Notes from the editor
Strengthening our food systems through connections
Marin’s food system is strong and gaining strength daily through connections at all levels. This issue of Grown in Marin News shares a number of efforts that are making connections to improve how local agricultural products are grown and made available, and to support the entire Marin community.
In January, the GROWN LOCAL Marin County campaign kicked off with 10 Marin farmers and ranchers signing up to receive their large yellow signs, indicating that the agricultural products being sold are grown in Marin. More participants are signing up daily. Look for these signs at Farmers Markets with plans to expand the program next year into retail outlets.
The Fibershed team is developing a statewide map and inventory of California wool growers. Area wool growers have the opportunity to participate in this survey, putting Marin’s ranchers on the map, literally. The effort will link wool producers across California in a manner that will increase the sustainability of local fiber production by identifying gaps and needs for bringing local wool to market.
This year’s members of the Petaluma FFA Dairy Cattle Evaluation Team have already experienced success in demonstrating their dairy knowledge at California and National competitions. They now will be traveling abroad to Scotland to compete in the Royal Highland Livestock Show. We wish them luck and look forward to what they will learn and the experience they will bring back.
Sometimes making a connection means needing to make a sacrifice. Juliet Braslow, UCCE Organic and Sustainable Agricultural Coordinator, has in a short time forged strong bonds with Marin’s agricultural community. She will be leaving us at the end of March for an assignment in Kenya with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture.* The same call to contribute to Marin’s local food system, is now calling on Juliet to connect with other communities. We are grateful for the contributions she has made for Marin agriculture and anticipate exciting news and stories from her time in Africa.
Lastly, the Marin Food Policy Council has launched again and is deeply involved in supporting improved food access and production. The Council consists of a broad representation of community members and organizations coming together to shape policy that will advance Marin’s food system, just like it did in the 2007 Countywide Plan Update.
*Look for information soon about filling the Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator position.