07 April 2016

CCOF's Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund Application Now Open!

Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund applications now open for teachers and students of organic agriculture. This year CCOF and partners will give over $140,000 in grants to elementary and high school students as well as to adults for Higher/Vocational Education. 

The Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund supports the next generation of organic producers through small grants that support organic education from kindergarten through the end of college. The CCOF Foundation gives Future Organic Farmer Grants in three categories: kindergarten through eighth gradehigh school, and vocational and higher education.

Applications accepted until May 15, 2016.

22 March 2016

Apply NOW for the 2016 EQIP Program with the USDA NRCS

Need cross-fencing or stock water improvements for better grazing management?  

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which provides funding and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices.  
Cost-share funding for range management practices includes stock water systems (solar pumps, tanks, troughs), wildlife-friendly livestock ponds, cross-fencing, prescribed grazing, and more.  
For more information or to sign up by June 17th call your regional NRCS office:

San Benito County: Hollister NRCS 
phone: 831.637.4360
email:  Erika.Boyland@ca.usda.gov

Santa Cruz County: Capitola NRCS
phone: 831.475.1967
email: Richard.Casale@ca.usda.gov

Monterey County:  Salinas NRCS
phone: 831.424.1036
email: Bobette.Parsons@ca.usda.gov

To locate your regional service office CLICK HERE.

24 February 2016

NAP Annuals Application Closing Date - Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Not to be confused with a short or light sleep in the middle of the afternoon, the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) provides financial assistance to produces of noninsurable crops to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses or prevent crop planting. 

Tuesday, March 1st is the NAP application closing deadline for 2016 annual crops (e.g. tomatoes, green beans, herbs, squash, carrots, peppers, brussel sprouts, sunflowers). You must file a CCC-471 (email mika@cafarmlink to get this form) and pay your service fee by March 1, 2016. 
For all coverage levels, the NAP service fee is the lesser of $250/crop or $750/producer per administrative county, not to exceed a total of $1875 for a producer with farming interests in multiple counties. 
There is a potential service fee waiver or 50% discount for beginning, limited resource, etc. farmers, so do not hesitate to get started on calling or visiting your local service center!
Please contact the service center in your area if you wish to have 2016 NAP coverage. See below for regional offices:  
for Santa Cruz and Santa Clara County: 
820 BAY AVE STE 128 
CAPITOLA, CA 95010-2134 
(831) 475-1967

Natural Resources Conservation Service 
Conservation District 

for Monterey County: 
SALINAS, CA 93905-3354 
(831) 424-1036

(844) 206-7005 fax
Farm Service Agency 
Natural Resources Conservation Service 
Rural Development 
Conservation District 

for San Benito County: 

HOLLISTER, CA 95023-2544
(831) 637-4360
(844) 206-6995 fax
Farm Service Agency 
Natural Resources Conservation Service 

for San Luis Obispo County: 
65 S MAIN ST STE 106 
TEMPLETON, CA 93465-8703 
(805) 434-0396

27 January 2016

3rd Annual Farmers Guild Raising

On February 20, agrarian communities from across California converge in Sonoma County's Shone Farm to re-envision our food system at The Farmers Guild's 3rd Annual Farmers Guild Raising. We call upon you, farmers and good food advocates alike, to come forge local solutions to our agricultural and food system challenges, all while celebrating the newest generation of food and farms.

All eight Farmers Guilds—from the Mendocino Coast down to San Luis Obisbo—unite for this day of workshops and networking to engage on vital issues such as:

  • carbon farming
  • land access and agricultural policy
  • growers’ cooperatives  
  • innovative  markets for organic produce 

Return home with new connections, tools and inspiration to enhance your farm and empower your community. Check out the schedule so far by clicking here. And don't forget to stick around for a farm-fresh dinner and the Agrarian Lover's Ball

Questions? Interested in donating to the Silent Auction or providing some libations? Contact Evan Wiig at evan@farmersguild.org.

21 December 2015

Join us at our "Organic Elders and the Next Generation: Planning for Succession" Pre-Conference

Many farmers will retire in the next 10 years and are struggling with the questions: "How can I retire and how will I pass my knowledge to the next generation?" At the same time, young farmers are asking, "How can I get started, and build on what the elders have accomplished?"
We invite farmers of all generations to join California FarmLink and organic industry partners to explore options and learn about farmland and business succession strategies.
In the morning, farmers and stakeholders will gather for a facilitated discussion of key succession issues and challenges, transition needs, and new ideas and approaches to shape and provide the framework for FarmLink's new Organic Elders Succession project.
After a delicious organic lunch, succession planning experts will present tools and strategies for retirement planning; business transitions, family communications and goal setting; passing down land and other assets; tax demystification; transitioning to non-heir successors; and mentoring new farmers. California FarmLink will discuss creative financing opportunities. Then farmers, families, and advisors will work together in small groups.

Registration: $50 (organic lunch included)

Scholarships are available.
Questions? Interested in a scholarship? 
Please call Mika Maekawa: 831.425.0303 Ext. 7022 or email mika@cafarmlink.org 

08 December 2015

Register for the 36th Annual EcoFarm Conference

The need for an ecologically sound, socially just, and economically viable food and farming system has never been more urgent. Our work as EcoFarmers has never been more needed or more relevant to the major issues of our day—from reversing climate change to improving human health. Many answers to the problems inherent in the extractive, chemically intensive, conventional agricultural model can be found within the ecological and organic approaches that EcoFarm works to champion. The beauty is that EcoFarm’s offerings represent some of the best work we all are all doing as a community and as a movement! Together we are “Regenerating Our Lands and Water.”
Inside this agenda you will find workshops and plenary presentations that cover the big picture and literally get into the weeds (how to manage them in an organic system). From technical discussions on biological methods, to sessions and office hours dealing with the business of farming, the conference is a roll-up-your sleeves affair that supports our individual and organizational efforts. This year we continue and expand the conference emphasis on discussion groups and peer-to-peer sharing forums, recognizing the value of all of our combined efforts and knowledge. We feature working meetings and strategy sessions, providing an opportunity to reflect on achievements and plot the course of action for the coming year. And we include topics to inspire and frame our shared project: overgrowing the conventional agricultural system, replacing it with a healthier, safer, more just food and farming system.

Join FarmLink for our pre-conference workshop, Organic Elders and the Next Generation: Planning for Succession, on Wednesday (20 Jan), where we'll dig in to specific succession planning tools and strategies for retirement planning, the valuation process, business and management transfer, and much more! This is a great opportunity to learn from succession planning experts, as well as elder and young farmers' success stories. Register for this pre-conference workshop here!

And don't forget to join us for brews, tunes, and light bites at the Farmers & Ranchers Mixer on Thursday night (6:30-9:30pm). Get to know the people that provide support to new farmers in the sustainable agriculture landscape. Meet other beginners, connect with resources and link up with potential partners, landowners, and supporters. 

Can't wait to see you all there!