She is founder and member of the Rural Chicks, a group of over 100 members, who meet monthly at places like Petaluma’s historic Volpi’s Restaurant to share ideas and discuss farming techniques. According to a Press Democrat article Sonoma County Farm Women Find Fun In Unity, Walton hatched the idea while having lunch at Cotati’s historic Washoe House with Linda Peterson, who works with agricultural nonprofit groups. If you get dirty finger nails, wear denim shirts and have actual mud in your mud room this is the perfect network for you. Their group is made up of local pig farmers, longhorn cattle breeders, sheep herders, wine makers, cheese makers, fruit growers, etc…..
She encourages others who want to get into farming to follow their passion but cautions them not to put all of your money into it. She recommends you have diversity in your ranching with animals, vegetables, minerals or whatever – in case one thing goes wrong you have other things that will do well.
Click here for more information about Canvas Ranch.
Also below is a short video of Deborah who was academic staff on a U.C. Cooperative Extension AGROpreneurship program that develops Sonoma County’s next generation of farmers and ranchers.