“Farmers are the stewards of the ground. The ground is the partner and how you live within that partnership is vital to continuing sustainability. You want to leave something for future generations, not just take it.” -Harold McClarty
While many grandparents will be giving a bike or doll to their grandkids this holiday season, Harold McClarty is giving his grandson, Reed, a more unusual gift.
Through the Adopt-an-Acre program at the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis, McClarty recently made a donation to “adopt” an acre at UC Davis’ Russell Ranch Sustainable Agricultural Facility in honor of Reed McClarty, the youngest member of the McClarty family. McClarty, who is a prominent Central Valley farmer, said he made the gift because he wants to teach his one-and-a-half year old grandson and the entire McClarty family about the importance of agricultural sustainability while supporting a program that coincides with the family philosophy of giving back.
“Purchasing this acre is a legacy to Reed,” McClarty said. “We’re giving him something for the rest of his life.”
With McClarty’s gift to Reed, the family became part of a unique giving program which supports the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The Adopt-an-Acre program gives donors the limited opportunity to adopt one or more of the 72 one-acre plots at the Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility. Donations of $1,000 will allow donors to adopt an acre for a year. Donations of $10,000 or more will allow donors to associate their name with an acre in perpetuity. The goal of the program is to endow the Century Experiment, an exploration of the long-term impacts of various farming practices including crop rotation, and inputs including water, nitrogen, and other essential soil nutrients on agricultural sustainability. The Reed William McClarty acre at Russell Ranch will yield wheat and tomatoes, a favorite of Harold’s and a staple ingredient for Sunday McClarty family dinners during the summer.
The Russell Ranch is a unique 300-acre facility near the UC Davis campus dedicated to investigating irrigated and dry-land agriculture in a Mediterranean climate. Research conducted at the ranch will provide critical data that will help feed the world’s growing population while stewarding the environment. This research in agricultural sustainability is important since global food demand is expected to double in the first 50 years of this century.
McClarty believes in the importance of food sustainability as well, having implemented it into his own farming practices. His company, HMC Farms, adapted their growing and handling practices so that they are protecting the environment for present and future generations, and the communities they serve.
Learn more about the Adopt-an-Acre program or make a donation, or contact Melissa Haworth at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 979-1440.