Catherine Merlo

Western and Online Editor


Named Dairy Today's Western editor in 2004, Catherine Merlo is based in Bakersfield, Calif. She travels widely across the U.S. covering national and Western issues for Dairy Today. She also serves as online editor for and is part of the editorial team.


Merlo has more than 25 years of experience as a writer, journalist and photographer. From 1979-91, Merlo headed the communications program for Calcot, Ltd., a major cotton marketing cooperative. She then formed her own communications firm, with clients including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, CoBank, National Cooperative Bank, Sunkist Growers, Calcot, Ltd., San Joaquin Valley Cotton Board, and the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Task Force.

Merlo has written for numerous publications, including The Bakersfield Californian, Farm Journal, Top Producer, Progressive Farmer, and Westways. 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.

Merlo is a member of the American Agricultural Editors Association, which presented her with a coveted Master Writer award in 2013. She also is a three-time Writer of the Year and past president of the Cooperative Communicators Association. A California native, Merlo serves on the board of trustees of the Kern County Museum Foundation in Bakersfield, where she lives with her husband, David Gaeta, and their son, Gabriel.


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