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Meet the Author: Craig McNamara

February 12, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm


Please come to meet author and farmer Craig McNamara, in conversation with Slow Food leader Michael Dimock, over a family-style lunch.

Slow Food Sonoma County North invites you to lunch and conversation with Craig McNamara, son of President Kennedy’s Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, now an organic walnut farmer and former president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. Craig will read from his book and engage in conversation with Michael Dimock, former Chair of Slow Food USA. Their topic will be the healing power of agriculture as reflected in Craig’s recent book Because Our Fathers Lied. Craig will sign books at the event.

Lunch includes appetizer, lasagna, local green salad, Quail and Condor bread, and dessert, accompanied by wines from the region. The starter and dessert will feature Craig’s Sierra Orchard walnuts.

Packages of shelled and cracked walnuts ($12) and extra virgin olive oil ($20/bottle) from Sierra Orchard’s 160-year-old trees will available for purchase at the event. Credit card payments for products will be accepted.

Individual tickets include a copy of Craig’s book; couple tickets include one book per couple. TICKET SALES WILL END ON FEBRUARY 9, 7:00 PM.

$55 for Slow Food Members, $65 for non-members

$85 for Slow Food couples, $95 for non-member couples


Craig McNamara is the president and owner of Sierra Orchards, a diversified farming operation producing primarily organic walnuts.

By connecting people, policy and agricultural best practices, Craig works to protect the land that feeds us, to promote social justice and support the next generation of farmers.

In that capacity, he serves as the founder of the Center for Land-Based Learning, an innovative program that helps high school students build greater social and human capital in their communities. He also created the California Farm Academy that is training the next generation of California farmers.

He is past President of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture and served on the University of California President’s Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources. He has served as a board member of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute, the American Farmland Trust, Roots of Change, and the Public Policy Institute of California. He currently is a board member of the Edible Schoolyard Project.

He is the recipient of several awards including CAFF Climate Smart Farmer of the Year, California Agriculturalist of the Year 2014, James Irving Leadership Award, Leopold Conservation Award, the California Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, the UC Davis Award of Distinction and Outstanding Alumnus Award.

He is passionate about sharing his knowledge in sustainable agriculture and leadership with the world around him. Together with his wife and three children he lives in Winters, California.

Michael R. Dimock, Founder and President of Roots of Change (ROC), is a national food movement organizer and thought leader on food and farming systems needed for the 21st Century. He is a regular contributor to the blog sites Civil Eats and Huffington Post, and was featured in feature Everyday Heroes: 50 Americans Changing The World (Fried, 2012).

Michael has focused on agriculture and food since 1989. He was a marketing executive in Europe for agribusiness, farmed organically for three years in Sonoma County, and in 1992 founded Ag Innovations Network, where he began his work on consensus building and strategic planning to create healthier food and agriculture. From 2002 to 2007, he was Chairman of Slow Food USA and a member of Slow Food International’s board of directors.

Because Our Fathers Lied: A Memoir of Truth and Family, from Vietnam to Today

Craig McNamara came of age in the political tumult and upheaval of the late 60s. While Craig McNamara would grow up to take part in anti-war demonstrations, his father, Robert McNamara, served as John F. Kennedy’s Secretary of Defense and the architect of the Vietnam War. This searching and revealing memoir offers an intimate picture of one father and son at pivotal periods in American history. Because Our Fathers Lied is more than a family story—it is a story about America.

Before Robert McNamara joined Kennedy’s cabinet, he was an executive who helped turn around Ford Motor Company. Known for his tremendous competence and professionalism, McNamara came to symbolize “the best and the brightest.” Craig, his youngest child and only son, struggled in his father’s shadow. When he ultimately fails his draft board physical, Craig decides to travel by motorcycle across Central and South America, learning more about the art of agriculture and making what he defines as an honest living. By the book’s conclusion, Craig McNamara is farming walnuts in Northern California and coming to terms with his father’s legacy. (Amazon)


February 12, 2023
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Category:


Relish Culinary Adventures
14 Matheson St
Healdsburg, CA 95448 United States
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Slow Food Sonoma County North
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