Program History

The UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP) was created through the grass roots efforts of organizations and individuals concerned about the environmental impacts of agriculture, the health of rural communities, and the profitability of family farming operations in California. At the request of the California legislature, the University of California established SAREP with three mandates:

  • administer competitive grants for research on sustainable agricultural practices and systems,
  • develop and distribute information through publications and on-farm demonstrations,
  • and support long-term research and sustainable farming systems on UC farmlands.


UC SAREP was founded as an organization under the umbrella of the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which also house the UC Cooperative Extension statewide program. 

In 2007, SAREP, the UC Davis Student Farm and Russell Ranch joined to help establish the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis, which houses the original three programs and more. To avoid redundancy in the structure and purpose of advisory committees, the Agricultural Sustainability Institute's External Advisory Board serves as the advisory body for UC SAREP. 

Learn more about SAREP’s history (Final Report January 2009) and SAREP Review Committee Response (Letter by Thomas P. Tomich, Director and Final Recommendations). 

Foundational Documents: