Toluma Farms is located two miles outside the town of Tomales. Tomales is a small town of 250 residents located in the California Coastal Zone of Northwest Marin County along scenic Highway One. The Farm is surrounded by beautiful coastal agricultural countryside.
Owners David Jablons and Tamara Hicks (along with their two daughters, Josy and Emmy) purchased the 160-acre property in 2003. They spent the first four years focussed on significant land restoration in collaboration with NRCS, The STRAW Project, Marin Organic Certified Agriculture, Marin RCD, Marin Organic, and UC Cooperative. Since the property was a cow dairy for many generations, the Hicks-Jablons family decided to restore the land's dairy operations. Thus, the property transitioned to a goat and sheep dairy in 2007. In 2012, thanks to a grant from USDA Rural Development and capital from the land trust with Marin Agriculture Land Trust, Toluma Farms began their third and final phase: making their own cheese (Tomales Farmstead Creamery).
Toluma Farms has been fortunate in recruiting smart, hardworking and committed individuals. All of the staff at Toluma Farms bring a wealth of experience either from previous work on a farm and/or environmental work.
Hannah Schaefer, Herd Manager. My roots are in the east coast, specifically Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I grew up horseback riding and fox hunting with my family, but expanded into more diverse agricultural ventures during my college years. I was sick of the east coast winters, so I drove out to California to see the country and attend humboldt state university. There I received a major in ceramics. I worked at a vet office and various farm/pet retail outlets. In my spare time I helped a local ranger and developed a small homestead with Muscovy ducks, chickens bees, a large garden and horses. I was inspired while studying abroad in Greece to get a couple dairy goats to make chèvre and feta at home, and so my dairy experience began. My first professional agricultural experience came with the opportunity to work as kid barn manager for cypress grove chèvre for several years. I am passionate about sustainable and humane agriculture and love continuing to learn how to work closely with nature in holistic and biodynamic ways.
Cameron Davis, Herdsman
Kristy York,, Assistant Herdmanager
Tristan Brenner, Consultant, hails from the other end of Marin County, specifically the town of Ross. His interest in agriculture started at a young age attending farm camp in the summers. Eventually he joined the staff there and headed up the dairy cow chore, where he milked two Guernsey crosses by hand. After attending a year of college in upstate New York he decided the cold weather and International Relations were not for him and set off for a WWOOFing (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) adventure in New Zealand. There he landed on a couple sheep farms running over 1500 head of Merino and Romney sheep. He returned to the States and enrolled in Prescott College, a small liberal arts school located in Arizona's central highlands. His emphasis was in Agroecology which led his studies towards plant ecology, drylands agricultural and the environmental impact humans are having on the planet via conventional agriculture.
Calvin Schrader, grew up in Marin County and first visited Toluma Farms in 2008 while on a MALT tour during his freshman year of high school. Since then, he has worked on a variety of Toluma projects. Calvin is now an undergraduate student at UC Davis. He is studying environmental science and management, with an emphasis on biology and resource management. Calvin enjoys backpacking, mountain biking, fishing, and walking his two dogs, Remy and Moose. He returns whenever possible to help out on the farm.
Nora Murray, bio coming soon...
Rebekah Rice, is a transplant from Pennsylvania where everyday she would pass by a hobby farm. Sadly there were no goats so she would often make trips to a local farm and market where she could get her goat fix. Rebekah then grew up and became an embalmer for some reason. Once she realized that made her too sad she stepped into a position managing a private autopsy company. These days she has settled into helping philanthropists divert their tax dollars to charity, but more notably she has finally been reunited with her loves hard work, and goats. Rebekah absolutely loves learning all about goats, taking part of their care, becoming more knowledgeable about agriculture, and supporting the farm staff.