Shermain Hardesty is an Extension Economist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California—Davis, and also serves as Director of the University of California’s Small Farm Program. She is responsible for research, education and outreach programs related to alternative food marketing systems, small farms and cooperatives.
Her current projects include the producers’ costs of compliance with the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, assessment of the factors affecting the development of values-based supply chains and a comparative analysis of traditional and direct market supply chains for produce.
Dr. Hardesty has extensive expertise regarding the marketing of value-added agricultural products. She serves on the boards of the California Sheep Commission and the Davis Farmers Market Association. Her other professional affiliations include NC1036-Regional Research and Education Support for the Renewal of Agriculture of the Middle, NCERA-194 (past chair)-Regional Research Committee on Cooperatives, the American Agricultural Economics Association, and the Food Distribution Research Society. Since 1993, she has served as the primary instructor for the class, Getting Started in the Specialty Food Business, offered by University of California-Extension, Davis.
Prior to rejoining the University of California in 2002, Shermain Hardesty was principal of FOOD MARKETING & ECONOMICS GROUP; the Davis-based firm specialized in evaluating domestic and international marketing opportunities for produce, processed food products and agricultural commodities. From 1986 through 1990, she held the positions of Director of Financial Planning and Senior Economist at the Rice Growers Association of California, a rice marketing cooperative.
Shermain Hardesty earned her Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of California, Davis. She served on the faculty of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University from 1984 through 1986.