SOLEDAD, Calif. – Georgeann Cowles Eiskamp, chief executive officer of Watsonville-based Cowles Berry Farm Inc., was named Agricultural Woman of the Year at a lunch and auction to benefit nonprofit Ag Against Hunger.
The Driscoll’s blackberry grower is the 20th annual recipient of the honor, which recognizes contributions to the industry and to communities in three California counties. Last year’s winner, Mari Rossi – co-owner of Hollister-based apricot grower-shipper B & R Farms LLC – presented the award at Paraiso Vineyards in Soledad.
“I will always remember this,” Cowles Eiskamp said.
Her board service includes the nonprofit Agri-Culture, which educates the public about local farming; and the Agricultural History Project. She was co-chair of an annual Down to Earth women’s luncheon, which raises scholarship money.
Her fundraising over the years has targeted polio eradication; Haiti earthquake relief; and clean water for a village in Peru, among other causes.
“Her dedication to her family legacy and her community support has made her deserving of this honor,” Rossi said. Cowles Eiskamp is a fifth-generation family farmer.
The keynote speaker was Roberta Cook, cooperative extension marketing economist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis.
Past honorees have included Abby Taylor-Silva; Karen Antle; Darlene Din; Celeste Settrini; Margaret D’Arrigo-Martin; and Lorri Koster.