CFBF Labor Director
CFBF labor specialist J. Roy Gabriel, left, shown here with Ventura County grower David Schwabauer, died unexpectedly in Washington, D.C.
California Farm Bureau Federation Director of Labor Affairs Roy Gabriel died unexpectedly on Oct. 1 while on business in Washington D.C. Services are pending.
For almost 35 years, Mr. Gabriel was a tireless advocate on behalf of California agriculture. From the front lines of the days of union organizing to the current effort to secure effective immigration reform, Mr. Gabriel was an extraordinary source of knowledge and counsel for farmers and ranchers.
Mr. Gabriel worked for California Farm Bureau Federation for nearly 35 years, except for a short time in the late 1990s when he served as the chief deputy director of the State Department of Industrial Relations. He served as Farm Bureau’s director of labor affairs, as chief operating officer of the Farm Employers Labor Service and, in the late 1980s as general manager of ALFA Program, which worked on immigration status issues.
A statement from CFBF said, “Anyone who met Roy, for even a minute, would know he was a passionate advocate for the causes in which he believed. His was a respected voice inside Farm Bureau, in the State Legislature, in Congress, within government agencies and among other agricultural labor groups.
“His passing is a terrible shock for all of us. Roy leaves a big void, not just because of his dedication to Farm Bureau and its members but because of his larger-than-life personality and his infectious enthusiasm.”
For funeral information, please contact the CFBF at (916) 561-5500. Please keep the Gabriel Family in your thoughts and prayers.
Fresno County Farm Bureau Past President Norman Liddell died Sept. 13 following a stroke. He was 92.
Mr. Liddell served as FCFB president from 1952-1954. He was a long-time fig producer and processor in the northwest Fresno. At one time, Mr. Liddell and his family farmers 300 acres of figs in the San Joaquin Riverbottom/Fig Garden area. He was one of the first to use mechanical harvester in 1958. Mr. Liddell and his sons ran the Liddell Ranches Dry Yard located at Bullard and Santa Fe avenues and had an interest in a dry yard at Ashlan and Grantland avenues.
During his Farm Bureau presidency, Mr. Liddell focused on water issues and commodity prices. He was active in the Fig Garden Center of the Farm Bureau during the 1940s and 1950s.
In addition to his Farm Bureau activities, Mr. Liddell served as chairman of the Fresno County and City Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Committee, chairman of the Dried Fig Advisory Board for several years and served on the Fresno County and City Planning Commissions during the 1960s.
Mr. Liddell also served as a Central Unified School District school board member and has a school named in his honor.
A memorial service was held in Cayucos and burial was in Fresno. FCFB expresses its condolences to the Liddell family.