At 25 years, Straus Family Creamery Still Pioneering

Point Reyes Light

The vision that Albert Straus, C.E.O. of Straus Family Creamery and a native of Marshall, has for agriculture is uncompromising.

Mr. Straus—who last week celebrated the 25th anniversary of the creamery business that grew out of his father’s dairy ranch—has come a long way from his early days making ice cream. He’s developed an economically viable business that exemplifies organic and carbon-sequestration practices, a model he is constantly fine-tuning and has helped other farmers to replicate. Activism, in the form of educating the public, is a major focus. Honoring the legacy of his mother, Ellen Straus, who together with Phyllis Faber founded the Marin Agricultural Land Trust to protect Marin farmland from development, Mr. Straus has taken it upon himself to demonstrate how farming is not only the heart of rural communities, but also our best fighting chance to reverse climate change.

“I see us losing our farms and losing our communities,” said Mr. Straus this week from his creamery office. After growing up in Marshall, a town particularly hollowed out by short-term rentals and skyrocketing housing prices, he feels these losses personally.

The dwindling number of farmers is a nationwide trend, but Mr. Straus said that in coastal Marin in particular, regulating agencies don’t necessarily understand agriculture and how to support it. Nevertheless, he said he thinks collaboration is both essential and possible.

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