ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

2016 Call for Positions

On December 14, 2016 UC ANR Vice President Humiston announced the the release of 26 CE positions from the 2016 call for a new round of hiring over the next two years. This new release continues the commitment for hiring to exceed projected turnover, thus achieving the goal of academic growth. And, as funding becomes available, UC ANR will consider additional positions.

2016 approved CE positions

January 12, 2016 solicited proposals for Cooperative Extension (CE) advisor and specialist positions in the ANR Update. The call identified positions for strengthening and expanding the UC ANR network to address programmatic gaps and emerging needs. Below this public webpage displays all 138 new CE position proposals (there is a search tool to assist in finding proposals).

The online submittal process was open from January 12 – May 5 (5:00 PM) to allow as much time as possible for internal consultation and external input from UC ANR stakeholders in all program areas. Submissions were accepted from the following official submitter groups:

The Review Phase was completed May 5 – August 1. All proposals were reviewed. The program area and unit reviews were conducted by the Program Teams; geographic groups of County/Multicounty Partnership and Research and Extension Center Directors, and the UC ANR affiliated colleges and school. These groups prioritized and provided rationale for the position proposals under their purview. This input was used to inform UC ANR Program Council’s recommendations and ultimately the UC ANR Vice President’s decisions. More information about the review process is available in the review orientation.

The public comment period was open Jan. 12 through July 11, 2016. Comments can be viewed by clicking the position links below. Comments were reviewed by the review groups, Program Council and the Vice President.

Relevant documents:

If you have any questions, contact Katherine Webb-Martinez at (510) 987-0029 or


2016 URS Call for Positions

This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2016 cycle.

Position Details

040 Area Small Farm Advisor - Sonoma

The Small Farm Advisor will be responsible for developing and conducting a rigorous and innovative research and extension program in Sonoma, Napa, and Marin counties focused on high value specialty fruits, vegetables, olives, specialty grains, and cut flower production contributing to food security and viable local economies. These counties are home to pioneering, progressive, and successful small organic operations. There are 800 small-scale commercial farmers using approximately 10,000 acres in Sonoma County for crop production. Similarly, there are 53 farmers on approximately 95 acres in Napa County and 25 farmers on approximately 425 acres in Marin County. These rural and peri-urban farmers grow olives, tree fruits, nuts, berries, vegetables, herbs, cut flowers, and other specialty crops. This farming footprint is complimented by a burgeoning new and beginning farmer demographic and active participation in direct marketing channels such as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), farmer’s markets, institutional purchasers, grocery stores and farm-to-school programs. This position will assist farmers, processors, and marketers to make a profit in local agriculture while promoting sustainable practices. The Advisor will collaboratively develop opportunities for innovation and adaption of niche and organic production, marketing, resource sustainability, and appropriate-scale equipment and technology. The Advisor will also work with these producers to expand their role and contribution as foundational members of the area’s food system and community. The position will also manage the Sonoma County Master Gardeners program with over 300 volunteers, educating home gardeners.

