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Stories from the valley

Rosita Ranch

Contributed by Steve Beckley

Jennifer Diaz moved to Stonyford in Western Colusa County from Modesto, started a small chicken farm she named, Rosita Ranch  (named after her daughter) and raised eggs as a hobby. Soon the chickens were producing more eggs than she could handle so she began selling to neighbors, and eventually selling them at the local farmers markets.

Jennifer, a social work graduate of Stanislaus State, is not your typical farmer. Like many small farmers she has other activities to help pay the bills. She does some contract work on public relations and currently is the office manager of the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce. Several of her other projects are as manager of the Colusa and Stonyford Farmers Markets. She coordinates the annual Colusa County Farm to Fork Dinner, which I had the pleasure of photographing last year, and has over 200 attendees. Additionally, she serves on the board of directors of the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce and Colusa County Grown. All these activities require an 80+-mile round-trip drive down to Colusa five days a week.

I visited Jennifer at Rosita Ranch, located at the base of the Mendocino National Forest. Her passion for what she does in evident as we walked among the chickens with her daughter and a couple of her dogs. Her operation is a certified egg handler and she has all the licenses and protocols in place to ensure customers are getting the freshest and safest eggs. She sell eggs at the ranch and makes regular deliveries to customers in Colusa County, Willows, and Yuba City. Donations of fresh eggs are made to nonprofits providing social services, such as Save Haven in Colusa and Williams Family Action Center.

“Lots of hard work and lots of fun” is how she describes her lifestyle. Colusa County and the Sacramento Valley benefit because a girl from Modesto decided to settle in Stonyford, raise chickens, sell fresh eggs and become involved in many good causes that benefit the community and area.