Silva and Giacomazzi Families

Silva family

“You can’t ask others to do what you won’t do yourself…We value education and research and we put it to use in our daily practices.”

Ann Silva
Bacchetti & Silva Dairy ~ Tracy, California
 

On her own 800-cow dairy and 325-acre farm, Ann Silva has always practiced what she preaches. She was one of the first dairy farmers in the state to achieve Environmental Stewardship Certification. She also opened her dairy for a University of California research trial examining the effectiveness of techniques to protect and improve animal welfare.

“You can’t ask others to do what you won’t do yourself,” she said. “We like to think we do a good job, but I’ve been doing this since 1977, and we’ve learned a lot over the years. We value education and research and we put it to use in our daily practices.”

Known as a voice of reason, compromise and humor, she has been a strong leader among California dairy families on initiatives to improve the dairy community’s overall performance on environmental stewardship and animal welfare by providing education and tools to her fellow dairy farmers.

Silva has chaired the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program since 2005, and has also served as a member of the California Board of Food & Agriculture and the California Milk Advisory Board. In 2009, she received the ‘Common Threads’ Award from the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences for her contributions to enhancing her community.

Giacomazzi family

“Our family has lived and farmed on this land for 117 years. You don’t get more connected to the community than that.””

Dino Giacomazzi
Giacomazzi Farms ~ Hanford, California
 

It’s an understatement to say the Giacomazzi family dairy goes “way back” in Kings County history. In fact, they trace their roots there to a time before Kings County existed.

“When my great-grandfather first bought the land, this was still part of Tulare County,” said Dino Giacomazzi. “Our family has been here ever since.”

The Giacomazzis are just one example of the commitment of dairy families to the communities in which they live and farm. Louis Bernardo Giacomazzi, a Swiss/Italian immigrant, started his family dairy in 1893, the same year the County of Kings was founded. The dairy has been in continuous operation for 117 years.

Four generations of Giacomazzis haven’t been dedicated just to farming and dairying, but to the community that so closely shares their own history.

Dino’s grandfather, Fred Giacomazzi, donated 10 acres of land to establish Kit Carson Elementary School, which was built in 1952. Dino’s father, Don, served on the school board for 25 years, the longest-serving director in the district’s history.

These days, Dino is following in his family’s footsteps. In 2010 he’ll have completed his first four-year term on the board at Kit Carson where his son, Miro, will start kindergarten in the fall of 2012.