Foothill Farming
University of California
Foothill Farming

Foothill Farming Blog

  • Workshop Follow-Up: Resources for a Food Safety Plan

    Added September 19, 2017
    Food Safety Action Planning

    We had a great "On-Farm Food Safety" workshop at the end of last month at Mandarin Hill Orchard in Penryn. Fourteen of our local fruit and vegetable growers were in attendance. The workshop included a discussion of strategies for improving food safety, a review of the new federal legislation, and several instructive activities. At the end of the workshop each grower was tasked with identifying three ways they were going to apply what they learned to their operations. We noticed that the...

  • Controlling Internal Parasites in Sheep and Goats

    Added September 11, 2017
    2016-06-20 18.27.04 HDR (2)

    If you've raised sheep or goats, you've doubtless seen symptoms of internal parasites. In our own sheep, these symptoms include diarrhea, general lethargy, anemia, and bottle jaw. If you've been in the business of raising sheep and goats for any length of time, you'll also know that dewormer resistance (that is, parasites that develop resistance to specific dewormers) is an increasingly difficult challenge. Thanks to a great webinar put on by the American Sheep Industry's Let's Grow...

  • 10 Practices That Will Reduce Your On-Farm Food Safety Risks

    Added August 18, 2017
    farmer and dog

    Everyone has a role in keeping food safe, starting with the farmer and ending with the consumer. As a farmer, you have many responsibilities, including making sure the food you produce is safe for your customers. The following is a top ten list of practices that will help you reduce your on-farm food safety risks.  1. Understand that food safety on your farm is your responsibility. Good food safety practices can protect you and your customers. It is a cost of doing...

  • Mandarin Growers Test New Practices

    Added June 20, 2017
    ND7 9613 web

    Mandarins are considered the signature crop of the foothills. Foothill growers are challenged by poor soils, limited water, increasing pest pressure, and production costs. Many of us are employing non-traditional techniques to counter these challenges. Two of these practices, pruning and mulching, are currently being studied by UCCE Placer/Nevada in collaboration with five local growers.  In the past, citrus growers were warned not to prune. We were told that pruning would harm the...

  • Perfecting Your Sales Pitch

    Added May 11, 2017
    Bob Elevator Speech

    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 successful businessmen, whom I knew and respected, explained that I was not understanding the art of...

  • Happy Irrigation Season!

    Added April 24, 2017
    water power

    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 up or cleaned out? Is it turned off when it's raining? Do you have the proper frequency and...

  • Start Smarter Part 2: Lessons I Learned Along the Way

    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 differently in my vegetable operation?Equipment & Infrastructure: I would invest in BCS (walk-behind...

  • Start Smarter Part 1: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Farming

    Added March 21, 2017
    Sam & Xea with Potatoes

    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 turn a profit. If I had it all to do over again, what would I do differently? Practice: To start,...

  • Applying for a Farm Loan

    Added February 28, 2017

    There are many reasons a farm might want to apply for a loan. Capital improvements, cash flow, crop expansion and land acquisition are a few. The exact loan application process and records required will depend on your lender and your individual situation. Factors affecting the process include the size of the loan, your farm history and personal credit, assets, and liabilities. You will need to research the interest rates, loan fees, payment terms, and loan specifications to find the loan that...

  • Ready for Taxes?

    Added February 9, 2017

    Taxes can be overwhelming. Even if you are great with numbers, do you want to dedicate hours or days to reading through the ever-changing tax laws? What do you know about Adjusted Basis, Employment Taxes, and Accounting Methods? Do you know what is new for 2017? Dixie Chan is a tax preparer licensed with the California Tax Education Council and has been preparing income taxes for over 25 years. Here are her tips for preparing your taxes this year.• Take a few minutes to review your tax...

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Keep up with other local farmers, find out about workshops, classes, and events, and join our local farming community on Facebook!  

The Latest From Our Facebook Page...

Farm Advisor Dan Macon talks about kicking off a new project looking at Livestock Guardian Dogs in northern CA:

Posted 1 day ago
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Wondering why the oaks in our area are losing their leaves so early? Check out Dan Macon's ranching blog post for the answer...

Posted 12 days ago
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As a farmer, you have many responsibilities, including making sure the food you produce is safe for your customers. Here's a top-ten list of practices that will help you reduce your on-farm food safety risks. And check out our upcoming On-farm Food Safety Workshop to learn more!

Posted 34 days ago
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How confident are you about reducing food safety risks on your farm? How could the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) affect you? Would you be prepared for a food safety audit? Come join us at this workshop to learn about key practices to reduce on-farm food safety risks, get answers to your questions about FSMA, and develop a food safety plan for your farm. Workshop fee: $10 per person. Fee includes drinks, snacks, and materials. Pre-registration is required. Workshop is limited to 20 people. Registration and payment are on-line at (Location and address will be given after you sign up)

Posted 38 days ago
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Efficiency is key to making your farm profitable, and all the details add up — from planning your processes ahead of time, to choosing the right tools, to even the smallest time-saving tricks. We visited Shanon and Michael of Hillview Farms to see how they maximize efficiency when harvesting their arugula crop, and picked up some great tips along the way!

Posted 58 days ago
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After 30 plus years of service, Roger Ingram is retiring! Please join us on Sunday, July 9, 2017 to help us celebrate Roger. We would love it if you would bring a photo or memento to put in the scrapbook we are creating. Please complete the brief reservation survey at the link so we know how many people to expect. Hope to see you there!

Posted 97 days ago
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