Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Hansen Fund?
Prior to her passing, Thelma Hansen established a trust that bequeathed a large portion of her estate to the University of California. Following Thelma Hansen’s death in 1992 and the distribution of her estate, the University established an endowment known as the Thelma Hansen Fund.
What is an endowment?
An endowment is a type of gift that is invested to provide ongoing support, generally in perpetuity. A portion of the earned income is used each year to support the purpose specified by the donor. The remainder of the earned income is returned to fund principal to promote fund growth and protect against inflation.
What is the purpose of Thelma Hansen’s gift?
As stated in her trust, Thelma Hansen’s expressed wish was that her gift be “for the support and maintenance of University research and extension activities and related facilities for the sustainability and benefit of agriculture in Ventura County and matters related to agriculture and natural resource issues.” As a public trust, the University is committed to carrying out the terms of her bequest and honoring her wishes.
How does the Thelma Hansen Fund benefit Ventura County?
Since 1993, the annual payout from the endowment has funded agricultural research and extension projects and activities that have contributed significantly to the viability of Ventura County agriculture. Research projects on pest management, new crop trials, and water issues are just a few examples of research supported by the Thelma Hansen Fund. Click here to view a full list of research projects funded by the endowment. Education and outreach programs have included youth and adult programs focused on garden-based learning, agricultural literacy, food systems education, and gardening. Click here to learn more about our most current educational programs. Event Calendar
The endowment has also funded efforts such as the Ventura County Ag Futures Alliance, which brings together environmental, labor, civic, and agricultural advocates working toward maintaining and enhancing Ventura County agriculture by addressing the agricultural-urban interface.
The Thelma Hansen Fund has provided more than $2.3 million to support research and agricultural literacy and issues projects.
What is the UC Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center (UC HAREC)?
In 1997, five years after Thelma Hansen’s death, her bequest enabled the University to purchase a 27-acre parcel known as the Faulkner Farm in Santa Paula, California, and thus establish the UC Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center (UC HAREC). The Center provides a facility for agricultural research and education programs. More than 13 acres are dedicated for agricultural research and crop and tree demonstration areas. Additionally, crops are grown for the farm field trips through which students learn about where their food comes from, and there are demonstration gardens for students and visitors to the farm.
The Faulkner Farm is listed on the National Registry of Historical Places and includes the original Queen Anne style Victorian house built in 1894 and the Old Barn built in 1886. The house is used as offices for the UC HAREC staff.
What is the role of the Hansen Advisory Board (HAB)?
Thelma Hansen’s bequest called for the appointment of an advisory board with representatives from Ventura County Cooperative Extension, Ventura County Farm Bureau, the local commercial farming industry, the community, and the University. The Hansen Advisory Board (HAB) is responsible for providing the University with county-based advice and knowledge on the needs of Ventura County agriculture and for helping to carry out the objectives of the endowment. The HAB provides the Center Director advice, consultation, information, and recommendations on the use of the funds available annually to fulfill the purpose of the Thelma Hansen Fund.
Is the University selling the UC Hansen Agricultural Center?
In May, 2010, the HAB recommended to the University that it sell the Faulkner Farm property because the facilities are becoming extremely expensive to maintain. Consequently, resources available to support the research, extension, and educational purposes of Thelma Hansen’s bequest have been reduced. No decision to sell the Faulkner Farm property has been made.
Why is the University selling the Thelma Hansen Saticoy property?
In 1997, the Hansen Advisory Board recommended that the 36 acre porperty be sold. A lease-option to buy was attempted in 1999 but unsuccessful. In late 2003, the University contracted with Dyer Sheehan Group to provide project management and entitlement services and prepare the the parcel for sale. Specific plans with entitlements were approved in 2009. Due to market decline at that time, the Regents of the University decided to hold off on marketing the property. In May 2011, the Regents approved active marketing of the property. However, the bid process was unsuccessful. As of 2012-2013 the parcel is in the process of being divided into three parcels for phasing the sale of the property.