Affiliate Farmers

Wild Farmlands Foundation affiliates are farmers or ranchers that have agreed to participate with the Wild Farmlands in small farms education and advocacy. Individual farmers and ranchers determine their own level of participation.


Central Coast Affiliate Farm Requirements: 

  • The farm or ranch is independently owned and operated.
  • The farm or ranch land worked is no more than 180 acres.
  • The farm or ranch land worked is located in Santa Barbara, Ventura or San Luis Obispo county.
  • The farmer or rancher is committed to using regenerative, natural, resilient farming practices that sustain the health of local ecosystems.


Tom Shepherd
Tom Shepherd

Hey, ever heard of "Shepherd's Salad? Guess who packaged and sold the first Shepherds Salad? Yep, local farmer Tom Shepherd...

A fifth-generation Santa Barbara resident, Tom Shepherd has been farming organically in the area since 1973. One of the earliest members of the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market Association, Shepherd has committed himself to inspiring children, families, and schools to grow their own gardens and eat locally. Tom even published A Handbook for Citizen Farmers, an illustrated book that helps tell the story of growing your own garden.

Jinger Dixon
Jinger Dixon

The Santa Barbara Moringa Farm, a part of the Dos Pueblos Permaculture Farm, was started in 2013 by Fred and Jinger Dixon with support of land owner Rosario Perry as a greenhouse restoration and soil remediation project. 

It is a thriving 20 acre working farm with 2.5 acres of perennial food forest, indoor tropical food forest and rescue barnyard. 

Jesse Smith (with Phoe)
Jesse Smith (with Phoe)

Jesse Smith is a regenerative agriculture practitioner, designer and consultant, and partner at Casitas Valley Farm. Their team is developing a multi-enterprise system that uses Permaculture principles of design to build soil (Social, Living, Cultural, Intellectual, Experiential, Spiritual, Material, Financial), and local food resiliency.

Jesus (Chuy) Mendez
Jesus (Chuy) Mendez

Jesus (Chuy) is a prolific berry grower working fertile land up north. After years of farming in Mexico, Chuy is working a wilderness farm of almost 10 acres nestled between shallow canyons in southern San Luis Obispo county. Chuy predominately gets his berry fans via the farmers markets in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles county.

Paul Warkentin
Paul Warkentin

Overlooking Santa Barbara and Goleta, Vista Del Mundo is a beautiful wild farmland located on a historic piece of land. Paul Warkentin and his family acquired the beautiful Rancho Vista Del Mundo after the devastating Jesusita fire charred much of the landscape with a renewed commitment to bring the ranch up to its agricultural potential. 

WillGerry-200Will Gerry is a career agriculturalist, having managed various agricultural operations and the family citrus/avocado ranch for nearly 40 years.

Will is currently a partner in Gerry Management, an organization formed to manage the 169 acres of blueberries of the Coastal California Blueberry Operations LLC (CCBB). Will and his brother are responsible for the land redevelopment, planting, cultivation and harvesting of the blueberries for CCBB.

WhitneyRanch-250Whitney Ranch is a small family farm located near the ocean just south of Santa Barbara, Ca. We grow blueberries, meyer lemons, avocados and a few specialty garden crops which we sell at many Certified Farmers' Markets including the Santa Barbara and Santa Monica from February through June.

Tom-250Tom Lemkuil has been the farm foreman with Santa Barbara Blueberries at Restoration Oaks Ranch since 2003. Tom specializes in blueberries and cane berries, and has developed a very good working relationship with Mark Gaskell and the other small farm specialists at the UC Co-Operative Extension centered at UC Davis and San Luis Obispo.

Jay Ruskey
Jay Ruskey

Jay Ruskey and the team at Good Land Organics believe that good land stewardship and good food production demands an understanding of the complex interconnections that exist among a farm, the natural environment, and the local community.

Jay is cultivating different varieties of coffee and exploring different agricultural practices, including precision irrigation and farming methods.

JohnLane 250The Lane Family has been farming in the Santa Barbara area since 1868. Owned and operated by John and Ruth Lane, Lane Farms is open 7 days a week, and their produce stand at 308 S. Walnut Lane in Santa Barbara has been in operation since 1939. They grow about 30 different items, but specialize in strawberries, sweet corn, lettuces, tomatoes and squashes, all of which are sold locally at their produce stand and at the Santa Barbara Farmers Markets. Lane Farms employs sustainable farming practices.


Lizards-200The Wild Farmlands Foundation is committed to building relationships between small wilderness farmers and their local communities.  We are actively looking for foundations, businesses, individuals, youth groups, schools, clubs and other organizations that want to partner with us to build a strong community of support for small wild farmlands.


chuy-250Small farms have the heritage, the knowledge, the heart and the opportunity to optimize and extend the delivery of premium quality produce to local communities while protecting and sustaining irreplaceable ecosystems for future generations. All Wild Farmlands farmer and advisor affiliates have agreed to formally associate themselves with the Foundation, our mission and vision.


CSS Logo 250x146The challenge of implementing innovations for the small sustainable farmer is not a lack of opportunity, but rather a lack of time and resources. Which innovations or practices will actually work under the specific conditions of each farm? The Wild Farmlands Best In Class program accelerates our affiliate farmers' access to proven beneficial sustainable and natural agricultural innovations and practices. 


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