November 10, 2022

Brian’s dad, Tom Heffernan, was named Farmer of the Year by the Tehama County Farm Bureau in 1993. This week, Brian and I were asked to be the keynote speakers at the same Farm Bureau dinner where he was awarded this title all those years ago. Tom was a hard working and well-respected farmer. He earned an MBA from UCLA and served as an officer in the US Army at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. After the military, he left his early career in banking with his young bride Claire when Brian was a baby and moved their family from Ventura to Imperial Valley at the bottom of California to follow family roots back to agriculture. In 1987, he moved their family of seven up to Red Bluff in Tehama County to manage Pacific Farms after the family patriarch Vince Flynn, his good friend from state farming boards, died tragically in a small plane crash leaving his widow Jane Flynn, six children and a very large farming operation behind. Tom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at a young age (in his 40’s) and retired from farming, but continued to be involved in water rights and the agricultural community until he died 7 years ago. Brian wanted to follow in his Dad’s footsteps after college – but Tom’s sage advice was to start somewhere “safer” you could make some money and come back to farming later. Brian went to law school and we hadn’t planned it when we got married but our path led us back to agriculture serendipitously. I know Tom would be so proud of his first-born son and how hard he works to be a steward of agriculture like he was. His grandchildren were proud to see their grandfather’s name on the plaque when he was bestowed this honor, notably after only five years of farming in this agricultural community. It was extra special to have both Jane Flynn and Claire (Brian’s mom) there with us that night watching things come full circle. We all hope to honor Tom’s legacy of family, faith, farming and commitment to agriculture and his country, especially as we remember him and those commitments this Veterans Day. He was proud to serve our country 🇺🇸 and we know he’d be smiling big to see his granddaughter proudly honoring veterans in her favorite outfit today. 😊🇺🇸♥️

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