Small Farm Program has a new address
Staff Contact information:
Shermain Hardesty, Director: (530) 752-0467, firstname.lastname@example.org
Penny Leff, Agritourism Coordinator: (530) 752-7779, email@example.com
Courtney Riggle, Program Representative: (530) 752-7779, firstname.lastname@example.org
UC Small Farm Program
Agriculture and Resource Economics
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
The Small Farm Advisors will continue to serve local small-scale farmers through UC Cooperative Extension. To contact a Small Farm Advisor, see our Small Farm Directory. To find a farm advisor in your county, please see the UCCE county staff directory.
On Oct. 2, 2009, the University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) announced its intentions to close the Small Farm Program in partial response to a division-wide $9 million budget shortfall.
More specifically, administrative functions performed by the Small Farm Center would be re-assigned to division-wide support units by Dec. 31, 2009. The small farm advisors and other academics associated with the program would continue to work with small-scale farmers. Projects with existing grant funds would still be completed.
The statewide Small Farm Program was first allocated funds in 1979 to serve small-scale farmers and limited-resource farmers. According to the most recent Census of Agriculture, California has 68,536 small-scale farmers, comprising 85 percent of all farms in the state.
"For many new farmers, immigrant farmers and small-scale growers, the Small Farm Program’s advisors have been the trusted first links to university research over the last 30 years - in a food system often more conducive to large-scale production," said Shermain Hardesty, director of the program.
"The restructuring of the Small Farm Program office has been seen by some as a retreat from the issues that face California’s small-scale farmers. That assertion is not true," wrote Barbara Allen-Diaz, ANR associate vice president in response to many of the letters. "UC is committed to serving small and large farms."
"We have to make the best of a difficult situation and use this as an opportunity to really examine and reform the key practices of the Small Farm Program," Hardesty said. "This challenge to our status quo requires us to seek ways to improve and better serve California’s small-scale farming communities."