4-H Youth Development Program
4-H is a positive youth development organization (5 to 19 years old) that empowers youth to reach their full potential. 4-H enables youth to emerge as leaders through hands-on learning, research-based 4-H youth programs and adult mentorship, in order to give back to their local communities. Youth are able to build self-esteem, connect with their community, develop leadership skills, make friends, share interests and gain valuable knowledge that will help guide them through life and be the best they can be.
Master Food Preserver Program
Food preservation has been a critical activity throughout the history of civilization, even pre-dating agriculture. The most common means of food preservation have been used since the beginning of history and similar techniques can be found across the globe. For more than 100 years, UCCE has worked with communities across the state to address economic, agricultural, natural resource, youth development, and nutrition issues. For more than 30 years, UCCE Master Food Preserver volunteers have shared research-based home food preservation information with the public. The first UCCE Master Preserver Program started in 1982 and programs are now thriving in 16 counties across the state of California.
Master Gardener Program
The University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program is a educational volunteer program. Our purpose is to teach the community about home horticulture and to share research-based information produced by the University researchers and academics. The Master Gardener role is primarily that of an educator. Certified Master Gardeners have completed a comprehensive home horticulture training program under the supervision of the Cooperative Extension horticulture advisor. In turn, each volunteer their time to educate the gardening public through such activities as answering gardening questions on their telephone helpline, a weekly newspaper column, a demonstration garden, informational booths at Farmers Markets and workshops throughout the county.
Small Farms and Specialty Crops
The Small Farms and Specialty Crops Advisor specializes in the science and art of growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants. Gaskell conducts applied research and develops information on the culture, handling, and marketing of alternative crops on small farms.
Strawberries and Vegetables
The Vegetable and Strawberry Farm Advisor, works with growers to address challenges and opportunities in crop production by carrying out applied research, extending knowledge through educational meetings and publications, and by assisting with the diagnosis of crop production problems.
UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program
In collaboration with local partners, the UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program aims to provide classroom and garden enhanced nutrition education and obesity prevention services to low-income individuals, families and schools. Bridging the learning and knowledge of the UC system and our communities, we tailor the latest science and dietary guidelines to meet the needs and culture of our program recipients. Ultimately, our goal is to facilitate the creation of healthier communities by educating community members to: 1) make informed nutrition and physical activity decisions; 2) maximize their food resources; and 3) identify opportunities to advocate for healthier communities.
Local field research is conducted by Cooperative Extension Advisors, in cooperation with University of California Extension Specialists, Experiment Station personnel and growers. Research efforts target rootstock and varietal selections that are best adapted to local growing conditions and markets. Irrigation, fertilization, and soil management research helps growers use natural resources effectively. Innovations in cultural practices, canopy management techniques, and pest control help local growers produce premium quality wine and table grapes with environmentally sensitive methods.
Watershed Natural Resources and Range Management
There are over one million acres of native pasture and forestlands in San Luis Obispo County, which are collectively referred to as rangelands. Comprising approximately half of the acreage of the County, these lands provide opportunity for multiple purposes. Rangelands serve as watersheds to capture, store, and release water for downstream uses; they provide forage for grazing by livestock; and their diverse plant communities provide habitat for many species of wildlife and recreational uses. UC Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists provide educational programs to inform people who own and/or manage the land and the animals grazing these lands. Our work includes applied research to develop new knowledge to effectively and efficiently manage rangelands and livestock in today's competitive and regulatory environment.