San Rafael native seeks to help farmworkers and bring awareness of agricultural issues


After touring the world And dealing for wineries for Greater than 5 yrs, winemaker Sean Taylor was thrpersonal for a loop in 2017. After being lassist off As a Outcome of of North Bay hearths that have been ravaging The world, the San Rafael native started To mirror on his life and  what he needed to do subsequent.

Courtesy of Sean Taylor

Sean Taylor based the Farmworker Enterprise.

Pushed by his want to get people To hook up with meals and the communities round them, the 30 yr previous, who studied wine and viticulture at Cal Poly, started To level out others what he knew by way of workshops in chocolate-making and wine all by way of San Francisco and Marin.

From there, he started to self-fund social justice activism work, which Turned the Farmworker Enterprise (, a fiscally sponsored project of MarinLink, that goals To assist farmworkers although public education and mutual assist in California, however with A particular Confacetr Sonoma County and the Salinas space.

Throughout final yr’s hearth season and pandemic, the group was In a place To Increase $100,00 in assist, which went in the direction of masks, housing, lease checks and extra for farmworkers and their househpreviouss. These days, the project is fundraising To rearrange for the looming hearth season As properly as to persevering with its work in group education by way of social media and Making a Glassdoor-like internet website for farmworkers.

Q The place did this curiosity in agriculture start?

A As quickly as I used to be in Highschool, I used to be Considering about pure agriculture and gardening. My dad is An monumental gardener. At Cal Poly, we have been doing work out Inside the vineyards, doing pest administration packages and studying about bugs. That’s where my essential lens on agriculture started.

Q When did chocolate-making come into your life?

A My first job out Of school was at an ecotourism lodge in Costa Rica. We have been rising turmeric, ginger and cacao. In school, we found Tons about fermentation science, and that’s what I acquired Considering about. Wine and chocolate have an fascinating relationship in That they are each fermented meals and Immediately, Engaged on this farm, I started doing fermentation of the cacao. Definitely one of my pals there has a chocolate-making agency, so I might go there in between my winemaking contracts and assist him out.

Q When did You start To imagine about the meals methods and the people in it?

A It’s been a Day One factor. Driving up and dpersonal Freeway 101, it’s exhausting To ignore That you merely see farmworkers on the facet of the road. Then I acquired to Cal Poly and realized primarily I used to be being groomed for a management place. You assume to your self, I am a White male — what’s my position On This method confacetring the our bodies I see working the fields are brpersonal people, Latinx people? I really feel that’s one factor We ought to always all question, particularly now in 2021, when farmworkers acquired here to the entrance As quickly as we started to ask ourselves What’s An important worker. My very personal self education has reworked On this Technique To practice people Regionally round me about whOn the agricultural system appears like, and the realities from a sustainability perspective and human perspective.

Q Why do you Confacetr these spaces?

A There are a Selection of organizations we work with and companion with. I really feel it’s actually important for us To know the disconnect between The metropolis and our agricultural communities. Those communities are so shut and but we don’t understand the realities of what’s Occurring. There’re 90,000 farmworkers dwelling in Salinas, many Indigenous people. It’s important to contextualize that and, for people dwelling in San Francisco and Marin County, to suss out exploitation and discover our communities outfacet the bubbles we typically exist in.

Q What Would You want people people To confacetr?

A Ideally with The tutorial work I am doing, it’s That you merely by no means Take A look at your plate The identical Once again. You understand Every bit has been touched by a human hand, And a lot of of these palms are Indigenous palms. In America, 98% of rural land is personaled by White people, 95.3% of manufacturing farm house personalers are White, 1.3% are Black, 1.7% are Native American And three% are recognized as Latino/Latinx. I don’t assume we obtain environmental justice till we obtain racial justice, and that starts On the farm diploma.