- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
The Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center staff have almost completed relocating from Santa Paula to their new property in Camarillo, said Annemiek Schilder, director of UCCE Ventura County and HAREC. Except for one small container that will be moved next week, everything has been transferred to the new site.
“Shout out to the local team that has orchestrated the Hansen REC move from Santa Paula to Camarillo,” Schilder said, “with help from UC Facilities Planning and Management, Resource Planning & Management, and REC Operations.”
Adam Novicki, farm superintendent;Jose Hernandez, senior ag technician; Santos Ramirez, senior ag technician; Stephanie Gomez Gallimore, facility coordinator; Brandy McCarthy, financial services coordinator; and Kathy Speer, business officer, have been key to the success of the move.
“They have been doing a tremendous job arranging for the move of two modular office buildings and their contents, 11 shipping containers, a walk-in cooler, farm equipment, trucks, trailers, wagons, etc. under time pressure and with many challenges along the way, while at the same time cleaning up the old site and starting up research trials at the new site,” Schilder said.
The new address is 5352 Beardsley Road, Camarillo, CA 93010.
It will take a few months for the modular office buildings to be restored and ready for occupancy in Camarillo.
“I would estimate November or December,” Schilder said. “The buildings have to be put back together, utilities have to be hooked up, a septic holding tank has to be installed, and the parking area and walkways have to be paved. However, the first research trial is already in the ground at the new location.”
HAREC administrative staff are currently working from the UC Cooperative Extension office in Ventura County at 669 County Square Dr #100, Ventura, CA 93003. The farm superintendent and field staff are in Camarillo using their cell phones because the HAREC phones are not functional at the time of this story.
Read more about the Hansen REC move in Schilder's post at https://ceventura.ucanr.edu/Gardening/Coastal/Home/HAREC_in_Camarillo. Also see the UCCE Ventura County Annual Report 2022-23.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
After many years of discussion and on the recommendation of the Hansen Advisory Board, UC ANR has decided to sell the 27-acre historic Faulkner Farm in Santa Paula, the home of the Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HAREC) since 1997. The property went up for sale on Sept. 21, 2020. Bids are due in a closed bid process, as required by the Stull Act, by Nov. 17, 2020.
The mission of HAREC is to support and maintain University research and extension activities for the sustainability and benefit of agriculture and natural resources in Ventura County. To continue and expand efforts in support of the mission, proceeds from the sale will be used toward the purchase of a new property. UC is actively seeking 40 to 70 acres on the Oxnard Plain that will lend itself to the types of research most relevant for our area. We are also exploring potential areas of collaboration with California State University Channel Islands, which is expected to lead to synergies and long-term sustainability of education and research programs. An internal strategic planning process and expert panel review of the UC ANR Research and Extension Centers as well as local stakeholder surveys will inform the direction and scope of the future HAREC facility.
During the transition, UC Cooperative Extension will continue to operate out of the county government building on 669 County Square Drive in Ventura and critical research and education projects will continue.
The main impetus of the move is that acreage is limited on the Hansen REC site and the microclimate is not representative of the Oxnard plain, home to the highest-value agricultural commodities in Ventura County. Additionally, over time the costs of maintaining the historic buildings – the house is 126 years old and the large barn is 134 years old – became more of a financial burden than anticipated. Repairs are costly and modifications are difficult due to the restrictions for historic properties. These expenses reduce HAREC's ability to best serve Ventura County's agricultural sector and fulfill the wishes of Saticoy farmer Thelma Hansen, who left the University a sizable endowment to support research and extension for the benefit of Ventura County agriculture.
For many years, the HAREC site has supported a wide variety of agricultural and horticultural research projects, extension meetings, agricultural literacy programs and field trips for K-12 youth, and training of Master Gardener volunteers who maintain a beautiful demonstration garden as well as gardens around the historic home. The farm also has an extensive collection of avocado, citrus and cherimoya varieties as well as other tropical and subtropical fruit trees, such as mangoes, figs, bananas, guavas and papayas.
Despite the upheaval a move will create, UC ANR is committed to expanding and enhancing programs and opportunities for community participation at a new site.