CAPCA Member of the Year is an annual award bestowed upon a member and licensed Pest Control Adviser (PCA) who excels in their contribution to the profession through CAPCA activities and leadership above and beyond the norm. The 2017 recipient of the CAPCA Member of the Year Award is Rick Harrison.
Rick started his career as a PCA while at Cal Poly Pomona, where he earned a B.S. in Agricultural Biology. Obtaining his PCA license in 2000, he began advising with Integrated Grower Services for three and half years, before going to work for Crop Production Services (then Western Farm Service) where he continues to work today.
For the last 17 years, he has worked in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties consulting in avocados, citrus, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, sod, and wine grapes. He strives to provide quality service to his clients while giving back to his industry and community. In an interview, Rick once shared with satisfaction, “I enjoy and respect the PCA and grower relationship, every day I am in the field helping growers reach their goals to provide safe and marketable food for local and international consumption.” He has been a member of the Ventura County Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing Task Force since 2014, and is active with the Ventura County Spray Safe program. In addition he is one of the few PCAs in California who has all Department of Pesticide Regulation PAC and QAL License categories. Through his work ethic and volunteering, Rick provides leadership and mentoring to new PCAs through CAPCA’s Pathway to PCA Program.
Rick began his involvement in CAPCA with the Ventura Chapter one year after licensure in 2001. He continues to this day to contribute at the local and state level. He has served on the Ventura Chapter Board for sixteen years, on the State Board for ten years, and the executive committee for almost three. During this time with the executive committee, Rick faced a sudden health challenge, but continued to participate and serve in CAPCA leadership and the Legislative Committee in Sacramento. In speaking of his dedication to CAPCA, past Chair John McClenahan shared on behalf of the San Francisco Bay Chapter, “[Rick] epitomizes what any organization would or could ask for in a volunteer. After having significant health problems, instead of quitting CAPCA, he was able to maintain his vice chair position on [the] state board, attend conference, continue as a volunteer on the California Invasive Species Advisory Committee and attend regularly scheduled executive committee functions.”
Rick shares his commitment to his profession with a very supportive family. They believe as Rick does, that this is a vital and ever advancing industry where PCAs are needed now more than ever. Rick is committed to raising the professionalism of the PCA and is most deserving of recognition as the 2017 CAPCA Member of the year.