California 2018-20 PDP project

Progress report for WSP18-004

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2018: $28,636.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2021
Host Institution Award ID: G159-19-W7506
Grant Recipient: University of California - Extension
Region: Western
State: California
State Coordinators:
Dr. Sonja Brodt
University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program
Jeffrey Stackhouse
University of California Cooperative Extension
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Project Information


In order to streamline the execution of the PDP program in California, we decided to continue using the PDP award to fund mini-grants. We have successfully established an active committee to prioritize funding criteria and review submitted proposals for this proposal’s funding cycle. We also have assistance available through the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources division to manage the mini-grant / travel scholarship application and funding process. We funded three mini-grants after our formal request for proposal was closed, but unfortunately, one of the funded projects has since been discontinued and those funds were allocated as additional resources to the other two projects. The incredible diversity of California’s agriculture creates an equally diverse need for educational and professional development. Current high-priority topics include:
• Climate change
• Fire: Wild and Prescribed
• Nutrient management practices to minimize environmental impairments
• Water use efficiency
• Integrated Pest Management
• Alternative marketing approaches
• Succession planning
• Community-based food systems
These identified topics were used to prioritize projects during the review of PDP mini-grant proposals. That said, the two funded mini-grants were in the topic areas of prescribed fire and native bee pollinators. Two very useful and relevant projects for our state at this time. Both mini-grants will utilize their funds in 2020. With the complexity of the UC system (with 9 distinct universities within it), the slow timeliness of SARE funding flow-through, and the need for a formal request for proposal and review process, we were not able to get these funds out, and the grant closed by the March 2020 deadline, and as such, requested a no cost extension that was granted for one additional year. 

Project Objectives:

The objective of this project is to increase the capacity of Cooperative Extension advisors, NRCS field staff, and other agriculture professionals to apply the principles of sustainable agriculture while working with their clientele (farmers, ranchers, consumers, youth, businesses, government, or communities). This will be accomplished primarily through workshops that will:
1) extend emerging sustainable agricultural practices to extension educators and agriculture professionals, and
2) bring together extension educators and university faculty working on sustainable agriculture to develop collaborative priorities, goals and strategies for researching and extending sustainable agriculture issues.

Other activities that will contribute to the overall goal include an evaluation process that will be embedded in all workshops and meetings and a planning meeting or conference call with the California PDP advisory committee to prioritize training needs for future PDP applications. See Attachment B for details on expected outcomes and the evaluation plan.


Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Dan Macon (Educator and Researcher)
  • Rachel Surls (Educator and Researcher)
  • Sara Frazer
  • Cynthia Daley (Educator)
  • Hud Minshew


Educational approach:

Due to COVID-19, the pollinator workshop is being reworked into a webinar series. 


The Prescribed burn Association workshop was in-person in January 2020 with expert panelists and over 50 participants representing 23 up and coming PBAs across the state. 

Education & Outreach Initiatives

2020 Native pollinator webinarseries

To increase knowledge about native pollinators, why they are beneficial and how to protect them.


This project is up and running and should be complete in 2020, but no activities occurred in 2019.

Organization of the Stat of California Prescribed Burn Association

To facilitate learning and education of leaders of prescribed burn associations across the state to foster shared understanding, networking, and organizational techniques for different prescribed burn associations across the state to help private people regain their right to use fire as a land management tool.


Workshop was extremely successful in January of 2020 and will be included in the 2020 report. 

Educational & Outreach Activities

18 Consultations
3 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
1 Journal articles
3 Minigrants
1 Online trainings
10 Study circle/focus groups
12 Travel Scholarships
16 Webinars / talks / presentations
2 Workshop field days

Participation Summary

12 Extension
10 Researchers
18 Nonprofit
8 Agency
3 Ag service providers (other or unspecified)
1 Farmers/ranchers
11 Others

Learning Outcomes

50 Participants gained or increased knowledge, skills and/or attitudes about sustainable agriculture topics, practices, strategies, approaches
29 Ag professionals intend to use knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness learned

Project Outcomes

2 Grants received that built upon this project
65 New working collaborations
30 Agricultural service provider participants who used knowledge and skills learned through this project (or incorporated project materials) in their educational activities, services, information products and/or tools for farmers
3 Farmers reached through participant's programs
Additional Outcomes:

These numbers are all from the Prescribed Burn Association workshop in January 2020

Face of SARE

Face of SARE:

Set-up display tables at all workshops with flash drives, publications, and other informational WSARE material. 

Email WSARE RFP to all UC, CSU, USDA, CDFA, and nonprofits that we have to our disposal as UC employees. 


50 Farmers received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
350 Ag professionals received information about SARE grant programs and information resources
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.