Please welcome Juliet Braslow, our new Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator who will be replacing Steve Quirt, who retired after 10 years of wonderful and creative service to Marin agriculture. With MS degrees in Horticulture, Agronomy, and International Ag Development, and undergraduate degrees in Spanish and Biology, Juliet has a diverse background that's an excellent match for Marin. She has taught courses to Japanese famers in vegetable and fruit production, managed nursery and farm production at the Davis student farm, conducted outreach workshops for NRCS to spanish-speaking famers, and developed a cacao production program in Ecuador as part of her Fulbright scholarship. We are fortunate to hire her. Juliet starts work July 16. Feel free to give her a call to welcome her on board.
Nominations for the Marin Sonoma Local Farm Services Agency County Committee are now being accepted through August 1. Forms are available from the FSA office in Petaluma (707) 664-8593 or online at www.fsa.usda.gov.
Tomales High is celebrating its 100th anniversary of the first day of school! The new exhibit, Tomales High School - The Story of a Hundred Years, opens on August 5th, 1-4 p.m. at the Tomales Regional History Center. For more information, call (707) 878-9443 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local coastal cheesemakers win big! Congratulations to Marcia Barinaga. Her Baserri just won "Best of Show" at the California State Fair in the non-cow's milk category. And kudos to Karen Bianchi-Moreda of Valley Ford Cheese Co. Karen won both her division and the "Best of Show" in the cows milk category for her Estero Gold Reserve.
Another 28 students are about to graduate from the College of Marin Community Education sponsored Artisan Cheesemaking Certificate program. A total of 82 students graduated since the program was begun by the college and its partners, the California Artisan Cheese Guild and UCCE, in 2010. Ten students have found jobs in the North Bay cheese industry. Read more about the Artisan Cheesemaking Certificate Program in Dairy Arts for a program description and look for the fall class schedule out mid-summer.
Funds are now availablefor Marin Agricultural Housing. This is a great opportunity to upgrade your worker housing. The Marin Farm Bureau, the Marin RCD, Marin Community Foundation, and the County of Marin are at the heart of this effort. Those who enroll first will receive funding in 2012. Eligible sites include privately owned agricultural land, or land leased from private owners or the National Park Service. Email Linda Wagner or call the Marin Workforce Housing Trust at 415-448-0370 for more information. FAQ’s can be found on their website at: http://mwht.org/loan-programs/.
The UC small farm program is teaming up with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Division of Fairs and Expositions to build collaborations between fruit, vegetable, nut and flower farmers, agritourism operators and county fairs. Together they are organizing workshops and tours for farmers and agricultural leaders at seven different fairs throughout the state, to be held during the 2012 fair season. Read more on this collaborative project in the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources press release.
Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) is sponsoring the Strengthening Agriculture's Infrastructure conference this December in Portland. Topics to be covered include: cooperatives and other producer partnerships, value-added food and livestock processing, local and regional marketing and distribution, barriers to regional supply chains, and public sectors’ response to infrastructure gaps. Visit their website for more information and to register for the event.
UC just published – “Organic Strawberry Production Manual” available here, offering detailed information on production, disease and pest management, post-harvest handling, marketing, and the organic certification process. Use promo code PRMAR21 at checkout for a 10% discount.