Completed Projects

Food Systems Completed Projects

Can Taco Trucks Address Food Access Issues for Farmworkers in Rural Food Deserts?

With recent funding from University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, CIRS is working on a planning grant to determine the feasibility of an innovative model for increasing access to healthy foods in rural communities.


An evaluation of the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition's (CVAQ) efforts to improve air quality in the San Joaquin Valley

Using a collaborative evaluation model, CIRS will conduct an evaluation of the Cental Valley Air Quality Coalition's (CVAQ) efforts to improve air quality in the San Joaquin Valley. This project will be a continuation of an external evaluation of CVAQ, conducted by CIRS during 2007 - 2010, for the California Endowment.

Food Systems Current Projects


Cal Ag Roots

This new project aims to put historical roots under current California food and farming change movements by telling the story of California agricultural development in innovative, useful and relevant ways. By creating a variety of accessible resources that tell this story—and opening new lines of communication between researchers and people engaged in agricultural advocacy work—this project would illuminate the often-hidden structures that define what’s possible in California farming.


Project Update:


Conceived of as the launch of our new Cal Ag Roots program, Docks to Delta: Listening to the Landscape Along the Capitol Corridor, will focus on three defining stories in California agricultural history with connections to places along the Capitol Corridor route. Docks to Delta will reveal the agricultural history evoked by a landscape travelled by thousands of commuters each day—the one seen through the windows of the Capitol Corridor train. Important agricultural sites with compelling stories are visible all along this route, which travels from San Jose to Auburn, and yet most people riding the train have never considered them.


 A large part of Docks to Delta will be a live performance event -- guests on the Capitol Corridor train for the event will hear stories in a lively, thought-provoking, two-hour program on the way to Sacramento and will have the opportunity to talk to one another and the storytellers on the return trip to Oakland. The second part is a permanent, easily-accessible, free audio tour. After the event, all Docks to Delta stories will be made available as podcasts that can be accessed via smart phone app or computer by anyone riding the Capitol Corridor, at any time. The live Docks to Delta train performance will take place in the fall, and if you would like to notified specifically about updates in the Docks to Delta project, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be put on that list.



Filling in the Gaps in the Merced County Food System

We are working with small to medium scale Merced County growers to prioritize their needs for implementing a successful local marketing strategy. Then, working with growers, we will develop a plan for meeting their needs. 


Project Update: 


In late January we met with a group of local growers only for the first time, to identify local resources for the project, define issues and barriers that need to be addressed for producers to sell into local & regional markets, and then defined needs for advancement of the project.  Growers identified potential sites in the county that could serve as a regional food hub, discussed marketing strategies, defined current and potential local buyers, and discussed issues/barriers related to marketing products in the local/regional foodshed that need to be addressed.  During the next month, project coordinators Kara Lang and Cindy Lashbrook will be conducting one-on-one interviews with more local growers to conduct further research in these areas and will be hosting a meeting between local growers and buyers later this month. If you are a farmer, rancher, buyer or community member in Merced County and would like to be on the list to be notified when the next meeting is scheduled, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

Merced LFPP January 28th Final FlierMid



Food Systems


This program area focuses on environmental and economic aspects of the rural food system. You will find reports on pesticide use, water conservation and management, marketing for small farmers, food access for marginal populations and assessments of agricultural systems.

Current Projects

Completed Projects

Rural Health Current Projects


Eastern Coachella Valley Environmental Justice Data Project:To support data collection, analysis and development of policy briefs, reports and popular education tools in partnership with environmental justice advocacy organizations for the purpose of advancing the environmental justice-related policy and systems change priorities in the Eastern Coachella Valley.


With research funding from University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, CIRS will create a tool for rural communities to assess their risk for heat stress illness.  We will be working with Dr. Michael Rios, Associate Professor of Community and Urban Design, UC Davis to complete this work.


Assessing and Addressing Food Security Among Farmworkers in Yolo County:In this project, CIRS is assessing the food security of farmworkers in Yolo County and their access to food programs that already exist, using survey and mapping methods. 

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