Wayne Vineyard, 1953
Wayne Vineyard is a 1953 graduate of Lincoln High. Even before graduating, Vineyard was involved in agriculture as a 4-H member and as part of the family farm, doing chores before school started each day.
After graduating, Vineyard went into farming full time and was soon joined by his younger brother, Bill. They grew grain crops and then rice.
The brothers expanded their small 4-H project animals into what is now a 250-cow beef herd and their rice production is more than 400 acres.
Vineyard has been extremely active in the Farm Bureau Organization, which is a grassroots effort to make effective changes in policy on the county, state and federal levels. He has been on the Placer County Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors for more than 50 years, serving as president several times. He served a six-year term on the State Farm Bureau and was a member of the State House of Delegates for at least 35 years.
Vineyard also served on several state committees and advisory boards, including the livestock and rice boards and the finance committee. At the same time, he served on the Placer Farm Supply Board of Directors, again for more than 50 years, and for a time sat on the State Farm Supply Board.
Vineyard has been a Placer County 4-H Leader for 58 years, first as beef project leader and then as part of the camp committee that maintains the 4-H Camp at Cisco Grove.
For many years, he traveled regularly to government surplus sites to obtain materials to be used at camp and other 4-H activities, hauled the material back in his truck and then used his shop to modify items. He is the go-to man for all generator problems and overhauls every winter to keep it in tip-top shape. Many improvements and modifications to the camp are a result of Vineyard’s work.
A Placer County Fair director for 40 years, Vineyard has served several terms as chairman and is on the Placer County Fair Jr. Livestock Auction Committee since its inception in the late ’60s, serving the last several years as chairman.
He also served several years on the Gold County Fair Jr. Livestock Auction Committee. Vineyard bids up the animals and personally purchases animals as well as making contributions to the scholarship animals that benefit 4-H and FFA members.
Vineyard has served as an agricultural representative on many planning committees within Placer County and helped craft the local land-conservancy program advocating for willing buyer, willing seller wording to protect land-owner interests. Vineyard has also worked against grassroots efforts to control farmer’s use of land by ballot-box initiative, an effort to destroy some of the best farmland in the county for commercial gain.
“Wayne Vineyard has been serving on the Placer County Agricultural Commission since his appointment by the county board of supervisors in February, 1988. Wayne served as chairman for many years during his 25 years representing the county’s rice industry on the commission,” said Christine Turner, retired Placer County Agricultural Commissioner. “Wayne is personally committed to being involved with the issues that Placer County farmers and ranchers and indeed all California farmers and ranchers, are facing today. As the chairman of the commission, he has led some lively discussions of issues associated with land-use planning, agricultural water supplies, county Williamson Act contracts, the Right-to-Farm Ordinance and animal keeping standards. Wayne knows the agricultural history in Placer County and provides leadership on the tough issues affecting local family farmers and ranchers in these changing times.”
Long recognized by many as an important spokesperson and advocate of agriculture, Vineyard was named 2007 Farmer of the year by Placer Grown, a coalition of local farmers helping farmers market their products locally.
Submitted by the Native Sons of the Golden West.