The Story of Farm Trails
By Bruce Goetz
Farm Trails was born in 1973, as a result of a feasibility study done by U.C. Extension. This was such a great idea that a steering committee was set up immediately, and by March 15, 1973 we had filed articles of incorporation as a non-profit with the mission to promote Sonoma County agriculture, and a map on how to get here.
This was accomplished with many thanks to the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, which provided legal counsel. In our first year we asked for and received $2500 of much requested bed tax monies with a few restrictions as to how it was to be spent. The following year we informed the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors we appreciated the seed money but wanted to let them know we were doing well, and have been self-supporting ever since.
This was accomplished due to the development of the Gravenstein Apple Fair, which has been a great fundraiser. The real strength of the organization has been its membership and the talented individuals.
The organization is healthy and in good hands. A good foundation was laid by our forbears. We have some great talent within the organization and are preparing to head into the future with gusto. Farm Trails has led the way, linking and partnering with other promotional organizations. We have been the mothership that has been a party to the development of the Harvest Fair, So. Co. Farmers Market and Select Sonoma.
We have given assistance to other farm areas to develop similar organizations. We were doing it before "agritourism" was a word.
Farm Trails has helped put Sonoma County "on the map."