Catherine Merlo has 30 years of experience as a journalist, writer and photographer. Based in Bakersfield, CA, she was named Dairy Today’s Western and Online editor in 2004.
From 1979-91, Merlo headed the communications program for Calcot, Ltd., a major U.S. cotton marketing cooperative. From 1991-2004, she headed her own communications firm, with a broad base of clients including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, CoBank, National Cooperative Bank, San Joaquin Valley Cotton Board, and the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Task Force.
Merlo has written for Westways, Farm Journal, Progressive Farmer, Western Agricultural Publishing and California Farmer. She also authored books for Sunkist Growers, Calcot Ltd., Fillmore-Piru Citrus Association and the Arizona Cotton Growers Association. She served as editor of USDA’s Rural Cooperatives magazine from 1997-99, and is a former sportswriter for The Bakersfield Californian.
Merlo holds a master’s degree from the Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University, Bakersfield. She is a three-time Writer of the Year and past president of the Cooperative Communicators Association.
Merlo is also a member of the American Agricultural Editors Association. She serves on the board of directors of the Kern County Museum Foundation in Bakersfield, where she lives with her husband, David Gaeta, and their son, Gabriel.
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