Meet the 2020 Mid-Columbia Ag Hall of Famers

The Pasco Chamber of Commerce and the Port of Pasco will induct seven longtime farmers and advocates for agriculture into the 2020 Mid-Columbia Ag Hall of Fame at the 20th annual dinner and installation gala on Jan. 16 at the Pasco Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center.

The Ag Hall of Fame honors farmers, families and agribusiness leaders for their contributions to the community.

Pioneer Award

Orvalla Hafer

Orvalla Hafer together with Cindy and Jim Lancaster are being jointly honored for their influence on the development of agriculture.

Hafer and her husband Raymond established Hafer Farms in Adams County. She is noted for being a tireless volunteer for 4-H, the Adams County Fair Board, the Othello Junior Livestock Sale Association and other organizations.

The Lancasters are Idaho natives who moved to the Columbia Basin in 1961. Jim, a Korean War veteran, was eligible for a veterans’ land draw. The couple settled on Unit 234, Block 20, where they converted dryland wheat to irrigated ag land.

Cindy worked off the farm as an educator and was named Washington State Teacher of the Year in 1990. Together, the couple have been involved with the Franklin County Cattleman’s Association since its inception. They have contributed time to Franklin County Fire District 4, Wahluke Water Association, Basin City/Park Arena, the 20-3 Grazing Association, Connell FFA and 4-H.

Rising Star Award

Shae and Greg Frichette

Shae and Greg Frichette of Frichette Winery are being honored in the category that recognizes young professionals who demonstrate a commitment to the community.

The Frichettes started their first wine venture in 2013 in a converted pole building on Red Mountain near Benton City. Since then, they have fostered the industry by providing jobs, tours and field trips to students in the Washington State University Tri-Cities wine science program.

They are active in the Red Mountain American Viticultural Area, Visit Tri-Cities, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and Benton City Giving Garden.

Advisor Award

Dennis Munden

Dennis Munden is a retired agriculture education teacher who worked in schools across the Tri-Cities, including Kamiakin, Columbia-Burbank, Pasco, Warden and River View high schools.

He was the 1994 Washington Association of Agriculture Educators Teacher of the Year and has been recognized for his contributions to education with the Crystal Apple award.

Stewardship Award

Denny Hayden

Pasco native Denny Hayden spent five years in Portland working in banking before farming brought him home to begin his own venture

He served on the board of the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission and is a 30-year member of the Cherry Institute board. He was named the Good Fruit Grower of the Year and is active in Knights of Columbus.

Go to pascochamber.org or call 509-547-9755 for information about the Mid-Columbia Ag Hall of Fame gala, which will feature local produce and wines.

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