2000 Award of Distinction Recipients

Joe Aparicio

('54, Agricultural Education; '55, Education Credential) 
Professor (Retired) 
American River College
Sutter Creek, California 

Joe Aparicio is an expert in identifying native plants. Since retirement from American River College, he has taken over the family farm in Amador County and serves as a visiting lecturer and adviser to Cooperative Extension, 4-H, FFA and the Master Gardener Program. He was president of the Amador County Grape Growers Association and the Amador County Farm Bureau.


G. Eric Bradford

Professor Emeritus
Department of Animal Science
UC Davis
Davis, California

Eric Bradford came to UC Davis as a faculty member in 1957. He devoted his career to the genetics of reproduction and growth in livestock and laboratory animals. He was named an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow in 1984 and served as UC Davis Genetics Graduate Group chair, Department of Animal Science chair and associate dean of the college.


John Diener

('74, Agricultural Economics and Business Management) 
Farm Owner/Manager 
Five Points, California 

John Diener is a large-scale organic grower in Fresno County. He developed the award-winning Integrated On-farm Drainage Management System that reduces the impacts of salinization and prime agricultural land going out of production. Diener is a member of California Agricultural Leadership Program, Class XX. He received the Governor's 1999 Environmental and Economic Leadership Award.


Daniel M. Dooley

('73, Agricultural Economics and Business Management) 
Dooley, Herr & Williams, LLP 
Dooley Farms 
Visalia, California 

Daniel Dooley is an attorney with a general civil and business law firm specializing in water, agriculture, environmental land use and business law. He also farms diversified row crops including cotton, alfalfa and walnuts. He is a member of UC President Atkinson's Advisory Council on Agriculture and Natural Resources and chair of the Agricultural Issues Center advisory council.


Richard R. Engel

('90, Agricultural Education; '91, Education Credential) CA&ES Director of Student Recruitment and Outreach 
UC Davis 
Davis, California 

Rich Engel joined the college's Dean's Office in July 2000. Previously, he coordinated student and teacher programs in 58 California counties for California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, developing strategic planning sessions for agricultural literacy and education programs. Engel is a Class XXVIII graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Program.


Mary Lee Hardie

('64, Home Economics)
Davis, California

Mary Lee Hardie has served UC Davis and its programs for 35 years. She has been a strong supporter of the library, UC Davis Presents, Team Aggie, Trellis Alliance in the Department of Viticulture and Enology, Design Alliance in the Department of Environmental Design, the Faculty/University Club, International House and the Cal Aggie Foundation/UC Davis Foundation.


Landon Heffner

('72, Applied Behavioral Science; M.A., '74, Education)
Vice President Monrovia
Azusa, California

Landon Heffner (deceased) inspired and improved the careers of hundreds of individuals in agriculture, horticulture and ranching through his teaching, counseling, advising and training efforts. He developed and taught courses in basic cultural norms, foreign language, problem solving and production efficiency to Spanish-speaking workers in order to assimilate migrant workers into California's agricultural economy.


Walter E. Howard

Professor Emeritus
Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology
UC Davis
Davis, California

Walter Howard joined the UC Davis faculty in 1947, specializing in applied ecology. His professional contributions in the field of wildlife damage management, agricultural crop and livestock, protection from vertebrate pests, and human health and food safety from vertebrate pests are legendary nationally and internationally. Howard retired in 1987.


Adel Kader

(M.S., '62, Vegetable Crops; Ph.D., '66, Plant Physiology)
Department of Pomology
UC Davis
Davis, California

Adel Kader's work on brown stain damage to lettuce, tomato ripening and taste quality and postharvest handling of pistachio nuts has helped industry develop solutions and set standards. The Postharvest Outreach Program was formed under Kader's leadership; it has become the development model for other college research and information centers.


Lloyd Swift

Wildlife Biologist
USDA-Forest Service (Retired)
Falls Church, Virginia

Lloyd Swift (deceased) studied range science at UC Davis in 1922. He began working with the U.S. Forest Service as a summer intern and became the agency's highest-ranking wildlife biologist and a respected USDA-Forest Service administrator. He served as a consulting biologist for USAID, FAO, UNESCO, the United Nations Special Fund and other agencies in the U.S., Africa and the Middle East.


Robert K. Webster

(Ph.D., '66, Plant Pathology)
Department of Plant Pathology
UC Davis
Davis, California

Robert Webster joined the college's plant pathology faculty in 1966. He served as department chair, acting dean of the college and assistant director of programs for UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Webster has been honored for pioneering studies on rice disease management and alternatives to burning rice field residues. He works closely with the wine and grape industry and other commodity groups.


Wente Family

Ernest Wente ('09, Agriculture)
Eric Wente (M.S.., '74, Enology)
Philip Wente ('74, Agricultural Science and Management)
Karl Wente
Livermore, California

The Wentes are fourth generation California vineyardists and winemakers with over 3,000 vineyard acres in the Livermore Valley and Monterey County. Founded in 1883, Wente Vineyards is the country's oldest continuously operated family-owned winery. The family has been recognized nationally and internationally for its interest in farming, new growing areas, new crushing, fermenting and cellaring techniques, sophisticated wine and food program development and wine education, as well as its industry commitment, community service and political hard work.