Farm and Home Advisor
It used to be cows and milking --- but now support from the Farm and Home Advisor extends into every facet of life in the foothills, serving not only the farm needs of the rural areas, but enhancing the lives of urban and suburban residents as well.
Cooperative Extension, a shared effort of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and state land grant colleges like the University of California, receives staff support and services from Placer County in exchange for University-paid programs and professionals.
Extension works with all aspects of agriculture -- with ranchers, orchardists, Christmas tree growers and large commercial operations as well as the small farmer and home gardener. But advisors also support youth and family development; home, health and nutrition; early literacy, and food safety.
Horticulture is an industry "on the go" in Placer. Membership in the Foothill Farmers Market of Placer County, and the Nevada County Certified Growers Market has doubled since 1989.
Livestock and range programs, which are historically popular in Placer County, focus on education. They support small farms, to help prevent farmland loss to development. For more information, call 530-889-7385.
4-H Clubs help local youth develop into responsible, self-directed, productive citizens of the world. There are more than 1,200 members in 51 clubs in Placer and Nevada County, staffed by 425 volunteers. Call 530-889-7386 to find a club near you.
The Master Gardener Program was started to answer the requests for information on home gardening. It involves community members trained to assist other residents. Call 530-889-7388 to get information or become a Master Gardener.
The Compost Education Project is teaching residents how to reduce what goes into the landfill through composting natural materials. Call the ROTLINE at 530-889-7399.
Extension also works with other county agricultural programs, like the Foothill Farmers Markets. The market operates all year in Old Town Auburn on Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon, and holds other markets throughout the county in the spring, summer and fall. Call 530-889-7385 or visit the PlacerGROWN Web site for further information.