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Notes from the Editor

The one-to-one relationship between a farmer and a customer is a cherished, time-honored interaction.  It strengthens Marin’s community in numerous ways – farm and ranch viability is enhanced and the customer consumes healthy food, most notably.  The demand for locally produced agricultural products, however, cannot always be met by this personal exchange.  Not every farmer can sell direct and not every customer can get to a farm or a farmer’s market on a regular basis.
There is, at times, the need to initiate this critical community relationship and additionally form some level of aggregation to support farmers and to create greater community access to sustainably produced and nutritious food.  Through a guest article by our partner organization Marin Organic, learn how the Farm Field Studies program is educating the next generation of farmers and food consumers.  In our article about the rebirth of egg production, you will be introduced to numerous new egg and poultry farmers and how they are meeting demand through different partnerships to bring their products to consumers.  From the consumer perspective, a group of West Marin residents and farmers have formed the Foodshed, an organic food co-op providing a new opportunity for local residents to access fresh, healthy, and locally produced organic products, bulk foods, and everyday staples.  The new Food Systems Advisor, Julia Van Soelen Kim, joined UC Cooperative Extension Marin in October; meet her and learn about her program to continue to advance these kinds of innovations and strengthen the food system.

Read on to learn more about these local successes and more. We hope you agree that there is a lot to look forward to and celebrate in the New Year!