Welcome to Farming in the Foothills!
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.
Added May 11, 2017
When I started my first business, I knew that I had a great product and I expected everyone to automatically realize this and purchase it. In those initial months, sales were lackluster. I couldn't believe how few people were buying and that buyers were refusing to carry my product. What was wrong with my product? Did they not see how great it was? What was I doing wrong? During this angst, two...
Added April 24, 2017
Happy irrigation season for those of you who enjoy swimming more than farming. April 15 is the start of irrigation season! It may be raining and wet now but before you know it, you will need irrigation to keep your crops and pastures healthy. This is the time of the year to check your irrigation system. Does it need repairs, modifications, or improvements? Are there leaks? Does it need to be set...
Added April 17, 2017
In my first Starting Smarter blog post, I talked about hands-on education, business planning, market research, and crop selection (Starting Smarter Part 1). I could write a book on what I didn't know when I started farming. In Part 2, I will summarize key considerations for a successful start-up and things I would do in the first years. If I had it all to do over again, what would I do...
Added March 21, 2017
When I started farming, I thought I was going to be a fantastic farmer due to my business background, personal savings, maturity, family support, and work ethic. I did benefit from those things and am farming successfully now. However, I was woefully unprepared for the expense, time, and challenges to my concept of what farm life would be. Those unexpected challenges caused it to take years to...
Which crops make money on your farm?
Try our new profitability calculators and find out!
Calendar of Workshops
Linked data is from the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) weather stations. Visit CIMIS web site.
El Dorado County Stations
Placer County Station
Sacramento County Stations
Sutter County Stations
- Verona, Nicolaus
Yuba County Stations
- Browns Valley, Marysville
Development of this website is supported by funding from the USDA Risk Management Agency, the Western Extension Risk Management Education Program, and the USDA Farm Service Agency.