Arizona Specialty Crops

This program area emphasizes basic specialty crop farming practices for small scale operations addressing: entrepreneurship and business training, financial and risk management training, record keeping practices, crop selection, diversification and marketing strategies, advanced training for soils and irrigation, hoop house operations, and safe food production and handling practices. Our audiences include Native American tribes in Arizona and New Mexico, Limited Resource Producers, Youth, Veterans, and other beginning farmer participants.


We have delivered Beginning Farmer production and marketing programs at 10 different locations. We have built 9 hoop houses ranging in size from 400 sq. feet to 1,250 sq. feet and have a materials cost that ranges from $.85 to $2.20 per sq. foot. Since 2011, the start of our first Beginning Farmer proposal, we have delivered 70 workshops, 270 hours of instruction to 485 unique individuals, and analyzed over 175 site specific soil and water analyses for pH and salinity of participants. Educational programs include lecture, hands-on instruction, farm tours, on-line tools (AgPlan and, problem solving and conflict resolution, and site visits of participant’s production area. Many of the project participants are excited about the potential to save money on seedlings grown in hoop houses and also grow specialty crops that they have not been able to grow before. Over 186 of our participants reported back that they are using the record keeping workbooks we provided and have improved their understanding in how to cultivate plants and manage their business.



  • Lina Austin and Russell Freeman, Future Forward Foundation
  • Max Crain and Sherri Clixby; Our Neighbors Farm and Our Neighbors Pantry
  • Kristyn Yepa, Cornell F. Magdalena, Robert Morgan, Martin P. Loretto, Jemez Pueblo, Health and Human Serviced
  • Diann Lesueur; Open Hands Outreach Program
  • Cory and Shanti Rade; Whipstone Farms
  • Jon Vosper, Timothy Olorunfemi, Jessica Woiderski; International Rescue Committee
  • Timothy Clashin and Ella Farrell; Tonalea Day School
  • Herbert Zahne; Western Navajo Farm Board
  • Larrison Manygoats, The Lucky Harvest Project
  • Beth Gosnell; All Season Wholesale Growers
  • Marcus White; Casa Blanca Horticultural Services
  • Samuel E. Sunna; Cochiti Lake New Mexico
  • Grey Farrell; University of Arizona FRTEP Agent Tuba City
  • Gerald Moore; University of Arizona FRTEP Coordinating Agent Window Rock
  • Elizabeth Sparks; University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Tucson Village Farm
  • Jeff Schalau; University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Yavapai County
  • Mark Apel; University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Cochise County
  • Bill Brandau: University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Graham County
  • Rick Gibson: University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Pinal County