Former Alliance for Food and Farming Executive Launches New Firm

March 8, 2017

contact:  Marilyn F. Dolan
phone:  (209) 358-7392

Sacramento, CA — Marilyn Freeman Dolan, former Executive Director of the Alliance for Food and Farming, has launched a new public relations and social media firm specializing in helping farmers tell their unique stories.  The firm is called Farmers Communication Exchange LLC.

“After 13 years as co-owner of The Communications Department, Inc, another public relations and issues management agency, it was time to create something new,” said Dolan.  So, she left the PR agency which formerly managed the Alliance for Food and Farming and relinquished her position as the Alliance’s Executive Director to became the sole proprietor of Farmers Communication Exchange, headquartered in Sacramento, CA.  

“I have the deepest appreciation for the Alliance for Food and Farming Management Board who allowed me to work for them over the past 13 years,” said Dolan.  “We accomplished a great deal during that time – particularly with the Safe Fruits and Veggies Initiative. I will always consider the successes achieved by the Alliance as some of the most important of my career. I wish them continued success.”

Dolan’s new firm specializes in working with California commodity groups and associations offering a host of services including strategic messaging, issues management, digital media and content development for websites and social media.

“Although Farmers Communication Exchange is new, we have an experienced and talented staff with the ability to use all communications tools available to tell our clients’ stories in ways that deliver results,” said Dolan.  

“What we offer is the perfect combination of experience and fresh ideas. With over 30 years of experience in agricultural communications and marketing, I have a good understanding of the challenges faced by farmers. Meanwhile, our young and talented staff members are part of today’s generation of consumers who have a desire to connect with their food.”

In addition to Dolan, the Farmers Communication Exchange team includes Holly Klein, who was also formerly employed by The Communications Department, Inc., and Joy Rust who joined the company in September.  Several of The Communications Department’s former clients have also moved to the new firm and include:  Ag Association Management Services, Inc; California Carrot Advisory Board;  California Cantaloupe Advisory Board; California Grain and Feed Association; California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement; California Pear Advisory Board; and Olive Oil Commission of California.  

Dolan explains the name Farmers Communication Exchange harkens back to the days when marketing firms like the California Fruit Growers Exchange (now Sunkist) shipped fruit packed in wooden crates with brightly-colored labels to auctions on the East Coast.

“Those bright labels told the stories of the farmers who grew the produce inside each crate. Back then, those labels were the only way growers had to communicate with their customers,” explains Dolan. “Today, mass marketing and social media allow farmers to share their stories and exchange information with a much wider audience and in more detail than ever before.”

Dolan encourages anyone interested to visit their new website at for more information about the company, its work and staff.  For more detailed information and case studies, please contact them directly at

Left to right: Marilyn Dolan, Holly Klein, Joy Rust


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