18 August 2017

Apply Now for the Healthy Soils Incentives Program and EQIP!

CDFA Healthy Soils Program Currently Accepting Applications from Agricultural Producers
DEADLINE September 19th

The California Department of Food & Agriculture's HSP Incentives Program is accepting grant applications until 5:00pm on September 19, 2017.  The Program will provide financial incentives to California growers and ranchers for implementation of agricultural management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric GHGs, and improve soil health.  

For application assistance, the Guadalupe-Coyote RCD and the Loma Prieta RCD are co-hosting a technical workshop next Tuesday (see below) for producers interested in applying for HSP funding. This workshop is offered free of charge thanks to funding provided by the CDFA. For more application assistance opportunities, please view the Application and Technical Assistance Workshop Schedule. You can also check out this Fact Sheet, courtesy of CalCAN, to learn more.

HSP Incentives Program 
Application Assistance Workshop
Date: Tuesday, August 22;  Time:1-3:30pm;
Location: Old City Hall Restaurant, Gilroy, CA. 

EQIP Applications Now Being Accepted!
Applications are currently being accepted by the Alameda County Conservation Partnership for projects through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), including livestock water development, cross-fencing, erosion control, cover crop, hedgerow establishment, and habitat improvements for wildlife.

EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers, who own or lease land, in order to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits on these lands.   

09 August 2017

We want to hear from you!: Listening Session for Farm Bill on Aug 10th

Your opinion can shape the next

Growers - Shippers - Farmworkers - Value-Added Producers - Food/Nutrition Stakeholders are invited to come speak and share their unique perspectives in a farm bill discussion with Representatives Panetta and Costa, as well as Ranking Member Peterson on Thursday, August 10th (9:30am - 11:00am) in Salinas, CA.

Thursday * August 10, 2017
9:30am - 11:00am (doors at 9am)
Hartnell Community College
Steinbeck Hall
411 Central Avenue
Salinas, CA

This will be their opportunity to provide concerns, priorities, feedback on current programs and what changes they would like to see in the next bill.  As a way to hear from at many attendees as possible, comments per person will be limited to 2-minutes. Seating will be first come, first serve to anyone who would like to attend, and doors will open at 9:00am.  Seating will be first come, first serve.

To follow up on the event, participants can also submit written comments to HouseAgListens@mail.house.gov.

We hope to see you there!

26 July 2017

UCSC, CASFS 2018 Apprenticeship Program Application Open, New Scholarship Funding Available

Aspiring organic farmers and gardeners are invited to apply for the 2018 Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Now celebrating its 50th year, the Apprenticeship is the longest running university-based organic farming training program in the U.S.
The six-month, full-time residential program takes place at the 30-acre organic farm and 3-acre Alan Chadwick Garden on the UC Santa Cruz campus. The Apprenticeship blends experiential learning with traditional classroom studies on topics that include soil management, composting, pest and weed control, crop planning, irrigation, farm equipment, direct marketing techniques, business planning, and social and environmental issues in the food system.

The upcoming six-month program runs from April 9, 2018 to October 19, 2018. Scholarship support at different levels is available, including the new Food Justice and Equity Scholarship. With major support from Bon Appétit Management Company, the new scholarship is intended to support incoming apprentices presently committed to and engaged in creating food justice and equity in their communities and/or advocacy for responsible stewardship of the Earth.

The scholarship will be used to financially support individuals from low-income communities that historically have been underrepresented, and who would otherwise be unable to attend the program. Scholarships cover part or all of the course fee and on-site housing is available for free. Other scholarship support for the Apprenticeship includes the Matthew Raiford Scholarship for veterans, and the Simply Organic annual scholarship. AmeriCorps funding can also be used to cover course fees.

The Apprenticeship is managed by the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems at UCSC. It is open to all participants 21 years or older, regardless of educational background. Program information, application materials, details on scholarship support, and a list of dates for upcoming orientation tours are available online at casfs.ucsc.edu/apprenticeship. Application deadlines for the 2018 program are August 15, 2017 for international applicants, and September 30, 2017 for U.S. citizens.
The 39 apprentices accepted into the program each year come from all regions of the U.S. and abroad, and represent a wide spectrum of ages, backgrounds, and interests. Program graduates have established their own commercial farms and market gardens, developed farm- and garden-based educational programs, run urban garden programs, and more. You can read more about Apprenticeship alumni’s work at www.growafarmer.org.

For more information about the Apprenticeship, please contact the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems at 831.459-3240, or at casfs@ucsc.edu. Learn more about CASFS at casfs.ucsc.edu

19 July 2017

Working with Land Trusts: Proposals for PNW Opportunity Due August 21st!!!

California FarmLink has had a rich relationship with land trusts throughout the state who are interested in preserving agricultural lands and keeping working lands affordable for farmers into the future. Though we don't typically promote opportunities out of state (we are California FarmLink, after all), there are some exceptional exceptions-- not to mention the very daunting costs and scarcity of farmland here in California.

