Bob Gilbert, who led the Oakdale feed company founded by his father in 1892, and was a leading advocate for California farmers,
Bob died Sunday at 93. He was the last surviving child of Amos Lawrence Gilbert, who founded A.L. Gilbert on North Yosemite Avenue.
The Company continues to operate there and along Highway 99 in Keyes, providing feed for cattle, poultry and other livestock. Mr. Gilbert helped develop modern feeding practices and worked on behalf of farmers dealing with low milk prices and other concerns. His numerous honors included Agriculturist of the Year from the California State Fair in 2011.
“Bob has an uncanny memory, a wonderful fatherly personality and many connections,” said a letter to the selection committee from Robert Kelley, president of James J. Stevinson Corp., a farming operation in Merced County. “He has always been respected and listened to.” Mr. Gilbert was a pioneer in contracting for Midwestern feed and in mixing corn and other grains with supplements to meet the specific needs of livestock
“It’s very scientific,” he said in a 2005 interview. “It’s more scientific than what people eat.”
That story was on the occasion of the company’s induction into the Stanislaus County Agricultural Hall of Fame. This year, the Gilbert family received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Gilbert was on the advisory board for the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a degree in agricultural economics. He served as a Navy officer in the Pacific in World War II.