New farmbudsman offers ‘how-to’ workshop

September 20 2017

The Reporter: 09/19/17, 5:52 PM PDT

Solano County welcomes Sarah Hawkins as its new farmbudsman and she’s wasting no time getting down to business.

Today, the farmbudsman, in partnership with the Solano County Departments of Agriculture and Resource Management, will host a free training event for farmers who would like to learn how to sell their goods at local farmer’s markets.

Hawkins, who has more than 10 years of experience selling her own goats milk skincare products at nearby farmer’s markets, frequently runs into Solano food and goods producers that want to get their product to market but don’t know where to start.

“If you’ve been thinking about participating in a farmer’s market but are (unsure) how to begin — this is a great place start,” Hawkins said. “I’ll walk participants through the process of how to choose the right market, applying to participate, the equipment needed, what it takes to build an attractive booth, how to become a certified farmer, creating lasting relationships and direct sales techniques.”

The training, located at the UC Cooperative Extension at 501 Texas St. in Fairfield, will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. in the first-floor conference room.

As the farmbudsman, Hawkins is the go-to person for farmers, ranchers and agriculture-related businesses in Solano County. Her degree in Political Science and Public Policy, and her own experience as a local farmer, small business owner and community liaison, makes her the ideal person to connect the agricultural community with the right government agencies to navigate the permitting and regulatory process.

“I look forward to being a resource and an advocate for everyone in our agricultural community,” Hawkins said. “My goal is to make sure that everyone who would like assistance has access to the training, advice and technical support they need to be successful.”

The Farmbudsman program is a part of the Solano Small Business Development Center (Solano SBDC), which is hosted by Humboldt State University. Through the Solano SBDC, the Farmbudsman program provides free technical assistance and trainings to the farming community, with the goal to help facilitate and expedite the development of promising value-added agricultural projects while promoting economic development within Solano County.

For more information about the Farmbudsman program, contact the Solano SBDC at 646-1071, visit SolanoCounty.com/Farmbudsman or like the Farmbudsman on Facebook at Facebook.com/SolanoFarmbudsman. To register for the upcoming Farmer’s Market workshop, go to SolanoSBDC.org/Farmers-Market. The training is free, but seating is limited and registration is required.

http://www.thereporter.com/general-news/20170919/new-farmbudsman-offers-how-to-workshop