Level Up on Your Ag Skills!

Farm Tour

Ag Skills classes are Tuesday evenings from 4:30-6:30pm, May 14 through September 3 (no class the week of July 4 or May 28). JUMP TO CLASS DESCRIPTIONS.

Ag Skills provides a season of hands-on learning for beginning farmers. From building soil, best techniques for irrigation, how to increase soil productivity, field efficiencies, rotational grazing, crop planning, and more. Each class focuses on tangible skills necessary for farming success in the foothills. 

Taught by farmers and industry experts, the Ag Skills class series is geared toward farmers and enthusiasts, and are a great way to network within the farming community and hone your farming skillset. 

This year, some of our classes focus on farm-composting systems and soil health, pasture management for rotational grazing, utilizing biochar, growing great greens crops, efficiencies for your farm fields, growing herbs for profit, fruit tree propagation, funding for climate-smart agricultural practices, and much more.

If the ticket window isn’t loading, please click here.

May 14Microbe-Farming for Soil Health and Crop Production with Catalyst BioAmendments, Nevada City – Explore the art & science of microbe-farming, enriching soil health and optimizing crop production through innovative compost application methods. Part 1 of 2 of a compost-focused class pairing.

May 21Fruit Tree Propagation & Maintenance with Felix Gillet Institute, Nevada City – Learn from one of the top fruit-tree experts in the region how to have thriving orchards by delving into the cultivation and maintenance of fruit trees. From propagation techniques to expert pruning, master the essentials for fruit tree health and yield.

May 28no class this date, we’ve added a Sept 3 slot!

June 4Ranch Management with AM Ranch, Penn Valley – Gain practical skills in setting up fencing and implementing rotational grazing systems, ensuring optimal health and productivity for your animals.

June 11Field Efficiencies, Planting, Cultivation, and Irrigation with Feeding Crane Farm, Penn Valley – Come learn the tips and tricks to maximize productivity and streamlining day-to-day activity in your fields. Explore proven techniques that can help you to achieve optimal efficiency and success in your field operations.

June 18Crop Sales & Succession Planning with Starbright Acres Family Farm, Rough and Ready – Discover how to maximize profits by navigating markets effectively and implementing strategic crop rotation for sustained harvests. Gain essential skills to ensure the success of your field plan and planting schedule.

June 25Greens, Greens, Greens! with Bluebird Farm, Nevada City – Growing greens beyond the typical kale and chard can open up diverse market opportunities. Come learn about cultivating a unique array of greens for niche markets and profitability.

no class the week of July 2!

July 9Garlic, Garlic, Garlic! with Mountain Bloom Farm, Brownsville – Join us for an exploration into the world of garlic cultivation, where you’ll learn the secrets to growing, incorporating, and maximizing the potential of this culinary staple in your farm’s repertoire. From planting to harvest, unlock the skills and strategies needed to cultivate a thriving garlic crop and elevate your field’s productivity.

July 16Biochar on the Farm: What Is It? What Are the Benefits? with John Pomeroy, Grass Valley – Learn about this carbon-rich soil amendment, its diverse applications, and the myriad benefits it offers in soil health practices.

July 23Growing Mushrooms! with Grass Valley Mushrooms, Grass Valley – Come learn the myco-remediation potential of mushrooms! Get to know mushroom varieties for culinary cultivation, and understand how to inoculate on a variety of substrates. Together we will explore substrate selection, inoculation methods, as well as regenerative mycological theory and the ways we can integrate fungi into our lives!

July 30Small Scale Wholesale with Super Tuber Farm, Grass Valley – This class will take a look at specialization on small to mid scale farms. We will cover the different types of wholesale markets, the pros and cons of selling to them and some of the advantages and opportunities gained by specialization.

August 6Farming From an Indigenous Perspective with Calmil Teoyotica, Nevada City – Explore Indigenous Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and its application in cultivating diverse crops while honoring the Earth’s interconnectedness. Delve into the essence of farming, examining economic, cultural, and ecological dimensions, nurturing specialty crops, alongside hands-on experiences.

August 13Worms for Soil Health with Sweet Earth Worm Farm, Grass Valley – Learn how to improve your soil by raising worms and producing nutrient-rich, biologically-active castings! This class will benefit everyone from the backyard Gardener to the large scale farmer.

August 20Growing Medicinal & Culinary Herbs for Profit with Kathi Keville, Grass Valley – Internationally renowned herbalist and aromatherapist Kathi Keville, Director of the American Herb Association and a founding member of the American Herbalist Guild, shares her expertise on herb production, cultivation suitable for foothill regions, processing techniques, and market exploration.

August 27Funding Opportunities for Climate-Smart Agriculture with Natural Resource Conservation Service and Point Blue, Nevada City – Explore funding opportunities for climate-smart practices that may already be in place on your farm, like soil health and water conservation practices. We’ll discuss specific funding opportunities, how to access them, and how to work with your local resource conservation district to strengthen your business and farming operations.

September 3On-Farm Compost Production with Catalyst BioAmendments, Nevada City – Join us as we delve deeper into compost production. Learn essential techniques and strategies to optimize composting methods, including utilizing spent crops or crop residue, to enrich soil health and bolster crop productivity. Part 2 of 2 of a compost-focused class pairing.


“It was so inspirational to see the local farms in action. As a result of all I’ve learned in this series
I’m going to be planting flowers for beneficial insects and for cutting, testing my soil,
and trying out no-till next season!” 2021 Ag Skills student.

Farm & Ranch Jobs in Nevada County           

Looking for a job in agriculture? sign up for our Enews to get announcements about farm and ranch jobs in Nevada County.  

Looking to hire a farmworker for your farm or ranch?  Send an email to amanda@sierraharvest.org with more information and have your farm job included in our farmer E-news.