Hopland Research and Extension Center
I have always considered the UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center the most beautiful of UC’s agricultural research centers in California. Bright green citrus trees laden with orange and yellow fruit contrast with a backdrop of rocky foothills and the towering Sierra Nevada Mountains. On a clear day, from the top of the center's highest slopes, the San Joaquin Valley's agricultural patchwork meets the Coast Mountain Range in the distance. All of the RECs have something lovely to offer, but my visit to the Hopland Research and Extension Center yesterday gives it the top spot on my list of personal favorites. At the 5,300-acre center -- where research focuses on sheep production, rangeland management and watershed maintenance -- tremendous, majestic oak trees, with moss swaying like curtains in the breeze, stand guard over emerald green hills, pastures, rangeland and vineyards. In this beautiful setting, UC advisors are monitoring sheep as they graze peacefully in vineyard test plots. The outcome of the research will give grape growers the information they need to decide whether to use this environmentally friendly weed control system.