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Events: Howie Award: 2014 Recipient


Riverside County Farm Bureau is Proud to Announce
The Howie Award Recipient of 2014

Patricia Laflin

 Bio: Patricia "Pat" Laflin

Pat has lived in the Coachella Valley since 1950.
            She met her husband, Ben Laflin, a valley native, when they were students at
            UC Berkeley. Following graduation they came to the valley to join the family
farming business begun by Ben’s father in 1912.  Ben’s mother came in 1916 and Pat learned about the valley’s early days from the Laflins.
 
Pat worked with her husband and his parents to develop Laflin Date Gardens, now
            known as Oasis Date Gardens, a 250 acre date farm south of Thermal  Over
            the years they grew grapes and vegetable crops, but ultimately specialized
            in dates.  Pat became the advertising and business part of the partnership
            and planned and prepared feature exhibits at the Riverside County Date
            Festival for fifteen years, developed retail and wholesale programs and was
            active in California Women for Agriculture, being their “Farmer of the Year”
            in 1987.  She was president of the CV chapter of CWA and she spearheaded
a program which resulted in the removal of infested imported dates from supermarket shelves across the country.
 
 
Pat served the community in many ways. She was a teacher in Thermal Union
            School District and a teacher and administrator in Coachella Valley Unified
            School District for a total of 23 years.  She was a Trustee of John F. Kennedy
            Hospital, served on the Administrative Committee that brought California
            State San Bernardino University  campus to CV, is an Elder in St. Andrew
            Community Presbyterian Church, was Moderator of the Presbytery of
            Riverside and Moderator of the Synod of Southern California and Hawaii,
            served many years of the Board of Directors of the CV Historical Society
and on the committee that brought the Date Museum into existence. She
wrote the annual publication of the historical society for 13 years and
authored the society’s coffee table book entitled Coachella Valley, California, 
A Pictorial History .  In 2008 she authored  Indio, for Arcadia Publishing
Company’s Images of America series.
 
Pat  has been honored locally by the Desert Sun Newspaper in 1999 as one of their
“Valley Legends” series personalities, in 2001 by the Public Record as their “Spirit of the Valley” awardee and in 2004 by the Desert Post Weekly as one of their eight extraordinary valley women.  In 2005 she received the Athena
Award from the Indio Chamber of Commerce.
 
Pat has been able to accompany Ben on consulting trips to date growing areas of the world and on agricultural exchanges to China and the USSR.  They now live in Bermuda Dunes and are the parents of five children and twelve grandchildren.

What is the Howie Award?