Scholarship honoring Nancy Skall to help working farmers

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The Farmers Guild has teamed up with the Sebastopol Farmers Market to set up a scholarship to support working farmers and ranchers in honor of Nancy Skall, a beloved grower who died in January at the age of 84.

The scholarships and grants of up to $600 will help farmers of all ages pay for everything from specialized training programs to conferences, workshops and business classes in the fields of land stewardship, animal husbandry, marketing, soil science, business planning, water conservation and other skills that promote their success as food producers.

In announcing the program, The Guild pointed out that the average age of the American farmer is approaching 60, signaling “a dire need” to support the future of sustainable agriculture by ensuring an “educated, creative and thoughtful new generation of farmers. “

Many of today’s younger farmers are passionate about their career path but struggle to make it financially. But they can benefit from a growing number of educational opportunities, from farm schools to agricultural business workshops to conferences dedicated to sustainable farming.

Funds can also be used for infrastructure improvements.

The scholarship honors Skall, who took on farming in her sixties with a passionate. She elevated growing to an art, seeking out only the most delectable varieties, perfecting her growing and presenting them at farmers markets in beautifully-staged stalls.

Applications will be accepted throughout the summer. They are available at

You can reach Staff Writer Meg McConahey at or 521-5204. On Twitter @MegMcConahey.

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