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Marin County, United States

Rilla E.,UC Cooperative Extension UCCE | Hardesty S.D.,University of California at Davis | Getz C.,University of California at Berkeley | George H.,UCCE
California Agriculture | Year: 2011

More than 2.4 million visitors participated in agritourism at California farms and ranches in 2008. They stayed at guest ranches in the foothills, picked peaches in the Sacramento Valley, played in corn mazes up and down the state, shopped at on-farm produce stands along the coast, held weddings in fields and vineyards from coast to mountains, and experienced myriad other agriculture-related tourism activities. The UC Small Farm Program conducted the first statewide economic survey of California agritourism operators to better understand their goals, needs and economic outlook. University researchers from several other states provided input and sample data from state surveys conducted between 2000 and 2007. This information will help to target outreach and address current and emerging challenges.

Long R.F.,UC Cooperative Extension UCCE | Hanson B.R.,University of California at Davis | Fulton A.E.,UCCE | Weston D.P.,University of California at Berkeley
California Agriculture | Year: 2010

Irrigation tailwater can transport sediments and sediment-associated agricultural pollutants to nearby waterways. To help protect the biota of surface waters, we evaluated the use of polyacrylamide (PAM, a synthetic material that flocculates sediments when added to water), vegetated ditches and sediment traps to mitigate sediment losses from furrow-irrigated fields. In a 2-year study, liquid PAM injected into irrigation source water most effectively reduced suspended-sediment concentrations in runoff from different soil types. Dry tablet and granule PAM formulations were also effective, as long as their placement in the furrows promoted their dissolution in irrigation water. Vegetated ditches resulted in intermediate reductions in suspended sediments in tailwater. The sediment traps were limited in their effectiveness by insufficient holding time for fine-grained particulates to settle out of the runoff.

Barrett G.J.,UC Cooperative Extension UCCE | Blackburn M.L.,UCCE
California Agriculture | Year: 2010

As the first baby boomers reach age 65 in 2011, California will face unprecedented growth in its aging population. At the same time, budget cuts threaten California's In-home Supportive Services (IHSS), which now assists seniors aging at home and the disabled. We conducted a cost analysis and compared caseload changes using IHSS raw data from 2005 and 2009. Results showed an across-the-board increase in caseload and cost for indigent in-home care in California, with significant variation from county to county. Large numbers of minimally trained IHSS caregivers, and family caregivers with little or no training, raise concerns about the quality of care that elders and the disabled receive, while highlighting the need to protect the health and well-being of caregivers themselves. UC Cooperative Extension can play a vital role in training undertrained and unskilled caregivers through applied research, curriculum design, education and evaluation, and proposing public policy options to help raise the competencies of caregivers.

Blackburn M.L.,UC Cooperative Extension UCCE
California Agriculture | Year: 2010

The silver century is now! Seniors 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the world's population, and in the United States the 85 and over age group is increasing at the highest rate. This study documents the chronic diseases reported by a diverse group (n = 377) of urban, limited-income seniors who attended UC Cooperative Extension Quality of Life education forums. The data suggests that their greatest educational need is learning how to integrate multiple concepts and complex research and technology into their personal lives. The data correlated disease conditions, diet and physical activity with age and ethnicity to show the magnitude of multiple diseases among them, identify perceived educational needs, and describe seniors' expectations and preferred education and training delivery methods.

Sokolow A.D.,University of California at Davis | Hammond S.V.,UC Cooperative Extension UCCE | Norton M.,UCCE | Schmidt E.E.,University of California at Davis
California Agriculture | Year: 2010

About 2.5 million agricultural acres are located adjacent or in close proximity to nonfarm residences in California, leading to widespread farm-residential conflicts. This exploratory study compared high- and low-conflict edges in four crop-growing communities in two counties. (A separate analysis of San Diego County in a sidebar compares two edge situations involving animal and nursery operations.) We present tentative generalizations about conflict variations, sources and solutions. High confliict levels were largely due to residents' unfamiliarity with agricultural activities, although conflict levels were also related to specific farming practices. We also pose questions to guide further and more systematic research on the edge issue in California agriculture.

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