Introducing Juliet Braslow
I am looking forward to meeting and working with you all as Marin's new Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator. To everyone I have met so far, thank you for the warm welcome! I feel honored to begin weaving myself into the rich agricultural fabric of Marin County.
In the short time I have been in Marin, I am struck by the strong sense of history and connection the community has to its agrarian roots. I haven’t experienced this kind of community identity with its agricultural heritage and connection with the land since living with the indigenous Kichwa community in the Amazon region of Ecuador. It’s inspiring and exciting to learn the details of your stories and your land from those of you who have been farming here for generations and the relative newcomers like me.
As I come to know the Marin agricultural community and the many and diverse members, I will dedicate time to connecting with you, understanding your needs as well as making connections among you. I am passionate about supporting sustainable agriculture in every sense of the word - environmentally, economically, and culturally - to protect the future of agriculture.
I come to this position with a diverse background of skills and the enthusiasm to put them to use for you. I’m ready to share and add to all that I learned while earning my M.S. degrees in Horticulture & Agronomy and International Agricultural Development at UC Davis. I have researched California native plant nursery production, and studied and taught small farm economics, fruit & vegetable production, soil & irrigation management, and agricultural ecology. I enjoy the technical part of farming and ranching as well as the community development and cultural side.
I plan to incorporate education, outreach, and exchange in order to support Marin agriculture. I developed a cacao production and education program in Ecuador as part of my Fulbright scholarship and spent many days running Farmer Field School workshops on rainforest farms. I look forward to more time spent on your farms and ranches facilitating farmer-to-farmer exchanges, trainings, workshops, as well as out in the community promoting Marin’s bounty and increasing agricultural literacy. Thanks to my experience in Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Sri Lanka, I like to bring an international perspective to my work.
Based on farm and ranch visits over the past month, I have some ideas of upcoming workshops I plan to get started during the slower winter season: on-farm innovation, agriculture and climate change, water and energy conservation, food safety, and more - so stay tuned! I am eager to discover what your needs are, where my experience and skills can be of use, and how we can learn together. It will be exciting to continue working with the many wonderful partners in the community that help conserve and support this productive landscape and promote the fresh, delicious food grown and made in Marin.
I have come to learn that Marin ranchers and farmers have a sense of their land, the greater landscape, and their role in Marin’s continuous patchwork of rolling hills. Many have already reinvented themselves to keep their family farms and ranches viable and continue a lifestyle they treasure. Adapting, creating, and innovating are an important part of today’s culture of agriculture in Marin. Local farmers and ranchers are diversifying and stepping up to challenges in order to maintain the agrarian lifestyle, remain stewards of the land, and represent the beauty and bounty of agriculture here in Marin and beyond.
I am excited to be here and working with you at the forefront of farming and ranching innovations, and sustainable and organic agriculture. As the fall comes and the cool weather rolls in, I will sink my boots in, sip tea at your tables and fill my niche. Please continue to share your stories, ideas, and needs with me.
By Juliet Braslow