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


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.

16 May 2016

Upcoming Events up at the UC Santa Cruz Farm

Chadwick Garden

Strawberry Justice Festival
Thursday, May 19, 4 - 6:30 pm at the CASFS Hay Barn: 
The Strawberry Justice Festival is right around the corner! Enjoy free food, live music, engaging activities, and most importantly a great space to engage around issues surrounding strawberry production's human and environmental issues. If you're interested in tabling or volunteering at this year's event please fill out this sign-up form.

Tuesday, 7 June 12pm-6pm: 
Opening day for the 2016 Market Cart and CSA program! The Market Cart takes place at the base of the UCSC campus (corner of Bay & High streets). CSA pick ups will take place at the new Hay Barn (off of Ranch View Road near the base of the UCSC campus) and at the Westside Farm & Feed (Tuesdays only, 2:30-5:30). The Market Cart and CSA pick ups also take place on Fridays. Please note: Weather conditions may affect the opening day of Market Cart and CSA schedule. Please check back closer to the date for confirmation.
Monday, June 13, 1 pm - 4 pm, UCSC Farm: 
Join farmers and flower growers Zoe Hitchner of Healdsburg’s Front Porch Farm, and Sky DeMuro and Chrisof Bernau of the UCSC Farm & Garden for a field day on organically grown cut flowers. Field day topics include planting plans, varietal selection, harvest yield data, and crop culture for various cut flower crops, including lisianthus, feverfew, craspedia, zinnia, statice, strawflower, and more. The presenters will also discuss various marketing options for small- and medium-scale cut flower producers.
This free event is funded through a California Department of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Grant and is geared towards beginning farmers. All production growers are welcome, whether you are already farming or thinking about adding flowers to your operation. 
RSVP to Melissa Betrone, mbetrone@ucsc.edu, (831) 502-8079 for additional details and parking information (please include contact phone and email).
Saturday, June 25, 10 am - 3 pm, Cowell Ranch Hay Barn, UCSC:  Join Flower Grower Zoe Hitchner of Front Porch Farm in Healdsburg and Sky DeMuro of UCSC’s Alan Chadwick Garden for a day-long training on establishing a floristry enterprise for your existing farming business, no matter the scale. 
Zoe and Sky will lead participants in demonstrations and hands-on activities as we make unique, seasonal arrangements that are farm-fresh and elegant. In addition to floral design techniques including hand-tied bouquets, corsages, and boutonniers, this workshop will also cover the business side of event flowers, equipping participants with tools to run a profitable and professional floristry enterprise. 
Although this workshop is geared toward professional flower growers and florists, or those thinking about adding flowers to their farming business, others interested in learning to arrange event flowers are welcome to enroll. Enrollment is limited to ensure a quality learning experience; please pre-register.

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.