Proposed Location/Housing

Sonoma County

Proposed Area of Coverage

Sonoma, Napa, and Marin Counties


Associated Documents



Sonoma County Agriculture is noted for it's outstanding wine and dairy industries but small farm agriculture (specialty fruits, produce, olives, value added animal products, etc.) is growing rapidly especially as people new to agriculture begin small farming operations. I can't imagine a time when a UCCE Small Farm Advisor could be more valuable to the future of local agriculture.
Posted May 31, 2016 1:31 PM by Steve Olson
I'd love to see fiber production acknowledged -- its a big part of agriculture! In CA we grow over 3 million lbs of wool annually.
Posted May 31, 2016 2:47 PM by Marie Hoff
The North Bay is teeming with beginning and aspiring farmers--as well as the local markets capable of supporting them--but many of those farmers, a number of them young and first-generation farmers--need guidance during the steep learning curve towards the success establishment of a viable farm. And almost all of them will be pursuing operations of a smaller, more accessible scale and with a focus on diversification and sustainability. While we have many support organizations here, these organizations and their constituents would greatly benefit from a collaborative Small Farms Advisor who can bring technical expertise as a compliment to the work already being done here. We at the Farmers Guild strongly support this UCCE position and look forward to working closely with them to integrating into our community of farmers, producers, food industry specialists and market base.
Posted Jun 2, 2016 11:21 AM by Evan Wiig
As a first generation beginning farmer, I'll need all the help I can get. Growing food for a living is hard enough- I'll be looking to start in a region with ample resources. This advisor would be a critical link as I pursue establishing a smaller scale, diversified operation.
Posted Jun 6, 2016 11:18 AM by Rob King
Having worked on a small farm in Sebastopol last summer, I was introduced to the challenge small farms face in successfully navigating market, regulatory, labor and technological landscapes with limited resources. The innovative efforts of farms in Sonoma County to advance more sustainable and socially responsible methods for food production are highly commendable, however. Having a dedicated farm advisor to support this assortment of endeavors would be a significant achievement in boosting the viability of these small farms' futures and the vibrancy they create within our communities.
Posted Jun 14, 2016 11:38 AM by Greg Richardson
As UCCE staff I have been privileged to work with beginning farmers for three years helping coordinate a USDA BFR training program. This is a challenging profession to take on - with many facets. Support from all sectors of the ag community is key. The Small Farms Advisor has been invaluable for many years. It would drastically diminish the one-on-one support and resources that have been shared broadly, if this position is not renewed. We know that farming is a risky business and the more information, training and support provided by experts in this field, the more secure we can feel that there will continue to be motivated and informed farmers growing our food. I echo the comment above from Steve Olson, prominent supporter of Ag and education for many years at SRJC:I can't imagine a time when a UCCE Small Farm Advisor could be more valuable to the future of local agriculture.
Posted Jun 15, 2016 3:00 PM by Linda Peterson
I wish to lend my total support for the duties and position of the farm advisors.
Posted Jun 16, 2016 2:46 PM by Perry Kozlowski
I strongly support the Small Farm Advisor position for Sonoma and Marin Counties. This region has a long history of diverse crop production and there has been increasing interest in specialty crops in recent years. I have worked in the Sustainable Agriculture Program at SRJC's Shone farm for 17 years and have seen a steady increase in the number of students taking classes to learn about growing fruit and vegetables. The demand for locally grown food also is increasing steadily and growers need access to technical information on varieties,production techniques,irrigation, etc. Workshops offered by UCCE in recent years on topics like production of cider apples, small grains, hops and berries, as well as on beneficial techniques for producers like composting, have been filled to capacity.
The market for specialty crops in these counties and surrounding Bay Area is enormous and many producers are looking for niche crops for these markets. A Small Farm Advisor is needed to assist the many producers on small parcels with diverse crops. Information on more unusual crops is not as readily available, and there are new pests and diseases that require current information on monitoring and controls.
This position is needed to work in concert with the Ag Program at SRJC, the Ag Commissioner, Resource Conservation Districts, the very popular and active Master Gardener Program, and other local agencies and organizations.
I look forward to the Small Farm Advisor position being approved and working with this person.
Posted Jun 19, 2016 9:54 PM by Wendy Krupnick
The small farm advisor position is critical in helping new farms and those wanting to diversify. A broad range and scope is essential to meet the needs of Sonoma County and its budding array of different types of farming.
Posted Jun 20, 2016 4:33 PM by Scott Bice
Outside the wine grape industry, small farms produce most of Sonoma County's agricultural crops. The economics of operating a small farm in the North Coast region dictate that specialty and niche crops are the mainstay. A small farms advisor in the region is a linchpin necessary to support current and future growers, and identify new opportunities to enable the continuing success and future growth of small farms in the region.
Posted Jun 20, 2016 4:51 PM by Paul Olin
I strongly support the Small Farm Advisor position for Sonoma, Napa and Marin Counties. These counties have a history of diverse crop production, but have many unique challenges. Over the last fifty years grapes have taken precedence in Napa County, but we are positioned to become an example of successful integration specialty crop production for the bay area. We have a growing population of community members who want their food to be produced locally and sustainably. In Napa County, the cost and availibity of land are the primary challenges to new farmers. A Small Farm Advisor would help our new farmers create viable business models that address our specific challenges. Our specialty crop farmer’s need someone who can think outside of the box, help navigate laws and regulations, and provide training and information of small scale, diverse farming. . Napa County has several organizations; the Ag Commissioner’s Office, Farm Beuru, Famers’ Guild, Slow Food, The Local Food Advisory Council, Master Gardeners and others all working on local food issues. All of these groups would benefit by having an advisor when taking on the unique challenges of growing specialty crops in Napa County.
Posted Jun 23, 2016 11:45 AM by Joy HIlton
I wholeheartedly support the development and addition of this position and resource. It is needed right now to support and aid farmers in succeeding in the highly entreprenuerial environment of modern, urban-fringe farming. As a certified organic farmer with 23 years experience in growing and managing a new farming operation from scratch, I cannot emphasize how valuable a little support and good advice would have been along the way. Still learning, still innovating, 23 years in and still coming up with questions and nowhere to go for answers. Old farmers and new are confronting extremely competitive and fluid market conditions that can easily overwhelm a new or small operation. Grocery stores, restaurants, direct marketing, farmers' markets, value added, online sales, CSA's, farm stands, cooperative marketing. Most new farmers come in more frightened about selling it than growing it. We need something that can connect and grow our farming community and help us work together to solve our common problems. Hope this works. It's the right idea and the right time.
Posted Jul 5, 2016 12:40 PM by Janet Brown
A Small Farm Advisor would be a huge step in the right direction of retaining our agricultural heritage and viability of small scale production. We have seen an increased interest in small scale, diverse operations and yet the average age of farmers locally is not going down. That is because we are losing many new farmers that cannot make it under present regulatory, economic, and societal conditions. A farm advisor immersed in the challenges unique to small scale operations would be well-positioned to drive research, innovation, and social impact of UC resources.

