Ben Curti to be Honored with California Cultivator Award

The prestigious 2018 California Cultivator Award will be presented to Ben Curti, a third-generation dairy farmer from the Tulare area, during Ag Council’s 99th Annual Meeting next week in Napa, Calif.

“Ben has served both his industry and community tirelessly by serving actively on several boards,” said Emily Rooney, president of Ag Council. “He’s not a board member that just ‘fills a seat,’ but rather can be counted on when there are critical decisions that need to be made.”

Curti is a third generation dairyman, hailing from the Waukena area, which is southwest of Tulare. His family started their dairy operation in 1913 after immigrating from Italy. Today, Ben owns and operates Curtimade Dairy, Inc. and Ben Curti Farms consisting of a milking herd of 3,700 Jersey cows. He also farms 1,200 acres producing forage crops, as well as cotton.

The Curti family has been a member of Land O’Lakes and its predecessor Dairyman’s Creamery Cooperative Association since 1945. Ben himself served in both co-ops’ elected leadership, including 15 years as a Corporate Board of Director for Land O’Lakes, Inc. His leadership helped the cooperative into the Fortune 200 company it is today.

Pete Garbani, Land O’Lakes’ director of member relations and state government affairs, said, “Ben encapsulates a true leader in the dairy industry and for cooperatives. His devotion of time and skills as a member of numerous boards and committees is extensive, as well as service to his community. Ben is also a trailblazer embracing renewable energy as an early adopter of solar power, and we are proud he helped lead the way on this and other innovative endeavors during his career.  We honor Ben’s strong character and integrity and congratulate him on receiving the 2018 Cultivator Award.”

Ben is a veteran of the United States Army. In addition, he has been an active member and officer in the Sons of Italy Roma Lodge in Tulare. Ben received the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 9 Environmental Champion Award in 2013, and he was recognized as the Tulare County Farmer of the Year in 2005.

Ben will be formally recognized by Ag Council during its Annual California Cultivator Luncheon on Thursday, March 8.