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Auburn farmer Dan Macon honored for commitment to ag

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Auburn farmer Dan Macon’s commitment to small-scale and family agriculture is being recognized with a statewide award. The University of California Small Farm Program will present the Pedro Ilic Award for Outstanding Farmer to Macon on Monday in Sacramento. Macon, owner of Flying Mule Farm in Auburn, grows vegetables on 3.5 acres with power supplied by a mule named Frisbee. The family also leases 600 acres to raise grass-fed lamb, which they sell primarily to farmers markets. They also sell products to local restaurants, retail stores and the newly formed Sierra Foothills Meat Pie Ranch Meat Buying Club. One of Macon’s nominators for the award was Roger Ingram, director of the UC Cooperative Extension in Placer and Nevada counties. “Dan is not only a successful producer but an active and contributing member of the agricultural community,” Ingram said. Macon’s leadership has helped foster Small Farm Progress field days, the Placer Ag Futures Project to examine the future of local agriculture, and the Placer County Farm and Barn Tour, an annual countywide agritourism event. Macon is on the Placer County Agricultural Commission, Foothills Farmers Markets board and Gold Country Sheep Producers Association. The award, which will be presented at the California Small Conference, is named for Ilic, a Fresno County small-scale farm adviser who died in 1994. He was one of the original advisors of the Small Farm Program, when it was established in 1979. – Gus Thomson