The vision of a Colusa County Grown Center has long been a dream in Colusa County.
Now it appears that dream could be a reality.
District III Colusa County Supervisor Mark Marshall in collaboration with the Colusa County Rural Conservation District (RCD) kicked off the effort to familiarize people with the concept by hosting a booth at the Colusa Farm Show February 3-5.
“We could not be more excited than to get started on this project,” said Marshall.
This is something many folks have dreamed of for a very long time,” he added.
Marshall explained that the proposed Center would be more than a place to sell local produce. “It will be an agriculture learning center and a commodity store,” he said.
The group anticipates that the center will showcase anything grown or produced in Colusa County, but it will go beyond selling of wares.
“For example there will be programs offered where individuals can attend day-long education seminars on crops grown here. Following the seminars the agritourism component will take the students on field trips to the farms to see the process.
The day will conclude with chef demonstrations of how to prepare the products they have just seen,” said Marshall.
The Center would be located at a yet-to-be-determined site at Williams near I-5 and Highway 20.
Marshall said this location was selected because of its access to the Interstate. “This is a great way to entice tourism and increase interest in what Colusa County as a whole has to offer.
While agriculture is the key to the success of this project, it is not designed to be limited to agriculture.
“Any artisan or group who provides a product or service created in Colusa County will be welcomed to display at the center,” he said.
He added that the beauty of a center here is that there is something almost always in season. “We will design the project around a diverse group of crops we grow in Colusa County,” he said.
“This is a win-win project for tourism, ag producers and product developers in the county,” said Marshall.
Although the group has considered some existing buildings, Marshall said it is likely to be in a new building.
The initial thought is to have a new building near the Interstate in order to draw interest.
Marshall said that this center is more than a produce stand.
“We know that it will not succeed without the participation of our farmers though,” he said.
In March, the planning group intends to host an information meeting for potential stakeholders. At that time, the group hopes to stimulate interest in the project and explain the goal of bringing a positive light to Colusa County, its products, crops and the agritourism potential.
Patti Turner with Colusa County RCD was awarded a grant awarded for the promotion of specialty crops, and these funds will assist in the kick-off of this project.