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.

  • 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...

  • Legendary Farmers to Visit Auburn

    Added September 26, 2016

    "If this generation is to sponsor more successful farmers than did our own, we oldsters now must lift others out of the profound ignorance from which our predecessors' once kindly liberated us.” – Tom Willey On October 19th and 20th, two pioneers of organic agriculture, Tom and Denesse Willey will come to Auburn and share their wisdom with farmers from Placer and Nevada Counties. A...

  • Harvesting Data

    Added August 30, 2016
    record keeping

    Summer is in full tilt and every farmer and rancher I know is working like crazy just to keep up. There is always lots and lots of work to do on the farm, but one area most of us ignore is the office work. This is especially true during the busiest times of the year, like spring planting and fall harvest. Sorry to add a burden to the already overworked farmer, but everyone should make some time...

  • 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...

Which crops make money on your farm?

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Which orchards make money on your farm? 
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Calendar of Workshops

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Area Weather

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

Yuba County Stations

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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