YOLO COUNTY NEWS

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Ag commissioner joins Yolo Farm to Fork board

By From page A4 | December 20, 2013

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Yolo County Agriculture Commissioner John Young. Courtesy photo

Yolo County Agricultural Commissioner John Young will join the board of directors of Yolo Farm to Fork, replacing outgoing director Delaine Eastin, former California superintendent of public instruction.

Yolo Farm to Fork is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing locally grown farm-fresh food to school lunch and recycling programs, supporting school and community gardens, and helping Yolo County residents get to know where their food comes from and the farmers who grow it.

Having worked for Yolo County for more than two decades and as agriculture commissioner since 2009, Young “brings intrinsic value, extensive experience and is a natural addition to the YF2F board,” a news release said. Since last year, he has been heading up Farm to School Yolo, a pilot program covered by a three-year California Department of Food and Agriculture grant now into its second year. This program connects school districts countywide with the food and farming community.

“I am very enthusiastic to join the Yolo Farm to Fork board of directors,” Young said. “This is a very complementary partnership to have our organizations work together to create continuity with our overlapping missions.

“As the CDFA grant comes to a close, we will seamlessly shift the programs under the Yolo Farm to Fork umbrella to ensure ongoing viability and delivery of important programs. These are essential components of local and regional food systems that contribute to the health of our children, farms, the environment, the economy and our communities.”

Young joins a board that has in the past year been reconfigured to represent all of the communities in Yolo County, with new members representing Woodland, West Sacramento, Winters, Capay and Clarksburg.

According to Woodland resident Suzanne Falzone, the organization’s vice president, “Adding John Young to our board completes the shift from a Davis-centric organization to one that is committed to farm to fork programs everywhere in Yolo County.”

Eastin has been a board member since the organization was established. She recognized the educational and health benefits of school gardens and championed the “Garden in Every School” initiative in 1995.

“Delaine’s impact on Yolo Farm to Fork can’t be overstated, said John Mott-Smith, president of Yolo Farm to Fork. “She is, in many ways, irreplaceable and will be sorely missed, both as a mentor and as a friend. She is a tireless and fierce advocate for children and healthy food.”

Eastin will remain engaged with the organization and will retain an emeritus status on the board.

“The commitment of time and talent of my colleagues has created a great model of how we can marry the joy of gardening with hands-on learning and healthy lunches that are seasonal, organic and delicious,” Eastin said. “This is a win-win-win for our school children in Yolo County.”

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