Lopez Community Land Trust
Read on for an opportunity in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with a great land trust, Lopez Family Land Trust, that shares our values:

LCLT is seeking a long-term lessee for the 48-acre Stonecrest Farm on Lopez Island. The lessee may be an individual, couple, family or a group, such as a cooperative. The lessee must be willing to commit to a minimum 60-month lease with the desire to enter into a longer-term lease. The lessee must be committed to the development of a successful, dynamic, ecologically balanced and viable farm enterprise that meets the following: 

  • Improves soils; 
  • Strengthens the local food system through access to local foods and farm products, which may include value-added products; 
  • Implements sound business practices; 
  • Retains and invigorates the working rural character of Lopez Island through regenerative economic and agriculture practices; 
  • Works with LCLT’s program coordinator to allow planned community access and classes on the farm. 
  • Works with LCLT's intern program. 
If this sounds like the right opportunity for you, click here to read the full Request for Proposals or contact Sandy Bishop at LCLT@rockisland.com. 
Good luck!

14 March 2017

Programa de Entrenamiento para Financiamiento y Conservación

Programa de Entrenamiento para Financiamiento y Conservación

Presentado en Espanol

Los talleres serán los miercoles de 1-4pm
  • 15 de marzo
  • 22 de marzo
  • 29 de marzo
  • 5 de abril

LUGAR: USDA // 744 A La Guardia St. // SALINAS, CA 93901

SOLO $ 40 (El dinero será devuelto al final del curso)
Registrarse: Deborah Nares al 831-425-0303 x 7070 o deborah@cafarmlink.org

Al final de este entrenamiento de 4 semanas los agricultores sabrán información sobre:

·         Financiamiento y planeamiento de conservación
·         Planificación agrícola, muestreo de suelo & manejo de nutrientes
·         Manejo de riego, regulaciones & control de erosión
·         Producción Agrícola, IPM, inocuidad alimentaria
·         Contabilidad de negocios & Mercado del producto
·         Prepararse para, seguridad & usos financieros
·         Seguro de cultivos & archivo de documentos

Agricultores recibirán GRATIS equipo de muestreo de suelo, asistencia técnica y con aplicaciones para NRCS-EQIP.  
Presentado de California FarmLink en colaboracion con el Condado de Monterey RCD.
Estos talleres son establecidos con el apoyado de CDFA Specialty Block Grant.

31 January 2017

Agrarian Elders: Planning for Succession -- workshop on 2/16/17 in Half Moon Bay!

Agrarian Elders: Planning for Succession 

February 16th from 10am-2pm in Half Moon Bay, CA

Many farmers across California, including pioneers of organic farming, are trying to figure out how they can retire. The pursuit is especially daunting if there are no family successors or the farmer (and her or his family) want the farm business to remain intact. FarmLink is hearing from people across the state whose products and supply chains have been disrupted by farmers' retirements. We've got tools and resources to help you retire well! By the end of this workshop, farmers will understand:
• the basic components of farm succession planning and how to get started with the first conversation.
• the key financial risks in retirement planning and how the use of options like financing, leasing, or easements can help.
• the first few steps in analyzing and valuing your farm business.
• the resources and advisors available to help this process along.
Click here to register! Your registration fee of $25 will cover the costs of lunch and refreshments.*
Thu, February 16, 2017
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM PST
Historic Train Depot
110 Higgins Canyon Road
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
*Fee waivers are available. For more information contact mika@cafarmlink.org or call 831.425.0303 x7022

Immediately following the workshop, from 2:00-3:00pm, will be a forum for San Mateo County farmers and ranchers on Agricultural Succession Planning and Transition. This forum is free and available to all workshop attendees and the broader public.
The forum will discuss community perceptions of needs and opportunities to support farmers and ranchers with farm and ranch succession or transition. The forum is an opportunity for farmers, ranchers, agricultural landowners, and accountants, attorneys, bankers and others who provide professional support services to farmers and ranchers, to discuss needs related to technical assistance. Topics include legal and tax issues and access to conservation, marketing, and other Farm Bill programs to help with farm succession and help beginning farmers get established. Participants are encouraged to participate in both sessions.
The forum's agenda will be organized around four topics:
1. What support do farmers and ranchers and agricultural land owners need to develop succession plans?
2. What support do bankers, accountants, attorneys, insurance agents and other local professionals need to be able to provide more targeted assistance to retiring and aspiring farmers and ranchers?
3. What support do beginning farmers and ranchers need to establish new farming and ranching businesses?
4. What are the barriers to bringing more support to farm succession and transition and what resources can be brought to solve this problem?

10 January 2017

EQIP Funding Extension

Applications for 2017 EQIP Funding 
Accepted January Through May

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

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) accepts Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) applications year-round, but establishes cutoff dates to make funding selections for eligible, screened, and ranked applications. EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices such as stock water systems (livestock wells, solar pumps, tanks, troughs), cross-fencing, prescribed grazing, and more.  To be ready for EQIP funding consideration, interested applicants will need to: 
1) Develop a conservation plan
2) Submit an application
3) Meet program eligibility requirements
4) Approve their ‘EQIP schedule of operations’. 

The time needed to complete a conservation plan and process eligibility can vary, from a few weeks to more than a month, depending on the complexity of the farming operation.  
The FY17 cutoff dates to consider eligible, screened and ranked applications for funding are:  January 13thMarch 17th, and May 26th, 2017.  

To sign up, call the Hollister NRCS office (831)-637-4360 or email Erika.Boyland@ca.usda.gov