Our thoughts go out to the friends and family of longtime Edna Valley agriculturalist Ernie Righetti, a pioneering San Luis Obispo County avocado grower who died this week at age 97. Righetti managed the Enda Valley ranch, which he converted from a cattle ranch into an avocado farm in 1967.
The ranch dates back to 1890 and now includes more than 200 acres of avocado production and about 50 acres of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes. Righetti was also a longtime director of the farm bureau and served as its president from 1975 to 1977. He became active in the farm bureau in 1931, less than 10 years after his father helped found the organization in 1922. He was named Agriculturalist of the Year by the bureau in 1991.
Righetti’s visionary leadership and business acumen will be greatly missed.