UC Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HAREC) is located near Santa Paula, 11 miles east of the Pacific Ocean and enjoys a mild climate.
The history of the Center begins with the Thelma Hansen estate. Miss Hansen, a UC Berkeley graduate, returned to Ventura County in the 1920’s and took over business operations of the Hansen family farm. Thelma developed a deep understanding and appreciation of the importance of agriculture and became an advocate for the conservation of natural resources. This led her to endow a generous portion of her estate to the University of California. Following her death, The Thelma Hansen Fund was created in 1993 to support and maintain University research and extension activities for the sustainability and benefit of agriculture and natural resources in Ventura County. The Hansen Fund operated out of the UC Cooperative Extension-Ventura County office until 1997 when the University purchased the 27-acre farm known as the Faulkner Farm. The Center is the newest of the nine Research and Extension Centers System (RECS) facilities.
HAREC provides land, labor, equipment, and facilities to researchers for small to medium-sized plot projects that are relevant to Ventura County agricultural issues. Projects include water quality, availability, management and conservation, pesticide alternatives, new promising crops, and biological controls for weeds and pests.
Our Center has a very active education outreach program. Agriculture advisors provide research and educational opportunities including and hands-on workshops for growers. 4-H youth agricultural literacy programs include farm field trips and classroom outreach serving K-5th grade students county-wide. Additionally, the Center is an approved site for the VC Master Gardener Program. These skilled volunteers deliver gardening workshops and maintain the various demonstration and education gardens.