It is only fitting that George Porter decided to pursue a career in production agriculture after growing up in Easton, living on 20 acres of vineyard and open ground, and always wanting to be part of the agriculture community.
Porter graduated from California State University, Fresno in 1974, with a BS degree in Animal Science. Following college, he was a meat inspector for the California Department of Food and Agriculture for one and a half years. Around the time when meat inspection was taken over by the USDA, he decided his passion was in production agriculture.
In January 1976, Porter decided to settle in the rural community of Kerman, where he now farms 154 acres of grapes, including 90 acres of Thompsons, 30 acres of Barbera red wine grapes and 17 acres of Chardonnay white wine grapes.
Porter believes farming has provided him with a great sense of accomplishment. “Farming is something I care to do,” he said. “I have learned a lot through the years on my own.”
Porter’s farming background and his previous experience (eight years) on the Raisin Bargaining Association as a director will be an asset to the FCFB Board of Directors as the West Center Director. “Farm Bureau is new to me, but I’m getting my feet wet,” he said. While Porter feels his way around the organization, he is enjoying the process.
Porter was recruited by FCFB Board member and Livestock Chairman Mark Thompson. “I enjoy the networking at the board meetings,” Porter said. He also doesn’t mind being served great food prior to the board meetings he said with a smile.
The more Porter learns about Farm Bureau, the more he realizes how important the Farm Bureau is to the industry, and why it is important to have an organization like Farm Bureau to look out for best interest of agriculture. One example he cites are the legislative visits and the outreach that Farm Bureau provides in the legislative process.Family-Oriented
While Porter has proved to be a very good farmer, perhaps his most rewarding experience has come with the raising of his two sons, Tres, 32, and Tyson, 30. “I have great pride in my boys,” Porter said.
It is not uncommon to see the entire Porter family at a team roping event. “This is a business and a hobby for us,” Porter said. “This is something we’ve done since I was a kid.” Not only has the Porter family competed in team roping events, they have also produced team ropings themselves, which means they sponsor, market and provide animals for the event.
Porter believes farming has allowed him more time to spend with his family, including JoAnn, his wife of almost 34 years. “I like the independence, your own schedule, the free time and being able to watch your kids grow up.”
While the Porters’ two sons are already grown, they have the opportunity to watch their grandchildren grow up. They now have three grandchildren all under the age of three. Tres and his wife Julie have one boy and one girl, and Tyson and his wife Anna are raising a boy.
Lined along the walls of Porter’s dining room is a collage of pictures created by Porter’s wife JoAnn that depict great memories with family and friends. The collection will only expand as the Porter family continues to grow and embark on new memories.
Meet Your Board Members Profile: Ag Today, May 07
By: John Migliazzo