Welcome to Farming in the Foothills!
There is a thriving community of small farmers and ranchers here in the Sierra foothills, and we are excited that you are a part of it!
In the late 1800's and the first half of the 1900's, the Sierra foothills had a booming agricultural sector. Produce was exported nationwide and overseas. Competition from valley growers and advances in packing and shipping technologies contributed to a steep decline of farming in the foothills during the second half of the twentieth century.
In the last decade, agriculture has made a comeback due to a burgeoning local food movement and renewed interest in farming and ranching. Many small-scale, diversified farms produce high quality tree and vine fruits, nuts, vegetables, and ornamental plants for local markets. Local ranches raise cattle, sheep, goats, and a variety of poultry for local consumption.
While overall agricultural acreage declines, the small farm community is growing. Acreage of mandarins, winegrapes, ornamentals, as well as direct market vegetables and flowers is slowly increasing and new farmers and ranchers are joining the ranks each season. UC Cooperative Extension is dedicated to supporting the agricultural community and helping it grow and thrive through a variety of educational and community building programs.
Added December 16, 2013
If you’ve been reading our “Farming in the Foothills” blog over the last year, you’ll know that commercial farming is inherently risky profession. My fellow farmer Molly Nakahara (of Dinner Bell Farm) did a great job of describing farming risk in her October 28 post, “Farming, the Original Risky Business.” We farmers and ranchers face numerous...
Added December 10, 2013
December is the best month of the year because it is the month that is filled with dreams. For farmers of annual crops, those dreams start with seeds. There is nothing like the joy a farmer feels when that first seed catalog arrives in the mailbox. The catalogs start in a trickle and end in a flood. So many catalogs, so many choices, and so much potential! What is a farmer to do!?! The...
Added November 21, 2013
Arguably the most important marketing decision that you will make is to come up with a name for your farm or ranch. The name of your business will set the tone for every future communication and will have to be written or printed on everything associated with your business. EVERYTHING. There is no getting around it. It is like naming a child: you can’t change it once you choose and you...
Calendar of Workshops
Linked data is from the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) weather stations. Visit CIMIS web site.
El Dorado County Stations
Placer County Station
Sacramento County Stations
Sutter County Stations
- Verona, Nicolaus
Yuba County Stations
- Browns Valley, Marysville
Development of this website is supported by funding from Western SARE and the USDA Risk Management Agency.