26 March 2015

35-Acre Farmland Lease Opportunity with Peninsula Open Space Trust


Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) has just released a request for proposals (RFP) to lease the 35-acre backfield of their Butano Farms property in Pescadero, CA. POST is soliciting proposals from individuals interested in leasing the land for productive agricultural operations.

POST staff will lead a mandatory tour of the site for prospective operators at 10am on April 17, 2015. If needed, a second tour will be scheduled. Please RSVP for the tour by April 10 to loleary@openspacetrust.org. 
Additional information, including sample lease language, previous land uses, and other information will be available at the tour. All interested parties must attend the tour. Please do not try and visit the property prior to the site tour. Access is across a private road and bridge with locked gate.

Proposals must be submitted by May 31, 2015 to the attention of:

Laura O’Leary
Peninsula Open Space Trust
222 High Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301
650-854-7696 x339

Proposals will be evaluated based on economic, social and ecological factors, including but not limited to: suitability of the proposed use for the site, contribution to the agricultural community, viability of the business plan, proposed investments, benefits to natural resources, qualifications of the applicant(s), and completeness of the proposal.

For the full RFP, please email mika@cafarmlink.org. While FarmLink is not the point of contact for this land listing, please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any further questions.

20 March 2015

Land Access Opportunity at Shone Farm in Sonoma County

A fantastic opportunity for intermediate farmers looking to grow their skills on California's north coast:

Santa Rosa Junior College's educational farm in Forestville, CA is offering 6 intermediate growers an opportunity to farm on 3 acres of land, producing for sale to an 100-member Community Shared Agriculture program, restaurant customers, and the college's Culinary Program.

This is a revenue-sharing opportunity for those who are working towards establishing their own independent farming enterprise and want the experience of taking responsibility for a parcel of land. You will have the chance to grow for established markets within a supportive environment, with access to mentorship and shared resources (like equipment, irrigation, infrastructure, etc). You will also be able to establish new sales channels for your products, including local farmers markets.

• Minimum of 2 FULL seasons of experience growing mixed vegetables in a commercial environment
• Availability of 20 hours/week (average) to plant, maintain and harvest your parcel
• Willingness to grow according to our 4-year crop rotation and pre-established 2015 crop plan
• Registration in Santa Rosa Junior College’s Ag 98 (Independent Study) and Ag 56 (Ag Enterprise) courses

For more information or to apply to the program, contact Vince Trotter at tvtrotter@gmail.com or call (707) 327-9798. You can also visit http://www.shonefarm.com/

18 March 2015

Grazing Lease Clinic in Dublin, CA

See below for a great workshop and learning opportunity co-hosted by CA FarmLink's North Coast Regional Coordinator for the Land Access Program.


April 15th
3:30 - 6:30 PM
Sunday School Barn at Heritage Park
6600 Donlon Way, Dublin
(Building in center of park, near bathrooms)

Are you a new rancher looking to lease land in San Francisco's Bay Area or a landowner interested in grazing your property? Are you interested in learning more about what makes a good grazing lease?

California FarmLink, the Alameda County Conservation Partnership and UC Cooperative Extension invite you to join us for a Grazing Lease Clinic and Mixer!

This introductory workshop is geared towards ranchers in the first ten years of production who are looking to better understand components of a good grazing lease, differences between public and private leases and background on how to secure a grazing lease in the Bay Area's highly competitive environment. Specific topics will include the legal and financial risks of poorly developed leases, leasing best practices, alternative lease clauses, and lease development and negotiation. Join us afterwards for refreshments and networking.
Speakers and panelist include:
Sheila Barry, UCCE Bay Area Livestock Advisor
Clayton Koopmann, Rancher & Midpeninsula Open Space District
Frederick Smith, California FarmLink
Carissa Koopmann Rivers, Rancher & Audubon California
Additional Speakers TBA

Workshop is free - space is limited, so please RSVP.

Click here for the event flyer:
RSVP by Friday, April 10th
Pre-registration is requested - please email Susan Ellsworth at susan.ellsworth@acrcd.org or call (925) 371-0154 ex. 103 to reserve your spot. Include your name, ranch or organization, email and phone. 

