By Paulette Swallow, with David Lewis and Julia Van Soelen Kim
In this issue, we invite you to hear directly from two agriculture enthusiasts as they walk you through the past, present, and future of Marin County Agriculture. Both Warren Weber and Ralph Grossi have seen many of the phases Marin agriculture has undergone over the decades, both of these testaments offer a wealth of knowledge to a new generation of farmers and ranchers looking to bring success into the next decade. Take a moment and enjoy a trip through Marin’s recent agricultural history as though you are listening to early morning coffee shop chatter among the ranchers in West Marin.
This fall more than 70 of Marin’s farmers, ranchers, and agriculture supporters joined in a half-day program entitled Honoring Agricultural Diversification in Marin, celebrating the accomplishments of the agricultural community over the last 40 years to diversify farming operations, including a large transition to organic for our dairy industry. These successes include additions of pasture-based livestock products, precedent-setting levels of organic certification, and value-added production, including artisan and farmstead cheeses. Warren Weber, grandfather of organic agriculture in Marin and owner and farmer of Star Route Farms, provided the keynote for this program. Ralph Grossi, previously a Marin dairy operator and former Executive Director for of the American Farmland Trust, started the program with a review of the pivotal decisions made and programs implemented to protect agricultural lands in Marin and support its farming families. If you missed the event, be sure to read their speeches, specially adapted for Grown in Marin News!
All the best,
|Julia Van Soelen Kim
North Bay Food Systems Advisor
Sustainable Ag Coordinator