BFRDP Projects

Growing Roots: Deepening Support for Diverse New Farmers and Ranchers in California
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $750,000
Grant Program: 2014 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Jennifer Sowerwine
Organization: The Regents of the University of California


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

Building on the successes of two prior BFR projects, the Growing Roots project provided in-depth, culturally- and regionally-appropriate training to support the economic and ecological viability of the next generation of diverse California farmers and ranchers. Our focus was on five Northern California regions comprising ten counties.

There are five core partners: UC Berkeley, National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE), and Alameda County Resource Conservation District (ACRCD), who collaborate with ten “learning hubs” (farmer training sites) and Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs and NRCDs) to offer workshops, field days, farmer tours, networking events and one-on-one technical assistance.

Our key outcomes were (see Progress Notes for some context on statistics):

  • Improved ecological production practices, business planning and marketing strategies, food safety programs and sales among our target farmers and ranchers.
  • Increased BFR networking and access to resources, assistance and farmland itself.
  • Increased knowledge among at least 521 BFRs, with 75% planning to adopt one or more new practices after attending our workshops, and 44% having done so within 6 months.
  • Increased knowledge of at least 87% of all participants in our education programs, where 70% intended to implement what they learned.
  • Increased knowledge and access to culturally-appropriate resources for Latino, Mien and Hmong farmers.
  • Increased the farm success of at least 921 unique farmers and ranchers. 
  • Increased capacity of 4 new agricultural learning hubs.

Number of Participants: 5526


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success