Wine, peaches, beans, beef, and nuts were well represented at Colusa County Grown’s first general meeting.
The community organization, initially launched by the Colusa County Resource Conservation District to promote locally grown specialty crops, has now morphed to having its own members, supporters, sponsors, and board of directors.
Their goal is to promote all Colusa County agriculture, and strengthen the connection between farmers and consumers, said CCG President Theresa Bright, owner of Jeffreys Ranch Pecans.
“The mission of CCG is to educate consumers about the nutritional value and quality of Colusa County crops; enhance the marketability and competitiveness of locally grown commodities in the county and beyond; expand (a) local producer’s ‘tool box’ of marketing options, including agritourism; promote a stronger farm-to-fork connection; and educate the public on the good environmental stewardship provided by farmers,” Bright said.
Colusa County Grown’s funding comes from the three tiers of membership – ranging from $50 annually for individuals, businesses, or organizations who want to help promote local agriculture to $200 annually for businesses or corporate entities who want to sponsor efforts to promote local agriculture and/or tourism.
Producers or proprietors of local crops can join Colusa County Grown for a $100 annual membership.
Producers are voting members of the organization; supporters and sponsors are not.
“We have to be self-sustaining or we will die a natural death,” Bright said.
CCG Treasurer Ben Felt said for a new organization, which operates under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of Colusa County, the group has gotten off to a great start.
“I think we’re doing pretty good,” Felt said. “We are up to about about 25 members.”
Colusa County Grown recently released the 2017-18 “Local Farm & Food Guide,” which was initially funded with a USDA grant.
The guide is free to the public, and has features on farmers, information about the certified farmers market, soil friendly farming, nutritional information in both English and Spanish, a local produce guide, and coupons.
“The guides are really good to have in our county,” said Jackie (Wasche) Filter, Colusa County RCD natural resource coordinator. “The people really have really fallen in love with all of these.”
The new Colusa County Grown board plans to meet quarterly and have at least two informational presentations each year.
At the July 18 meeting, Alexis Koefoed of Soul Food Farm in Vacaville, gave a presentation on the use of social media to promote business. ■