California Ag Leadership Foundation Announces 2024 Lifetime Leadership Award Recipients

June 13, 2024

MONTEREY – The California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF) and the Ag Leadership Alumni Council will present the 2024 Lifetime Leadership Award to Mike Campbell, Paul Martin, Ed McLaughlin and John Muller on June 27 in Monterey. The award honors California Agricultural Leadership Program alumni who have demonstrated leadership throughout their lifetime, thereby making a significant difference in California agriculture, their industry and community. 

“We are proud to honor these four incredible individuals who embody servant leadership,” said CALF Board Chair Mike Young (35). “As lifelong leaders and role models, they have selflessly served the agriculture industry and their communities to make lasting and meaningful impacts. We applaud them for their dedication, passion and valuable contributions over many decades.”  

This year’s recipients will be recognized during the CALF Alumni Conference on June 27 at the Monterey Conference Center. A reception will begin at 5 p.m., followed by The Farmer’s Table – Celebration Dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the award ceremony. The cost to attend is $175 per person. For event and RSVP information, visit 



Mike Campbell (Class 3), of Clarksburg, has provided outstanding leadership to agriculture, higher education, his community and CALF. Following military service, he farmed in the Sacramento Delta during the 1970s and early 1980s and began his volunteer service. In 1982, he was chosen to serve as a White House Fellow in Washington, D.C., the second farmer selected in the 70-year history of the program. His service to UC Davis includes leadership roles in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Cal Aggie Alumni Association. The university and college have recognized him for his service and leadership. Campbell also played an instrumental role in the creation of UC Merced. He has generously given back to his community through his leadership of organizations supporting youth and community enhancement, the latest being his leadership to restore the community’s landmark 1883 Schoolhouse as a Delta Welcome, History and Education Center. He is respected for his extensive work on Delta projects that benefit the region, including as president and co-founder of the Delta Leadership Foundation. His dedicated leadership with CALF includes campus coordinator for 13 years, Alumni Council director and host of numerous CALF recruitment events, dinners for the new classes and Class 3 reunions in his home. 

“The Ag Leadership Program has been a wonderful gift in my life since 1972,” said Campbell. “I am very grateful to my nominators, the Alumni Council and the Foundation for this wonderful recognition. Receiving this prestigious award from an organization that has done so much to enrich my life makes me feel extremely proud and humbled.” 

Paul Martin (Class 10)
, of Petaluma, has been a prominent leader in agriculture with a focus on the dairy industry and his county. He grew up on the family dairy in Petaluma and after graduating from UC Davis in 1965, volunteered for the U.S. Army. Upon his return from Vietnam in the early 1970s, Martin and his wife, Jill, operated the dairy. In the late 1990s, he joined Western United Dairymen (WUD) as the local field representative and within a few years became its director of environmental services. With his dairy background, career at WUD, work with federal and state agencies and service on many industry boards, Martin was known as a collaborator and trailblazer that made a positive difference for dairy farmers. He also mentored countless industry professionals about environmental law, regulatory prowess and leadership lessons. In 2012, he was appointed as a deputy director in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. After two years, he retired to Two Rock Valley, the family’s 105-year-old ranch, where they run a small herd of beef cattle. Additionally, Martin has dedicated his time to UC Davis programs, community activities and volunteer firefighting. He has been honored by UC Davis and organizations for his leadership. 

“This is a wonderful award and I am absolutely honored that you felt I am worthy of receiving it,” said Martin. “To say I was surprised is an understatement at best. Recognition by Ag Leadership and its alumni – who have themselves done so much for agriculture – is very touching! A special thanks goes to my friends and colleagues who submitted my nomination. It means a lot to me.”  

Ed McLaughlin (Class 11)
, of Durham, has been an exceptional leader in the agriculture industry, his county and community. A longtime almond and walnut farmer, he has held leadership roles for myriad industry organizations, including the Butte County Farm Bureau, California Farm Bureau and the Butte County Farm City Celebration. He served on the Silver Dollar Fair – Third District Agricultural Association for more than 25 years, including several terms as president. McLaughlin has also focused his time and efforts on groundwater as a founding member of the Butte County Tuscan Water District and Ag Groundwater Users of Butte County. His commitment to local schools and youth is reflected in volunteerism for the Chico High School Friends of Agriculture, Durham Unified School District board, Little League and FFA. McLaughlin also demonstrated his leadership and tireless work on important issues while serving on the Butte County Board of Supervisors from 1984-1996, including several terms as chair. He is known for his hard work, enthusiasm, positive attitude and dedication. He has been honored by the Butte County Farm Bureau and Farm City Celebration for his leadership and service. 

“I was very surprised and humbled to be receiving this award since there are so many other deserving alumni who work tirelessly to protect and promote California’s most important industry,” said McLaughlin. “I would like to thank my family, friends and all the Ag Leadership alumni for this very humbling award. Also, thank you to Ag Leadership staff, volunteers and donors who deserve the credit for the program’s success.” 

John Muller (Class 8)
, of Half Moon Bay, has been an exemplary leader at the local, regional, state and national level. For decades, “Farmer John” and his wife, Eda, owned and operated a pumpkin and flower farm, through which they welcomed thousands of visitors annually and took the farm experience to urban schools. Deeply connected to his community, he served on the Half Moon Bay City Council and as mayor, volunteers for many local events and donates seeds to various groups. His service to agriculture and water issues includes the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board, Coastside County Water District board and the Association of California Water Agencies – Region 5. He also served on the American Florists Government Relations Committee, the U.S. EPA Local Government Advisory Committee and a USDA trade advisory committee. Since 2007, he has been a member of the FBI Citizens Academy in the San Francisco Bay region. A steadfast supporter of Ag Leadership since commencing from the program, Muller served on the Ag Leadership Alumni board, CALF board and the Washington, D.C. Educational Exchange Program committee. A U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran, Muller has been honored with several awards for his leadership and volunteerism, including the 2008 President’s Volunteer Service Award. 

“I am truly humbled and honored to be recognized by Ag Leadership, an organization that so deeply shaped my life and gave me the tools to become a leader,” said Muller. “Thank you to Ag Leadership for accepting me into Class 8, to alumni for the friendship and support over these 45 years, to the amazing founders of this program, to the four partner universities and to those who have chosen me for this award.” 


CALF is dedicated to growing leadership in agriculturalists who have the capacity and potential to advance, benefit and promote California agriculture. Since 1970, more than 1,400 California Agricultural Leadership Program fellows have become lifelong leaders who individually and collectively act as a catalyst for a vibrant agricultural community and make a significant difference in the agricultural industry, their businesses, communities and families.