Sebastopol winegrowers Terri and John Balletto, whose land stewardship and dedication to community have made them respected leaders in agriculture, education and philanthropy, are being honored by the Santa Rosa Junior College AgTrust for their many contributions to Sonoma County.
The Ballettos and their incredible legacy as farmers, vintners, community leaders and benefactors will be celebrated at the SRJC AgTrust AgStravaganza on November 5, 2016 at SRJC’s Shone Farm near Forestville.
The Ballettos own and operate Balletto Vineyards & Winery and farm more than 600 acres of vineyards in the Russian River Valley. They hold leadership positions in organizations that build community and promote and protect Sonoma County’s $4 billion agriculture industry. John Balletto has dynamically and passionately served on the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission board for eight years, serving as chairman from 2008 to 2012. In 2013, his dedication and advocacy on behalf of grape growers was recognized with the Viticulture Award of Excellence, an annual award given to individual grape growers or families that have contributed significantly to the grape growing community. Balletto also received the Sonoma County Harvest Fairs Outstanding Young Farmer Award in 1988.
In addition, Balletto has given a lot of time to various organizations in Sonoma County, including serving on the Santa Rosa Junior College Ag Trust and Foundation boards, Sonoma West Medical Center board of directors, Russian River Valley Winegrowers board, and is actively engaged in the Sebastopol Sunrise Rotary.
The SRJC AgTrust AgStravaganza will include tributes to Terri and John Balletto, a reception featuring Sonoma County wine and food followed by a catered dinner and a live auction. The benefit gala, open to anyone interested in honoring the Ballettos, will raise money to support the naming of a wine tasting room for Terri and John Balletto at Shone Farm. The new building will be adjacent to the Warren G. Dutton Pavilion, a fitting tribute because the Ballettos were among those instrumental in raising money to complete the pavilion in honor of their late friend and mentor
The SRJC Ag Trust, a committee of the SRJC Foundation, raises and distributes money to enhance agriculture education and for improvements at Shone Farm. Every two years the Ag Trust holds the AgStravaganza celebration to honor remarkable leaders. Among those previously honored are Richard and Saralee Kunde, Steve Olson, Rich Thomas and Ron Carli.