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December 3, 2022

California Rodeo Salinas names new directors

Association strives to preserve and promote traditions of the West

SALINAS VALLEY — California Rodeo Salinas hosted its annual stockholders meeting last month, welcoming new directors to the board while also appointing advisory and honorary directors.

Fred Hooker, president of the California Rodeo Association, conducted the Oct. 20 meeting and introduced the crowd of almost 200 guests to the newest directors: Kyle Harmon, Tony Hernandez, Brad Rosbach and Trinidad Valdivia.

“Collectively, this group has over 93 years of volunteering for the California Rodeo Salinas and they all volunteer in very different capacities,” according to a rodeo news release.

Harmon, director of farming for Braga Fresh, started volunteering in the roping chutes on the arena committee in 2002. He helped produce the 2021 California Rodeo Salinas, which showcased the top rodeo athletes during the tour finale after not being able to host a rodeo in 2020.

Hernandez has been volunteering with the California Rodeo Salinas since 1991 and has worked on several committees, including concessions, souvenirs, bull xing and monster trucks. He was named the 2012 committee man of the year and currently works for Joy-Per’s Shoes in Salinas.

Rosbach started volunteering for the rodeo in 2000, working on the arena committee in the roping chutes, sponsor hospitality and now the director’s patio committees.

Valdivia has spent 20 years with the California Rodeo volunteering on the rental, sponsor hospitality and maintenance and construction committees, working year-round on events and facility improvements. Currently, he is the senior quality assurance manager for United Natural Foods Inc. and has worked in the produce industry for the past 43 years.

California Rodeo Association President Fred Hooker recognizes new Advisory Director Craig Kuehl. (Mag One Media)

California Rodeo Association also named new advisory directors: Kyle Brown, George Hansen, Pat Hitchcock, Craig Kuehl and Jon Wooster.

“These directors have served the California Rodeo and are stepping aside for new leaders to progress within the organization,” the release stated.

Brown has served on the bull xing and committee barbecue committees since 2009. Hansen started volunteering in 1989 and served as track director and chairman of the stand-alone bull riding event. 

Hitchcock has been volunteering since 1999, barbecuing in the sponsor hospitality area and moving on to chair the director’s patio committee. Kuehl has been with the rodeo since 1985, working on the long branch and bar supply committees. Wooster has spent the past 42 years working in the bucking chutes on the arena committee.

California Rodeo Association President Fred Hooker gathers with Honorary Director Anne Bramers. (Mag One Media)

One honorary director, Anne Bramers, was named during the annual meeting.

“Honorary directors have impacted the California Rodeo Association in significant ways,” the release explained. “Bramers has worked on the heritage museum committee since 1986 and has sought funding and curated displays to document the history of the California Rodeo Salinas in a meaningful and elegant fashion.”

California Rodeo Association is a not-for-profit organization that strives to preserve and promote the traditions of the California Rodeo Salinas and the West.

“We support the community and other nonprofit organizations through the staging of the annual California Rodeo Salinas and other year-round operations of the Salinas Sports Complex,” the release stated. “Through donation of our facility, vending and fundraising opportunities during Rodeo and other events, the California Rodeo Association returned over $563,000 to local nonprofits in 2022.”

Plans are already underway for the 113th California Rodeo Salinas, which will take place July 20-23, 2023. For more information, visit or call the California Rodeo Office at 831-775-3100.

Ryan Cronk
Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.

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