Shermain Hardesty: Leader
View faculty web page at UC Davis
Dr. Shermain Hardesty served as the leader of the UC Small Farm Program and as a Cooperative Extension Economist in the Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics at UC Davis, where she is now emerita.
Her research interests frequently focus on collaborative structures to enhance returns to producers. One focus of her work with the Small Farm Program has been exploring more efficient marketing and distribution systems for small-scale farmers. Related topics of interest include small-scale livestock processing and marketing, regulatory relief for small producers, and value-added products.
Since 1993, Hardesty taught the course “Getting Started in the Specialty Food Business” at UC Davis-Extension. She joined the faculty of the Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics in 2004 and also served as the director of the Rural Cooperatives Center. She served as the Small Farm Program Director from July 2007 through October 2009, and as the Program's leader until retiring in 2017.
Hardesty holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from UC Davis.
Publications & Projects
- Using a supply chain analysis to assess the sustainability of farm-to-institution programs.Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, Feenstra, G., P. Allen, S. Hardesty, J. Ohmart and J. Perez. 2011. This study focuses on how to foster farm-to-institution programs by exploring barriers, opportunities, and potential solutions from different perspectives in the supply chain. We use a values-based supply chain approach to see what unique insights can be offered to people developing and maintaining these programs.
Growers’ Compliance Costs for the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement and Other Food Safety Programs. 2009. UC Small Farm Program Research Report. Various commodity groups have adopted food safety programs. We surveyed leafy greens growers to determine what their costs are to comply with the requirements of the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement and other food safety programs.
- Comparing the Structure, Size, and Performance of Local and Mainstream Food Supply Chains. USDA, Economic Research Service, ERR-99. King, R., M. Hand, G. DiGiacomo, K. Clancy, M. Gomez, S. Hardesty, L. Lev and E. McLaughlin. 2010. We wrote a series of coordinated case studies compares the structure, size, and performance of local food supply chains with those of mainstream supply chains. The cases highlight differences in prices and the distribution of revenues among supply chain participants, local retention of wages and proprietor income, transportation fuel use, and social capital creation.
- Northern California Niche Meat Market Demand Study
This study examined the market prospects for “niche” red meats – such as certified organic, grass-fed, naturally-raised, local, Kosher, and Halal – in the San Francisco/Sacramento region.
- Determining Marketing Costs and Returns in Alternative Marketing Channels
This case study of three farms in Northern California compared the economics of marketing through farmers markets, community supported agriculture programs, and wholesale channels.
- Cooperatives information
These web pages include information created originally for the Rural Cooperatives Center website, including definitions, publications and tips for how to start a cooperative.
Some of the publications listed on this page are available in PDF format, which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free program.