An agricultural community founded by farmers for farmers who collaborate toward the economic viability of local agriculture as well as the social networks necessary to attract, cultivate and sustain a new generation ready to work the land while building a healthier food system.
To establish an integrated network of social and professional hubs across California where farmers connect, collaborate and find the resources they need to thrive within local food webs that stimulate stronger local economies, create social equity and sustain our natural resources.
In 2011, a handful of young farmers and ranchers convened over dinner to talk shop, trade ideas and share their experiences working to reform our agricultural system from the ground up. Out of those evenings arose new friendships, opportunities and partnerships hard to find in rural areas, especially for a new wave of agrarians lured to farming not just by tradition but by a vision for a healthier food system and a passion for the land. Our group soon multiplied. Chefs and local food advocates joined the mix, young farmers began arriving from neighboring counties. We soon outgrew that little kitchen table where it all began and found an ally in FarmsReach, an online resource where farmers connect, share advice, and find the resources they need to succeed. With their tools and support, we extended our mission to new communities across California, uniting an oftentimes disparate movement.
Today there are ten Guilds across northern California. Now a project of Ag Innovations 501c3, we work to maintain this growing network of Guilds by encouraging, inspiring and celebrating the resilience of local agriculture, young and old, large and small, cabbage growers and cattle ranchers alike. Each Guild is unique, served by their local communities and partner organizations, while we at The Farmers Guild keep that wider network connected through events, online social media and by sharing practical resources, farmer to farmer, guild to guild, dependable even in the busiest throes of harvest season.
the new generation of sustainable agriculture.
for systemic and policy change to improve the chances of farmer and local food system success.
the public on the challenges and opportunities facing those growing our food and those who aspire to.
and provide the resources to volunteer and farmer-led groups cultivating social and professional hubs for agriculture in the form of local "guilds".
the agricultural community with other groups,
from local chefs to web-developers.
and prepare new and aspiring farmers to become viable entrepreneurs, while offering continuing education opportunities to established farmers.
and disseminate the valuable resources of other non-profits, educational programs and agricultural advocates.
WHO WE ARE
From Brooklyn community garden to California cattle ranch, Evan has spent the last several years immersed in local food and farming—wrangling chickens alongside his 600-bird mobile poultry enterprise in Valley Ford, organizing his fellow young farmers around important issues, helping to revive his local Grange hall, and sitting on the Sonoma County Food Systems Alliance in constant search for new solutions to old problems facing family farmers across the state and beyond.
MENDOCINO FARMERS GUILD
Ruthie King is the Assistant Director and Livestock Manager of the Grange Farm School in Willits, CA, providing her with the opportunity and challenge of integrating her three primary passions: holistic crop and livestock operations, experiential education, and sustainable architecture.
YOLO FARMERS GUILD
Kristy Lyn Levings
SEBASTOPOL FARMERS GUILD
SONOMA VALLEY FARMERS GUILD
Oak Hill Farm
NEVADA COUNTY FARMERS GUILD
Food Love Project / Sierra HarvestBrienna Gerard is the Food Love Intern with Sierra Harvest, in Nevada City, CA. She is a trained art teacher with a passion for local agriculture and community engagement. She wants to increase awareness about healthy food in every community.
MENDOCINO COAST FARMERS GUILD
Nick is a consultant, speaker and social entrepreneur who relentlessly digs for community impact through collaboration. Most recently, he co-founded CropMobster, which pioneered the use of crowd sourcing to address food waste, hunger and family farm viability issues. He and his wife Jess Flood are working on a community project called DirtCred which sprouts from daily experience at their family’s Bloomfield Organics farm in Petaluma, CA.
Elizabeth has been working to create positive social change by supporting local, sustainable food systems since the early 1990s. She has worked on small-scale, diverse farms from the Ozarks to the Puget Sound, as well as for like-minded organizations such as Food First, Sustainable Harvest, Coffee Kids and California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). She is passionate about growing food systems that serve all communities and sustain healthy, vibrant ecosystems.
Lawrence Jaffe is the current president of the Sonoma Pomoma Grange, Excutive Committee member of the California State Grange and past president of the Sebastopol Grange. He is also Board member and Past President of the Climate Protection Campaign and an attorney based out of Sebastopol, CA.
Lisa serves as the dedicated Coordinator to the Sonoma County Food System Alliance, a multi-stakeholder collaborative convened in partnership by Ag Innovations Network and the County of Sonoma Department of Health Services. Comprised of producers, distributors, retailers, and numerous public organizations and community members, the Alliance envisions a healthy, secure and thriving food system while striving to overcome barriers, forge new partnerships and identify shared goals.
Damian completed a Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Education Postdoctoral Fellowship at the UC Davis's Agricultural Sustainability Institute. With a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Environmental Education and an M.Sc. in International Agriculture Development from UCD, he is a co-founder and post-chair of the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association as well as president of the Live Oak Grange.
Naomi Starkman is a Founder and the Editor-in-Chief of Civil Eats. She is a food policy consultant to Consumers Union and others, as well as a founding board member and the Strategic Communications Advisor to the Food & Environment Reporting Network. Naomi served as the Director of Communications & Policy at Slow Food Nation ’08 and has worked as a media consultant at The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ and WIRED magazines. Naomi works with various clients on food policy and advocacy and is an avid organic gardener, having worked on several farms.