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Ag partnership to increase informational access
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Furthering a relationship that has evolved over the past six months, Ag Link has decided to partner with Stanislaus Grown and Country Ventures to shine a spotlight on local food, farms, and fun within the region. 

“These regional efforts networking together is a real benefit for people that enjoy and are looking for good food, farm to table freshness, and local fun,” said Ag Link CEO Jana Nairn. “Whether they are local consumers or tourists passing through our area, this is an opportunity for the whole community to come together to communicate with the public what we have to offer.”

Last year, Ag Link launched its website and iPhone app Ag Link CONNECT to provide locals and visitors with a directory that effectively detailed everything related to food, farms, and fun. Both the online guide and the app provide information on local merchants, events, and videos from agricultural happenings.

As a partner, Country Ventures of Merced County will take advantage of Ag Link’s growing online presence to further promote Merced County’s agriculture, art, and nature presence.

One production aspect of Country Ventures that will benefit significantly from this new partnership is the organization’s Visitors Guide of Ag, Art, and Nature. As a multi-fold and colorful map that has been distributed as far as San Francisco and Los Angeles, this publication outlines the best spots to visit when traveling through the county.  

“This publication will be linked to our online guide and app portal so that consumers can have more opportunities to access information,” said Nairn. “Additionally by having it on our directory, all the information is updated instantly by merchants and producers.”

Established by the East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District last year, Stanislaus Grown has effectively grown as an organization that has an underlying mission of promoting and supporting the local agriculture industry in a number of ways.

By partnering with Ag Link, Stanislaus Grown will be able to effectively increase access to its Local Food & Farm Guide, which focuses on Stanislaus County products. Stanislaus Grown project manager Trina Walley looks forward to what this new partnership will mean for her organization.

“We recognize that more people are accessing information via smart phones and tablets, so this partnership will make local producer information that much easier to find,” said Walley. “Being able to access information is key.”

Walley reports that the organization will still print its Local Food & Farm Guide, however thanks to the new partnership, Stanislaus Grown will increase its online presence as well. Producer profiles are slated to be featured on Ag Link CONNECT as a supplementary resource to the printed publication.

Along with increasing informational access, another aspect of this new and growing partnership will be demonstrated as Ag Link is expected to be a presenter at East Stanislaus Resource Conversation District’s Stakeholder Breakfast.  

As the first of its kind, the breakfast is intended to be an outlet for growers, producers, retail buyers, restaurants, and other local agriculture related businesses to meet and discuss how to best meet the needs of the local food system.

“We are always looking into ways to further develop Stanislaus Grown and take advantage of trends and marketing opportunities,” said Walley. “Guests at the breakfast will hear success stories from local —whether they are farm stands, selling to restaurants, or hosting agritourism events on their farm.”

Other presenters at the Stakeholder Breakfast include Antointette Rodin from Rodin Farms, Courtney Ott from Ott Farms, and Ron and Karen Macedo from RAM Farms. There will also be small group breakout sessions, where guests will further discuss opportunities for Stanislaus County producers and food hubs.

The Stakeholder Breakfast is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Monday at Harvest Hall in the Stanislaus County Ag Center. Those interested in attending the free event must RSVP by Saturday to or 491-9320, ext. 139.