California 2018-20 PDP project

Project Overview

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


  • Additional Plants: native plants
  • Animals: bees, bovine, goats, sheep
  • Animal Products: fiber, fur, leather, honey, meat


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, grazing management
  • Crop Production: beekeeping
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, focus group, mentoring, networking, workshop
  • Natural Resources/Environment: wildlife
  • Pest Management: flame
  • Sustainable Communities: community services


    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.

    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.