Julie Hollars grew up on a farm started by her great-grandparents, which has now been in the family for five generations. She was born and raised in Calaveras County, and learned early on the importance of hard work and family.
She enlisted in the Navy in 1988, and began a career in aviation. She embraced the experience, and worked in many locations as an Aviation Machinist Mate, 3rd Class Petty Officer, was a COMNAVAIRPAC Sea Sailor of the Year finalist in 2002, and earned a Navy Commendation Medal. She was also pinned Chief Petty Officer in 2004. Julie retired in 2008 with a service-connected disability. It was a natural choice to return to the family farm to raise her daughter and continue the family farming business.
Her farm, Farbotnik Farm, provides products to the local supermarkets and farmers market in the summer months. She also supplies fresh fruit to two local grocery stores, and one organic market. Last Fall, she expanded value-added products like jam and jelly. Farbotnik Farm has mostly fruit and nut trees including peach, pear, plum, pomegranate, persimmon, cherry, walnut, almond, pecan, apple, along with Olalla berry, mission fig and Vallecito Wax peppers.
Julie is a Bob Woodruff Fellowship recipient. The grant allowed her to acquire an 8 x 16 Greenhouse and a 5 x 8 Utility trailer. The trailer has made a big difference in the loading and unloading of supplies and will provide extra space for produce. She has already utilized it for hauling wood from on their land and numerous trips to pick up brick and supplies for their raised beds. She is now able to start seedlings in the greenhouse, which had previously been done inside the family home.