- Author: Megan G Osbourn
Programs such as 4-H and FFA are excellent training platforms for youth who raise livestock on a small scale. In the last two weeks nearly 800 youth across three different counties exhibited livestock at either the Yuba-Sutter Fair or the Nevada County Fair. Exhibitors ranging from 9-19 years old, have been working tirelessly over the last year to prepare project animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, poultry and swine for competition and market. The process involves more than feeding and grooming animals on a daily basis, which in itself is not always an easy task.
Jake Williams (15) of the Smartsville 4-H Club, recently exhibited and sold his seventh steer at the Yuba-Sutter Fair. As a way to market his steer, Williams, like many other exhibitors, hand-delivers letters to businesses and community members who will potentially support the Junior Livestock Auction. Such tasks develop public speaking and communication skills, and remind young people to keep the primary goal in sight. “The most important part of raising a steer is creating a quality product for the buyer,” says Williams. “It's a lot of fun and I've learned a lot, but it is definitely hard work.”
Upcoming educational opportunity:
Youth and adults looking for additional resources, can visit the 4-H Youth Development Program for free curriculum and project sheets pertaining to animal and environmental sciences. Guides for livestock care can be found for several animal species through the UC Davis, Veterinary Medicine Extension program.
- Author: Jeremy James
The annual California Grazing Academy held at UC SFREC and led by Roger Ingram, Nevada/Placer County UCCE Director and Livestock Advisor was once again a widely attended and engaging event. Over a third of an inch of rain cooled off the 24 participants that attended the two-day event that mixed lectures and hand-on activities to explore and demonstrate key principles that drive the ability of producers to be successful grass farmers. Topics included controlled grazing principles, water and mineral cycles, pasture cell design, rest/grazing periods, nutrition and supplementation as well as grazing planning and monitoring. Each participant had the opportunity to visually estimated carrying capacity, install electric fencing, move cows with calves into their designated paddocks, and watch the cattle consume pasture grass over a period of 24 hours. This annual training has remained hugely popular across California and the West with some participants coming as far as Utah to learn from UCCE and Roger Ingram. We looked forward to another year!
- Author: Maddison Easley
Producers from the Food and Farm Show filmed and interviewed multiple speakers at the Future of Farming and Ranching Forum at the Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center on February 22nd. The Food and Farm Show highlights local agricultural events, news, and issues. They are part of Touchdown Productions, which films other regional activities like the “Game of the Week” on the local news channels.
Three episodes were released featuring the Future of Farming Ranching event at SFREC. Important speakers interviewed include Jamie Johansson, farmer and 2nd Vice President of the California Farm Bureau; Susan Hoek, 5th generation rancher in Penn Valley; and Roger Ingram, UCCE Farm Advisor for Placer and Nevada Counties.
These 30-minute videos give the viewer a taste of what the event covered. Click on the following links to watch:
Episode 1 – featuring the keynote speaker Jamie Johansson and the introduction
Episode 2 – interviews with Jamie Johansson and Roger Ingram
Episode 3 – featuring Sue Hoek speaking from experience about resource planning and preparing for the future
With media attention like this, SFREC is becoming more visible throughout the region. Collectively, the educational events occurring at all of the Research and Extension Centers help enforce the tangible impacts of UCANR within communities statewide.
- Author: Maddison Easley
This past Saturday, February 22nd, SFREC hosted a forum focused on the future of farming and ranching in the Sierra foothills.
About sixty members of surrounding communities in Nevada, Placer, Yuba, and Sutter counties made it out to UC SFREC for a day of learning, interaction with professionals, and networking. For the vast majority of the attendees, this was their first introduction to SFREC and the UC Research and Extension Center system.
The speakers offered insightful and useful information that engaged the entire audience. Jamie Johansson, Second Vice President of the California Farm Bureau and owner of Lodestar Farms, kick started the conversations by speaking about the opportunities and challenges of farming in the foothills. Dan Macon, representing Placer County UCCE and Flying Mule Farm, offered logical business planning strategies from a personal and professional perspective.
A significant aspect of this event focused on incorporating local youth. We were able to help partner students from high schools in the region with a few of the producer-presenters prior to the forum. This additional opportunity enabled a more profound learning experience for students interested in the future of farming and ranching.
There was a DELICIOUS locally sourced lunch with juicy tri-trip, salads, bread, and lavender sweets. Briar Patch co-op in Grass Valley also donated coffee and pastries for the event. Local ag and natural resource conservation groups brought educational materials to share. Attendees enjoyed the beautiful weather and slowly greening rangeland on a brief tour of the center.
Overall, it was a successful event that kindled connections with the community and opened the door for future cooperative efforts.
- Author: Maddison Easley
On February 22nd, community members, local farmers and ranchers, professionals, high school students, non-profit groups, and regional leaders in the ag industry will be gathering in Browns Valley for a forum on The Future of Farming and Ranching in the Sierra Foothills. This event has been in the making since summer when committee members helped lay the foundation for a useful and exciting day about the opportunities and challenges of agriculture in this region.
Speakers will be sharing their personal experiences and knowledge about getting started in agriculture and reaching goals. Topics about resources needed, tools available, and strategies to stay in business will be discussed. High school ag students will present information learned from visits with local farms/ranches and other important areas researched. Multiple non-profit groups will be displaying information and resources as well. There will be a delicious lunch, sourced from local farmers and ranchers (some of which will be present). The cost to attend is $10 per family. Register through our website at http://sfrec.ucanr.edu/