Statement Honoring Lucio E. Perez for Being Named "Agriculturalist of the Year"
Washington, D.C., Jul 15, 2011 - Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of community member Lucio E. Perez for being named Agriculturalist of the Year by the Napa County Farm Bureau. Mr. Perez comes from a long history of working with Napa's bountiful soil. His grandfather, Mr. Lucio D. Perez, emigrated from Mexico and settled in the Napa Valley in the early 1930s and worked as an agricultural laborer. In 1935, the L. Perez & Sons Family Estates began growing wine grapes. The business was passed to his son Ezequiel, and later to his grandson Lucio, or as he is known throughout the valley, "Cio."
He attended St. Helena High School and later studied at Stanford University before transferring to the University of California--Davis, where he graduated with a degree in Enology & Viticulture. His first job outside of the family farm was with Beringer Brothers; assisting with the development of new vineyards, fertilizer, and pest management problems. Mr. Perez continues to manage L. Perez & Sons Vineyards, and also farms acreage in Conn Valley, Carneros and St. Helena. He produces zinfandel, chardonnay and, cabernet--reflecting the diverse terroirs of the Napa Valley appellations.
His passion for sustainable agriculture and protecting farmlands led him to work with the Napa County Farm Bureau in 1988, where he has served on the Board of Directors and as President. He has also participated on the California Farm Bureau Federation--Grape Advisory Committee, the Tax and Land Use Committee, and Finance Committee. Don Lucio Perez, his grandfather, founded a non-profit by the name of Comite Mexicano de Beneficiencia, where Mr. Perez has been an active member and past treasurer. Being recognized as Agriculturalist of the Year by the Napa County Farm Bureau is an astounding achievement for someone who has dedicated their life to protecting and defending agriculture.