June 24, 2017
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Gift of $1,000,000 to the Sonoma County Fair Foundation

June 9, 2017

Gift of $1,000,000 to the Sonoma County Fair Foundation

Saralee McClelland Kunde’s legacy will carry on through education opportunities for youth in agriculture.

Nearly two years after the launch of Saralee and Richard’s Barn, an agricultural education center at the Sonoma County Event Center at the Fairgrounds, built in honor of the late Saralee McClelland Kunde and her husband Richard Kunde, Richard Kunde has given a $1 million gift to the Sonoma County Fair Foundation; establishing the Saralee and Richard Kunde Education Fund. This donation is in addition to his previous contributions of over $300,000 to support construction of the barn. Richard’s donation will be the key to future success of the agricultural center and the education fund.

 The Saralee and Richard Kunde Education Fund has been established to enhance educational opportunities for Sonoma County Youth interested in agricultural careers. It will also educate children about the opportunities available in the local agriculture industry.

 ” I feel blessed to be able to fulfill another of Saralee’s dreams,” said Richard Kunde. “This donation will cement a relationship between the Sonoma County Fair Foundation and ag businesses, to create a wide range of internships by which local students have the opportunity to appreciate careers in agriculture. Our goal is to create the next generation of ag leaders.” 

Born into the world of agriculture, Saralee McClelland Kunde grew up as a member of the 4-H where she developed her passion for agriculture. She showed off her prize winning cows at the Sonoma County Fair as a youth in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and later invested herself in the fair as an employee, eventually becoming a board member for the Sonoma County Fair and Harvest Fair. Over the years, Saralee and her husband Richard hosted and organized hundreds of events that have raised millions of dollars for agricultural charities. The couple also entered into the wine industry and became known as the first family of Sonoma County Grape Growing. In January 2014, Saralee passed away and left behind a lasting legacy of being an agricultural mentor, philanthropist, and community leader. Her husband Richard carries on her traditions and continues to help develop one of her lifelong dreams.

Saralee always dreamed of having a facility on the fairgrounds where youth could learn about the agriculture industry year round. Saralee & Richards Barn is a 12,000 square foot facility that was built to serve the community of Sonoma County year round as an agricultural education center to showcase and promote the nearly $4 billion industry.

Visit for a full listing of opportunities to support agriculture education at Saralee and Richard’s Barn at the Sonoma County Event Center and Fairgrounds.