Steve Quirt, Program Coordinator
Farmers and Ranchers Focus on the future
We facilitated six focus groups with local farmers and ranchers to document what has contributed to their past success and what will be needed to continue their continued viability in the future. The concerns, ideas, and aspirations voiced by participants are available in the “Focus Group Summary and Notes Report” and are being used by Marin’s agricultural producers and allies to shape the 2010 Marin Agricultural Summit.
Training the Next Farmer
In 2010, Marin was ground zero for enforcement of labor codes and requirements on area farms and ranches. Working collaboratively with Marin Organic, County of Marin, Marin Agricultural Commissioner, and Assemblyman Jared Huffman, we provided strategic compliance education to area farmers and ranchers, including two shortcourses on Key Employment Requirements for California Agricultural Work. We also initiated and supported partnerships to implement on-farm work experience and apprenticeship programs. Lastly, we developed the marketing plan for the Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden and trained Conservation Corp North Bay staff and College of Marin students in sales and marketing through a farm stand and at the Novato Farmers Market. These efforts are providing the training opportunities needed to ensure that the next generation of farmer is prepared.
North Bay Leadership Council’s Paint the Community Green award goes to Ellie Rilla
Ellie Rilla has long been valued as a local leader for developing and delivering programs that support the economic viability and land stewardship of private farms. The North Bay Leadership Council formally recognized Ellie for her efforts by awarding her the 2009 Paint the Community Green award.
“I want to thank you for taking the time to come to Mill Valley Middle School and show our students Hidden Bounty of Marin. This was a great opportunity for our students to be both educated and inspired outside the confines of the traditional classroom… ”