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Meet the new North Bay Food Systems Advisor

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Julia Van Soelen Kim joined UC Cooperative Extension in October as the North Bay Food Systems Advisor. Julia’s work centers on supporting sustainable and local food systems. She holds master’s degrees in Community Development and Public Health from UC Davis and brings a background in community education and outreach, with much of her previous work focused on Farm to School programs.

Julia was raised, in part, in Sonoma County and returns to the North Bay from Davis where she went to school, worked for a small nonprofit program called Davis Farm to School, and was a researcher for the UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program and the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis.

Julia is already proving to be an asset through her experience and training in institutional sourcing of local agricultural products and her skills in food system analysis and support.  As the North Bay Food Systems Advisor, Julia will help strengthen connections between local producers and local consumers.  Julia explains, “I am really excited by new and innovative ways to enhance the viability and sustainability of local agriculture while increasing access to healthy food for the entire community. I see this dual task as central to my work as a Food Systems Advisor.”

Julia (left) gleaning at a Point Reyes farm with Marin Organic's Glean Team
Julia (left) gleaning at a Point Reyes farm with Marin Organic's Glean Team
In her first two months with UC Cooperative Extension, Julia is taking the opportunity to learn about the breadth and depth the North Bay food system and the region’s agricultural bounty.  From exploring Marin’s rangelands on the back of a 4-wheeler, to touring urban gardens in the SF Bay Area that provide important access to fresh fruits and vegetables, to discussing needs and opportunities with committed and passionate sustainable agriculture advocates in the region, Julia is “piecing all this information together and identifying the best ways to be of help.”

Welcome, Julia!

- David Lewis, Director