- John L. Woolf
John L. Woolf
California State University, Fresno
Mr. John L. (Jack) Woolf is a long-standing member of the Fresno community and has played a major role in the development of farming on the west side of Central California. A signature of his leadership is found in the policy and practices of Central Valley water usage. Mr. Woolf spent almost 30 years helping Mr. Russell Giffen begin and build a major farming business. When Mr. Giffen retired, Mr. Woolf, who was in his mid-fifties, started his own farm.
His humble row crop operation has grown into Woolf Enterprises, which is a diversified farming business including tomatoes, garlic, cotton, wheat, alfalfa, wine grapes, almonds and pistachios. The company has diversified beyond production to include principal ownership in the Harris Woolf California Almonds processing plant, Los Gatos Tomato processing plant, Huron Ginning Company, Woolf Nursery and Cal-West Rain. Mr. Woolf has remained active in retirement and continues to advise and support his children who continue his legacy through Woolf Enterprises.
Mr. Woolf has served on numerous boards, including the Westlands Water District, the Santa Clara University Board of Regents and the Fresno Historical Society. He also was an active member of the Board of the California Tomato Growers Association and served as its president.
Mr. Woolf was honored by the Ag One Foundation in 2006 as the 11th Community Salute honoree. True to the generosity of the family, the Woolf children matched the money raised at the Salute, and an endowment of approximately $250,000 was established in Mr. Woolf’s name. In keeping with his commitment to solving the future water needs of the Valley, this scholarship supports deserving students working with water technology as well as agricultural business at California State University, Fresno.
In recognition of his devoted service to California agriculture and to bettering his community, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Fresno are proud to confer on John L. Woolf the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.