Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of California
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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Registration open for California Regional Agritourism Summits

The University of California Small Farm Program and UC Cooperative Extension advisors in four California regions are working with local partners to organize Regional Agritourism Summits for everyone involved in California agritourism. The summits will be occasions for farmers, ranchers, county planners, the tourism community and others involved to share, learn and plan together. 

Small-scale farmers offering an agritourism experience.

Regional Agritourism Summits 2017

Agritourism operators, tourism professionals, county, city and state staff and officials, community organizations, agricultural organizations, tour organizers and all others who are connected to California agritourism are invited to join the conversations. Presentations and discussion topics will include county regulations; marketing plans; social media and event organizing training sessions; itinerary development; liability; financing ideas for agritourism development; and more.

Each summit was planned by a local team to best reflect the needs of the region, so each will be unique. Each summit will be a participatory, all-day session with lunch provided.

Participants are invited to bring marketing and organizational information to display and share.

To register, please see http://ucanr.edu/summits2017.  A registration fee of $25 is requested, payable online or by check.  Agendas for the summits are available on this site.

  • Yolo/Sacramento/Solano Agritourism Summit:Monday, Feb. 13, 2017
    UC ANR Building, 2801 Second Street, Davis CA 95618
  • Sonoma/Marin Agritourism Summit: Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017
    Petaluma Community Center, Lucchesi Park, 320 N. McDowell Blvd, Petaluma CA 95954
  • Stanislaus/San Joaquin/Merced Agritourism Summit: Thursday, March 23, 2017
    Stanislaus County Agricultural Center, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto, CA 95358
  • Riverside/San Bernardino/San Diego Agritourism Summit: Wed., March 29, 2017
    La Sierra University, 4500 Riverwalk Pkwy, Riverside, CA 92505

UC Small Farm Program Agritourism resources

The UC Small Farm Program has been working for more than 15 years with UC Cooperative Extension advisors and others to develop resources and connections for California agritourism operators. The UC agritourism website hosts useful factsheets and research.  The online agritourism directory and events calendarhelps visitors find farms and ranches to visit. And, the monthly California Agritourism newsletter shares news and resources for the agritourism community.

Funding for this project was provided by the USDA Farmers' Market Promotion Program.

More information: Penny Leff, UCCE Agritourism Coordinator, paleff@ucdavis.edu, (530) 752-7779.

Posted on Monday, January 9, 2017 at 1:48 PM
Tags: agritourism (7)

Mexican children get UC help to find and focus their passions


A group of Mexicali children will learn about gardening and leadership in a club like 4-H that will be launched Jan. 20.
The vice president of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, Glenda Humiston, and secretary of the Mexican government's agricultural development program in Baja California, Manuel Valladolid Seamanduras, will sign a memorandum of understanding on Jan. 20 at the Secretaria de Fomento Agropecuario (Secretary of Agriculture Development) in Ejido Sinaloa of the city of Mexicali, Mexico. The document lays out a plan for UC Cooperative Extension, the parent organization of 4-H Youth Development, to share resources and expertise to start a program like 4-H in Mexico.

The same day, an opening ceremony launches a journey of exploration into the world of food production and healthy eating for a group of 8- and 9-year-old Mexican children.

The UC Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Program sponsors clubs that combine hands-on learning and positive youth-adult partnerships to help children develop skills they need to succeed in life.

“Children in Mexico also need to find and focus their passions, they need life skills and support in order to become responsible citizens and give back to the community,” said Lupita Fabregas, 4-H Youth Development advisor and assistant director for 4-H diversity and expansion. “We have decades of experience and extensive programming to offer. It is a natural partnership.”

Humiston was a member of 4-H herself as a youth and credits the program for setting in motion a successful career that includes serving as a Peace Corps volunteer, earning a doctorate degree at UC Berkeley, playing a role in the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama presidential administrations, and later taking the helm at UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.

“I encourage all children to find a place like 4-H to work with mentors, get hands-on experience, and learn about their own potential,” Humiston said. “This historic agreement will allow children in Mexico to benefit from a 100-year-old program that has had tremendous success in the United States and it will build academic, scientific, technological and cultural relations between Mexico and California for the advancement of children.”

The new club in the Mexicali community of Sinaloa will have access to two greenhouses that belong to the Secretary of Agricultural Development in Baja, Mexico, where they will grow cucumbers and tomatoes while they learn about soil science, irrigation, nutrition education and other components of agricultural science.

The children will also learn leadership skills by taking a new role in their communities, running in club elections, speaking in public and reporting on their work. The children's parents will also be encouraged to serve as volunteer leaders, mentors and educators.


University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Secretary of Agricultural Development in Baja, Mexico, sign a memorandum of understanding.

Opening ceremony for the first club modeled after the successful California 4-H Youth Development Program in Ejido Sinaloa, Baja Mexico.


Friday, Jan. 20

 9:30 to 9:50 a.m. – Memorandum of understanding signing

9:50 to 11:50 a.m. – Children take part in their first session of 4-H programming, learning “Where does our food come from?”


Secretaria de Fomento Agropuecuario
Carretera Mexicali-San Luis Rio Colorado Son. Km 22.5
Ejido Sinaloa 21620
Mexicali, Baja California


Glenda Humiston, vice president of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources

Manuel Valladolid Seamanduras, secretary of the Mexican agricultural development program (La Secretaria de Fomento Agropecuario de Baja, México)

Parents, students, teachers, principal, University of Baja California personnel, 4-H volunteers, UC Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development staff and academics


Children participating in a 4-H Club project that involves healthy eating and agricultural production.


Jeannette Warnert, (559) 240-9850 (call or text), jewarnert@ucanr.edu

View this media advisory in Spanish.

