Small Farm Program Overview


Shermain Hardesty,
Small Farm Program Director

The University of California Small Farm Program focuses on the challenges and opportunities of California's small-scale farm operators.

We develop field and marketing research aimed at the needs of small- and moderate-scale farmers, and provide that information to farmers who are often not reached by traditional extension programs. Our clients include farmers of many different cultures who operate a wide variety of farming operations, often with limited resources.

We are a statewide program, part of the University of California's division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and were created in 1979 by an act of the California legislature.

The Small Farm Program consists of:

If you would like to talk a farm advisor or staff member who works for the Small Farm Program, please see our directory for contact information. If you would like to talk to a farm advisor in your county who is also interested in working with small-scale farmers, please browse our extended contact list.


More about what we do


Our Vision
We are guided and motivated by a vision of a thriving, viable California agriculture that has a diversity of small- and moderate-scale farms that remain profitable, enhance the environment, enrich our culture, and improve the quality of life for both producers and consumers.

Our mission is to promote such a community by conducting applied research and outreach programs for the successful adoption, management and marketing of potentially profitable crops and enterprises

As a premier land grant university small farm program, our goal is to continue improving our areas of expertise, expanding our range of competence and focus, and serving our various stakeholders-farmers, marketing managers, the University, the USDA and policymakers, our staff and other educators and researchers-through our applied research and education programs.