Lorraine Machado of Merced and RoseAnn Serrano of Le Grand were honored Thursday with the Common Threads Award at California State University, Fresno.
Machado and Serrano received the award for their agricultural, philanthropic and community service during a fundraising awards luncheon in the University Courtyard Dining Hall at CSUF.
Machado was stunned with the award.
“It’s a huge honor,” Machado said. “I read about the honorees every year and know most of the women. They are women I admire very much.”
Machado and her husband Tony operate an 800-cow dairy in the Merced area. Two of the Serrano’s four grown daughters attended Fresno State and the others graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. They belong to the Merced County Farm Bureau.
“My mission in life is to teach kids about ag,” Machado said. “I believe in FFA with all my heart. It’s so important to me that kids know what ag is and where food comes from.” Machado sponsors high school students as they buy the jacket to become FFA members.
Serrano met her husband, David, when they were attending Fresno State. The Serranos grow wheat and corn, almonds, alfalfa and apricots in the Le Grand area.
Serrano manages Merced’s two farmers markets: one on Saturday morning on N Street, and one starting Wednesdays in May in the Promenade Shopping Center in north Merced. She also sells at the Mariposa farmers market and previously sold at weekly markets in Madera and Los Banos.
Serrano said she has been volunteering with a number of community organizations and helps with Le Grand’s annual Community Day celebration over the Memorial Day weekend. The Serranos both belonged to the Ag One Foundation at Fresno State.
Juliet Campos of Caruthers, Helen Sullivan of Hanford and Alice Saviez of Fresno also received the Common Threads Award.
“These five Valley women have strong agricultural backgrounds and are active participants in their communities through philanthropic endeavors and community service,” said Dr. Charles Boyer, dean of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Fresno State. “Their contributions to agriculture are vital to the industry’s success in Central California.”
Common Threads is a collaborative effort of the Ag One Foundation, Fresno State’s Jordan College and the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation. Net proceeds raised at the luncheon support the Ag One Foundation, Ag Leadership and charities of the honorees’ choices.