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Notes from the Editor

In this issue we have combined food, fiber, and community to weave a look at the future of Marin’s diverse farming and ranching.  A big part of Marin’s agricultural story is the bounty of our grasslands and utilizing animals to create amazing local products.  In The Feel of Farm Fresh Wool we highlight the future of manufacturing local fibers – by bringing the processing industry back to our region.  Sheep and lamb have played a big part in the evolution of our local ranches through their milk and meat – and a product that has been overlooked for some time, wool, is now making a comeback as we gear up for the upcoming Fibershed SymposiumMarin’s Cheese Making Heritage celebrates the roots of this craft by discussing the similarities and differences between Marin cheesemakers and those in the rural Italian Alps.  Lastly, the local Agricultural Institute for Teachers partnership has been helping further our county’s agricultural literacy for 15 years and is currently in the middle of another teacher training. These trainings have helped to transform the community from one that knows about our local farms to one that fully recognizes the importance of teaching about agriculture to our next generation.

We also welcome our newest ag community member, Jeffrey Westman, as the new Executive Director of Marin Organic.  Lastly, we want to take a moment to honor Ellie Rilla, who recently retired after serving for 24 years as the UCCE Community Development Advisor.  Ellie has been a compass to viability for Marin’s farms and ranches.  She has established courses that the entire Marin Community will navigate by for a very long time.   

Thank you for joining us as we celebrate this bright future.

Paige Phinney, Organic and Sustainable Ag Coordinator
David Lewis, Director