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Conference Name Efforts in Developing Marketing Niches for Small Scale, Women and Minority Producers

Etaferahu Takele


Declining small farm ownership and under-representation of minority and women farmers has been the basis for the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) risk management educational program since 2000. Through funding from the Western Region Risk Management Educational program, the agricultural economics extension advisors, in cooperation with commodity extension advisors, conducted educational and research programs. These programs reached over 500 clientele, of which 20% are female and 30% other minority. These programs provided risk management tools including production and marketing diversification, venturing into new production and marketing, as well as labor and personnel management.

In 2003, UCCE broadened its outreach program further and cooperated with California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB). This joint venture was successful in gaining funding from the USDA, leading to the formation of the Inland Empire Small Farm Initiative (IESFI). The IESFI provided the medium for networking with local and community agencies and was the impetus for additional funding towards the development of new marketing channels and opportunities for farmers in the Inland Empire (Counties of Riverside and San Bernardino).

This poster will discuss the risk management education program that led to the development of new markets and also the cooperative efforts that have led to new funding for the development of the new marketing ventures. It will also show how the educational programs provided farmers with tools and skills to improve the feasibility and sustainability of farms in Southern California.


2006 National Extension Women in Agriculture Conference