Meet Natalie Solares – IAC’s new Pacific Region Technical Assistance Specialist!
Natalie Solares received her Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Sciences from the University of California at Berkeley and her Master’s in Plant Pathology from the University of California at Riverside. Natalie is Zapotec and comes from a line of subsistence farmers from the Valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico, and a paternal lineage of subsistence farmers from Guatemala.
Solares has 8 years of experience in the agriculture field as a research associate on large-scale agriculture production and technical assistance provider for berries and vegetable farmers in California. Her work focused on soil health, systems-based approaches for achieving disease-suppressive soils, improving water quality, irrigation management, and nutrient management. Natalie has worked in supporting small-scale farmers during her time at the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County and at the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources for Riverside and San Bernardino counties. She begins her role as the Technical Assistance Specialist for the Pacific Region in the Fall of 2021.
Natalie is passionate about Indigenous food sovereignty, traditional ecological knowledge, and supporting community lead projects to restore native lands. She has received training on developing farmer training programs, beginning farmer training in the Inland Empire of California, and seed stewardship/seed midwifery. Natalie enjoys teaching about native bees, mushrooms, seed saving, soil health, and traditional herbal medicine. She looks forward to supporting and providing technical support to tribal governments, farmers, ranchers, and youth in the Pacific Region.