CIRS Letter from the Executive Director

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A Letter from the Executive Director

September 14, 2011

In This Letter

  • Rural California Report

  • Explore and Contribute

Our Links

  • Rural California Report

    Fair Food: Field to Table

  • Contribute Now




FDear Friends and Supporters,

I am so glad to be sending you this e-newsletter using our new communications platform: the California Institute for Rural Studies website!

With generous funding from The California Wellness Foundation, we have been able to complete a total makeover.  I hope everyone receiving this letter is able to go online and see it for themselves.  With the leadership of the awesome design and development team of Judy Sava and Melissa Mendoza, we have added some beautiful photos, emphasized our logo and its classic colors and enabled searches of our vast collection of publications.  It’s taken some tweaking to get it to this point and we expect we will do more over the course of the next few months. Let us know what you like about the new site and what is challenging.

Rural California Report

One of the features we are most excited about is the new Rural California Report set up online in a blog format.  We will be posting research and information from CIRS and our closely affiliated colleagues across the state.  Expect to read an enlightening article from our founder and Director Emeritus, Don Villarejo coming up next.  In addition, we will be posting data from a recent study done by Jonathan London at the University of California, Davis, Center for Regional Change and information from Edith Jessup at Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program in Fresno.  We have a lot of other contributors working on papers right now.  If you want to submit an article for our blog about something going on in your rural community, please send it to me at and I will make sure it gets read. We should be able to let you know within a month of receiving it, if and when it will be posted.  If we don’t post it, please remember that all visitors to our site are invited to leave comments and links on the Rural California Report page.

All of this information and human organizing has been made possible through the hard work of our blog editor, Allannah Kull.  She just graduated from UC, Davis, with the first major in Sustainable Agriculture and we are excited to have her. She is full of energy and good ideas. She will continue to work with us through the winter.  Expect a couple of interesting posts from Allannah.  In addition to getting contributors lined up and serving as the blog editor, she has also been working on submissions of her own.

Explore Our Website and Contribute

You will notice that there are three live buttons on the right side of our site.  One is for our second website featuring “Fair Food: Field to Table,” one is for contributing thoughts and ideas to the Rural California Report and one is for donating to CIRS.  To enable us to continue in our mission, we need people like you to give whatever you can to CIRS.  Unrestricted funds allow us to improve our communications efforts and make sure our important work gets out to the people who most need it.

Rural California needs to be heard.  Those growing our food are hungry.  Farmers can't afford health care for themselves and their workers are not covered.  Housing is so expensive that some of our neighbors live in their cars, in garden sheds or garages.

But we’re not hearing the voices of our community members who are marginalized geographically and socially.  They don’t have the ears of the press or policy makers.

We’ve been through a lot of changes in the past year and we feel a sense of optimism. CIRS sees a great opportunity ahead of us. We would like the people of California to hear about our vibrant and successful rural communities.  We would like to continue to do research that seeks solutions to our current challenges.  With your support, we will achieve success.

Thank you all,

Gail Wadsworth

Executive Director

California Institute for Rural Studies


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