During farm show week this year, farmer Mark Watte was recruited by Jerry Sinift, chief executive of the International Agri-Center, to give a helicopter tour of Valley farm country to retired Army Col. Jill Chambers, a veterans advocate, and country singer Michael Peterson.
"Jerry Sinift asked me to tell them what we do," Watte said.
That was a piece of cake for Watte, who gladly answers questions about agriculture. During the flyover, he showed 'em the Valley's bounty: dairy, oranges, row crops, pistachios, etc.
"There's not a grocery aisle anywhere that doesn't have California agriculture in it," Watte told the VIPs.
In June, the two returned to Tulare and brainstormed with the International Agri-Center about helping veterans.
The result: Ag Warriors, inspired by the Wall Street Warriors TV reality show.
The plan is to introduce returning veterans to long-term careers in agriculture. California State University, Fresno, and College of the Sequoias are participating.
The Agri-Center staff felt that Bush would be the ideal person to help roll out Ag Warriors at the 2012 farm show. Sinift said they got a message to Texas and Bush said yes.
A gala dinner at which Bush will be the keynote speaker will be Feb. 15. Ticket info: agwarriors.com or (800) 999-9186.
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