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Northern California Food Movement

Social, cultural and agricultural history from the 1970s to 1990s

Through its focus on the Northern California food movement (1970s to 1990s), the UC Davis Library supports research, teaching, and learning about a rich and complex chapter in California’s social, cultural and agricultural history. Northern California and the Central Valley were the birthplace of a national conversation about the food we eat, how it is produced and the lives of the people who grow and sell it. The voices of immigrants and farm workers, scientists and researchers, community activists and chefs, have all risen up from this land to cultivate a movement toward sustainable, ethical, organic and locally sourced food and agricultural practices. This movement continues to reshape the systems through which we grow, process, distribute, buy, sell, and cook the food we eat.

Founded more than a century ago as the Farm School for the University of California, UC Davis has been a geographic, intellectual, and cultural hub for this movement. Today, UC Davis is a global leader in agricultural science, food systems, and sustainability. The UC Davis Library supports the university’s excellence in these interconnected fields by preserving, curating, and improving the discoverability of content created by UC Davis researchers, as well as complementary materials acquired by the Library to enhance its Northern California food movement collections.

Capturing this legacy requires a multidisciplinary approach to interconnected subjects and a diverse array of sources ranging from family farms to famous chefs. The emphasis on the Northern California food movement draws on existing strengths in the library’s archival and manuscript collections, and builds on two flagship collections in particular, the Richard E. Rominger Papers and the Isao Fujimoto Papers.


  • Fujimoto, Isao. Papers

    Correspondence, journals, and publications related to alternative technology, development of the Northern California food movement, and community and rural development. Isao Fujimoto (1933-) is Senior Lecturer Emeritus of Asian American Studies and the UC Davis Graduate Program in Community Development. He joined UC Davis in 1967 as a founding member of the community development program and later founded the Asian-American Studies program. Fujimoto's many contributions to the Davis community include his work with the Davis Farmer's Market and the Davis Food Co-op, and development of the Alternative Agricultural Resources Project.
  • Rominger, Richard. Papers.

    Correspondence, clippings, budget papers, agendas, and meeting notes relating to Rominger's work with the Department of Food and Agriculture; files on pesticides, water appropriation, soil erosion, farm labor, and natural resources. Fourth-generation Yolo County farmer active in agricultural land use and preservation issues; head of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (1977-1982); deputy secretary for the USDA (1993-2000).