Meet our new Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator
- David Lewis, Director
By Paulette Swallow, Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator
Helping my aunt out at the family ranch with her chicken operation gave me a different perspective on agriculture. I was opened up to the world of direct sales both on the farm and at farmers markets. A real challenge and accomplishment was developing a business strategy to expand the operation and market outlets to be profitable. As a small operation, this took a lot of forethought and quite a bit of trial and error. We developed a system to keep track of sales and determined the right balance of selling both wholesale to restaurants and retail at a farmers market. Having a relationship with both market channels was important for many reasons.
Working for Clover Stornetta doing ranch evaluations really increased the value I have for agriculture in our region. As an agriculture community we uphold standards not only for our consumers but also for our farmers and ranchers to help them remain successful in their industry by representing themselves well to the public.
As the first Vice Chair of Sonoma-Marin Young Farmers and Ranchers I have gained insight on the next generation of farmers and ranchers. Our relationship with the Farm Bureau helps us fit into local agriculture, and at the same time, begin to pave our own path into the future of agriculture in the region.
Similarly, I have gained many insights from my involvement with the North Bay Dairy Women, a staple in the community since 1965. My first experience with the group was in 2001 when they awarded me with a scholarship. This was when I first began to learn about their efforts to educate the public about the dairy industry, as well as supporting local youth in 4-H and FFA. Now, as a board member and second Vice President, I am glad that I can not only join them in their continued effort to serve our community through education, but give back to them as they have supported my endeavors in agriculture.
I am greatly honored to serve an agricultural community that takes pride in the food it produces. I love that I am part of a place that my ancestors helped to start five generations ago. This position is an opportunity for me to serve and support our local agriculture community and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I think that is something my grandfather Arnold Dolcini Jr. would be proud of.