Welcome to San Benito County!

About Us

Mission Statement

The mission of the San Benito County Farm Bureau is to preserve and promote successful agriculture in San Benito County through education, leadership and service.

2017 Board of Directors

 

Past Presidents

View our past presidents.
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Pat Wirz
President
Pat Wirz was born into agriculture. He and his family farmed multiple commodities including, grapes, cattle, hay, grain, apricots, and walnuts. He is currently self-employed, while also working part time at Sakata Seed; for the past 25 years. Previous to Sakata, he worked at Almaden Vineyards for 14 years. Wirz attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and received a degree in Animal Science. While a member of the San Benito Farm Bureau, Wirz has also been a Cienega School Board member. Wirz resides in Hollister, he is married to his wife Nancy and they have four children, Donald, Heidi, Sarah, and Esther.

Allan Renz
1st Vice President

Allan Renz is a part of the 5th generation of his family in San Benito County. His family has farmed apricots, walnuts, grain, cattle, and hay. They currently run a cow-calf operation, farm hay and forage crops, while also brokering hay. Renz is currently self-employed with the family’s operation, Agco Hay & Renz Livestock, he oversees the cattle operation and hay harvest. Renz attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, majoring in Agricultural Systems Management with a minor in Agricultural Business. While participating on the board of San Benito Farm Bureau, Renz has also been the past president and current director of the San Benito Cattleman’s Association. Renz currently lives in Tres Pinos and has been recently engaged.

Greg Swett

Treasurer

George Bonacich

 

George Bonacich comes from a family of farmers; he currently owns and operates Bonacich Orchards. Bonacich attended the University of California Davis, majoring in Pomology. After school he served in the US army, and later came home to begin farming with his father. The two started farming in Cupertino in 1955, and later purchased a prune orchard in Healdsburg. In 1969, Bonacich purchased a ranch in Patterson, which he farms to this day, while also running an orchard here in San Benito County off of Fairview Road. Along with being on the board for San Benito County Farm bureau Bonacich has served on the Water Board of Cupertino, PTA Kennedy Junior High in Cupertino, Vice President Parent Facility of Monte Vista in Cupertino, and a member of the Optimist Club.Bonacich lives in Santa Clara County, and has three children named Louis, Linda and June.

Al Bonturi

 

Al Bonturi has been a farmer all of his life. As a Hollister native, he is currently self-employed for his own Bonturi Ranch, growing walnuts. Along with Farm Bureau, Bonturi has been a participant of multiple committees including, California Walnut Commission, Son of Sweet Growers, Diamond Walnut, and the Walnut Marketing Board. Bonturi lives in Hollister, with his wife Corinne and they have two children, Greggory and Brenda, and three grandchildren, Sarah, Elijah, and Jason.

Tom Stirewalt

 

Tom Stirewalt was born into the agriculture industry. His father had a variety of orchards, and Stirewalt went on to grow multiple commodities, including, hay, grain, and cattle. Stirewalt is currently working for Tonascia Farms, while also working for himself, Stirewalt Farm and Truck. Along with being on the San Benito Farm Bureau board, he has been on the Planting Commission of San Benito County for the past 10 years and ASC Farm Service. Stirewalt currently lives in Hollister with his wife Joan and they have two children Susan and Sharon, along with three grandchildren

Joe Zanger

Joe Zanger is a general partner at Casa de Fruta Orchards which has grown apricots, prunes, pears, cherries, walnuts, wine grapes, asparagus, lettuce, and wheat. He is also a general partner at Casa De Fruta, where he is responsible for business administration and the family wine business. Zanger attended the University of California, Davis, where he majored in Agricultural Economics. As the past president of San Benito Farm Bureau, Zanger has also been the past CFBF Board Director representing San Benito, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties. He was chair of the CFBF International Trade Committee, sat on the committee for  Farm Service Agency State, USDA International Trade Technical Advisory for fruits and vegetables, and he currently chairs the UC Davis Ag Issues Center advisory board. Zanger currently resides in Hollister with his wife Glenda and they have three adult children.

Ron Vaccarezza

Ron Vacarezza has been in the seed business all of his life. He attended Hartnell Junior College in Salinas, CA. He then worked for Harris Moran Seed Company for 30 years. Along with being a member of the San Benito Farm Bureau, Vacarezza also participates in the San Juan Bautista Service Club. Vacarezza and his wife Bernadette currently live in Hollister with their two children Kenneth and Alex.

Aaron Tilley

Aaron Tilley did not initially start out in agriculture, but it was not long before he became quite involved in the industry. Tilley attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, majoring in Crop Science with a concentration in Plant Protection Science. He was a member in the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, Crops Club, and Vines to Wines. After college Tilley began working for Wilbur Ellis Company in Hollister and has worked there ever since. He is a licensed pest control advisor and fertilizer salesmen; working with local growers by providing them with crop production expertise, while trying to achieve the goal of maximizing their return on investment.
Along with being of the Farm Bureau Board, Tilley is a part of Young Farmers and Ranchers and a Committee member of Hollister California Waterfowl. Tilley currently resides in Hollister with his wife Stefanie Tilley and their son Own Tilley.
Tom Tobias  
Richard Bianchi  
Mary Lou Coffelt  
Kelli Shingai