UC SAREP joins with Small Farms Network and UC Master Food Preservers

Ruth Dahlquist-Willard named interim UC SAREP director

UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program’s work in sustainable agriculture is going to get a major boost through the integration of the Small Farms Network and UC Master Food Preserver program with UC SAREP. These three programs share similar visions in the areas of local food production and marketing, diversified farming systems, food safety and enhancing equity. Integrating these programs will promote collaboration, attract new funding opportunities, and strengthen all three programs and their delivery to clients and communities.

“I am confident that this new structure will strengthen each individual program while also creating new synergies within a powerful statewide unit that can support multiple projects and attract new funding opportunities,” said UC ANR Vice President Glenda Humiston.

Ruth Dahlquist-Willard

Guiding us through this integration, we are pleased to announce Ruth Dahlquist-Willard has been named interim director of UC SAREP. Ruth will serve as interim director of UC SAREP for three years, effective July 1, 2023.

Ruth has served as a UC Small Farms and Specialty Crop Advisor in the Fresno area for nine years, where her work has been focused on supporting small-scale, diversified, and underserved farmers through applied research, training, and policy engagement.

While Ruth transitions away from her previous appointment and a new UCCE small farms and specialty crops advisor for Fresno County is hired, Ruth will coordinate brainstorming sessions with academics and staff to gather input on how best to leverage shared interests and resources across the units.

“I am excited for the opportunity to bring together UC ANR programs working across different parts of the food system, from production to processing to marketing, to address major challenges in sustainability in California agriculture”, said interim UC SAREP Director Ruth Dahlquist-Willard. “Uniting these programs within UC SAREP will create a structure for managing large grant-funded projects as well as increasing organizational support for county extension programs working to support local farmers and community members.” 

Join us in welcoming Ruth to her new role. We look forward to collaborating with our colleagues in the Small Farms Network and UC Master Food Preservers.