Jennifer Spaletta, founder of Spaletta Law and one of the area’s leading experts on water law, has been named the Agribusiness Person of the Year by the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce.
“I am very honored to be selected as the Agribusiness Person of the Year,” said Spaletta, who will be recognized during the Lodi Chamber’s annual dinner on Thursday, Feb. 13 at Wine & Roses.
Spaletta received her master’s degree in agricultural and resource economics at University of California, Davis, followed by her doctoral degree in law. She has extensive experience litigating commercial contract disputes, water, environmental and constitutional law issues, as well as California Proposition 218 cases.
She has served as lead trial counsel in court trials and jury trials throughout the state and in the Court of Federal Claims in Washington D.C. Spaletta serves as general and special counsel to several public agencies, including reclamation and irrigation districts, water conservation districts, county water agencies, and local businesses, including farming operations, industrial manufacturing companies and food processing companies.
She served as the president of the Lodi District Grape Growers Association in 2013-14, and in 2015 she helped local growers strike a deal with the State Water Resources Control Board to voluntarily reduce water consumption by 25% to avoid mandatory curtailments.
Recently, Spaletta has worked on the DREAM project, a collaboration between EBMUD and the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District that allows for banking of groundwater during wet years.
Spaletta also volunteers her time as a youth swim coach, was a past president of the Women’s Center of San Joaquin and is an advisory council member at UC Davis’ Environmental Law Center. She lives in Lodi with her husband and their four children.
“Jennifer has been a dedicated board member of the Lodi District Grape Growers Association since 2005,” said Amy Blagg, last year’s Agribusiness Person of the Year recipient. “She is always willing to lend her expertise in agricultural water issues to educate the agricultural community and has the natural ability to explain these complex issues in an understandable way. We are pleased to present her as the Agribusiness Person of the Year.”
The following awards and recipients will also be presented during the Lodi Chamber’s dinner celebration:
• Mark Armstrong as the Outstanding Citizen of the Year
• Miller’s Hot Dogs as Business of the Year
• House of Clocks as Small Business of the Year
• Joy Furtado Freeman as Ambassador of the Year
• Lodi Street Faire volunteers will be recognized for their years of service.