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GSA posthumously awards E.E ‘Gene’ Harden Award to former chairman

GSA Posthumously Honors Dennis Caprara
At its Fall Recognition Event held on Friday, October 7, the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California (GSA) BB #:162651 posthumously awarded Dennis Caprara with the E.E. ‘Gene’ Harden Lifetime Achievement Award

The award is given to an individual who’s made an extraordinary contribution and created a lasting legacy benefitting Central Coast agriculture. The award was presented to Dennis’ wife Janice and the Caprara family.

GSA’s event honoring Dennis Caprara was attended by over 300 people. All proceeds raised from the luncheon benefited Salinas Valley Fair’s Heritage Foundation in Dennis’ memory.

“When I became president of GSA, Dennis was so generous in sharing his time and knowledge with me. He was always available whenever I needed advice, counsel, or to provide a historical perspective,” says Christopher Valadez, President of GSA. “The Salinas Valley just isn’t the same without him.” 

Dennis and Sonny Rianda started RC Farms in 1971 and RC Packing in 1986. He was a past Chairman of GSA as well as past Director of the Salinas Valley River Coalition.

Over the years, Dennis received many honors and awards, including the CSUMB Distinguished Fellow-Ag Businessman of the Year, Salinas Area Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Leadership Award and Future Farmers of America Honorary Chapter Farmer. He was President of the Monterey County Swiss Rifle Club, a proud supporter of 4-H and FFA and a member of the Salinas Valley Fair and Monterey County Fair Livestock Heritage Foundations.

“It is hard to measure all of Dennis’ contributions to our region,” Valadez says. “He was a larger-than-life and beloved man whom many of us looked toward for guidance. We will always remember Dennis for his loyalty, tenacity and fairness. He earned respect from all he encountered and he gave respect and support in return. GSA is proud to remember and honor Dennis with the E.E. ‘Gene’ Harden Lifetime Achievement Award.”