UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) - Empowering Growers through Research and Education
UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) is a vital resource for growers, dedicated to providing science-based information, conducting relevant research, and fostering sustainable agricultural practices. With a history spanning over 100 years, UCCE serves as a crucial link, bridging the gap between research-based academics on campus and the specific needs of counties.
Organized strategically, UCCE comprises extension specialists, who are academics stationed at UC campuses with statewide responsibilities, and farm advisors, who are academics based in county offices with regional responsibilities. Extension specialists and farm advisors share a mission-oriented approach, conducting applied research and actively engaging in outreach and education initiatives.
The strength of UCCE lies in its wide-reaching presence, with over 330 academics posted across UC campuses at Davis, Berkeley, Riverside, and Merced, along with 53 county offices and 9 research centers. This dispersed network enables UCCE to provide valuable, locally relevant expertise and guidance to growers throughout the entire state.
One distinguishing feature of cooperative extension in California is the establishment of research and extension centers (RECs). These nine centers are strategically located in climatically distinct regions across the state, encompassing more than 12,000 acres. RECs serve as hubs for on-site research and educational opportunities, housing dedicated academics and fostering collaboration.
Furthermore, farm advisors in California are unique as they are required to conduct research. This commitment to research enhances their proficiency, capacity, and ability to deliver research-based information effectively. In California, extension agents are referred to as "farm advisors," a designation that recognizes their role as principal investigators (PIs) and allows them to lead grant authorship and submission efforts.
The services provided by farm advisors are made possible through various funding sources. These include federal support (10%) through programs like the Smith-Lever Act and Hatch Act, state UC budget allocations (70%), and county contributions (20%), which provide in-kind office space, operational budgets, and staff support. Research funds further bolster these programs, with grants amounting to $25-30 million annually, complemented by $4 million in gifts and endowments.
UCCE is a dynamic organization that is continuously evolving and expanding. By 2016, 40% of UCCE advisors and specialists will have been hired within the past six years, reflecting a commitment to new talent and fresh perspectives. Notably, in 2014, 75% of extension specialists and 67% of advisors were 55 years old or older, emphasizing the need for ongoing recruitment and succession planning.
Growers are encouraged to reach out to their dedicated farm advisor with any questions or concerns related to their farms. These knowledgeable professionals are eager to engage in productive dialogues, share research ideas, and address specific needs. Stay informed about upcoming workshops, new informational resources, and relevant updates from your farm advisor to ensure you benefit from the latest developments in the field of agriculture.
About the Small Farms Advisor
|Margaret received her PhD from UC Davis in Plant Pathology, 2015. Under the guidance of Tom Gordon, she researched non-chemical alternatives to soilborne disease management in strawberries. She focused on three main topics: the role of legume rotation crops in Verticiliium dahliae management, the effect of 4 different composts on strawberry production, and a social study understanding the level of adoption of soilborne disease management tools among practitioners. She also received a masters in International Agricultural Development and Plant Pathology from UC Davis. While at UC Davis, she established the Salad Bowl Garden, and edible garden at the entrance to the Plant and Environmental Sciences (PES) building on the main campus.|
|Her first agricultural job was as a farm hand on a vineyard in the Santa Cruz mountains. It was such an inspiration that she changed her course of work towards agriculture. After completing her undergraduate degree from Tufts University, she worked on a mixed vegetable farm in Hawaii for 9 months and then returned to start an apprenticeship with John Jeavons in Willits, CA. For three years, she lived off the grid and studied on the research farm and the 5-acre mixed vegetable farm while making a living selling at the Willits farmer's market. Seeing opportunity for Biointensive practices in the urban and suburban landscapes, she started a small Bay Area business called Home Farming International which provided workshops and one-on-one training in closed-system, complete diet farming.|
|Margaret's hobbies include her few dairy goats and laying chickens, tending a small garden, finding good music, and goofing off with friends and family.|
About the Community Educators
My name is Fam Lee. My nationality is lu-Mien.I was a strawberry grower for six years in Elk Grove, CA . My parents were farmers in Laos and in Thailand.
I met Margaret through farm visits and annual meetings. It is an honor to work alongside with Margaret and all of you.
I was born in Laos and moved to Thailand in 1975. I lived in a Thailand refugee camp for five years and then moved to the United States of America in 1979. I was 13 years old when I came to the U.S. and I didn't know any English and learned how to speak English from scratch. Growing up in the U.S., my family lived in an apartment with three Chinese families and one of the families had kids around my age which led me to learn Cantonese instead of learning English first.
Yurytzy Sanchez is a first generation college graduate with a Bachelor's in International Relations(IR) from UC Davis. My family, like many Mexican immigrants, got started in the United States as farm workers. They settled down in the Central Valley where I grew up on a peach farm and raised goats, sheep, chickens, and cattle until I moved away for college.
I fell in love with international relations and tried my hand at the D.C. lifestyle through an internship that allowed me to live and work in Washington, D.C. While in school, I volunteered, then interned at the UC Davis Student farm as a way of reconnecting to my roots. I then applied for a farming position at The Cloverleaf Farm, where I co-owned and managed an 8 acre organic vegetable and stone fruit farm. Now I am with UCANR and looking forward to expanding the program to reach historically undeserved farmers in the area and continue to create long lasting relationships with local farmers.
Outside of work I enjoy taking long walks alongside Putah Creek and going for a swim during the warm months. When I'm not outside exploring or hanging out with friends, I enjoy spending time at home with my cat, Mr.Bones, while watching psychological thrillers and eating homemade popcorn. My long term goal is a homestead where I can provide sustenance for myself and my local community. My favorite farm animals are goats because they each come with their own unique personality.
In my free time you can find me exploring Northern California, walking the many trails/greenbelts that are in the area, or curled up at home with my cat, Bentley.
Drop by the office Monday through Friday 8am-5pm, closed for lunch 12-1:30.
University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE)
70 Cottonwood Street
Woodland, CA 95695
Give me a call: (530)-564-8642
Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org