Patti Turner, retired Executive Director, spoke at Gil Ramos’ memorial service earlier this year. She spoke on the meaningful contributions Gil made to the CCRCD as a director and to his community. The power of Gil’s “yes” made a big difference in the projects and programs the CCRCD brought to Colusa County. Below you will read Turner’s memory of Gil and what the CCRCD will remember of him.
I had the pleasure of working with Gil for most of my 21 year career at the Colusa County Resource Conservation District but knew him much longer through his many years of serving on the Colusa County Fair Board with my Father. When George asked me to talk about Gil’s contributions to the RCD today, I told him it would be an honor because Gil was one of my favorite people as I’m sure many of you would say the same.
As you know Gil was a man of few words and was very devoted to community service or maybe it was just easier for him to say “yes” instead of spending time explaining why he couldn’t get involved in something, like many of us might be guilty of.
When there was an opening on the RCD board in 2000 the current Directors wanted Gil to fill the seat but the word was out that Gil wouldn’t get involved in any new organization because his Father would get really upset with him. But our timing must have been perfect because Gil said “yes”, which was the first of many “yeses” over the next 18 years. The Colusa County Board of Supervisors quickly approved the RCD’s recommendation and appointed Gil as a Director in December of 2000.
During Gil’s time with the RCD he said “yes” to serving as the District’s representative to the Central Sacramento Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council, “yes” again to serving as the board president in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and lucky for me he served on the Personnel Subcommittee where he always said “yes” to my raises! He also attended many meetings at regional and state levels to represent the Colusa County RCD, and participated in the local stakeholder meetings to help determine the best use of Farm Bill funding in Colusa County. Gil didn’t just serve on the board he practices what he preached, he managed his natural resource on his own farm and encouraged other farmers to do the same. He implemented practices such as cover crops, hedge rows, and grassed waterways to improve, conserve and protect his farm’s natural resources. He even participated in a RCD program to clean up illegally dumped waste on his property. Over the years Gil made his farm available for tours to teach others about natural resource practices and even hosted the Students & Landowner Education & Watershed Stewardship, better known as SLEWS, to teach High School students about conservation through “hands on” experiences. I also remembered a couple of years that we actually moved our monthly board meeting nights due to a conflicted with him saying “yes” to twilight golf.
When Gil spoke up at a Board meeting everybody stopped and listened because when Gil spoke it was to say something important. In the last few years he missed quite a few meeting due to his health. His pure determination and grit gave him a few more years to say “yes” to traveling adventures with Christy and enjoying the other things he loved to do. We have missed Gil and we will continue to miss Gil for many years to come. He will always be remember as a good and kind man that fought an amazing fight, said “YES” to community service and as a true steward of the land that worked to make this world a healthier place to support future generations of agriculture.