15th Annual Ag Hall of Fame Inductees Honored in Pasco - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

15th Annual Ag Hall of Fame Inductees Honored in Pasco

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PASCO, WA - The Pasco Chamber of Commerce and Port of Pasco honored some of our local farmers and agri-business leaders Thursday night. 

Four people were inducted into the Agriculture Hall of Fame at the event. 

- The Mid-Columbia Ag Hall of Fame Pioneer Award went to the late Leo Fangman and his widow, Dorothy Fangman. Leo served as a board member and president of the South Columbia Basin Irrigation District and lobbied in Washington D.C. for the interest of irrigators. The Fangman's also operated an apple orchard and were tireless advocates for agriculture.

- The Ag Advisor of the year went to Jennifer Yochum. Yochum went to Pasco High and CBC, earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture from WSU, with honors, and a master's in education from Heritage College. Jennifer teaches at River View High School in Finley and advises the FFA members, organizes the Lower Columbia Basin FFA Jamboree and breeds market lambs for 4-H and FFA members.

- The Visionary Award went to Gary Middleton. Middleton grew up in the Columbia Basin and has been a farmer since 1974. Middleton Orchards produces organic cherries, apples and blueberries. He is on the boards of the Washington Growers Clearing House Association, the Washington State  Horticultural Association and the Franklin County Farm Bureau. Middleton also helped develop the Fields of Grace Ministry.

- The Young Agribusiness Person of the year went to Nicole Berg. Berg has served on the boards of the Benton County Conservation District, the South Central Resource Conservation and Development Council and the Benton County Noxious Weed Control Board. "Agriculture has to start telling their story. Our community is becoming smaller and smaller and we need to get our voice out so I got actively involved in the Washington State Wheat Growers association. I am actively involved in the Conservation Districts," says Nicole Berg, Ag Hall of Fame inductee. Berg was the first woman to be the President of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers and she spear-headed the creation of the Water Quality Advisory Committee. 

A portion of the money raised from the event will help support higher-education scholarships for local youth wanting to study agriculture sciences.