I support the Small Farm position but would like some clarification on why the Master Gardener piece is included.
Posted Jul 5, 2016 5:20 PM by Suzi Grady
We strongly support the position of a small farm advisor for the area. We have found the advise from UCCE to be invaluable in the development of our organic apple farm and hope this resource continues to be available.
Posted Jul 5, 2016 5:36 PM by Jan Lee
A few years ago, i had some trouble with my lease of public lands. It is adjacent to a sewer treatment facility. Even though the farm is dry, without irrigation, i was in need of some help to see if i had a problem with tainted water possibly overflowing in a storm event into my farm. I called the farm advisor and they were able to compare the water around my lease with other ag water and verify that there was not a problem. It would have been really hard to figure that out without the UCCE. We need someone we can trust, who is connected to the bigger picture. A small farm advisor sounds like the right idea.
Posted Jul 5, 2016 5:38 PM by Mickey murch
There has been a wonderful renaissance in small farms in Marin since 2000. They are all organic farms and many are situated on traditionally larger ranches, growing crops and raising livestock that was done many decades ago, and adding new specialties. These farmers and ranchers need help from a Small Farm Advisor in many ways: crop selection, organic pest and weed control, vertical integration of product, new techniques such as no-till row crops, etc.
Although Marin has been called "the epicenter of organic agriculture", the county is really just beginning to see the possibilities of organic sustainable production. Much acreage is available, and the community wants Marin to have a stronger sustainable food base. A Small Farm Advisor working with our new Agricultural Ombudsman will make an effective Extension team for our next generation of farmers and ranchers.
Thank you.
Posted Jul 6, 2016 10:09 AM by warren weber, star route farms
The Small Farm Advisor has been and will continue to be a critical component in the Sonoma County food system. Converging factors including an aging/retiring farmer population, the emergence of a new producer demographic, increasing awareness & demand for locally produced food, comprehensive county-wide efforts to rebuild the regional food system, increasing production costs, ongoing climate change impacts, volatile market conditions, and the introduction of new pests and diseases make this position/resource more important than ever. Extension-based technical assistance and the downstream benefits of innovative, forward thinking research programs will continue to be an indispensable resource for producers into the future. As an Agricultural Scientist, producer/farm owner and regulatory official, I strongly support the proposal to fill the Sonoma County Cooperative Extension Small Farm Advisor position.
Posted Jul 6, 2016 4:10 PM by John Guardino M. Sc., Le Reve Farm
I have worked with Paul Vossen for nearly twenty years as a member of the COOC and UCCE olive oil taste panels and have experienced, first hand, just how important the UC Small Farm advisor is to farmers in the North Bay. Our young industry would not be where it is without the critical and timely assistance provided by UCCE and I know that this is the case with other fruit and vegetable growers as well. I agree with others in strongly supporting the need for the Small Farm Advisor position with the Sonoma County Cooperative Extension.
Posted Jul 7, 2016 9:02 AM by Nancy Lilly, Tallgrass Ranch
This position would be a godsend in supporting efforts to increase the agricultural diversity of Napa County. In addition, the small farm operators in existent would benefit from the technical expertise provided by such a position and help farmers be more successful economically. The current population of small farmers would benefit from the expertise of a small farmer advisor, especially given that there is a limited body of knowledge and understanding of current faming practices due to the small number of farmers growing crops other than winegrapes. The Napa County Board of Supervisors is very interested in and supportive of any measures that will increase the number of small farm operators, increase agricultural diversity, and help with sustainability.
Posted Jul 7, 2016 10:07 AM by Greg Clark
Please keep this position. There are both new farmers and ranchers and established operations that need information and advice. Sometimes agricultural operators are forced to change thier operation due to drought, health, changing market conditions, and regulations making it too difficult to continue a business model.
Posted Jul 7, 2016 1:01 PM by Sharon Harston
For many years, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers, has partnered directly or indirectly with the UCCE to help make food and farming systems more viable. Small scale farmers are taking on the task of feeding their community and it is more important now than ever that they receive the support and resources they need to be successful. CAFF will continue to focus on small, family-scale farmers and look forward to a continued partnership with the UCCE's Small Farms Advisor.
Posted Jul 7, 2016 3:25 PM by Angie Corwin-Laskey
With the significant number of small beginning farmers on the north coast (and growing), the Small Farm Advisor position is greatly needed across Marin, Napa, and Sonoma counties. Farming is already a challenging livelihood. We have a responsibility to help ensure our next generation of small farmers has the tools they need to succeed, which in turn helps our communities succeed. This position will provide these producers with invaluable resources, such as organic solutions to controlling pests, new farming techniques, development of niche markets, and expertise in many other areas to take their products from soil to consumer.

