California Bloggers, Meet California Farmers

by Sharlene Garcia

On the farm.

There is no place we feel more comfortable. Nearly every AdFarmer has some kind of connection to a farm or ranch so when a client actually brings us to the farm we get pretty excited.

Know a CA Farmer (KACF) is a grassroots communications effort that strives to connect California consumers with California farmers and ranchers using a variety of social media tools.

Part of the KACF strategy is to build relationships with food and parent bloggers who are passionate about where their food comes from and how it’s grown. Last Summer KACF brought together five active bloggers from urban areas and showed them THE FARM. Well, we showed them six farms on the Central Coast to be exact.

We started at Halter Ranch, a Sustainability in Practice certified vineyard in Paso Robles, CA. Their commitment to sustainability was evident it everything they do from the vineyards to the winery.

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Next we made a stop in at Pasolivo, a local olive orchard that produces its own olive oil right on site. Their unique flavored olive oils were a big hit.

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The group was in need of a snack by that time so we stopped in at Negranti Dairy & Creamery where we learned the process of making sheep’s milk ice cream. Part of learning the process is sampling the ice cream of course.

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We finished off the day with a visit to Thomas Hill Orangic’s farm. This local restaurant actually owns it’s own farm where much of what is used on the menu is grown. To complete the “farm-to-table” concept, we enjoyed a delicious meal at the restaurant.

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Day two took us into San Luis Obispo county where we started with a tour of Pismo Oceano Vegetable Exchange (POVE). This 80-year cooperative is made up of Japanese farmers who grow more than 20 different varieties of vegetables.

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Our last stop took us to Talley Farms and Vineyards where we toured both organic and conventional vegetable fields as well as the vineyard and onsite winery.

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Each farmer we met with was open to any questions the bloggers asked and as you can imagine we covered some ground. Even tough issues like labor supply, organic versus conventional and large farms versus small farms didn’t scare our tour guides away.

Everyone came away with a heightened understanding of agriculture. It was a two-way street of farmers becoming more aware of the average consumers concerns and perceptions and the consumers (bloggers in this case) learning more about why farmers make certain growing decisions. All while enjoying fresh, high quality California grown products!

Not to mention…using social media as a tool to share the tour in real time, we were able to showcase KACF in more than 1.8 million places, reaching more than 160,000 Twitter accounts.

Make sure to “like” the Know a California Farmer Facebook page and follow Know a California Farmer on Twitter. No matter where you live, it’s likely you eat something from California during your day…you should know the farmer who grew it!