In The News

Church Brothers rides to mascot race victory

SALINAS, Calif. — Church Brothers Farms’ Lettuce Maximus overcame new obstacles to finish first for the fourth straight year in the Ag Against Hunger produce mascot race at the California Rodeo Salinas.

It became as much a ride as a race July 22 as 11 fresh produce mascots had to straddle inflatable ponies and bounce down the rodeo’s dirt track. The new requirement was a bid to even out the odds among entries of unequal bulk.

“They switched it up this year, which made it a lot more fun and gave everybody a fair chance instead of just a sprint,” said Dalton Dovolis, who won for Church Brothers. “I’m glad we were able to win again.” It was his third time in Victory Lane since Junior Cortez started the grower-shipper’s win streak in 2013.

Tobo the Fox, representing The Nunes Co. and its Foxy label, grabbed second place. The Dole pineapple, representing Dole Fresh Vegetables, also had a podium finish at third.

Other entrants were Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Fresh Express, Naturipe Farms, Ocean Mist Farms, Pacific International Marketing, Tanimura & Antle, Taylor Farms and Bengard Ranch.

Each company donated its entry fee of $1,000 for the sixth annual Fight Hunger Night at the rodeo to benefit Ag Against Hunger. The rodeo also makes contributions.

“Not only did we get the word about Ag Against Hunger, we had fun doing it,” said Lynn Figone, executive director for the Salinas nonprofit.

“I’m glad we’re able to do something for people who are less fortunate and that all the companies came together as one,” said Dovolis, a summer intern at Church Brothers and a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.




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