Henry Kalfsbeek Hunting Accident: A Tragic Loss for the California Farming Community


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The California farming community was struck by a profound tragedy on January 24th, 2024, when a Henry Kalfsbeek Hunting Accident claimed the life of Henry Hiram Kalfsbeek, a deeply respected rice farmer and beloved figure in the Arbuckle region. At just 49 years old, Henry’s untimely passing has left an immense void, not only for his devoted family but also for the countless individuals whose lives he touched through his tireless work ethic, leadership, and unwavering commitment to the agricultural industry he held so dear.

Henry’s roots in the fertile fields of California’s Central Valley ran deep, and his impact on the state’s rice farming community was truly immeasurable. A fourth-generation farmer, he embodied the very essence of the region’s rich agricultural heritage, carrying on a legacy that spanned generations and inspired all those around him with his passion for the land and his relentless pursuit of excellence.

Henry Kalfsbeek’s Life and Legacy

Born on January 14th, 1975, in Woodland, California, Henry Kalfsbeek was raised in a farming family that instilled in him a profound appreciation for the rhythms of nature and the noble pursuit of cultivating the earth. His formative years were spent in the small community of Arbuckle, where he attended local schools and graduated from Pierce High School in 1993. Driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge, Henry went on to pursue higher education, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business and Crop Science from Chico State University in 1999.

Agriculture was not merely a profession for Henry; it was a way of life, a calling that resonated deep within his soul. Alongside his father, Joe Kalfsbeek, he worked tirelessly on the family farm operation, nurturing the rich soil and tending to the crops that would sustain countless families. His dedication and expertise were widely recognized, and for the past 24 years, he served as a Pest Control Advisor (PCA) for Grow West, providing invaluable guidance to fellow farmers and earning their respect and admiration.

In August of 2005, Henry’s life took on a new and profound dimension when he met the love of his life, Renee. Their connection was undeniable, and on February 2nd, 2008, they exchanged vows in a beautiful ceremony in Sacramento, embarking on a journey that would shape the rest of their lives. In 2010, their family was blessed with the arrival of their son, Tyler, and three years later, their daughter, Blake, completed their picture-perfect family.

Henry was, above all else, a devoted family man. His wife and children were the center of his universe, and their lives revolved around shared adventures and cherished moments spent exploring the great outdoors. From hiking through national parks to fishing, hunting, and golfing together, every moment was a precious opportunity to strengthen the unbreakable bonds that held their family together.

Fellow farmers and industry leaders alike were quick to sing Henry’s praises, their testimonials painting a vivid portrait of a man whose character was as remarkable as his achievements. Josh Sheppard, a fellow California rice farmer, encapsulated the essence of Henry’s enduring legacy: “Henry had an amazing ability to connect with people. His positive, gracious, caring, and humble persona, along with his tireless work ethic, was admirable. We are all better off for knowing Henry and having him be a part of our lives. He will be missed dearly.”

Henry’s involvement in the Rice Leadership Development Program further exemplified his commitment to the industry he loved so dearly. A 2008 graduate of the program, he was remembered as “a great asset to the rice industry” by Dr. Steve Linscombe, the current director of the program. Henry facilitated leadership class trips to California, sharing his knowledge and experience with a generosity of spirit that inspired all those around him.

Buck Leonards, a rice farmer from Crowley, Louisiana, and a fellow participant in the Leadership Program, recalled his first encounter with Henry: “I first met Henry on Day One of our journey through the Rice Leadership Program. He was happy, ambitious, and a dedicated young rice farmer. Right away, even at such a young age, I saw his future as a leader. His unfortunate passing is a great loss to our industry, to his friends, and especially to his beloved family.”

Indeed, Henry’s impact on the rice industry extended far beyond the borders of California, and his untimely passing has left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of those who had the privilege of knowing him.

The Tragic Henry Kalfsbeek Hunting Accident

On the fateful morning of January 24th, 2024, Henry’s life was cut tragically short during a hunting trip near the rural town of Dunnigan, California. According to the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, which responded to the scene shortly after 7 a.m., a juvenile hunter unintentionally discharged a firearm, resulting in Henry Kalfsbeek Hunting accident shooting of Him.

Despite the valiant efforts of emergency responders and on-site medical attention, Henry succumbed to his injuries, leaving a devastated community grappling with the immense loss of one of its most beloved and influential members.

In a poignant twist of fate, Henry’s final moments were spent doing what he loved most – duck hunting with his cherished son, Tyler, by his side. While the circumstances surrounding his untimely demise were undoubtedly tragic, there is a bittersweet solace in knowing that he departed this world surrounded by the natural beauty he so deeply revered, sharing a cherished tradition with the very person who embodied his legacy.

As the news of Henry’s passing reverberated throughout the community, the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office extended its “profound condolences to the grieving family” and urged the public to respect their privacy during this incredibly challenging period.

Remembering Henry

In the wake of this heartbreaking tragedy, an outpouring of love, support, and heartfelt tributes poured in from the farming and rice communities, both near and far. Henry’s positive spirit, unwavering work ethic, and profound impact on those around him were celebrated and honored, as individuals from all walks of life sought to pay homage to a life that was cut far too short.