Posted on Monday, January 9, 2017 at 9:10 AM
Tags: 4-H (6), Glenda Humiston (5), Lupita Fabregas (2)

Effective farm labor management is a key to success in times of labor uncertainty

UC Cooperative Extension will hold workshops in Temecula Feb. 1 and 2 to help California farmers facing agriculture labor challenges stemming from wage and hour laws, joint liability, worker protection, workers' compensation, insurance and immigration issues and policies.

“Farmers are better prepared to face uncertainty in labor markets with up-to-date information and strategies for dealing with people management, and legal and regulatory issues,” said Ramiro Lobo, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor in San Diego County and workshop organizer. Additional program partners are the California Farm Labor Contractor Association, Zenith Insurance Company and Wilson Creek Winery and Vineyards.

The workshops will be at Wilson Creek Winery and Vineyards, 35960 Rancho California Rd., in Temucula.  “Challenges and Strategies in Agricultural Labor Management” runs from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 1. The program includes a review of labor management issues in Southern California, an update on labor laws, basic strategies for legal and effective hiring and orientation, and effective management of worker injuries. The event ends with wine tasting hosted by Wilson Creek.

“Management and Supervision of Personnel for Agricultural Operations,” will be offered in Spanish on Feb. 2. The program, intended for farm owner/managers and first-line supervisors, provides information on effective supervision and management in times of labor shortage, positive and clear communications, and preventing sexual harassment and bullying. Networking and wine tasting, hosted by Wilson Creek, conclude the program.

“Properly managing personnel is critical because of the scarcity of labor,” Lobo said. “We will provide strategies to retain employees by making the workplace more attractive.”

Advance registration is available with a credit card online. Registration for the Feb. 1 workshop is $80 per person before Jan. 20, and $100 after or at the door, if space allows. Registration for the Feb. 2 workshop is $60 per person before Jan. 20, and $80 after or at the door, if space allows. A registration discount is available for participants to attend both events. For both events, registration is $120 before Jan. 20, and $140 after or at the door, if space allows.

For more information see the San Diego County Small Farm website.

Farmworker management is the focus of UC Cooperative Extension workshops Feb. 1-2.
Posted on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at 8:35 AM
Tags: labor (1), Ramiro Lobo (1)

Farmers can learn how to add value to their products at one-day UC workshop

A one-day intensive workshop on Jan. 25 will provide small-scale farmers guidelines for increasing profits by applying value-added food production strategies. Value-added involves processing raw produce into a product that will sell for more, such as infused olive oil, baked goods, jams and specialty sauces.

The workshop provides an update on laws that govern value-added products and gives an introduction to the roles of retailers, distributors and brokers.

Three producers will share their challenges and successes in marketing organic, value-added products. The speakers are Magali Brecke, who cooks and jars batches of organic bone broth; Kathryn Lukas, who uses ancient fermentation traditions to produce fresh organic kraut; and Jenna Muller, who runs a processing and catering kitchen from an organic farm.

Additional speakers are Merrilee Olson of Preserve Farm Kitchens, Danielle Shaeffer of New Leaf Community Markets, Erin DiCaprio of the UC Davis Food Science and Technology Department, and Shermain Hardesty, UC Cooperative Extension specialist based at UC Davis.

The 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. workshop, organized by Hardesty, precedes the EcoFarm Conference at Asilomar, Pacific Grove. The workshop is open to EcoFarm registrants and all members of the public. Registration is $75 per person and includes an organic lunch.

Register on the EcoFarm Conference website at http://eco-farm.org/conference/2017/register-now. For more information about the workshop, contact Hardesty at shermain@primal.ucdavis.edu.

Small-scale farmers can increase profits by processing their raw produce into a product that sells for more.
Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at 8:43 AM

UC releases new cost study for growing winegrapes

UC Agricultural Issues Center has released a new study on the cost and returns of establishing a vineyard and producing winegrapes in the northern San Joaquin Valley.

The cultural practices described represent the establishment and production operations, as well as materials of a well-managed cabernet sauvignon vineyard in this region. The costs, materials, and practices shown in this study will not apply to all farms. Growers, UC ANR Cooperative Extension farm advisors, and other agricultural associates provided input and reviewed the methods and findings of the study.                   

The hypothetical 200-contiguous-acre farm is located in Crush District 11, which includes San Joaquin and Sacramento counties. The economic life of the grower-owned-and-operated cabernet sauvignon vineyard used in this cost analysis is 25 years. Vine management includes hand operations such as pruning, suckering, shoot removal and positioning. The grapevines are mechanically trimmed and harvested. This study does not include cluster thinning, but other winegrape varieties may require thinning due to compactness.

The authors describe the assumptions used to identify current costs for establishment and production of the winegrapes, material inputs, cash and non-cash overhead. Ranging analysis tables show profits over a range of prices and yields. Other tables show the monthly cash costs, the costs and returns per acre, hourly equipment costs, and the whole farm annual equipment, investment and business overhead costs.

The new study is titled “Sample Costs to Establish a Vineyard and Produce Winegrapes- Cabernet Sauvignon Variety, San Joaquin Valley North, San Joaquin and Sacramento Counties – 2016.”

Free copies of this study and sample cost-of-production studies for many other commodities are available. To download the cost studies, visit the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website at http://coststudies.ucdavis.edu.

The cost and returns program is funded by the UC Agricultural Issues Center, which is part of UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

For additional information or an explanation of the calculations used in the studies, contact Jeremy Murdock at the Agricultural Issues Center at (530) 752-4651 or jmmurdock@ucdavis.edu or UC Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County farm advisor Paul Verdegaal at psverdegaal@ucanr.edu.



Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 3:03 PM

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