Lauren Kelly is the Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s new Compliance Division Manager. She grew up in Tuolumne County where she raised many animals and grew plants and veggies for various 4-H projects. She attended Columbia Community College and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she studied Wine and Viticulture and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree. She completed numerous harvest internships, but after college she became the Assistant Vineyard Manager at Mesa Vineyard Management Company in Santa Maria. From there, Lauren worked at Paul Hobbs Wines as their Viticulturist from 2018-2020. Now, she is thrilled to join the Sonoma County Farm Bureau team.
Lauren has always been an advocate for education, outreach, support, and connection for the agricultural industry and she said she is excited to work for Farm Bureau because the organization embodies her values in so many ways.
“I’ve seen, firsthand, the benefit a community has by having a strong Farm Bureau and I wanted to be a part of it,” Kelly said. “I am excited to be working with growers to meet compliance standards for various regional programs.”
Lauren runs a small cut-flower business at her home called “Let’er Bloom Flowers.”
Outside of work, you can find Lauren outside on horseback or on foot enjoying local trails, foraging for mushrooms, or in the veggie patch at our home with her 3-month old Golden Pyrenees puppy.
Joe Stefenoni is our new Membership & Sales Director. He was born and raised in Sonoma County participating in both 4-H and FFA beginning at age five until he finished high school. He is an active member of the Grange serving a term as President of Sebastopol Grange in 2011 and various positions with the California State Grange. Joe lives in Petaluma with his wife Hannah who works as the Producers Relations Manager for Clover Sonoma. Outside of work, Joe is an avid golfer, enjoys exploring history all over California and traveling to as many new places as possible (post-COVID).
Joe attended SRJC then moved to the plains of Stillwater, Oklahoma, and completed a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics with a minor in Environmental Economics, Politics & Policy. Following graduation, he spent a stint in the job market and went back to OK State 15 months later for a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics graduating with a thesis on financial stress in the agriculture sector. Most recently, he worked as the Director of Membership & Leadership Development for the National Grange.
He said he wanted to work for the Sonoma County Farm Bureau because the membership organization has been a constant part of his life growing up in Sonoma County.
“I volunteered at numerous SCFB events and was fortunate enough to receive scholarships from the Farm Bureau Foundation of Sonoma County,” Joe said. “The role that Farm Bureau plays in preserving Sonoma County agriculture is critical to the next generation of agriculture. Coming to work for SCFB also has allowed me to begin re-growing my roots here.”
As Membership & Sales Director for Sonoma County Farm Bureau, Joe said he is looking forward to getting to work with the plethora of ag businesses and dedicated farmers that call Sonoma County home.
“During my tenure, I hope to be able to share with the larger Sonoma County community that the Farm Bureau isn’t just for farmers, everyone from producer to consumer has an interest in agriculture.”