FARMS Leadership

About FARMS Leadership

Farms On LocationNorthstate | Sonoma | Sacramento Valley | San Joaquin
Fresno | Los Angeles | Orange County

The FARMS (Farming, Agriculture, and Resource Management for Sustainability) Leadership Program provides innovative, hands-on experiences to urban, suburban and rural youth at working farms, agri-businesses and universities. Participants develop leadership skills and learn about agriculture practices that contribute to a healthier ecosystem, and connect to agricultural, environmental, and food system careers.

The core elements of the FARMS Leadership Program:


Working in small groups, students identify and complete a "Community Action Project" based on student interest and an identified community need. Leadership and teambuilding challenges are built into each field day.


Students begin to understand the relationship between agriculture and the environment by engaging in hands-on projects, which demonstrate on-farm practices that conserve and help to renew natural resources. They learn about innovative ways farmers are adapting practices to reduce environmental impacts of farming, maintain the viability of family farms and feed an increasing population.


Meals are provided to students to model healthy food choices, expose students to fresh food and how to prepare it. Activities support student learning about nutrition, cooking and daily food choices.

College and Career Access

Each FARMS Leadership site visits at least one college or university to learn about college majors, academics, campus life, and career choices available in Agriculture, Environmental Science and related fields.

The FARMS Leadership Program serves 230+ youth from 30 high schools in ten California counties. Each student spends an average 35 hours in the field engaging in hands-on experiences at farms, wildlife areas, agriculture related businesses, colleges and universities. We currently run programs at seven sites:

Results of the FARMS Leadership Alumni Survey:

56% have a career involving agricultural or environmental sciences

92% said that the FARMS Program changed their attitudes about food and agriculture

85% have been involved with community/volunteer work.

92% say they learned to be open to new experiences

89% are more comfortable interacting with new people

88% are better when working as a team