New Year’s Letter 2015-16

Hello Petaluma Community Guilders!

Three cheers to a full and fruitful 2015! As we get ready to turn the calendar to a new year, let’s take a look back on this year:

2015 Highlights
What a busy year it’s been! Here’s a few highlights:

  • We started the year with a visit from CG President, Bob McFarland who regaled us with Grange History and swore in our 2015 officers elect
  • We’ve been leading the way on a proposed 1-year ban of glyphosates on city property in Petaluma, with a statewide ban as the longer term goal
  • We led the fight and successfully prevented proposed fee increases for cottage food operators in Sonoma County
  • We hosted a screening of Ground Operations, highlighting a few of our nation’s Veterans-turned-farmers, followed by a discussion with retired USMC Staff Sergeant Paul Hoffman
  • We learned about all of the good work being done at the Permaculture Skills Center, from Program Director Ryan Johnston
  • Will Bakx presented to us about the UN’s International Year of the Soil and we took action to fight the closing of Sonoma Compost
  • We hosted a screening of Bringing it Home, and an open discussion with Petaluma Community Guildr and champion of industrial hemp, Linda Delair
  • We discussed farm land access issues with Frederick Smith of CA FarmLink
  • We were treated to a screening of Impossible Light, about The Bay Lights project, past and future, followed by an open forum with Bay Lights Executive Producer, Amy Critchett
  • We heard from Ray Cooper of Fruit in Motion about the benefits of a plant-based / vegan diet
  • Our members supported the kickoff of GMO Free Sonoma County’s 2016 ballot campaign to ban the growing of GMO crops in Sonoma County
  • We were out in force at this year’s Heirloom Expo
  • We supported relief efforts for the Valley Fire victims with donations and supporting area fundraisers
  • We hosted a screening of Russian River: All Rivers, followed by Q&A with the film’s producers / filmmakers,
  • We were grateful to hold several meetings this year at member farms, and our members were a regular fixture at Petaluma Farmers Guild’s monthly gatherings
  • We gathered multiple times at Oasis Farms for grange meetings, social fun, and a Fall Harvest Party
  • We hosted a Farm Emergency Response Forum for area livestock owners, featuring a panel discussion and hands-on preparedness workshop and provided a resource kit on our website.

2016 Officer Elections

At our December meeting, we elected our slate of 2016 officers. Congratulations to these folks:
President — Tiffany Renée
Vice President — Connie Madden
Secretary — Kelly Collins
Treasurer — Debbie Astrin
Lecturer — Jaimey Walking Bear
Musician — OPEN
Chaplain — Norm Astrin
Gatekeeper — Ray Peterson

Our Petaluma Community Guild continues to be at the forefront of issues important to our local family farms — supporting our community and committed to healthy food, clean air and water, vibrant soil, social and food justice.

Big things are coming in 2016. If you have been a regular participating member, THANK YOU!  If you have not been involved, we invite you to come back and check it out, and be an important part of our Grange in 2016.

To your health and a Happy New Year!

Tiffany Renée
President, Petaluma Community Guild #851

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