06 July 2016

Funding Opportunity for Improving Farm Water & Energy Use Efficiency!


Up to $200K per farm available for improving farm water and energy use efficiency!

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting applications for its 2016 State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) Round II. SWEEP is a competitive grants program supporting growers and agricultural operations in California to reduce their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and save water by investing in water irrigation system efficiency. Projects must reduce GHG emissions and save water. Applicants must provide supporting documentation directly related to actual, on-farm energy consumption and GHG emissions during the prior growing season to be eligible for funding. Grant submission deadline is August 5, 2016, and grant-funded work must be completed by November 2017.

THE RESOURCE CONSERVATION DISTRICTS OF 
MONTEREY, SANTA CRUZ and LOMA PRIETA
INVITE YOU TO ATTEND ONE OF THE FOLLOWING WORKSHOPS TO PREPARE YOUR 2016 SWEEP PROPOSAL

DATE
TIME
LOCATION
July 14, 2016
8am – 12pm
UC Cooperative Extension
1432 Abbott Street
Salinas, CA
July 15, 2016
9am – 12pm
UC Cooperative Extension Santa Cruz
1430 Freedom Blvd, Suite E
Watsonville, CA
July 20, 2016
9am – 12pm
Morgan Hill Community Center
17000 Monterey Rd
Morgan Hill, CA
These workshops will give you an overview of the program, and provide hands-on assistance with project requirements, application process and materials. 
For more details visit the program’s website at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/sweep/or contact:
Representatives from various companies that sell the types of irrigation supplies and equipment you can acquire with your SWEEP grant are also available to help you prepare your proposal. 
Be ready! Please bring information about your irrigation system and pump characteristics to assess your farm water consumption and GHG emissions.

01 July 2016

Apply NOW for Organic Certification Assistance through the State Organic Program

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced the availability of $2,180,870 for organic certification assistance to organic operations in California. Funds from the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP) are available through CDFA’s State Organic Program (SOP) to help more organic operations succeed and take advantage of economic opportunities in this growing market.
Cost Share helps farmers and processors afford the expense of organic certification by refunding up to 75% or $750 of their certification fees. Cost Share funds are available to any eligible organic operation in California that has received or renewed organic certification between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016.
The SOP administers the Cost Share program in California, and is responsible for reviewing and approving cost share applications. The SOP then works with the State Controller’s Office to process funds for the issuance of reimbursement checks to the organic operations. In addition, the SOP collaborates with accredited certifying agents to ensure that cost share resources are available to their clients and information is posted on their respective certifier websites.
The deadline for submitting Cost Share applications to CDFA is October 31, 2016. Applications must be postmarked by this date.
The following are needed to complete a Cost Share application:
• A copy of an organic certification document.
• Copies of all associated organic certification and inspection expense receipts.
• Please contact a certifier if you do not have the above documents.
• Completed and signed CDFA Cost Share Application. The applications can be mailed, emailed, or faxed to CDFA.
• Completed Payee Data Record (STD. 204) form. (Name on this form must match the name on the Cost Share application).
To apply, go to the CDFA website and download the Cost Share application packet/documents. Send the completed, signed application to CDFA with all supporting documentation listed above.
Applications are approved on a “first received, first approved” basis. So get it done quick! Incomplete applications will be returned and the application process will need to be started again.
Applications must be sent to CDFA. Do not send the application to your certifier. Mail applications to:
California Department of Food and Agriculture
State Organic Program
Cost Share Reimbursement
ATTN: Sharon Parsons
1220 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Please allow 6-8 weeks for the completion of the Cost Share process. For additional information or assistance, please contact Sharon Parsons at (916) 900-5202 or by email at sparsons@cdfa.ca.gov

21 June 2016

Apply now for SWEEP: Water Efficiency Grants for Farmers & Ranchers

      

The CDFA just opened an $18 million funding round for on-farm projects that provide water savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) provides grants for activities such as:
  • upgrades to more efficient pumps
  • conversion to drip
  • installation of solar panels to produce renewable energy
  • improved water storage and/or recycling
  • soil moisture monitoring and scheduling 
Grant amounts: Up to $200,000
Due: August 5, 2016
For more information: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/sweep/
 
Up to $200,000 per agricultural operation is available, and a 50% match is recommended but not required. Applications are due August 5, 2016. View the program’s webpage and application materials by clicking here.
Free Technical Assistance is being offered to SWEEP applicants. We encourage you to attend one of the 23 in-depth technical assistance workshops throughout California. View the list of workshops by clicking here.
CDFA is also offering four grant application workshops in Yolo, Imperial, San Luis Obispo, and Fresno Counties. View the list of info sessions by clicking here.

For a helpful overview of the application resources available on the SWEEP webpage, watch this short video.

17 June 2016

Save the Date: 9th Annual Organic Stone Fruit Jubilee on Saturday, 25 June!


Join organic Central Valley growers for the year’s most delicious event: This fun-filled evening includes fruit tasting and sales of over 60 varieties of peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, and pluots. Enjoy live entertainment, farm tours, a Kids Craft corner, jam making, a Japanese tea ceremony, flower arranging and stone fruit drinks, artisan treats and pies.

