1992 Award of Distinction Recipients

John C. Harris

(B.S., '65, Agricultural Production)
Coalinaga, California

John Harris is recognized as one of California's most recognized agribusinessmen. He engineered the dynamic growth of Harris Farms, Inc., a project begun by his father in 1937, following his graduation from UC Davis. As president, he oversees a farming operation producing 15 different crops, California's largest beef feeding and processing operation, a thoroughbred horse breeding and training facility, and the famous Harris Ranch Restaurant and Inn. John has received numerous awards for his professional and volunteer accomplishments on local, state and national levels. In 1990, he was named Cattle Businessman of the Year by the National Cattleman's Foundation. He is a member of the board of directors of Fresno' St. Agnes Hospital and of the Fresno Metropolitan Museum.


M. Robert McLandress

(M.S., '79, Ph.D., '83, Ecology)
Woodland, California

Bob McLandress is president of the California Waterfowl Association. Working closely with faculty from the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, Bob has created privately funded research programs that produced new and important research results affecting North American waterfowl. In his early years with CWA, his research findings revitalized interest in wetlands preservation and were used to meet the needs of constituents concerned with California and its natural resources. His research also revealed the importance of California's wetlands in producing a significant proportion of wintering and harvested mallard populations. Bob actively works toward enhancing the relationship among agriculture, wildlife and wetlands.


Robert N. Rebholtz

(B.S., '60, Agricultural Economics)
Boise, Idaho

Bob Rebholtz (deceased) graduated from Stanford Business School in 1962. After managing a cattle operation for six years, he acquired the Snake River Cattle Company in Idaho. He added a feed company to serve his own business and the business of others, as well as a pharmaceutical division that supplied veterinarians in 12 western states. The April 1992 edition of Successful Farming reported that his Agri Beef Company was ranked among the 50 largest farms in America. Bob served his industry as chair of the American Beef Council and the National Livestock and Meat Board. He was a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and assisted with the completion of the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center on the UC Davis campus.


Tom Sawyer

(B.S., '56, Animal Husbandry)
Waterford, California

Tom Sawyer, dairy farmer and agricultural businessman, is recognized for his outstanding leadership within the dairy industry at the local, state, and national levels. His peers consider him one of the finest dairymen in the United States. He is known internationally for his dairy herd breeding and management programs, and is considered a leader in computer innovation in dairies. The Department of Animal Science frequently has called upon him to share his expertise in dairy management as a guest lecturer and as a speaker at UC Davis Dairy Cattle Day programs. Tom also opens his doors for dairy advisory training and for tours arranged by the International Visitors Office. The California Chamber of Commerce honored Tom for his innovation and guidance with the presentation of the 1998 Livestock Man of the Year award. Tom received the Award of Distinction for his outstanding professional career and his dedication to our College.


Ronald A. Schuler

(B.S., '60, Agricultural Production)

Ron Schuler served as president of the California Canning Peach Association from 1974 to 2002 and also managed the California Freestone Peach Association. Previously, he worked with a processing and marketing cooperative for 12 years in California and Wisconsin. Ron served as chair of the Agricultural Council of California and director of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. He was appointed by the secretary of agricultural to serve multiple terms on the USDA National Advisory Council for Commodity Distribution. Ron was chair of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean's Advisory Council, a member of the UC Davis Foundation board of directors and chair of the UC Davis Chancellor's Club.


Phyllis Shimabukuro

(M.S., '84, Avian Sciences)
Honolulu, Hawaii

Phyllis is vice president and chief operating officer of the Mikilua Poultry Farm, Hawaii's largest egg producer. She plays a pivotal role in the Pacific Basin as an agricultural industry leader. She was appointed to the State Board of Agriculture by Hawaii's governor and was the state's only animal agriculture representative. Industry colleagues elected her vice president of the Hawaiian Egg Producers' Association. She credits the academic excellence and research opportunities offered by the Department of Avian Sciences (now part of the Department of Animal Science) as being invaluable assets to her career and a strong influence on her contributions to public service.


Wayne Weeks

(B.S., '40, Agronomy)

Los Banos, California

Wayne Weeks (deceased) developed a sugar beet seed industry in the United States after graduating from UC Davis that replaced the previous system of importing seed from Europe. For more than 50 years, this industry met growers' needs. After serving three years in the Navy during World W