California Farm Demonstration Network invites collaboration

The new California Farm Demonstration Network was formally launched in an MOU signing in May at Russ Lester’s orchard in Winters, California. The network is a partnership of several groups including the California Farm Bureau Federation, the USDA NRCS, the California Assn. of Resource Conservation Districts, the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture, UC ANR, and the UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, plus many farmers, local farmer associations, and private sector and public agency affiliates.

Participation of campus people, especially Plant Sciences, is encouraged. You can be involved in anything from service on the Network Steering Committee (or other technical and advisory committees) to hands-on collaboration with any of the farm demonstrations that are being started.

If you would like to help by serving on the Network’s Steering Committee as a delegate of UC Davis, please contact Jeff Mitchell.

The overall purpose of the network is to increase adoption of conservation agriculture, soil health, and climate-smart systems in California. Its goals emphasize the development of water-, climate-, and nutrient-smart systems for California’s diverse crop production environments. Focus areas include: participatory learning resulting in the adoption of improved management practices grounded in sound science and experience-based principles; the public, voluntary showcasing of innovative systems developed by experienced farmer leaders; a program of farm demonstration evaluations that employ monitoring, data collection, and analysis of findings; and the use of proven, creative methods for sharing, discussing, and communicating results and findings to scale-up broader adoption of improved systems.

An introductory video about the California Farm Demonstration Network was edited and produced by Jessica Chiartas and Irfan Ainuddin in the Soils and Biogeochemistry Graduate Group. The YouTube video provides a brief overview of a small part of the network’s initial efforts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtPuEgbPg8o

Jeff Mitchell, Plant Sciences
559-646-6565

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