Skip to main content

Placer Ag Futures Project

In the fall of 2007, a group of farmers and ranchers gathered in Auburn to discuss their vision for Placer County agriculture in the next 30 years. Out of this meeting, the Placer County Ag Futures Project was born. We developed the following vision for the next 30 years of agriculture in Placer County:

Placer County will have a vibrant and diverse farming community that is fully integrated into the larger community. As demand for local products continues to increase, we will be more self-sufficient in terms of our food and fiber supply and in terms of our agricultural infrastructure. Most importantly, the effort to bring this vision to reality will be led by farmers and ranchers.

To achieve this mission, we have established the following goals:

Outreach and Education
A successful farming community is a profitable and productive farming community. In addition, we need a new generation of farmers to carry Placer County agriculture into the next 30 years. To address these needs, we are creating an internship program designed to train aspiring new farmers while assisting established growers. We are also expanding business planning, production and farm marketing educational offerings designed to help new and established growers alike. Finally, we will be working with local, state and federal agencies to raise awareness about Placer County agriculture and its importance to our communities.

Connecting People with the Land
Real estate values continue to rise beyond the ability of farmers and ranchers to purchase agricultural land. Despite this trend, land is available for farming and ranching. The Placer County Ag Futures Project is working to develop a database of private and public land that can be used for farming and ranching. We will also be developing sample farm leases and other information to help farmers and landowners work together to bring land back into agricultural production.

Expanding Markets
The local food movement is similar to the organic movement 15 years ago. Moving forward, the Placer County Ag Futures Project will develop projects and programs designed to increase opportunities for marketing local food and fiber to local consumers.

Finally, we've also realized that each of these priority areas require us to strengthen the sense of connection within the farming community. Indeed, this sense of community is vital to rebuilding a vibrant small farm sector in Placer County.

For more information about internships and the Placer Ag Futures Project, please contact UC Cooperative Extension at 530/889-7385.


  1. What is the story with the picture above and all the medals?

    Is the internship for this organization different than the internship on your farm? If so, how?

  2. The photo is from the first annual (and hopefully not the last) farmer olympics - held at Thompson Ranch during Sierra Nevada Small Farm Progress Days last October. We competed in moving a wheelbarrow full of pumpkins up a hill, setting up electric fence, cutting a log with a 2-man cross-cut saw, and a mushy persimmon relay!

    The interhsnip is separate from ours - the Ag Futures Internship Program will allow interns to rotate through 5-6 farms (everything from livestock to forestry to orchards to vegetables). It's less focused but provides more variety.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Trade Offs

As we were building fence for the soon-to-be-lambing ewes this morning, someone drove by and asked my partner Roger how long it took to set up the electro-net fencing we use for the sheep. Roger replied, "It's not too bad," to which the driver said, "Seems like a lot of work." Roger's answer - which both of us use with some frequency, was, "Yeah - but this way we don't have to feed any hay!" The driver, who obviously wasn't a rancher, didn't understand - and I suspect even some of my rancher friends don't understand the trade off we're making. Building electric fence is a lot of work - wouldn't it be easier just to feed hay?

The paddock that Roger and I built this morning encloses about 5.75 acres of high quality forage. Since the ewes are on the verge of lambing, their forage demand is peaking. They're eating nearly twice as much grass now as they need in the late summer - after all, many of them eating for three (and p…

No Easy Answers Part 2

In mid October, some friends who graze their cattle in the mountains of western Lassen County (less than 200 miles from our home), became the first ranchers to have cattle “officially” killed by wolves in California in nearly a century. Wildlife officials confirmed that the Lassen pack killed a 600-pound heifer; four more heifers died (and were partially eaten by wolves), but the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) couldn’t confirm the cause of death. While I learned about the depredations shortly after they happened through the rancher grapevine, news of my friends’ losses weren’t made public until the California Cattlemen’s Association and California Farm Bureau Federation issued a joint press release this week. The October 28 edition of the Sacramento Bee ran the story.
If you’ve read my previous blogs about wolves, you’ll probably know that I’ve frequently been frustrated with the Bee’s coverage. The paper has run guest opinions disguised as news articles, and appar…

Humbled and Excited

More than 20 years ago, I went to work for the California Cattlemen's Association (CCA). After two internships, I'd been hired by my friend and mentor John Braly as the membership director in 1992. By 1996, I'd been promoted to assistant vice president - pretty heady stuff for a young guy who hadn't grown up in the industry. I started looking for new challenges. Dr. Jim Oltjen, who was (and is) the beef extension specialist at UC Davis (my undergraduate alma mater) suggested that I think about going to graduate school to prepare for a career in extension. I considered it, but the timing wasn't right.

Fast forward to 2013 (or so) - I'd been working as a part-time community education specialist in our local University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) office for several years. The farm advisors in the office - Roger Ingram and Cindy Fake - suggested that I consider getting a master's degree and applying for a future farm advisor job. This time the id…