- Author: Aubrey White
The UC ANR Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program is officially open for business on the UC Davis campus. The statewide program, which renovated and moved into the Robbins Hall Annex in September 2014, recently hosted an open house and ribbon cutting to warm its new space.
UC ANR Associate Vice President Bill Frost and UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Dean Helene Dillard cut the ribbon together, and welcomed the 29-year-old program onto campus.
“Now more than ever, it is important that we maintain strong integration of our research and extension efforts,” said Dean Dillard. “Having the UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program located on campus is a great opportunity to model a collaborative approach and show a tangible bridge between campus-based activities and statewide extension.”
The UC SAREP program is co-housed at UC ANR and the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis. UC SAREP's campus location provides opportunity for campus faculty and students to actively engage with ANR activities and continue to improve the links between researchers and community stakeholders.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Urban agriculture is one tool that has the potential to improve food security in California communities.
To better support the state's urban agriculture, a statewide assessment of urban agriculture needs was conducted by Surls, Gail Feenstra, deputy director of Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP); Sheila Golden, former SAREP staff member who now works for Community Alliance with Family Farmers; Ryan Galt, professor in the Department of Human and Community Development; Shermain Hardesty, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics; Cheryl Wilen, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in San Diego County; Claire Napawan, professor in the Department of Human Ecology; Valerie Borel, horticulture and natural resources program coordinator in Los Angeles County; Aziz Baameur, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Santa Clara County; and Rob Bennaton, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.
The team conducted a survey of ANR personnel and interviewed urban farmers and policymakers.
They found that 65 percent of ANR academics and staff responding to the survey said that they had provided support, advice, technical assistance or served as a partner for urban agriculture activities within the past year.
ANR personnel said they would like to see educational materials developed specifically for urban agriculture on a number of topics, including pest management, water management, design of community projects, soil testing and remediation and tips for projects at schools.
Their study has been published in the February issue of Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, a special issue on urban agriculture.
To read the full report, you can also view it at http://ucanr.edu/sites/UrbanAg/files/188371.pdf.