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.

  • Risk Management with FSA & RMA

    Added January 12, 2017
    rain on farm

    In this downpour, as small rivers run down the hills of my farm, it has me thinking more seriously about crop insurance. I may be one of the fortunate ones to not have lost any crops in this storm. Some of you may be experiencing issues with flooding, equipment damage, loss of crops or trees. There are good programs out there that assist farmers in times of need. The Farm Service Agency has been...

  • 126 Hours Doing What???

    Added December 15, 2016
    Paul on computer

    A rainy day in winter is the perfect time to sit inside and do some Farm Business Planning. Setting new goals, evaluating crops, assessing markets, and realizing you need to keep better records!In order to evaluate accurately, you need information. In the busy season, you are too busy to set up a record keeping system. Now is the perfect time to decide what information you need and how you will...

  • Less Is More: Specialization As a Key to Farming Success

    Added December 8, 2016

    Picture a storybook farm: rows of vegetable crops, fruit trees, a flock of laying hens, some pigs wallowing or cows grazing, and a happy farmer with a spade, chasing stray rabbits from his crops. Sounds idyllic, doesn't it? As farmers and ranchers, we know that a “real” farm — like the ones we operate — generally looks nothing like the fantasy version that many people...

  • Hobby vs. Farm Business

    Added November 17, 2016
    Dream Farm

    What makes a Farm a Business vs. a Hobby?We recently held a Farm Business Planning workshop where we showed a humorously exaggerated slide show of a city slicker turned farmer. The class was asked to identify what about the example farm indicated that it was a hobby vs. a business. The beginning farmer was based partly on my farm and was closer to my own experience than I like to admit. After...

Which crops make money on your farm? 
Try our new profitability calculators and find out!

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Area Weather

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

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Placer County Station

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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.



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