Local, fresh, organically grown products on the north coast are in high demand and this trend will only increase over time. This position will fill in a missing link in Marin, Napa, and Sonoma by providing much needed support for our small farmers.
Posted Jul 8, 2016 6:53 AM by Stefan Parnay
I'm writing to show my support for the Small Farm Advisor position for Napa, Sonoma, and Marin Counties. This region has a long history of diverse crop production, with increasing interest in local, sustainable specialty crops. There is significant growth in small family-run farms in the North Bay region, and I expect it will continue to grow as consumers continue to demand fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, eggs, and other ag products. These farms would greatly benefit from the technical and business expertise the Small Farm Advisor can provide. The UCCE Small Farm Advisor is invaluable to the future of our regional agricultural food system.
Posted Jul 8, 2016 3:33 PM by Sommer Woolley
Having worked in small scale organic agriculture for 30 years in Marin, I have called upon the small farm advisor many times and come to rely on the solid information and advice that is specific to our region and its mosaic of micro climates. The most recent advisor's expertise in orchard crops and perennial production has been especially helpful in improving the bottom line on my 25 acres of annual row crops. His workshops and farm visits guided me toward planting more valuable tree and berry crops. Adding these crops to my farm has made the economics of my operation much more stable.

Farmers in our region are widely separated and too busy to meet and share information. The regional advisor is key link, spreading the word on new trends in corp production and offering workshops on crop diversification. There is a constant and wonderful influx of aspiring new farmers, young and old, who greatly benefit from the guidance of our farm advisor. The numerous farms and ranches that are diversifying their old commodity operations with specialty and organic production also benefit from our regional advisor. If we are to sustain this renaissance of family scale farming in our region, there is no doubt we will need a well situated farm advisor.
Posted Jul 9, 2016 12:03 AM by Peter Martinelli
With a proposition this November to allow recreational use of marijuana and state legislation passed last year (Assembly Bills 243 and 266, and Senate Bill 643) that creates a licensing and regulatory framework for medical cannabis anticipated by January 1, 2018, there will a demand for beginning farmers and farmers wishing to diversify into a known cash crop. As the State cultivator license types issued by the Department of Food and Agriculture will include "specialty", "small indoor and outdoor", "large indoor and outdoor" and "nursery" it would appear cultivation and harvesting techniques will be in demand.

Sonoma County has always been a leader when it comes to specialty crops thanks to research and outreach by Paul Vossen. What's more, the Small Farm Advisor position has already had a specialty crop program of outreach with the other member of the Cannabaceae family, Humulus lupus or hops. Agribusiness and corporate growers will want a piece of the action and developing a small-scale organic approach to cannabis that will be ingested for medicinal purposes requires purity from seed to delivery. I strongly support the UCCE Small Farm Advisor position to achieve a sustainable farming and food system in Sonoma County.
Posted Jul 10, 2016 10:44 PM by James Johnson
Sustainability and growth of small farms is crucial to a sound and diverse agricultural industry. Within Napa County, our agricultural industry is narrow, focusing mainly on wine grapes. The Small Farm Advisor can use modern techniques and academic-based data to assist expansion of small farms within our county. We have a longstanding and beneficial partnership with the UC Cooperative Extension system, and we appreciate the assistance that has helped our community to retain its agricultural heritage. We see the addition of the Small Farm Advisor as a further step in this partnership, making agricultural endeavors even more successful. We appreciate and thank the UC system for its ongoing commitment to rural communities and voice our strong support for this valuable position.
Posted Jul 11, 2016 10:37 AM by Napa County CEO - Leanne Link, Assistant County Executive Officer
Marin County does not have a small farms adviser. Our Resource Conservation District, Land Trust and USDA office do not have the expertise described in this position yet the need is evident. Each year our district finds an increasing demand to address small farming operations but offers little direction for guidance. This position will be an important addition to our team and will allow us to fully represent our area's needs.
Posted Jul 11, 2016 11:24 AM by Nancy Scolari
This position would be of potential benefit to farmers looking for crop advice that is currently hard to come by often needing to contact other county UCCE offices. I think a strong knowledge of pests, treatments, soil and crop economics would be of great to our county.
Posted Jul 11, 2016 2:28 PM by Brittany Jensen
I strongly support the Small Farm Advisor position. Our small scale farmers and producers need all the help they can get to create and sustain viable and diverse operations. This position will greatly benefit our local agricultural community.
Posted Jul 11, 2016 4:15 PM by Carmen Snyder, ED Sonoma County Farm Trails
The growing number of small family farms and the increasing reliance on ecological farming to address issues from community food security to climate change indicates the importance of small scale agriculture locally and globally. The challenges farmers face (evidenced by the rate of attrition and standard of living), whether they be ecological, economic or social, indicate the need for deep and extensive support of the agricultural community committed to growing food. I strongly support incorporating a small farm advisor into the UCCE program in the North Bay.
Posted Jul 11, 2016 4:33 PM by Caiti Hachmyer
As a grantmaker in both Sonoma and Marin counties, and as a member of the Sonoma County Food System Alliance, I can vouch for the importance and need for support for small farms. With the many challenges facing small farmers, from land prices to challenges getting produce to markets, our farmers need all the resources possible. I strong support including the position of small farm advisor into the UCCE program in the North Bay. Thank you.
Posted Jul 11, 2016 6:06 PM by Shan Magnuson
At Agricultural Institute of Marin we support over 400 farmers through farmers markets our partnership with UCCE is imperative. We have farmers from 48 counties at our markets, many of our farmers come from Marin, Sonoma and Napa Counties. The need for a small farm advisor is imperative. We at AIM have the bandwidth to organize the places for the farmers to sell but, our farmers need help that we are not able to give. Please fund the small farm advisor for Marin Sonoma and Napa!!!
Posted Jul 12, 2016 11:56 AM by Brigitte Moran
As the County Supervisor representing the great majority of Marin County's agricultural lands, I am pleased to provide my highest endorsement of the Small Farm Advisor position, serving Marin, Sonoma and Napa Counties. Thanks in good part to past support from UCCE advisors, Marin County's agricultural industry has grown over the last two decades, transitioning from a two commodity industry facing collapse, to one with much greater viability and diversity. Marin County has prioritized sustainable agriculture as a "targeted industry" and has engaged in a full partnership with the UCCE to support a greatly expanded range of crops, premium and organic products, and economic sustainability for farmers. Access to diverse and healthy foods is also a priority of the County and this proposed advisor position can be enormously helpful by supporting diverse local food products and enabling people to grown their own food, through the Master Gardener Program. As an agricultural county on the urban edge, there is much work to do to continue to support the agricultural industry and ensure its long term viability. Marin farmers and their support industries need the continued support of the Small Farm Advisor to ensure that their products, farming and management practices are sustainable. I urge the University of California to support this important position.
Posted Jul 12, 2016 5:14 PM by Steve Kinsey

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