Farmworkers harvesting summer squash in Costa Rica
Food Systems and Sustainability Lab

Galt Lab

Regional Food Systems and COVID-19

Regional Food Systems and COVID-19

Members of the Galt Lab are currently conducting a study on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting agricultural producers in California. Our research is focused on farmers and ranchers selling through direct markets, including direct-to-consumer, direct-to-retail, and direct-to-institution market channels. We are interested in understanding how farming and ranching operations have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and how producers have responded to pandemic-related disruptions. We aim for this research to inform policies and organizational strategies aiming to help direct-market farmers respond to the effects of the pandemic.

On January 19 we sent out the survey through a few distribution channels meant to reach farmers and ranchers selling through direct markets.  The survey asks a series of questions about your market outlets, employees, income, farming practices, resources, and forms of institutional support. The survey also asks about your farming operation’s resources, and barriers you have encountered in responding to pandemic-related challenges. The research has been approved by the UC Davis Institutional Review Board (IRB).

If you received an email from us or our partners distributing the survey, please know that the first 500 survey respondents will receive a $20 gift card. The questionnaire will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. Please use the link in the survey sent to your email address; it is available in English and Spanish.

The results of this study will be used to inform policy makers, farmers and ranchers, and the organizations that support them.  We’re very interested in identifying the resources and practices that have enabled producers to more successfully respond to the disruptions of this crisis, as well as barriers that hinder producers’ ability to respond.  Results will be published only after responses are anonymized and aggregated, and our analyses will be shared with research participants and other interested stakeholders.

Since some of our questions are about assistance programs for COVID-19-related impacts, we compiled this list of assistance programs.

If you have any questions about this research please contact us at

Galt Lab members involved in the project:

Ryan Galt

Jennie Durant

Sasha Pesci

Lauren Asprooth

Gwyneth Manser

Natalia Pinzón Jiménez

Maywa Montenegro

Who we are

We are a group of researchers looking at how to make agriculture and food systems more just and sustainable. We study the ways that political, economic, and social structures influence the resiliency and fairness of our food systems throughout the value chain from production to consumption. Our work has a particular emphasis on California and Latin America.