In Sonoma County, our rich agriculture heritage is continually under attack from community members and elected officials who do not understand farming. There has never been more of a need for strong advocacy, education and communication on behalf of farmers. Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s board understands this and is making changes at Farm Bureau to provide leadership in defending and promoting local agriculture.
For the future of farming, the board believes that it is critical for Sonoma County Farm Bureau to refocus on its core mission of protecting agricultural lands, promoting agriculture and its products, educating the public and uniting in support of local agriculture.
Over the last year, we have been on a path to re-energize this mission. Starting with the grand opening of the new office and meeting space, Sonoma County Farm Bureau is becoming the go to place for ag groups to meet in support of local agriculture. This office space has been a vision of the board for the past few years and it is exciting to watch the space become a hub for conversations, meetings, workshops and even ag celebrations. And we are only getting started. More improvements are ahead that will support the collaboration of agriculture.
We have also been making leadership changes to our staff. I am happy to share that the board has offered the full time executive director position to our Interim Executive Director Tawny Tesconi. On March 1, Tawny assumes the full-time position. Over the last 75 days as interim director, she has done more for our mission than the progress we saw in the last couple of years.
Tawny’s extensive background includes being a Sonoma County native, growing up in agriculture, participating in 4-H and FFA as a kid and a 30-year career in fair management and public service. We are confident that she is the right leader at the right time for Sonoma County Farm Bureau.
Under Tawny’s leadership, we have hired a new executive assistant / office manager, Samantha Piehoff, and Tawny has also been working with the current staff to ensure operating efficiencies, deliver better service and offer more value to Farm Bureau members. We are excited to see how Sonoma County Farm Bureau will thrive under new leadership and clear direction.
Moving forward, we are fully committed to our mission and will stay focused on three key priorities:
1. Advocacy – be the leading champion for policy that supports agriculture and our right to farm
2. Education and Promotion – Deliver value to members through relevant workshops, access to influencers and communication that enhances local ag and supports farmers
3. Unification – Work with the other ag organizations to leverage learning, support and create one ag voice for Sonoma County
With the Board of Directors’ and Tawny’s great leadership, I look forward to a stronger and much more relevant Sonoma County Farm Bureau in the near future.