Shasta County Agricultural Roots
Mary Rickert has been a resident of Shasta County for 42 years and has been actively engaged in the agricultural sector. Since 1981, she and her husband, Jim, have been the owner/operators of a farm and ranch management, rural appraisal and real estate brokerage firm, Western Agricultural Services. Jim and Mary were selected as Farm Manager of the Year in 2002 by the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.
In 1979, the Rickerts started managing the Prather Ranch for Mr. Walter Ralphs. Following the passing of Mr. Ralphs in 2010, the Rickerts acquired the majority interest in the Prather Ranch livestock operation. Prather Ranch has been awarded the Commercial Producer of the Year by the Beef Improvement Federation, the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, the National Cattlemen Beef Association’s Region VI Environmental Stewardship Award and the Aldo Leopold Conservation Award for California.
Mary attended California Polytechnic State University as a Dairy Science major and holds degrees from Simpson University in Business and Human Resource Management and Psychology. As an involved parent of three children, she served as a 4-H leader, was a founding member of the Burney Fall River Education Foundation and chairman of the Sober Grad Night committee for the Fall River High School’s Booster Club.
Commitment to Community Service and Mental Health
In addition to her life’s work in agriculture, Mary has been active in her community serving on the Shasta County Mental Health & Drug and Alcohol Board for 10 years. In that capacity, she chaired the Children’s Task Force Committee. As a strong advocate as a member of the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), she was a certified instructor for the Family to Family Understanding Course, a panelist for Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for law enforcement and organized CIT trainings for county employees, a school district and first responders. Mary was appointed by then Supervisor Glenn Hawes to the Psychiatric Hospital Facility Community Committee and represented the Mental Health Board on the Mental Health Assessment and Redesign Collaborative (MHARC) and the Rural Mental Health Workgroup.
Mary was a participant on the St. Francis Catholic Church Parish Council, mentored a teen girl through Plus One Mentoring and is the Scholarship Chairman for the Intermountain-Fall River Mills AAUW. She was elected to the Shasta County Farm Service Agency (FSA) committee and has completed two of those terms as chairwoman.
For six years, Mary has been a member of the Shasta Regional Community Foundation and is a Founding Member of the Women’s Fund.
Awards and Recognition
In 2013, Mary was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown as the range/livestock representative on the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection and is an ex-officio member of the State’s Range Management Advisory Committee.
Dedicated to the health and well being of her community, she was recognized by the Redding Soroptimist’s as Woman of the Year in the area of Environment, Citizen of Distinction for Shasta County District 3 and a Common Threads Award winner for philanthropic work presented by UC Davis, the California Agricultural Leadership Program and California Women in Agriculture.
Jima and Mary have been married for 43 years and have five grandchildren. Two of those grandchildren attend North Cow Creek School and are 6th generation Shasta County residents on the Rickert side of the family.