“My parents were the cornerstone of all that I am. They always encouraged me to do my best, to try it all and that they would be there to support me along the way. I AM agriculture and I would have it no other way. It is an industry that taught me responsibility, values, hard work, commitment and tremendous pride.” -Celeste Settrini
Celeste Settrini is a passionate connector of people. When I was working in California, she sought me out, met me for dinner, gave me a new pink scarf, sent me an encouraging note in the mail and proceeded to practically introduce me to her entire contact list (the old-school term is Rolodex for those of my generation or older) of farmers and ranchers across California. I absolutely love Celeste’s exuberant approach to life.
Celeste helped jump-start me into speaking at events when the California Women for Agriculture, which she was the President of at the time, asked me to come speak at their annual conference a couple years ago. Celeste is that spark plug for many and truly for the entire agriculture industry that she touches and works in. She has a couple of decades of fresh produce sales experience, a lifetime of cattle ranching and is the most lively cheerleader for ag I know. And she does it with couture cowgirl style, authentically her own.
This year, Celeste has expanded her own business as a promoter and communicator. And this year, Celeste had a tragic loss when her father died at their family Salinas, California ranch where Celeste resides. Everyone would have understood if Celeste withdrew for months to mourn and grieve with her family. But Celeste did what her dad would have wanted her to do. She has kept going. The road is not always easy and life hands us challenges at times we are not sure how to deal with but Celeste is an example we all can learn from. She works harder to keep her family’s ranch going, tells her authentic California ranching story and passionately promotes the industry she loves. Celeste has kept going for her hero, her dad. I am intensely proud of my friend, Celeste Settrini of Salinas, California.
Meet her today, in her own words.
What is your role in agriculture today? My roles are numerous. First and foremost, I am a cheerleader for agriculture and for those involved in it. Through my business of CS Connections, I represent and promote various sectors of our industry from auctioneers to cattle ranches to rodeo
How has agriculture shaped your life? People ARE agriculture and I think the numerous folks I have had the opportunity to come in contact with over the years are the ones that influenced who I am today. From the numerous 4-H leaders to cattle breeders that I have come in contact with over the years, these are the people who had an impact on who I am today. My parents were the cornerstone of all that I am. They always encouraged me to do my best, to try it all and that they would be there to support me along the way. I AM agriculture and I would have it no other way. It is an industry that taught me responsibility, values, hard work, commitment and tremendous pride.
What is your favorite home-cooked meal? Hands down BBQ beef ribs, tossed green salad with avocado and bleu cheese, garlic bread and a lovely glass of Cabernet.
If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be? My message is simple: Be the hero in your own story. It only takes one to make a difference. Believe you can!
These have been my messages as I travel across America speaking to groups about my thoughts, passions and journeys with not only my own family ranch but the experiences I have encountered along the way. Everyone has a story to tell!
What makes you smile? Thinking of my dad. I lost him this year and his memory is with me each and every day guiding me with what I need to do to keep our Red Angus ranch running like it should. He was my mentor, hero and my most favorite boy. There was nobody better. His shy little smile could light up a room. Thinking of him brings comfort, renewed faith in all I do and most definitely a smile.
Follow along to all women featured in this series by subscribing to my blog in the right column by email. I’m backlogged with features. This might be 300 Days of Women in Agriculture! For sure starting in December, I will continue with weekly features on amazing women.
In addition to Women In Ag Features this week, I will be sharing a bit about #FoodThanks and hope you will join in the conversation as well as donate a bag of food to your local food pantry. Watch this one minute video to learn more about #FoodThanks.
Earlier Women in Agriculture features this month include:
November 16: Marie Bowers, Oregon Grass Seed Farmer
November 1: Introducing 30 Days of Women in Agriculture
For a listing of all the 30 Days Bloggers my friend Holly Spangler rounded up, visit here. Subscribe in the right column by email to not miss any features!