- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
“She brings enthusiasm, high energy, intelligence and a passion for agriculture to her job," said Bill Gass, executive director of the San Mateo County Farm Bureau.
No day is average for Bolshakova, who is also the county director for San Mateo-San Francisco counties UCCE and the director of Elkus Ranch, a place for hands-on learning experiences for Bay Area children.
One morning she is working with concerned citizens about beekeeping policies, collaborating with scientists at UC Berkeley about eradicating aphids in gardens, and in the afternoon herding students around Elkus Ranch teaching about rangeland, the story said.
“I think the biggest challenge facing San Mateo County agriculture is urban-rural interface, and that goes in both directions,” she said. “I work with many youth who never thought about plants or planting a seed and watching it grow. I worry that people are becoming disconnected to their food and where it originates.”
Bolshakova was born and raised on a 450-acre pig and crop farm in southwestern Michigan where her parents still work the land. Her childhood experiences nurtured a passion for the environment and a keen awareness of the interdependency between people and nature.
Bolshakova has a bachelor's degree in biology from State University of New York, Buffalo, a master's degree from the University of Toledo, and a Ph.D. in ecology from Utah State University.