2014 New Call for Positions
2014 URS Call for Positions
This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2014 cycle.
047 Diversified Farms/Tree Crops Advisor
Santa Cruz County
Proposed Area of Coverage
Santa Cruz, San Benito, Monterey and south Santa Clara counties.
- Mark Bolda - Main Contact
- UCCE Santa Cruz County Letter (pdf), uploaded 07/18/2014 by Katherine Webb-Martinez
- Ag Commissioner letter (pdf), uploaded 07/16/2014 by Katherine Webb-Martinez
- Diversified Farms/Tree Crops Advisor (docx), uploaded 05/19/2014 by Mark Bolda
The Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau is a supporter of the work carried out by our local UC Cooperative Extension service. Our growers benefit greatly from their advisers' technical expertise. One area that is lacking is assistance for our diversified farms and tree crops. We strongly recommend adding a Diversified Farms/Tree Crops Adviser to help farmers who grow a variety of crops on one farms. This is a growing segment of our agricultural community and it has unique challenges which an adviser with a specialization could address. Tree crops, which are grown by a lot of diversified operations, are a focus that our local UCCE office does not currently cover. We hope you will add this position to help our area farmers.
The Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Mateo County Farm Service Agency (FSA) Committee is responsible for implementing many of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Bill programs in the Monterey, Santa, Cruz, San Mateo County area. The FSA Committee assists farmers in the areas of risk management, conservation, disaster assistance, and farm financing. Many of the farms that request assistance are smaller and diversified operations, which include tree, fruit, vegetable and other specialty crops. On many occasions, the Committee has utilized the research and expertise of the local UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisors to assist with information pertaining to these types of crops. The expertise of the UC Advisors has been found to be particularly reliable because of the research that supports the information that is provided. There is a growing need for the practical and research-based information that UC Farm Advisors provide, since many of the farms that were once comprised of only one crop now have multiple, diverse crops. The local FSA office receives inquiries from prospective new farmers as well as experienced farmers about cultural practices, disease control, and the feasibility of growing a new crop in this area. These inquiries are routinely directed to the local UC Extension Farm Advisors. For these reasons, the County Committee strongly supports and recommends approval of the Diversified Farming Systems/Tree Crops Advisor.
Additional research and extension assistance are needed for the diversified farm and tree crop clientele in Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Clara counties. We strongly recommend adding a Diversified Farms/Tree Crops Advisor (centered in Santa Cruz County) to help farmers who grow a variety of crops on one farm. This proposed position will team nicely with the strong pest management and production programs already in place in this coastal county region.
As a grower within the Santa Cruz County, farm advisers are indispensable for us small farmers.We grow over 40 varieties of apples (many heirloom varieties), 6 varieties of pears, and berries, all of which are sold locally within 60 miles. Small organic growers need the expertise that otherwise we could not afford, and their are many of us. Our livelihood, mostly through farmers markets is critical for we cannot compete against the larger growers who have the means and expertise that is necessary. How a farm adviser for tree crops is essential is our unique climate and soil which is ideal for growing apples has a lot of challenges that need to be met on any given season. But the yields and quality of flavor rival anywhere in the world (Martinelli Juice Co. is based in Watsonville, CA). The UC Extension has and is extremely helpful when needing solutions. I have personally called and received numerous help on occasions for berries with Mark Bolda. He is great, but he is not a expert in trees, he is a expert in berries. We would love to have a Tree Adviser that would complete the circle for our UC Extension office. Please consider our needs in this community.
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