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Posts Tagged: Faulkner Farm

Retired director says Faulkner Farm is fulfilling mission

In a strongly worded op-ed published yesterday in the Ventura County Star, the retired director of UC Cooperative Extension in Ventura County, Larry Yee, said the historic Faulkner Farm continues to fulfill the mission of the Hansen Trust and should not be sold.

The op-ed came in response to a recent decision by the trust's advisory board to recommend that UC sell the farm.

Beginning in 1989, Yee worked personally with then 90-year-old Ms. Thelma Hansen, who was interested in applying her family's sizable fortune to sustain local agriculture. When she passed away in 1993, she left almost all of the family estate -- nearly $12 million -- to UC to create the Hansen Trust to benefit and sustain local agriculture through research and education.

Yee wrote in his op-ed that he had many conversations with Ms. Hansen from 1990 to 1993, when he was overseeing her care.

"She made it abundantly and unequivocally clear that she desired a center for agricultural research and education be created and developed with her gift," Yee said.

And, he said, in consultation with University attorneys, the trust advisory board saw no need to change the language of Ms. Hansen's 1990 trust document because it covered such a facility.

Over the years, Yee said, the Hansen Agricultural Center at Faulkner Farm has developed into a respected county treasure, recognized throughout the state and country for its work with research and educational programs that well served agriculture in Ventura County.

"It is my hope that the UC administrators and the UC Board of Regents will categorically reject this shortsighted and irresponsible request to sell the Faulkner Farm and dismantle the Hansen Agricultural Center," the op-ed says.

Water conservation study using landscape plants at the Faulkner Farm.
Water conservation study using landscape plants at the Faulkner Farm.

Posted on Monday, August 2, 2010 at 8:22 AM

Op-ed outlines board's reasoning for farm sale

An op-ed written by members of the Hansen Trust Advisory Board appeared in the Sunday Ventura County Star with details about the board's reasoning for recommending that the University of California sell the Faulkner Farm in Santa Paula.

John Krist, Chris Sayer and Edgar Terry wrote that the historic Faulkner Farm, which now operates as the Hansen Agricultural Center, did not provide the boon for agriculture that was expected when the facility was acquired by the trust 13 years ago.

On the contrary, "ownership of the property has saddled the organization with crippling financial and logistical burdens," the authors wrote.

The op-ed says Thelma Hansen's objective when she bequeathed much of her estate to the University of California in 1990 was to support and maintain University research and extension activities and related facilities in Ventura County.

However, a large share of the Hansen Trust's annual budget has been devoted to maintaining the Faulkner Farm's historic structures and grounds. Only 10 percent of the trust’s annual budget of approximately $1 million is now available for direct support of activities benefiting local agriculture.

The Hansen Agricultural Center entrance.
The Hansen Agricultural Center entrance.

Posted on Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 10:39 AM
Tags: Faulkner Farm (4), Hansen (2), Ventura County (4)

Hansen Trust board advises UC to sell the farm

The Hansen Trust advisory board has recommended that UC sell the historic Faulkner Farm in Santa Paula because it has become too expensive to maintain, according to a article in today's Ventura County Star.

The farm now houses the UC Hansen Agricultural Center, named for Ms. Thelma Hansen. She left almost all of her family's estate -- nearly $12 million -- to the University of California when she passed away in 1993 to benefit and sustain local agriculture through research and education. In 1997, funds from the trust were used to purchase the 27-acre Faulkner Farm.

The stately Faulkner House, built in 1894 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the facility's centerpiece. Designed in the Queen Ann style, the house has a basement, two main living floors and a finished room in the tower. A large red barn on the Faulkner property was built in 1886.

John Krist, a member of the Hansen Trust advisory board and chief executive officer of the Ventura County Farm Bureau, said the trust has not been able to carry out its mission with Faulkner Farm, according to the article. Only 10 percent of the trust’s $1 million annual budget now directly supports education and research, he said.

The article said UC administrators will have the final say on the sale, a decision that is expected to take several months.

An aerial view of the Faulkner Farm.
An aerial view of the Faulkner Farm.

Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010 at 7:42 AM

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