Neil Nagata, a third-generation Oceanside farmer who is a leading advocate for both growers and farmworkers, was named the San Diego County Farm Bureau‘s 2021 Farmer of the Year.
Nagata is president of Nagata Bros Farms, which grows strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherimoya, other fresh fruits and seasonal vegetables.
He served as the president of the farm bureau from 2017 to 2019, and has been a board member since 2008, working with regulators and legislators to support fruit and vegetable production.
Nagata is the founding president of the nonprofit California Strawberry Growers Scholarship Fund, providing scholarships for children of California strawberry farmworkers. Over the past 26 years, over $2 million has been raised for farmworkers’ children.
The Farmer of the Year award is presented to an active or retired farmer who has had a positive impact on the industry and is active in the community beyond agriculture.
The nonprofit farm bureau supports more than 5,700 farms in San Diego County, which ranks 12th in California in value of agricultural production.