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Voice Behind ‘Widen Highway 41’ Movement Named District Woman of the Year

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Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R- Fresno, announced Monday he has selected Lorna Roush as the 23rd Assembly District’s 2021 Woman of the Year.

After an accident on Highway 41 in Fresno County in November 2020 took the life of a family member, Roush started a grassroots effort calling for the widening of a dangerous rural section of state highway.

“Her drive and determination to ensure the safety of drivers on Highway 41 has led to a movement that would likely not be happening without her efforts.”–Assemblyman Jim Patterson

She created the “Widen Highway 41” Facebook page, which now has nearly 6,000 members. It has become a place for the families of accident victims to remember their loved ones, as well as a warning for other drivers. Her dedication to the issue led to the installation of community-funded signage calling for widening and revived the interest of local elected officials in the project.

“Lorna is an incredible advocate for our community. Her work promoting agriculture in the Central Valley is inspiring,” Patterson said in a news release. “Her drive and determination to ensure the safety of drivers on Highway 41 has led to a movement that would likely not be happening without her efforts.”

Fifth Generation Farmer

Roush is a fifth generation family farmer in Fresno County and a longtime advocate for agriculture.

On top of the day-to-day operations on the farm, Roush is active in community organizations including California Women for Agriculture and Central Valley Women for Agriculture, My Job Depends on Ag, the Ag One Foundation at Fresno State, Riverdale Community Foundation, Fresno County Farm Bureau, Horizon Pistachios Company, and American Pistachio Growers, the release said.

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