Grown in Marin
University of California
Grown in Marin

Editor's Column November 2009

Chick
Changes in agricultural life occur slowly. Growing food involves longer-term cycles of family, nature, land management, and economics than most other enterprises. A rapidly changing economic environment is affecting farm and ranch diversification, adaptation, and family succession plans. Here in Marin we have an overwhelming majority of small family farms and many of these farms are either thinking about changing their operations or are actively involved in some sort of diversification or upgrade of farm plans.

This issue is all about changes and new enterprises that reflect movements in our farming community. Ellie Rilla just returned from a sabbatical adventure in the British Isles, where she observed a mobile milk processing operation that could have applications here in Marin to help the dairy community diversify. We also cover two next-generation farmers who are returning to the traditional family operations with new ideas. For landless farmers, we visit Peter Rudnick and see just how cool an operation he has put together through partnerships and leased land.
 
So we are seeing change in local agriculture: new ideas, a new generation, and new ways to contribute to local livelihoods. - Steve Quirt
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