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Gail Feenstra retires after 33 years of championing sustainable food systems

Gail Feenstra, director of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, retired July 1 after 33 years of serving Californians through UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. Her research and outreach have focused on strengthening food systems, encompassing farmers, consumers and communities.

CA Farmers & Ranchers Invited to Participate in Focus Group

The University of California is looking to discuss with agricultural producers what they are finding challenging in producing and marketing their agricultural commodities, how they are addressing them and what research priorities the University should engage in to address these challenges.  To facilitate these discussions we would like growers, ranchers, etc. to register for one of the focus group meetings by clicking on the link to the appropriate session below.  This study is being led by Dr.

Don Villarejo: Memorializing a Social Justice Champion

Many of you have by now heard of Don Villarejo’s death on November 19, 2021.  Please feel free to spread the word to the many people who worked with, learned from, respected and loved Don.  Don was a member of SAREP’s Public Advisory Committee in the 1990’s and contributed to the idea of adding a community food systems (economics and public policy) component to what SAREP focused on, in addition to sustainable agriculture and the environment. He was a long-time supporter of SAREP’s work and encouraged us to include farmworker and community wellbeing in our goals, grants and projects.

UC SAREP announces new sustainable agriculture & food systems awards

The University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program — a statewide program of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources — announced the recipients of its 2021 Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Small Grants Program today (April 12, 2021).

The grants program, which was reinstated this year after a 10-year hiatus, supports pilot projects focusing on strengthening California’s sustainable agriculture and food systems. Together, 11 recipients are receiving $77,000 in funding to support their work.

Building Institutional Markets for Plant-based Proteins

Building Institutional Markets for Plant-based Proteins

 

As part of its mission of sustainability in regional food systems, UC SAREP partners with communities to help ensure fresh, local food is finding its way to consumers through a growing number of channels, including Farm-to-Institution programs.

Bon voyage, Penny Leff, agritourism extraordinaire

After eleven years as UC ANR’s statewide Agritourism Coordinator, Penny Leff will be retiring on April 11th, 2021.   Bringing a creative approach to UC ANR.

 

Penny has spent her time at UC ANR working as a champion of all things that blend agriculture and tourism (“agritourism”).

Penny first brought her creative approach to UC ANR in 2009 when she joined the Small Farm Program, run by Cooperative Extension Specialist Shermain Hardesty.

Growing elderberries in hedgerows adds to farm income, benefits environment

As the sustainability of agriculture continues to be threatened by changes in climate, pests and loss of biodiversity, the ancient practice of planting hedgerows with edible and medicinal species such as elderberry can help growers generate additional revenue while fostering beneficial insects and improving soil health. 

In memoriam: Bill Liebhardt, former UC SAREP director

In memoriam: Bill Liebhardt, former UC SAREP director

Bill Liebhardt, who led the University of California’s sustainable agriculture programs, died May 5 of complications of Q fever at his home in Davis. He was 84.