Foothill Farming
University of California
Foothill Farming

Welcome to Farming in the Foothills!

For New Farmers






There is a thriving community of small farmers and ranchers here in the Sierra foothills, and we are excited that you are a part of it!

UC Cooperative Extension works in partnership with farmers and ranchers to build and strengthen the local food systems in Placer and Nevada Counties. We are dedicated to supporting the local agricultural community and helping it to grow and thrive through a variety of educational and community-building programs.

In the last decade, local agriculture has made a comeback due to a burgeoning local food movement and renewed interest in farming and ranching. Many small-scale, diversified farms produce high quality tree and vine fruits, nuts, vegetables, and ornamental plants for local markets. Local ranches raise cattle, sheep, goats, and a variety of poultry for local consumption.

Our goal is to improve long-term sustainability and economic viability of small-scale farms and ranches in the foothills. We provide innovative, practical training in four areas: production, marketing, risk, and business management.

  • Expect the Best and Prepare for the Worst: Understanding the Risks of Agriculture

    Added March 28, 2016
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    We like to get farmers and ranchers together and ask them this question: What could go wrong? Preferably after they've had a good night's sleep and a filling breakfast and at a time of year when their farms and ranches are relatively quiet. It is not the happiest of conversations, to say the least. But we feel that talking about farm and ranch risks, and hopefully, taking steps to create...

  • Get the most out of your signs

    Added March 9, 2016

    Winter is a great time to do all the work you are too busy to do in the spring and summer. One of the things you can do is think about your signage for the upcoming marketing season. An effective sign makes the job of selling much easier and winter is the perfect time to design and make your signs. Recently I read an article on the Greenhouse Grower website that discussed the latest research...

  • Should I sell my crops wholesale?

    Added November 12, 2015
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      A question I have been struggling with lately is whether or not I should sell the vegetables I grow to a wholesale produce distributor. The reason I have been wrestling with this question is that after fourteen years of selling at farmers' markets, I would really like to have my Saturdays back. I love farmers' markets and I love the customer interaction, but I am starting to love the idea...

  • Build a Better Farmers' Market Display

    Added October 12, 2015
    A display at a Portland Oregon farmers' market gives a sense of abundance.

    A simple internet image search for “farmers' market display” yields a feast for the eyes: stacks of colorful veggies, creative and engaging signs, baskets, bins, crates, canopies, and more. A great project to add to the winter list is a market stall makeover! Get online for some inspiration. If you're not in the mood to create your own displays, head over to your local craft or...

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Linked data is from the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) weather stations. Visit CIMIS web site.

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Development of this website is supported by funding from Western SARE, the USDA Risk Management Agency, the Western Extension Risk Management Education Program, and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

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