As President of Drake Enterprises, Inc., a farm management company specializing in the development, maintenance and marketing of winegrapes and avocados in Southern Riverside and Northern San Diego counties, he is continuously taking on the challenges and issues that face our industry and community on a daily basis. Ben has taken on many active roles in preserving the future water supply of our communtiy, being a visionary on pest management/control practices, and a leader in sustainable winegrape and avocado growing practices and the participation and is a major part of numerous statewide organizations to secure the future of agriculture in our wonderful state.
Ben Drake has lived in the Temecula area for 40 years, planting much of the agricultural acreage for Kaiser Aetna in the 1970’s. He and his wife, Sharon, were married in 1975 at the Rancho Community Church and she taught 5th grade, at what is now Temecula Elementary School. Ben’s four children graduated from Temecula Valley and Great Oak High Schools. Ben graduated from California State University of Fresno and was a graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Program in 1983.
Ben’s professional affiliates are:
President Rancho California Water District Board of Directors
Past Chairman California Association of Winegrape Growers & Board Member,
Past President Riverside County Farm Bureau & Board Member,
Past President Temecula Valley Winegrape Growers Association & Board Member,
UCR Chancellors Agricultural Advisory Council Member,
Past President California Winegrape Growers Foundation,
Board Member California Sustainable Winegrape Alliance,
Member Agricultural Leadership Association.
Ben’s State Appointments are:
California State Board of Food and Agriculture,
Past Chairman of California Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Board, and California Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Task Force
2013 California Association of Wine Grape Grower Leader of the Year.
Robert M. Howie Award in 2010 for Outstanding Service to Riverside Agriculture.
2004 Valley Group Award for Excellence in Agriculture.
Award of Excellence from the USDA, as he was a large contributor to theCooperative Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter area wide management team that spearheaded the solution to the threat of Pierce’s Disease and the GlassyWinged Sharpshooter in June of 2003.