LocationMokichi Okada Association's Oasis Garden 
5790 N, Indianola Ave
Clovis, CA 93619.
Admission: Adult Admission $5 // Children under 12 Free 

Featuring: Dr. Mario Sifuentez from UC Merced will be our keynote speaker. Farmer participants include Abundant Harvest OrganicsBlossom Bluff OrchardsD.E. Boldt Family Farms, MOA, Naylor Organics, Peterson Farm, Valliwide Organic Farms, Fruit Fairy Delivers, Cardenas Farms, Juarez Farms, and Eldon Thiesen Farm. Delicious food vendors include La Reina de Michoacan, La Boulangerie Bakery, Dusty Buns Bistro, Casa de Tamales, and Mattie's Wood Fired Pizza. Other vendors include the Tempeh Factory fruit chutney and Tagua Fair Trade Products. Live music will be provided by Good Medicine. 

Sponsored by the Ecological Farming Association, Kristina's Natural Ranch Market, Slow Food Madera, MOA and California Dietetic Association.
To learn more visit www.fruitjubilee.org


See you there!!

Register Now for this FREE FarmLink Webinar: Growing Profitable Small Farms

Growing Profitable Small Farms:
Financial Risk Management and Crop Insurance
Would you like to learn about opportunities to protect your farm’s long-term financial growth and viability? Join us for this webinar where we will look at two key aspects of farm risk management, and what you can do to protect your farm and plan for the future.
Farm Finance Tools to Help You Manage Risk
Wednesday June 22, 12-1:30 pm
Join FarmLink for this farm financial management workshop that will get you started (or keep you going) on the right track. By the end of the webinar, you will understand:
  • the basics of credit scores and how to improve or establish credit history
  • different types of agricultural loans, and how a loan might work for you
  • cash flow management to manage financial risk
  • how to use farm balance sheets and income statements to manage debt
  • the benefits of diversification
  • business structures and their implications for debt and building equity

To RSVP for this free webinar, Click Here

Presented by California Farmlink and hosted by CCOF

Support for this project is provided through a cooperative agreement with the USDA Risk Management Agency.

13 June 2016

Apply Now: USDA's Value-Added Producer Grant Program

VAPG Guide Cover

Whether helping farmers turn organic grains into shelf-ready items or providing capital for the creation of farm-identity preserved regional supply chains, the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program has served as a valuable resource for farmers looking to grow their businesses through value-added products.
In April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the availability of $44 million in funding through the competitive VAPG Program. Administered by USDA Rural Development, the VAPG program provides competitive grants to producers for working capital, feasibility studies, business plans, and marketing efforts to establish viable value-added businesses. Up to $75,000 is available for planning grants and up to $250,000 is available for implementation grants.

The deadline for proposals is now right around the corner!  Paper applications are due July 1, while electronic applications are due June 24 through grants.gov.
Individual and groups of producers, as well as farmer coops and producer-controlled businesses, are eligible to apply for these grants, which help to increase income and marketing opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers, along with fishermen, loggers, and other harvesters of agricultural commodities.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s annual Farmers Guide to the VAPG Program walks farmers through the program’s application requirements, including a step-by-step description of the application and ranking processes.
In addition, USDA has created a “toolkit” for applicants, that includes an application checklist, templates, required grant forms, and instructions (found under the “Forms & Resources” tab).
Finally, please note that NSAC and the USDA partnered on a webinar for prospective applicants on May 8, a recording of that webinar can be found here. 
We encourage farmers and their organizations, coops, and businesses to consider the program and get great proposals in by the deadline!

19 May 2016

Join California FarmLink and CCOF for a Webinar on Managing Financial Risks on the Farm.

Farm Finance Tools to Help You Manage Risk

California FarmLink and CCOF’s farm financial management webinar will get you started (or keep you going) on the right financial track. By the end of the webinar, you will understand: 
  • The basics of credit scores and how to improve or establish credit history
  • Different types of agricultural loans, and how a loan might work for you
  • Cash flow management to manage financial risk
  • How to use farm balance sheets and income statements to manage debt
  • The benefits of diversification
  • Business structures and their implications for debt and building equity

About Our Speaker

Brett Melone
Director of Lending, California Farmlink
Brett Melone has served as director of lending at California FarmLink since July 2014. Melone previously served as a loan officer since July 2013, after serving as a member of the California FarmLink Board of Directors and Loan Committee.

Melone has more than 15 years of experience supporting the business success of farmers and leading nonprofit organizations that serve farmers. He has extensive non-profit management experience and served as the executive director of Friends of MarViva Foundation and as the executive director of the Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) in Salinas, California. He is also an adjunct instructor of sustainable agriculture at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Melone has a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations, business, and Spanish from the University of San Diego, and a Master of Arts degree in international environmental policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Event Details

June 22, 2016
12-1:30 p.m. PDT



Registration

This webinar is free!


 


More Information

For more information please contact Frederick Smith at frederick@cafarmlink.org.

This event is a co-production of California FarmLink & CCOF with support from the USDA's Risk Management Agency.