Ruth Dahlquist-Willard / UC SAREP

Ruth Dahlquist-Willard is the Interim Director of UC SAREP. Ruth served as a UC Small Farms and Specialty Crop Advisor in the Fresno area for ten years and continues to support small farms in the San Joaquin Valley and throughout California through the UC Small Farms Network. Her extension program has supported small-scale, diversified, and socially disadvantaged farmers through individual extension support, bilingual outreach and training in Hmong, Lao, Spanish, and Punjabi, research on small-acreage specialty crops, and policy engagement. Extension efforts include production issues for specialty crops such as pest and nutrient management, access to markets and financial resources, and regulatory compliance. Ruth holds a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Idaho and the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE). Her collaborative policy efforts have resulted in several changes to regulatory and incentives programs, including revised reporting requirements for the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program for small-scale and diversified farms and improving access for limited-resource farmers to CDFA’s Climate Smart Agriculture programs. She has served as a co-chair of the UCANR Small Farms Workgroup and is currently the co-leader of the Diversified Farming and Food Systems Program Team.

The NoRegrets team is delighted to be in partnership with Ruth! She is a tremendous wealth of knowledge and already an amazing collaborator. Our first piece of work together is supporting a  pilot program of small grants to farmers to support infrastructure for surface water use, to help reduce reliance on groundwater, lower energy costs, and help small farms survive during SGMA implementation.