Center for Land-Based Learning

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

$82,749 raised by 189 donors

83% complete

$100,000 Goal

Your gift makes a lasting impact! 


Walnut farmers Craig and Julie McNamara founded the Farming, Agriculture, and Resource Management for Sustainability (FARMS) Leadership Program in 1993 out of concern for what they believed was a disconnect between people, their food supply, and the land. They saw that youth were increasingly lacking connections to the outdoors as well as an understanding of where their food comes from and how it is grown. They also recognized that high-school students need hands-on experiences in real-life situations to complement their academic achievement, and that these experiences were becoming less and less available. With the formal organization of Center for Land-Based Learning as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2001, FARMS Leadership became the solid building block to expand the Center for Land-Based Learning into a premier agricultural and natural resource education and workforce development organization in California. 

The last 5-years have shown significant growth for the Center for Land-Based Learning. After a successful Capital Campaign, CLBL was able to move into its’ new headquarters in Woodland, California allowing for additional resources to expand programs development and overall reach. CLBL’s comprehensive programs include:

 Adult Workforce Development: 

  1. California Farm Academy
    1. Explorer Course: The 7-week Explorer Course is designed to help aspiring farmers learn what it takes to start and manage an agricultural business and decide whether this is a path they really want to take.
    2. Beginner Farmer Training: provides aspiring farmers a strong foundation from which to launch and grow their farm businesses. During the seven-month Training Program, lessons focus on crop production, business planning and marketing, and culminate in a personal business plan.
    3. Farm Incubator Program: supports beginning farmers by providing access to land, infrastructure, and ongoing training. Our farmers initiate their farm enterprises, experiment with production techniques, and develop markets.
      1. Maple’s Rural Farms expansive 33 acres of land to lease, wash and pack facility, equipment and storage
      2. West Sacramento Urban Farms: the aim is to address the needs of beginning farmers in an urban environment by giving them opportunities to launch a small farm business while also creating meaningful ways to interact and engage with the local community.
        1. West Sacramento Mobile Farmer’s Market
  2. Apprenticeship Program: The Beginning Farm and Ranch Management Apprenticeship Program trains individuals for farm management jobs by providing practical experience, valuable skills, connections to farmer mentors, and an industry-recognized credential.

Youth Education & Workforce Development:

  1. FARMS: (Farming, Agriculture, and Resource Management for Sustainability)
     a leadership program that introduces, trains, and recruits high school students for college and career opportunities in agriculture and environmental sciences.
  2. SLEWS: (The Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship) engages high school students in habitat restoration through a series of hands-on field days at real projects that develop science skills and environmental stewardship in youth.
  3. Caring for Our Watersheds: a high school environmental proposal writing and project contest
  4. Thousand Strong: a partnership with the City of Sacramento to mentor urban high school students through a working, paid internship via agriculture (developing out school gardens), in addition to providing soft skill career training. 

Industry Research:

  1. Carbon Farm Plan: CLBL is housing the Carbon Farm Plan Project at its' headquarters and working with many local partners to train other farmers in agricultural carbon sequestration tools. It’s a 25-year (at minimum) project to address multiple issues and concerns of future farmers. 

Giving Activity


Our Mission is to inspire, educate, and cultivate future generations of farmers, agricultural leaders and natural resource stewards.


Unrestricted funds will support the overall needs of the organization to ensure success of each Center for Land-Based Learning program:

- supports program management that is necessary for FARMS, Slews, Caring for our Watershed, California Farms Academy, and The West Sacramento Mobile Farmer's Market.

-supports efforts to further the organizations reach and impact.

- supports vital administrative infrastructure.

Equity Statement

CLBL values diversity in all of its forms, such as: gender, sexual orientation, age, disability (mental or physical), experience, economic status, industry, geographic location, or racial/ethnic and cultural heritage. Diversity enhances our ability to achieve our mission and vision by sustaining the quality of life for all people and the communities we serve. We celebrate the rich diversity of California and the world, and are committed to achieving diversity among our board, staff, and volunteers.

Our commitment to diversity will:

· Be Reflective of the Communities We Serve. Create an inclusive environment in which cultural differences are recognized, accepted, respected, and celebrated.

· Enhance Outreach and Build Community Partnerships. Seek employees, board members, volunteers and partnerships with other organizations that strengthen our inclusion principles.

· Build Business Relationships. Engage with and conduct business with those of diverse backgrounds.

· Create Awareness. Share our diversity statement and values with staff, partners, supporters and general public.

· Promote Learning. Identify and address specific inclusiveness issues, barriers, and opportunities and promote a safe environment for learning and sharing about diverse backgrounds, cultures, and values.

· Maintain Accountability. Evaluate the status and impact of our organization’s inclusiveness and diversity efforts annually through our Board of Directors.

Organization Data


Organization name

Center for Land-Based Learning

Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Operating Budget

$1,000,001-$5 million

Organization Need

Funding: Unrestricted, Funding: Program, In-Kind Donations, Volunteers, Space: Office or Other

Demographics Served

General population, Low-income individuals/families, Youth & Children

Counties Served

Sacramento, Yolo

Equity Statement

Equity Statement


40140 Best Ranch Road
Woodland, CA 95776

Service areas

Sacramento, CA, US

Yolo County, CA, US

Tehama County, CA, US

Monterey, CA, US

Fresno, CA, US



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