeeds John Azevedo, a Sonoma County grapegrower, as President of Sonoma County Farm Bureau. Azevedo will continue to serve on the Farm Bureau board of directors.
Other officers are Jeff Carlton, vineyard manager at Dutton Ranch, first vice president; Jennifer Beretta, a fourth generation dairy farmer from Santa Rosa, second vice president; and John Bidia, vineyard manager for Korbel in Guerneville, Treasurer.
Dutton’s family has been farming in Sonoma County since the late 1800’s originally growing more than 20,000 prune trees on what is now Dutton Avenue in Santa Rosa. Dutton is a co-owner of Dutton Ranch alongside his brother Joe, a business started by their late father Warren Dutton in the 1960’s. Currently, they farm 1,400 acres – 200 acres of apples and 1,200 acres of winegrapes.
Dutton is also a partner in Dutton-Goldfield Winery with winemaker Dan Goldfield. The Sebastopol winery primarily produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Dutton has served on the Sonoma County Farm Bureau board for 13 years where he has held both offices of First Vice President and Second Vice President. For the last four years, Dutton chaired the membership committee, working hard to maintain Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s status as the largest agricultural association in the county.
Dutton has also served on the boards of the Russian River Valley Winegrowers and Sonoma County Farm Trails, and he is currently President of the Russian River Valley Winegrowers Foundation. In addition to his agricultural involvement, Dutton is on the board of Exchange Bank.
Dutton and his wife Theresa were married in 1993 and have two children. Jake and Jordan are both 19 attending Santa Rosa Junior College and UC Davis, respectively, studying in agricultural fields.
“It’s important to me to keep Sonoma County as open space,” said Dutton. “It’s important to protect agriculture and protect the right to farm. Farm Bureau is the only entity fighting for property rights, farming rights, water rights and to protect agriculture in Sonoma County while representing all agriculture.”
Sonoma County Farm Bureau, a non-profit grassroots organization, was founded in 1917 and has been representing the interests of farmers and land owners in Sonoma County for 100 years.