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UCCE Santa Clara County: urban agriculture & Food system program

San Martin, CA

Farm Incubator Planning & Outreach

Desired Skills/Traits:

We are looking for a Fellow with an interest in agriculture, food systems, climate change, and/or equity; however, we see a number of fields of study from history to environmental science as preparing people for this work. 

The primary skills we are seeking are:

  • Research (e.g., literature reviews, interviews) and data analysis

  • Community engagement

  • Organization/project management


The secondary skills we are seeking are:

  • Fluency in Spanish or other non-English language (desired, but not required)

  • Problem solving

  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Openings: 0 of 1

Focus Area: Agri-food Systems

Food Systems,  Education & Outreach; Regenerative Agriculture; Climate Mitigation & Adaptation

project breakdown







Education & Outreach


Goals & Needs

University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) connects California’s communities to UC research and education in agriculture, natural resources, nutrition, and youth development to improve the lives of all Californians. In Santa Clara County, UCCE’s Urban Agriculture and Food System Program partners with community-based organizations, local government agencies, food system networks, and urban farmers and gardeners to increase the resilience and equity of the regional food system. 


To support diversity and long-term resiliency within the local agricultural economy, two recent planning documents--the Santa Clara County Food System Workplan and the Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan--have proposed the creation of a Farm Incubator in Santa Clara County. To advance these recommendations, the Fellow will conduct a farm incubator scoping and outreach project that will ultimately support new entry farmers and the growth of new farms. This project will include:


  • Researching and summarizing different farm incubators, agricultural parks, and other models for farming collaboratively.

  • Visiting farm incubators in the region and interviewing their staff to learn about their operating models, successes and challenges, best practices, and lessons learned. 

  • Conducting outreach with potential users of a farm incubator to understand their priorities and what they would need to be successful.

  • Identifying and gather operating agreements needed to implement agricultural practices that support climate and healthy community goals.


A typical week will include meeting with UCCE food and farming staff to coordinate research, engaging with external agricultural support organizations, and organizing focus groups and other events to engage with community members. The GrizzlyCorps Fellow will improve local community resilience by building capacity within the regional food system to provide land access and technical assistance for diverse, new entry farmers.

Capacity Building Projects

The Fellow will support the development of a farm incubator in Santa Clara County by doing research, stakeholder engagement, and planning to create a feasibility report. In addition to UCCE, this project will serve a number of County departments and organizations who are all interested in supporting expansion of farming in the region and helping farmers to overcome one of their primary barriers—secure access to land. With support from the food and farm-focused UCCE staff members, the Fellow will play a lead role in conducting research, compiling and synthesizing resources, engaging stakeholders, and writing a final report. We anticipate that this report is a critical next step in moving from recommendation to implementation. With a feasibility report completed, we will begin to seek funding to implement a farm incubator on local public land.

Organizational & Community Highlights

UCCE-Santa Clara County has its main office in San Jose, the largest city in Silicon Valley. Part of the San Francisco Bay Area and adjacent to the Central Coast, San Jose is an easy location from which to explore the greater Silicon Valley area, San Francisco, and Oakland. The coast, mountains, forest, and State and National Parks are all within an easy day’s drive. Silicon Valley has a growing urban agricultural community and there are more than 1000 small farms in the region, growing diverse crops and utilizing a variety of marketing channels from U-picks and farmers markets to wholesale. 


UCCE-Santa Clara County has about 20 staff members, who are friendly, collaborative, and passionate about their work. UCCE works closely with local government, nonprofit organizations working on environmental and agricultural issues, and with organizations in the community, so the Fellow will engage and network with a wide variety of food and agricultural system stakeholders. As part of the University of California system, there are also opportunities to interact with UC academics and staff with expertise in a variety of disciplines. The Fellow will have access to online and in-person professional development opportunities offered by UC ANR and by our local Programs (e.g., on organic production, composting, urban gardening, etc.).

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