California’s Alternative Food Networks in the Face of Market Digitalization

Sasha Pesci, a former contractor and consultant for the Small Farm Tech Hub at CAFF recently published exciting research looking at the digital divide in direct market farmers’ online sales during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The research highlights the following:

  • 364 direct market farmers were surveyed in California to assess their experience of the pandemic.
  • Using online sales and marketing likely helped farmers access markets during the pandemic.
  • White, female, and younger farmers were more likely to have an online presence.
  • Farms with higher gross farm incomes and those not growing vegetables were more likely to use online sales.
  • Farmers need reliable internet, money, and training to access online sales and marketing.

The full article is available to view at

Citation: Pesci, S., Galt, R. E., Durant, J. L., Manser, G. M., Asprooth, L., & Pinzón, N. (2023). A digital divide in direct market farmers’ online sales and marketing: Early pandemic evidence from California. Journal of Rural Studies, 101, 103038. 

The Tech Hub and team at CAFF congratulate Sasha on this major accomplishment.  We thank Sasha for her great contributions during her time at the Small Farm Tech Hub and wish her all the best in her future endeavors and research!

You can learn more about Sasha and her other publications by visiting her website at