2004 Award of Distinction Recipients

Carol R. Chandler

"Carol Chandler is a remarkable leader in agriculture and higher education - showing us there is always something more we can do and something higher we can achieve."

Alfreda Sebasto
Sebasto Group
Former Award of Distinction Recipient

Carol Chandler has been involved in education and the agriculture industry in California and now works for her family business, Chandler Farms. Carol and her husband grow fruits and nuts in Fresno County. She received a bachelor's degree in physical education from UC Davis and a master's degree from California State University, Fresno, then taught for many years.

Carol is active in community and statewide organizations. She served as president of California Women for Agriculture, and is a board member of the Western Growers Association. Carol was honored as one of California State Legislature's Women of the Year in 1992 and 2002. She belongs to the Junior League of Fresno, La Feliz Guild of Valley Children's Hospital, and the Common Threads Committee.

Carol Chandler was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the California State University Board of Trustees. Earlier, she was appointed by Governor Wilson to the California Post-Secondary Education Commission and the University of California Board of Regents.


Carl L. Keen

"Without question, Dr. Keen is considered as one of the top handful of nutritional biochemists in the world. His work always makes a difference."

John W. Erdman Jr., Ph.D.
Nutrition Research Chair
Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition
University of Illinois

Professor Carl Keen is chair of the Department of Nutrition at UC Davis. During his 11 years as chair, he has guided the department through a period of phenomenal growth and established several endowments. A faculty member since 1984, he also received his bachelor's and doctor's degrees from UC Davis.

Carl has received praise from many of his students for his influence on their professional and research skills. He received the CA&ES Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Adviser in 1985.

Carl is a member of the Science Advisory Board for the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and served as president of the California Nutrition Society. Nationally, he served on numerous NIH, USDA, NSF and EPA advisory groups and helped organize many national and international meetings on nutritional public policy.

With more than 500 published research papers, Carl Keen has an international reputation and is recognized for connecting basic science with applied industry needs. He has received many national awards for his nutrition research.


Mary C. Kimball

"Mary remains committed to creating future leaders in agriculture and conservation and making connections to institutions of higher learning."

Vance Russell
Landowner Stewardship Program Manager
Audubon California
National Audubon Society

Mary Kimball has dedicated her career to teaching high school students about sustainable agriculture and natural resources. As director of the Center for Land-Based Learning, she oversees the FARMS Leadership Program, the SLEWS Program, and the Farm and Nature Center. These programs have educated more than 2,000 students throughout California.

Mary formerly served as Hedgerow project manager for the Yolo County Resource Conservation District. She worked with county farmers to plant native hedgerows as buffers and to harbor beneficial insects and wildlife.

Active in many local organizations, Mary is an advocate for the Yolo County Court-Appointed Special Advocates program, a board member of the Yolo Land Trust, a member of the Valuing Agriculture Committee of Valley Vision, and an education committee member for California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.

Mary Kimball earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture science and management from UC Davis, and a master's degree in agricultural education from Ohio State University.


Mark R. Lyon

"Mark Lyon is a credible, reliable and consistently recognizable authority within the wine industry. He has superior talents for winemaking."

Mary Ann Sebastiani Cuneo
President and CEO
Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery

Sebastiani's chief winemaker since 2001 and a member of the winemaking department since 1979, Mark Lyon was named "Winemaker of the Year" in 2003 by Restaurant Wine, a newsletter and consulting service for the restaurant and hospitality industry. He was recognized as a hands-on winemaker who has significantly influenced the quality standards of a commercial winery.

Mark is a member of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) and served as its general sessions chairperson. He authored and reviewed research papers, presented technical seminars for ASEV and the California Enological Research Associates, and served as president of the Sonoma County Wine Technical Group. He is involved in his community through the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, working with at-risk youth.

Mark is working with UC Davis on research trials examining maceration techniques for Cabernet Sauvignon and vine irrigation practices on Merlot. He earned a bachelor's degree in fermentation science from UC Davis in 1978.


Dana B. Van Liew

"Dana's mentoring during my time on the judging team contributed to my success in managing over $1 billion in assets in the food and agribusiness industry sector."

John Weubbe
Senior Vice President
Bank of America

Dana Van Liew is manager of the UC Davis campus sheep facility and a lecturer for several animal science courses. He is known throughout California for his dedication to coaching the intercollegiate Livestock Judging Team for more than 20 years.

Dana donates personal time to student outreach - he encourages high school students to attend UC Davis, he advises and attends numerous high school and collegiate agricultural field days, and he organizes and attends judging contests throughout California.

Many students warmly recall the positive impact that Dana's mentoring has had on their professional and personal lives, both during and following their attendance at UC Davis. In recognition of his ongoing commitment to student outreach, he received the 2002 UC Davis Academic Federation Excellence in Teaching Award.

Dana Van Liew maintains membership in numerous professional organizations. He received both bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural education from UC Davis, and has been working in the Department of Animal Science since 1980.


Melvin P. Zobel

"Mel exemplified beautifully the land-grant mission of teaching, research and outreach in his work."

Richard E. Rominger
Rominger Brothers Farms, Inc.
Former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Mel Zobel is an emeritus Cooperative Extension farm advisor, retiring in 1979 after working in Yolo County since 1956. He was instrumental in changing the processing tomato industry from hand to mechanical harvesting in the early 1960s. Mel's insight into cultural practices made him a premier advisor who integrated university research into grower production practices. He was a confident and patient educator who had the skill to recognize useful grower information.

Two of Mel's subject areas were irrigation management and harvest scheduling. Many of his recommendations remain in place, 30 years later. Mel made many accurate field assessments that remain useful for more than a generation of growers.

Mel initiated and routinely updated economic cost-of-production studies. He was one of the first to use a whole-farm approach in determining costs; this is now commonplace in agriculture. Melvin Zobel was one of the early leaders in the commercial tomato industry, and he clearly brings distinction to UC Davis.