Sustainable Agriculture Specialist
Western Regional Office
Crops, Organic Crops, Food Equity, Livestock, Local Foods, Soil Health
Specific Areas of Expertise: Permaculture, Soil Health, Farm Ecology, Cover Crops
Omar Rodriguez is an NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist who has dedicated much of his career to farmer education and outreach, including to disadvantaged populations. His general focus in this respect is aimed at shifting the population of farmers that he serves toward economically sustainable and increasingly ecologically conscious approaches to farming. After receiving his degree, Omar moved to South America, where he worked with small-scale farmers to encourage diversification, business development, alternative technologies, and reforestation. In the years since, he has managed several farmers markets in the Bay Area and worked on an 80-acre permaculture farm in Montana. Rodriguez’s Spanish-language proficiency is used to develop resources and events that reach farmers within the Latinx community. Recently, Omar has led NCAT’s organization of the annual Latino Farmer Conference in California, a unique gathering where all presentations are in Spanish, with available English translation.
Bachelor of Science International Agriculture Development, University of California, Davis
Farmers Market Manager, February 2016 – April 2017
Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association, Concord, CA
Worked to increase access to locally sourced agriculture products while conducting outreach and marketing projects to several communities of differing socioeconomic backgrounds (focus on customers of lower economic standing).
Agriculture Extensionist, September 2012 – December 2014
Peace Corps, Santo Domingo, Paraguay
Worked to build the capacity of my assigned community in sustainable agriculture and economic development while adapting to and thriving in the Paraguayan culture. Together with stakeholders in the community, we were able to plan, execute, and expand several beneficial, sustainable and ecologically minded projects that continue today.
Junior Specialist, January 2011 – June 2011
UC Davis Plant and Environmental Sciences Dept., Davis, CA
Participated in a research project that examined the effect of global warming on farming in the California Central valley. Responsible for field research, data collection, field sampling, and data analysis.
Native Species Rehabilitation Intern, January 2011 – June 2011
Solano Land Trust, Fairfield, CA
Promoted the sustainability and propagation of native species through season long field studies on native savannah rangelands. Responsible for recording and analyzing the prevalence of invasive species and systematically monitoring the health of native woodlands while separately leading and educating volunteer groups.
Current Professional Affiliations and Committees:
CDFA Specialty Crop Block Grant technical review committee member
IOIA Certified Organic Crop Inspector
Featured Publications and Presentations:
Saline and Sodic Soils: Identification, Mitigation, and Management Considerations
A Pictorial Guide to Hedgerow Plants for Beneficial Insects