John Romans, a longtime Hartnell College supporter and leader in the ag industry, will be honored with Hartnell College Foundation’s 2022 Leadership Award on May 21. (Contributed)

SALINAS VALLEY — Hartnell College Foundation will honor longtime Salinas Valley grower John Romans with its 2022 Leadership Award at the Party Near the Library this Saturday, May 21.

Romans, a member of the foundation’s board of directors, was a longtime owner of King City-based Mission Ranches, which in 2019 merged with Taylor Farms under the Earthbound Farms brand. He is known as an innovator in organic agriculture and environmentally sustainable cultivation.

“John Romans was chosen for the foundation’s Leadership Award for the instrumental role in the original campaign to construct Hartnell’s King City campus, joining with Susan Gill among other visionary leaders, to help South County students achieve their personal and career goals,” said Jackie Cruz, vice president of institutional advancement and executive director for the Hartnell College Foundation.

Romans joined the Hartnell College Foundation Board in 2017, right after the passing of Measure T, and remains a champion of Hartnell and its students.

“Anyone can go to Hartnell College,” Romans said. “They have great faculty, administrators, staff — and they all have the best interest in mind for students who wish to transfer, learn a vocational skill, go into STEM, nursing, athletics and so much more.”

On Saturday, the Hartnell College Foundation will present Party Near the Library in the Main Plaza at Hartnell College, 411 Central Ave., in Salinas.

Previously called Party in the Library because it began to celebrate Hartnell’s new library in 2006, the fundraiser got its new name last spring.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 event was held May 9 on the college’s newly landscaped Central Plaza. The setting proved so ideal that the foundation wanted to repeat the venue, with about 400 guests expected to attend the fundraising luncheon and award presentation this year.

The fundraiser is presented by Taylor Farms and David and Susan Gill and supported by a host of sponsors and donors. The event will commence at 11:30 a.m., with the program beginning at noon.

In addition to lunch, this year’s guests can enjoy a variety of wines, lively auction, live music on two stages and a Hartnell College student speaker.

Hartnell College Foundation supports student success and higher education in the Salinas Valley by raising funds throughout the year and designing programs to advance and prepare students for transfer or for the workforce. The foundation leverages every $1 raised at the Party into $20 for students.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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