STAFF REPORTS

Everett Rankins — the most prolific hay baler in San Joaquin County history — is being inducted into the Manteca Hall of Fame.

The dinner and induction ceremonies are taking place Saturday, May 19, at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane. Tickets are $65 apiece and are available through the Manteca Boys & Girls Club, 545 W. Alameda St., or by calling 239.5437.

Other inductees are Joyce Gatto, art; Gary DeiRossi, education; Dr. Jerry Weiner, healthcare; Charleen Carroll, special recognition; Leon Sucht, business; Peggy Thompson Spears, community service; Connie Lum, at-large; and Michael Dean Moore, at-large.

Rankins is being inducted for agriculture.

The owner of Rankins Ag resided, worked in and contributed to the Manteca community from 1944 to 1979. He bought one of the original flat-top homes in the Powers Tract in 1953 and then moved to Flores Court in 1962. In order to be closer to his corporate office he moved to Tracy in 1969.

With the exception of two years of military service in the Navy, Rankins has baled hay in the area from 1944 continuously to the present. In peak seasons his bale count has reached a million bales.

He also has been instrumental in revolutionizing the hay industry in West. He has held up to 15 patents in the agricultural machine industry and has employed 100 plus people in the Manteca Tracy area.

Some of his inventions included the redesign of four-man balers allowing them to be operated by two men, a spooled baling wire system, developing the first commercial spray rig for application of herbicide on dormant hay fields, the first bale pick-up machine, designed a series of mini-balers in order to produce a small and convenient bale for small hay-consuming pets, and the first knife system for hay balers among others.

His hobbies include resorting antique vehicles with the oldest being a 1912 International Auto Wagon.