Honoring Ernest Bedrosianby Representative David G. Valadao
Posted on 2014-01-10
in the house of representatives
Friday, January 10, 2014
Mr. VALADAO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life of Mr.
Ernest Bedrosian, who passed away on January 1, 2014 at the age of 80.
Ernest was a leading raisin grower and packer in California's San
Joaquin Valley and played an instrumental role in the development of
the raisin industry in the United States and abroad.
Ernest was born in Parlier, California and attended California State University, Fresno, where he graduated with high honors receiving a bachelor's degree in Agriculture. Upon graduation in 1955, Ernest joined the United States Army and was a food specialist stationed in New York. In 1958 Ernest moved back to the San Joaquin Valley and started working on his family's raisin and wine vineyard. Shortly after, he began serving on various raisin boards and committees. Ernest established the Raisin Bargaining Association (RBA) in 1966 and served as the first acting President. The efforts of the RBA organized raisin growers, stabilized the national raisin market, and expanded domestic and international demand for raisins.
Ernest and his brothers opened the National Raisin Company in 1969 and developed the ``Champion'' brand for raisins and other dried fruits. Today the Champion brand is the largest independent raisin, prune, and dried fruit operation in the world and the National Raisin Company provides hundreds of jobs to Central Valley residents.
Ernest served as an elder at his Church, the First Armenian Presbyterian Church of Fresno, and was also a member of the church's various building committees. Ernest will be remembered as not only a great businessman, but also as a devoted family man with a strong faith and an eagerness to help his community.
Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues in the House of Representatives to join me in paying tribute to the life and service of Mr. Ernest Bedrosian.