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Dec 15, 2021
Yolo County walnut growers give $100,000 per year for research

The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) announced that Dan and Sarah Hrdy, owners of Citrona Farms LLC, a walnut farm in Winters, have established The Daniel & Sarah Hrdy Fund for UC Cooperative Extension Research.

The fund will provide as much as $100,000 in seed funding for early-stage research projects each year for UC Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists, as well as their academic collaborators. Dan, a former clinical professor of medicine (infectious diseases) at UC Davis Medical Center, and Sarah, a professor emerita of anthropology at UC Davis, created the fund to express their appreciation for UC Cooperative Extension’s practical yet cutting edge research.

“Over the years, we have hosted a number of researchers from UC ANR, UC Davis and UC Berkeley studying topics related to sustainable agriculture, habitat restoration and wildlife conservation and have benefited both directly and indirectly from the UC Cooperative Extension network,” Dan Hrdy said in a news release..

More than 20 years of UC research hosted at Citrona Farms is detailed on its website at

Research proposals will be selected by the leaders of UC ANR’s Strategic Initiatives: Sustainable Food Systems; Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases; and Sustainable Natural Ecosystems.

Areas of special interest include:

  • Sustainable agriculture, with special regard to climate change
  • Interaction of natural ecosystems and agriculture
  • Habitat restoration and conservation
  • Wildfire and forest restoration

“The timing for this donation could not have been better as UC ANR is actively recruiting an extraordinary number of new UCCE advisors and specialists and support for their research is greatly appreciated,” Wendy Powers, UC ANR associate vice president. “This is a great example of how local relationships build trust and support for UCCE efforts across the state.”

The fund will be established with annual gifts as part of a payout from the donor’s retirement account, along with a bequest that, when paid, will create a permanent endowment where the payouts will continue to fund this project. The Hrdys hope to make others aware of this method of charitable giving.

“We were able to use required payouts from a retirement account to set up this gift,” said Dan Hrdy. “I hope more people will look into doing this to help support Cooperative Extension.”

Investors who must satisfy a required minimum distribution from their retirement accounts may consider a qualified charitable distribution (QCD), said Greg Gibbs, UC ANR executive director of Development Services.

“A qualified charitable distribution is a direct transfer of funds from your IRA custodian, payable to a qualified charity, like the UC Regents/UC ANR,” Gibbs said. “Once you’ve reached age 72, the QCD amount counts toward your required minimum distribution for the year, up to an annual maximum of $100,000. It’s not included in your gross income and does not count against the limits on deductions for charitable contributions.”

Photo: Citrona Farms

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