be on the Board of Western Growers through the years.” “The Central Valley has much to be proud of and Carol Chandler is at the top of that list,” said President & CEO of Woolf Farming and Processing Stuart Woolf, who will be emceeing the Award of Honor presentation to Chandler at the 2021 Annual Meeting. “She’s a wonderful person, leader and great friend to many. Carol’s sharp mind, strong core values and eternal optimism make her a perfect role model. I am very proud to call her my friend.” Chandler’s initial impetus to get into agricultural advocacy came from how the issues she saw living on her family’s farm differed from the way those concerns were perceived outside the industry. Chandler is a partner of the operation founded by W.F. Chandler in the 1880s and grows grapes, peaches, plums, nectarines and almonds. “As I became more involved in our farm, I saw that labor was a huge issue,” she said. “The UFW was being very forceful. And we all felt that there was another side to the story—and who better to tell it than those of us who lived and worked on the farm?” The dedication to telling the true story of what was happening on the ground in agriculture lead to Chandler’s involvement in advocacy at the state, local and national levels. Besides serving on the board of Western Growers—including her current tenure as Treasurer—she is a member of the Central Valley Community Foundation, and previously served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Advisory Committee on Emerging Markets, the California Grape & Tree Fruit League and the Fresno County Fair Board.

How does she, frankly, find the time to do all this and help run a family farm? For Chandler, the two dedications are interchangeable—and she even admitted she has time for an occasional round of golf. “Our business is a partnership,” she said. “I think that the main thing is keeping everybody in the family involved, and communicating the issues with everybody. It’s easy for us because we all live close by. I think that it makes it more difficult when family members are not close by and maybe just have a financial interest. What's really important is keeping everybody up to date on what's happening financially, culturally and with everything to do with farming. I also think that getting everybody involved in advocacy is good as well.” A throughline in her years of service remains education: she was chair of the President’s Water Task Force for California State University at Fresno, serves on the University of California President’s Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources, and held positions with the University of California Board of Regents, the California State University Board of Trustees and the Fresno State Board of Governors. “Being an educator, I don't think that you ever stop learning and you never reach the point when you just sit back and say, ‘I'm done.’ Because there's so much more out there,” she said. But education isn’t the only key for those looking to get involved in the agriculture industry, she said. It also requires a dedication to first-person experience. Knowing the theoretical aspects of ag is all well and good, according to Chandler, but it is critical to get out there and get your hands dirty. “I think if I didn’t live here and see what was happening day-to-day, it would be a little more difficult to see what goes on and be part of it—despite the dust from the almond harvest,” she joked. Of course, she wants to see more women get involved in the industry. Thanks to her participation in WG



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