16 March 2015

Our Land Screenings, Presented by Agrarian Trust & The David Brower Center

We hope you will join us this week at Berkeley's Brower Center for a Reel to Real mini-series, 'Our Land in Transition,' presented in conjunction with the Agrarian Trust. In two evenings with two fascinating documentaries, we will explore the future of American farmland and farmers. Audiences will encounter a first generation farming couple who left the urban areas of their youth to found a biodynamic dairy (Brookford Almanac) and a lifelong rancher turned "eco-cowboy" (Hanna Ranch). Read more about the films and purchase your tickets below.

Tuesday, 17th March @ 7pm (click here to purchase your tickets for Brookford Almanac)
Brookford Almanac tells the story of Luke and Catarina Mahoney, a first generation farming couple living their dream of raising a family on an organic dairy tucked along a country road in Rollinsford, NH. Farming is not what Luke and Catarina’s parents expected them to do. They are part of a new generation of farmers that grew up in cities and suburbs and are drawn to the land—to farming—by something other than their family’s expectations. When was the last time you heard a child say, “When I grow up, I want to be a farmer”? 
Brookford Almanac (40 min) will be preceded by short films from the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-Operative and the “Our Land” series. Followed by a Q&A with the Agrarian Trust’s Severine von Tscharner Fleming, Kathryn Lyddan of Brentwood Ag Trust and special guests.
Hanna Ranch is a feature length documentary about visionary cattleman Kirk Hanna and his personal struggle to protect a once prominent way of life in Colorado. Born into a life on the family ranch, he became a leader in the environmental ranching movement that set out to protect the West from the relentless encroachment of development and misuse. Featured in the book Fast Food Nation and dubbed the “eco-cowboy,” Hanna was an early adopter of Holistic Resource Management practices, sat on numerous environmental boards, and was president of the Colorado Cattleman’s Association. At one time, many saw him as a future governor of Colorado--and then his dream of harmony and sustainability was interrupted by the reality of family conflict and mounting threats to the land.
Hanna Ranch (73 min) will be followed by a roundtable discussion on contemporary issues in ranchland stewardship and access with Greenhorns Director and Agrarian Trust Founder Severine von Tscharner Fleming, Morris Grassfed Beef’s Joe Morris, Paicines Ranch’s Kelly Mulville, and Local Futures Founder Helena Norberg-Hodge.

Free upcoming webinars on Farm Commons

Below are two great-- and free! -- educational opportunities on some very important topics for farmers and landowners: financing basics and managing risk. These are the last of the Winter webinar series from Farm Commons, so be sure to take advantage:

Financing a Farmland Purchase: Legal Basics for Traditional and Non-traditional Farmland Purchases
Monday, March 23th
10am-12pm PST

Finding money to purchase land and capital is a huge issue for many farmers. Bank loans, land contracts (aka contracts for deed), and family financing offer some solutions. The legal language behind promissory notes, security agreements, land contracts, and mortgages isn’t just “boilerplate.” Farmers will learn the basics behind these documents. Farmers are also exploring new opportunities such as crowdsourcing funds from farm customers, friends, and members. To avoid costly fines, farmers must pay attention to the state and federal securities laws that affect these opportunities. This webinar will give farmers knowledge of the legal basics when financing farmland. This webinar is funded by USDA Risk Management Agency.
Register here to join the webinar
Efficiently Manage Your Farm's Risks with Insurance
Tuesday, March 24th
10am-12pm PST

Insurance is vital to build a resilient farm but it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. What’s a farm liability policy and is it the same as a property/casualty policy? How does it work with a homeowner’s policy? Is workers’ compensation required and how does it work? If that isn’t enough, we also have to think about commercial policies for value-added products and farm events. Crop insurance is also important- we’ll learn about the latest and most affordable options. Find the right policies for you with this webinar. This webinar is funded by USDA Risk Management Agency. 
Register here to join the webinar

If you are unable to join the live event, all webinars are recorded and can be found on the archive page, so you can listen anytime!

10 March 2015

Grants to Help You Save Money with on-farm Renewable Energy

Are you interested in using renewable energy on your farm, or managing energy use to save money? The USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides grants for energy auditing and renewable energy projects to rural small businesses and agricultural producers. REAP is offering training webinars to help interested applicants make the best use of the program. Learn more here....

09 March 2015

Farm Bill March 31 deadline: Agriculture Risk Protection (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC)?

ARC or PLC? That’s the million dollar question. How can you be sure?
Farmers across the country are biting their nails, flipping a quarter and praying they pick the farm bill program that is best suited to their farm. It’s no wonder, too. This is the most complicated farm bill our country has ever had, and you’re stuck with your choice for five long years.