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Notes from the editor

Marin’s farmers and ranchers have a long tradition of innovation.  In the 1920's, 30's, and 40's, Marin’s dairy farmers were using innovations for screening disease in herds, increasing livestock nutrition, and improving pasture conditions.  The result was higher quality milk and dairy products and reduction in soil erosion.  These efforts were documented by M.B. Boissevain, Marin’s first UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor, in his photographs of that era that will premiere at the 2012 Marin County Fair.

While we are on this year’s Fair, a sincere thank you goes to Jim Farley and his entire Marin County Fair team for creating the stage to celebrate Marin agriculture through the theme “Always Fresh, Fun & Local.”  An incredible partnership – including the Agricultural Institute of Marin, Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Marin Organic, Marin County Free Library, Marin History Museum, UCCE Marin Master Gardeners, Marin’s Farmers and Ranchers, Marin’s Cheesemakers, Clover Stornetta Farms, Marin Beekeepers, Art Rogers Photography, and others – have teamed up to make the fair a showcase of Marin’s agricultural past, present and future.  Don’t miss it!

The innovations on today’s farms and ranches include high quality farmstead products that are being made directly available to us through on-farm processing and diversification enterprises.  Today’s farming families are working closely with Marin County, through the guidance and support of the Agricultural Ombudsman, to make these projects viable, appropriate contributions to the local economy and rural landscape of Marin.

Other pioneering innovations include the farming community’s leadership in energy production and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.  Examples include powering dairies with methane digesters and production of compost.

Innovation involves a combination of creativity and risk taking.  Here's to the third, fourth, and fifth generation of farm family creative risk takers in Marin.  They are the living legacy of the heritage that their predecessors started with M.B. Boissevain almost a century ago. 

Editor: David Lewis
Production: Bonnie Nielsen
Contributors:  Jeff Creque, Ellie Rilla, David Lewis, Bonnie Nielsen