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In memoriam: Earl Holtz

Earl Holtz, former UC Cooperative Extension dairy advisor in Sonoma County, died on March 25, 2021, at the age of 87. 

Earl Holtz
“Earl made a huge impact on young people's lives as well as on the profitability of dairying in the North Coast,” said Deanne Meyer, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis. “Even after he ‘retired,' he provided guidance to producers through the Animal Resource Management Committee and served as the individual doing surface water monitoring for years.”

Born and raised in Pleasantville, Penn., Holtz moved to Ceres, Calif., where he graduated from high school. After a short college stint at San Jose State, he enlisted in the Army for two years. Upon his return, he married Dot (Jean) McBride and they moved to Fresno, where he earned a degree in dairy science from Fresno State in 1955. Holtz earned a master's degree from Washington State University before joining UCCE in Sonoma County in 1964.

During his 10 years as a UCCE dairy advisor, his relationships with dairy producers flourished. All three of his children participated in 4-H in Sonoma County, where Holtz was a tireless volunteer and 4-H leader across a wide spectrum of projects. 

Following his job with UCCE, Holtz and his wife became partners with two local dairymen in NorCal Sires. Holtz retired from the dairy industry as a fieldman for Western United Dairymen with a focus on environmental issues and regulations and their impact on dairy producers. 

In 2017, Holtz and his wife were inducted into the Sonoma County Farm Bureau Hall of Fame for their decades of support for Sonoma County agriculture.

Holtz is survived by his children Corwin (Deborah) Holtz of Dryden, NY, and Kathlyn Millon and Kirvin Holtz both of Santa Rosa.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in memory of Earl Holtz be sent to FISH of Santa Rosa, 1710 Sebastopol Rd., Santa Rosa, CA 95407. A date and location for a memorial service for both Earl and Dot Holtz will be announced in the future.

Posted on Monday, March 29, 2021 at 12:53 PM

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