Our Founder: John Anderson
John and Marsha Anderson founded Hedgerow Farms in the late 1980's. John has a degree in zoology from Oregon State and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from UC Davis. He practiced small animal medicine for several years before joining the veterinary staff at the California Primate Research Center at the University of California, Davis.
Starting in the early 1980s, John began planting grasses, shrubs, and trees on his farm near Winters to establish wildlife habitat and realized there were very few native seeds available for habitat restoration work. He retired from UC Davis in the mid-1990's and began farming California grasses. John figured out how to establish stands of native grasses and forbs, and has been sharing this knowledge in lectures, workshops, and tours of the farm, which also serves as a teaching and demonstration resource for farmland conservation practices and wildlife habitat restoration in the region.
John has served on a number of conservation-related boards and is a founding member of the California Native Grasslands Association. He has also served on the boards of the National Audubon Society and Audubon California, the Yolo Basin Foundation, the Wild Farm Alliance, and is a past director of the Yolo County Resource Conservation District. He has received numerous awards for his visionary work including the first-ever recipient of the Lifetime Achievement In Habitat Restoration” from the California Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration. “John Anderson has been and continues to be, someone that is not only implementing conservation practices on his land but has energy and drive and has been innovating in the field of habitat restoration and conservation efforts in an agricultural setting. If you talk about conservation work in California's Central Valley, the conversation will not last five minutes before John’s name comes up,” says friend and colleague Chris Rose, director of the Solano RCD. Countless conservationists of all ages have been inspired by John’s enthusiasm for restoration (and weed control), determination to get things done, and knowledge of the natural world. We cannot thank him enough for his many years of work to create a healthier natural world. John retired from farming in 2016 to devote his time to travel, visiting grandchildren and his and Marsha's “retirement project:” restoring a 700-acre ranch located in the hills behind Hedgerow Farms. John passed away in 2020.