Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012 12:00 PM
Hastings: Agriculture is the 'lifeblood of our economy'
By ERICK PETERSON
For the Capital Press
The Mid-Columbia Agriculture Hall of Fame has announced its 2013 inductees -- Donald A. Cresswell, Ramona Rommereim, Scott and Lori Hayles, and Alex McGregor.
The Pasco Chamber of Commerce will honor them at a gala on Jan. 17.
Colin Hastings, executive director of the chamber, said that it is only right that everyone recognizes the region's farming heroes, past and present.
Farming is the "lifeblood of our economy," he said. The area has prospered and grown to be globally important because of agriculture.
This would not be possible if not for hardworking and ingenious men and women, he said.
"It's a great way to recognize the efforts of people who helped this industry," Hastings said of the Hall of Fame. He also said that every one of the new inductees are worthy of the highest praise.
Cresswell is the recipient of the Pioneer Award and was named for his "significant influence on the development of agriculture" and selflessness in serving his community.
He served as a USDA manager for Franklin County during the 1940s and 1950s and was a founder and vice president of the National Grape Cooperative.
Cresswell, who was born in 1905 and died in 1968, left behind family members who are grateful for this award.
"My brothers and I consider it a great honor to have our dad join so many other pioneers of local agriculture who are already in the Ag Hall of Fame," said Dennis Cresswell, owner of Mid-Columbia Newspaper Publishers. "We will gladly receive this award on behalf of our dad."
Ramona Rommereim was named winner of the Agriculture Mentor Leadership Award, given to people who "influenced young people through their leadership, guidance and community involvement" in agriculture.
For over 25 years, Rommereim served young people through her involvement in 4-H and other organizations. She was also a leader in the Franklin County Farm Bureau, the Washington State Farm Labor Association and the Franklin County Fire District.
The year's inductee as Young Agribusiness Man or Woman goes to married couple Scott and Lori Hayles, who are honored for their involvement in the community and for enhancing "agribusiness through leadership or technology development."
McGregor was selected as 2013's Visionary Award winner for his "extraordinary impact on agriculture" in the region. He is the president and chief executive officer of the McGregor Co., a fertilizer and farm supply firm with 42 outlets in Washington, Idaho and Oregon.
The Jan. 17 gala to honor these people starts at 6 p.m. at the Pasco Red Lion. For tickets, call the Pasco chamber 509-547-9755.