Craig McNamara was one of five Californians to receive the 2012 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award. He was honored for his role at the Center for Land-Based Learning, which for 18 years has worked to raise a new crop of farmers. This year the center launched California Farm Academy, which provides intensive training...
Craig McNamara, the son of former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, balances public policy work with organic farming and teaching in the Sacramento Valley.
The gig: Craig McNamara is a sustainable farming expert, organic walnut farmer in the Sacramento Valley town of Winters, founder of the nonprofit Center for Land-Based Learning and the California Farm Academy, and president of the state Board of Food and Agriculture, which advises state officials on farming policies.
Officials say the average farmer in California is nearly 60 years old — and nearly 20 percent are older than 70. They say without an influx of younger and more ethnically diverse farmers, the state’s $37 billion industry will suffer.