Cooperative Extension Advisor
Dan Desmond is an Advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension. He currently works in El Dorado County, set in the foothills of the Sierras and bordering the rapidly growing Sacramento metropolitan area. Dan's focus is on agricultural literacy, helping citizens to understand and appreciate sustainable agriculture in the nation's most populous state. He has also done extensive research in the area of garden-based learning and believes gardens can be an effective strategy for introducing children and families to ecology, the food cycle, nutritious diets and healthy lifestyles. Dan was born and raised in San Francisco and spent much of his time on a family walnut and cattle ranch in Lake County, California. He has worked for Cooperative Extension for more thirty years in a variety of locales, from rural timber and cattle communities in northern California to the rapidly growing suburbs of Sonoma County. His work has focused on understanding how urban citizens view agriculture, and in developing educational experiences designed to build understanding of the food cycle and how it impacts our lives. His work in garden-based learning has evolved as a practical strategy to reach large numbers of youth and families with experiences that strengthen education and impact dietary habits. Dan has looked at garden-based learning in settings around the world, and recently published a report for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. on the role of garden-based learning in basic education.