Chuck Wilson, who retired from USA Rice in 2017 and served as the director of the Leadership Program when Henry participated, summed up the sentiments of many: “California and the U.S. rice industry lost an outstanding young man. Henry wanted to contribute to an industry he loved, so he applied and was selected to the program, which he saw as a way to ‘give back.’ Henry was a great friend and will be greatly missed.”

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Henry’s legacy was deeply rooted in the profound impact he had on those around him. As a mentor, friend, and dedicated family man, his influence extended far beyond the boundaries of the fields he tended. Those who knew him spoke of his infectious positivity, his genuine concern for others, and his unwavering commitment to living life to the fullest.

Relationship Testimonial
Friend “Henry’s positive, gracious, caring, and humble persona made him a joy to be around. He had a way of making everyone feel valued and appreciated.”
Mentee “Henry took me under his wing and taught me not only the technical aspects of farming but also the importance of perseverance, hard work, and integrity.”
Colleague “Henry was a true professional, always willing to lend a helping hand and share his expertise. His dedication to the industry was truly inspiring.”

The immense loss felt by all who knew Henry was palpable, as his absence left a void that could never be truly filled. Yet, in the midst of this profound grief, there was a collective determination to honor his lasting legacy and carry forward the values that defined his life – hard work, leadership, and an unwavering commitment to family and community.

Funeral and Memorial Details

As the Kalfsbeek family navigated the unimaginable pain of losing a beloved husband, father, son, and friend, the community rallied around them, offering support and solace during this most difficult time.

A Rosary was scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, February 5th, 2024, at the McNary-Moore Funeral Chapel in Colusa, providing an opportunity for those closest to Henry to gather and find solace in their shared grief.

The following day, on February 6th, 2024, a funeral service was held at 10 a.m. at the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Arbuckle, where Henry’s life was celebrated and his memory honored. A private burial followed immediately after at the Arbuckle Cemetery, offering the Kalfsbeek family a moment of intimate reflection and closure.

In a touching tribute to Henry’s love for the great outdoors and the sport that brought him so much joy, a celebration of life event was held at the Yolo Fliers Golf Course in Woodland, California. This serene setting, surrounded by rolling hills and meticulously manicured greens, provided the perfect backdrop for family, friends, and colleagues to gather and share cherished memories of the man whose impact had touched so many lives.

Henry’s obituary painted a poignant picture of a life well-lived, highlighting the indelible mark he left on all those who had the privilege of knowing him. He was preceded in death by his sister, Holly Ann Kalfsbeek, grandparents Bernie and Hiram Kalfsbeek, grandfather Holley Smith, and uncles Mike Smith, Guy Kalfsbeek, and Oscar Kalfsbeek. Henry is survived by his devoted wife of 15 years, Renee (Rossi) Kalfsbeek, his son Tyler (13), and daughter Blake (11), all of Woodland; his parents, Joe and Mary K. Kalfsbeek of Arbuckle; grandmother Mona Smith of Arbuckle; sister Susie Doherty (Tim), nephew Ryan, and nieces Holly and Grace Doherty of Dunnigan; in-laws Sergio and Cathy Rossi of Woodland; brother-in-law Robert Rossi of Foster City; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations be made to The Henry Kalfsbeek Family Trust in care of Umpqua Bank, PO Box 1218, Arbuckle, CA 95912, or to the Arbuckle Golf Course or Arbuckle Fire Department, two organizations that held a special place in Henry’s heart.

The outpouring of support and generosity from the community was a testament to the profound impact Henry had on those around him, and the establishment of these memorial funds ensured that his legacy would continue to live on, providing assistance and support to the very institutions and causes he held so dear.


The untimely and tragic Henry Kalfsbeek Hunting Accident has left an indelible mark on the California farming community and the broader agricultural industry. A man of unwavering character, boundless compassion, and an unparalleled work ethic, Henry’s life was a shining example of the values that have long defined the backbone of this nation’s heartland.

As the shock and grief of his passing slowly give way to cherished memories and lasting legacies, it is incumbent upon all those who were fortunate enough to cross paths with Henry to honor his spirit by carrying forward the torch of leadership, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to family and community.

The void left by Henry’s absence will undoubtedly be felt for years to come, but his impact will reverberate through the generations, serving as a constant reminder of the profound difference one life can make. In the fields he tended, the crops he nurtured, and the lives he touched, Henry’s legacy will endure, a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and an enduring love for the land and those who call it home.

As the Kalfsbeek family navigates the difficult road ahead, they can take solace in the knowledge that their beloved husband, father, son, and friend lived a life that inspired and uplifted all those around him. May his memory serve as a beacon of hope, guiding us all towards a future where hard work, compassion, and an unwavering commitment to one’s values reign supreme.

The agricultural community, and indeed the world at large, mourns the loss of a true icon, but Henry’s spirit will forever live on in the hearts and minds of those whose lives he touched. Let us honor his memory by embodying the principles he held so dear, and by working tirelessly to create a world where the values he championed – family, community, and an abiding respect for the land – are woven into the very fabric of our existence.


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