Herzogs represent Petaluma agriculture

The Agricultural Excellence award winners have a long history in the Petaluma dairy industry.|

Kip and Marilyn Herzog have spent their whole lives around dairy cows, so it is fitting that they first met at the arena that is a monument to all things bovine, San Francisco’s Cow Palace.

The Herzogs, who have been married 54 years, are deeply rooted in the Petaluma agricultural community. Marilyn, a 4-H leader for decades, is the president of the Sonoma County Fair board of directors. Kip, who raised Holstein dairy cows and owned Sleepy Hollow Certified Milk Co., is in the Sonoma County Farm Bureau Hall of Fame.

For their contributions to local agriculture, Kip and Marilyn Herzog were recently awarded the Excellence in Agriculture award at the Petaluma Community Awards of Excellence.

“I feel so proud in this presentation to my wife and I,” Kip said at the ceremony this month. “It’s wonderful to win a local award like this.”

Marilyn, a former Sonoma County Dairy Princess, is the only North Bay winner of the California Dairy Princess title. She also moderated the state Dairy Bowl, a youth trivia contest about agriculture.

Having worked with future generations of farmers, Marilyn said that it is important to foster young people in the industry.

“I see the real challenges ahead for us to maintain agriculture in our community,” she said. “I feel like for the rest of my days, I need to focus on this and make sure we give all these young people all the encouragement we can. This is where we’re going to get our food and our fiber.”

In nominating the Herzogs for the award, the Petaluma Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Committee said they have a long history with the dairy industry and supporting youth in agriculture.

“Growing up, both exhibited dairy cattle at the fairs,” the committee wrote. “They have continued providing support to the dairy industry ever since. ... They have been generous with their time and knowledge and support of agriculture, not only in Sonoma County, but statewide and at the national level.”

Marilyn said it was great to represent the local agriculture community.

“We’re thrilled to receive this award and we’re proud to represent this amazing community,” she said.

(Contact Matt Brown at matt.brown@arguscourier.com.)

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