SOLEDAD, Calif. — Mikel Ann Miller, vice president and regional relationship manager for 1st Capital Bank, was named Agricultural Woman of the Year at a lunch and auction to benefit Salinas nonprofit Ag Against Hunger.
Miller was honored June 6 for a history of volunteerism and leadership on behalf of youth and agriculture at organizations including the Salinas Valley Fair Heritage Foundation and the California Rodeo Salinas.
“Her passion for our youth and agriculture is also evident with her involvement in the Monterey County Agricultural Education Committee and through her role as treasurer for both the Monterey County Fair and the Gonzales Young Farmers and Ranchers,” said Georgeann Cowles Eiskamp, chief executive officer of Watsonville-based Cowles Berry Farm Inc., as she introduced Miller.
Cowles Eiskamp, a Driscoll’s blackberry grower, was last year’s honoree.
“It’s something you don’t achieve by yourself,” Miller said.
Her other honors have included the Spirit of Agriculture award from Monterey County Agricultural Education and citizen of the year recognition from the King City Chamber of Commerce. Miller is based in King City.
For more than 30 years, she has also volunteered at the California International Airshow.
Steffanie Smith, chief executive officer of Colorful Harvest in Salinas, was the keynote speaker. She recounted lessons learned through a produce career that included time with Pacific Pre-Cut Produce, Taylor Farms, River Point Farms and Andrew Smith Co.
The 21st annual honor, presented at Paraiso Vineyards in Soledad, recognizes contributions to the industry and to communities in three California counties.
Past honorees have included Mari Rossi, Abby Taylor-Silva, Karen Antle, Darlene Din, Celeste Settrini, Margaret D’Arrigo-Martin and Lorri Koster.