Alvin Quist, a longtime Fresno County dairyman, agriculture advocate and civic leader, died Oct. 29. He was 89.
The son of Danish immigrants, Mr. Quist joined the family dairy in 1947 after earning his degree in dairy science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
The dairy located in the Kearney Park area of Fresno grew from 125 cows to more than 800 by the mid-1980s. Over the years, he also grew alfalfa, corn, cotton and raisin grapes. Along with farming, Mr. Quist was known for producing purebred Holsteins and was the sponsor of the nationally known "Gold Rush Sale" that fetched some of the highest auction prices for cattle in the country.
Fellow dairy operator Fred Machado called Mr. Quist "a true gentleman who was very knowledgeable about the dairy business."
The two men were friends for more than 40 years and met with others for lunch every month.
"We were supposed to meet the week he died," Machado said. "We will really miss him."
Machado and others say Mr. Quist was a giving person who saw the benefit of helping others whether it was in farming or education.
The list of his involvement and accomplishments is lengthy. He was a founding trustee of State Center Junior College District (now State Center Community College District) and served on several other boards, including Fresno Irrigation District, Kings River Conservation District, California Milk Advisory Board, Big Fresno Fair, Fresno Planning Commission and Rotary Club of Downtown Fresno.
He was also president of the Fresno County Farm Bureau from 1956 to 1958. The farm bureau honored Quist in 1975 with its outstanding service award.
Mr. Quist also received the 1983 Distinguished Service Award from the School of Agriculture and Home Economics at Fresno State. In 1984 he was honored by Cal Poly.
"Alvin had a lot to give and he worked hard to make things better," said friend and former Fresno County supervisor Vernon Conrad. "And he did a great job at it."
Alvin J. Quist
Born: April 11, 1924
Died: Oct. 29, 2013
Occupation: Dairy operator and farmer
Survivors: Wife Mary, son Jim and wife Lisa Quist; daughter Deborah and husband Troy Brandt; daughter Marsha and husband Joel Bishop.
Services: Visitation will be held at Stephens & Bean Chapel, 202 North Teilman Ave., Fresno, Friday from 2 to 7 p.m. A memorial service and Celebration of Life will be held at Hope Lutheran Church, 364 E. Barstow Ave., Fresno, on Saturday at 11 a.m.
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