'Culture' change for ag in Plumas and Sierra counties under way

Nov 9, 2011

A new working group has been formed in Plumas and Sierra counties to find ways to enhance and strengthen the ag sector of the region's local economy, according to the Plumas County News.

The group's planning meeting last week was facilitated UC food systems analyst Gail Feenstra and UC Cooperative Extension community development specialist David Campbell, who led a discussion about local resources — natural, human, governmental and physical — for which products and markets could be created or strengthened.

Weather and a short growing season hamper farmers and ranchers in Sierra and Plumas counties. Most arable land is in livestock or livestock feed production. In order to enhance the ag "culture," the working group discussed:

  • Community supported agriculture
  • A local composting facility
  • A cooperative meat producers’ facility
  • Farmer training to develop high-elevation growing, marketing and business skills.
  • A cidery that takes advantage of the area’s heirloom apple trees and remnant orchards
  • Value-added ag products such as jams and jellies made from local berries
  • A year-round farmers market
  • Promotion of the local fall color season in connection with harvest festivals and farm tours

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One of the challenges of mountain agriculture is limited crop diversity.

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist