Foothill Farming
University of California
Foothill Farming

Welcome to Farming in the Foothills!

For New Farmers






There is a thriving community of small farmers and ranchers here in the Sierra foothills, and we are excited that you are a part of it!

UC Cooperative Extension works in partnership with farmers and ranchers to build and strengthen the local food systems in Placer and Nevada Counties. We are dedicated to supporting the local agricultural community and helping it to grow and thrive through a variety of educational and community-building programs.

In the last decade, local agriculture has made a comeback due to a burgeoning local food movement and renewed interest in farming and ranching. Many small-scale, diversified farms produce high quality tree and vine fruits, nuts, vegetables, and ornamental plants for local markets. Local ranches raise cattle, sheep, goats, and a variety of poultry for local consumption.

Our goal is to improve long-term sustainability and economic viability of small-scale farms and ranches in the foothills. We provide innovative, practical training in four areas: production, marketing, risk, and business management.

  • Public Safety Power Shutoffs - Impacts to Irrigation

    Added October 31, 2019

    Please complete this short survey regarding irrigation water shutoffs due to the October Public Safety Power Shutoffs:

  • Public Safety Power Shutoffs - How is YOUR Farm Coping?

    Added October 28, 2019

    Over the weekend, much of the Sierra foothills was impacted by another PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff (or PSPS, as the company calls it). This time, the advertised windstorm actually materialized - and while shutting off the electrical grid probably made sense from a wildfire prevention perspective, PG&E's actions had unforeseen consequences for many foothill farms and ranches. For...

  • Observations on Mandarin Mulching Research

    Added June 27, 2019
    Mulched tree

    Two years ago, UCCE Placer/Nevada embarked on a study to evaluate pruning and mulching in five local mandarin orchards. In a blog posted in June 2017, I discussed the beginnings of the study, the specific treatments and what the study was hoping to accomplish in the coming years. As the study enters the third year and data analysis begins, there are some observations that we should share. The...

  • Barn Owls: Biological Control

    Added March 11, 2019
    Barn owl flying- PC Linda Wright

    I usually enjoy life and growing things as a farmer, however I was excited in the recent weeks to see the remains of something most definitely dead; owl pellets under an artificial nesting site. After a couple barn owl boxes were installed last year, I have eagerly awaited their occupation. Did you know that a family of barn owls will eat about 1,000 rodents in a single nesting season? The...

New Mulching in Orchards Information!

Check out our new publication on the application and benefits of Mulching in Orchards, click here!

Which crops make money on your farm? 
Try our new profitability calculators and find out!

Calendar of Workshops

find us on

watch our channel


Area Weather

Linked data is from the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) weather stations. Visit CIMIS web site.

El Dorado County Stations

Placer County Station

Sacramento County Stations

Sutter County Stations

Yuba County Stations


Development of this website is supported by funding from the USDA Risk Management Agency, the Western Extension Risk Management Education Program, and the USDA Farm Service Agency.



Webmaster Email: