SAREP announces 2011 grantees
Taco trucks, farmworkers, low-income entrepreneurs receive sustainable ag funding
Fourteen projects ranging from exploring taco trucks as vehicles to provide healthy food in Central Valley communities with limited food access to a study of an Oakland/non-profit collaboration that develops urban agriculture parks are being funded for a total of approximately $150,000 by UC SAREP.
“We’re happy to fund grants that will explore and support sustainable food production and marketing whether they’re in low-income rural communities or right in the heart of urban centers,” said Tom Tomich, UC SAREP director and director of UC Davis’ Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI).
Gail Feenstra, SAREP/ASI food systems coordinator, noted, “seed funding for innovative food systems projects contributes to long-term impacts that are changing the face of food and agriculture in the state.” Impacts from these kinds of projects include:
- Educating the urban population about the importance of regional agriculture and providing opportunities for connecting growers and consumers;
- Piloting innovative distribution strategies for supplying schools and other institutions with fresh, locally grown produce;
- Helping ranchers make management decisions based on sustainability principles and environmental performance of beef production systems;
- Involving limited resource farmers in marketing and distribution systems that retain value so that farmers get a higher price for their products in competitive, regional markets;
- Exploring new direct markets for traditional, commodity crops
“The food system of the future will require that we work together to develop sustainable production, marketing, distribution and consumption patterns,” said Sonja Brodt, SAREP/ASI coordinator for agriculture, resources and the environment. “Many of these projects, spearheaded by our cooperative extension colleagues throughout the state, are taking the first steps.”
Tomich said the SAREP grants are directed toward research and outreach that provide solutions for the state’s producers and consumers who are working to produce, process and buy products in environmentally sound and socially responsible ways.
The awards are for county-based UC Cooperative Extension advisors, graduate students, and community-based organizations.
Sonja Brodt, UC SAREP, ASI, firstname.lastname@example.org, 530-754-8547
Gail Feenstra, UC SAREP/ASI, email@example.com, 530-752-8408