A second-generation Sacramentan, Mr. Todd McPherson brings broad food system knowledge and over a decade of agricultural industry experience, farm education, and school garden work to the Burbank Urban Agriculture Academy. McPherson graduated with honors from UC Santa Cruz double majoring in Politics and Community Studies with a focus on Social Justice and Community Development. While finishing his degree McPherson spent a semester in South Africa, completed a month-long field study in New Orleans rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina, and began what would become a career of food system work interning with a local Santa Cruz student-run nonprofit called the Community Agroecology Network (CAN).
After college, Mr. McPherson’s interest and passion for working within the food system; with people, communities, and the land-only grew. His post-graduate studies have been focused on sustainable and regenerative agricultural methods including Agroecology, Biodynamics, and Permaculture. McPherson has visited, worked on, and studied both rural and urban community-based agriculture and food system projects in nearly a dozen states from California to New York, as well as internationally. Within the Agricultural and Food Industry itself McPherson has worked in nearly every facet. From growing food as a farmer to working with large institutions to increase local purchasing, from selling produce in grocery stores and farmers markets to starting managing a farmers market, and from running produce deliveries to leading farm tours and starting school gardens, he has done it all. McPherson has also worked locally on food policy and advocacy as a founding member of the Sacramento Food Policy Council and member of the Sacramento Urban Agriculture Coalition which helped change local legislation to allow the sales of homegrown produce in the City and County of Sacramento.
Prior to being at Luther Burbank McPherson worked with a local Sacramento nonprofit after school provider, The Center, as their School Garden Program Coordinator, revitalizing, building, and managing school gardens across the Sacramento City Unified School District. During the summer, when school was out McPherson joined a group of South Sacramento healthy community advocates in establishing the Mack Road-Valley Hi Farmers Market, which he managed for three years until starting full time at Burbank.Since 2014 when McPherson first set foot in the Burbank Urban Garden as an after-school garden coordinator, he has been working to support and develop the program into something bigger. After countless hours of work, numerous discussions with Burbank teachers and at the district level, and a new program pitch to Principal Peterson, the Urban Agriculture Academy was launched at the start of the 2017/18 school year with McPherson as the new lead teacher. When not in the garden at school Mr. McPherson enjoys spending time with his family, fly fishing, camping, live music, good food, taking road trips, working on rusty old cars…and of course gardening.