California Professional Development Program 2024-2026

Project Overview

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2023: $120,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2026
Host Institution Award ID: G239-24-WA512
Grant Recipient: UC SAREP
Region: Western
State: California
State Coordinator:
Jeffrey Stackhouse
University of California Cooperative Extension


No commodities identified


No practices identified

Proposal abstract:

In order to streamline the execution
of the PDP program in California, we plan to continue using the
PDP award to fund mini-grants. We have an established advisory
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 application and
funding processes. We plan to fund mini-grants ranging from
$5,000-$35,000 each that will be awarded through formal call for

The incredible diversity of
California’s agriculture creates an equally diverse need for
educational and professional development. Current high-priority
topics identified by the advisory committee

  • Climate
  • Fire: wild and
  • Nutrient management practices to
    minimize environmental (and especially groundwater)
  • Water use
  • Integrated Pest Management,
    especially in the context of climate
  • Alternative marketing approaches for
    the economic benefit of small-scale and underserved
  • Succession
  • Community-based food
  • Agricultural community disaster
  • On-farm alternative energy
    generation and use
  • Organic
  • Economic resilience of
    agriculture and natural resource businesses

These identified topics
will help prioritize projects during the review of PDP mini-grant

Project objectives from proposal:

Through the mini-grant process, we will select projects that have
clear project activities that lead to desired WSARE objectives
toward increasing knowledge and skills of our agriculture and
natural resource educators across the state. When reviewing
applications and assessing activities and objectives, sometimes
it is unknown what the true outcome will be, and whether that
outcome perfectly reflects original objectives. In past PDP
mini-grant reports, we have yet to be disappointed in the
outcomes of these projects, and often, although, not well
documented as "match", these limited WSARE funds go a long way
toward educating out educators. The purpose of this grant is to
fund mini-grants that the advisory committee sees as having the
greatest impact of increasing competency of agriculture educators
and professionals in the state. 

The overall objective of this plan is to increase the capacity of
Cooperative Extension advisors, NRCS field staff, and other
agricultural professionals to apply the principals of sustainable
agriculture while working with their clientele (Farmers,
ranchers, consumers, youth, businesses, government, and
communities). We estimate that 100 – 200 agricultural
professionals will increase their awareness of threats to
agricultural sustainability in California and approaches to
addressing these threats. A majority of these professionals will
also increase their knowledge about specific approaches and
practices, and increase their confidence in assisting producers
with specific sustainability issues

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.