Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Land Trust Alliance "Climate Change Toolkit" highlights FarmLink's Succession Planning work!

The Climate Change Toolkit "...highlights stories of organizations conserving working lands in ways that involve strategic conservation planning, vulnerability assessment, mitigation, and adaptation, in light of the increasing pressures of climate change."

FarmLink's page is focused on Succession Planning and Conservation. After months of hard work, we now invite you to view it publicly here: http://climatechange.lta.org/case-study/california-farmlink-preserving-farmland-through-thoughtful-succession-planning/.

Media and Communication Manager
Abundant Harvest Organics
Kingsburg, California


Abundant Harvest Organics is a California farm-share delivery service, similar to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), offering a weekly organic fruit and vegetable delivery throughout California. We work directly with California organic family farmers to bring our subscribers 100% certified organic produce that is affordable and convenient for their busy lives. Our goal at AHO is to encourage and empower a lifestyle of eating seasonally and locally, and gaining and maintaining loyal subscribers through open communication, education, and community building. To find out more about us visitwww.AHOrganics.com

We are looking for someone who will work daily to connect our subscribers to the farm and act as the online voice of the company. This person will possess strong writing and research skills, strong proficiency in social media for business, work well in a team environment, is positive, outgoing, comfortable communicating with people online and in person and have with a strong enthusiasm for healthy eating. A passion for eating organic is a definite plus!

The ideal candidate must have:
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, Wordpress and working knowledge of html 
  • Strong editorial writing skills
  • Experience using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Mailchimp and other social media channels for business
  • Strong online and in-person communication skills, comfortable with public speaking
  • Experience with digital photography and photo/video editing
  • Good time management skills, ability to be self-motivated and directed
  • Graphic design, blogging, and website design skills are a plus
  • Comfortable working in a team environment
  • Positive attitude and an interest in healthy eating
  • Willingness to learn and grow with the company
Some responsibilities will include:
  • Management of all social media channels
  • Creating promotional/marketing materials as needed
  • Daily communication via email and online with our subscribers and our hosts
  • New host acquisition and site development
  • Research and writing of printed and e-newsletters
  • Blog maintenance and management of food blog contributors
  • Food and product photography
  • Tour and event planning
  • Liaison between the farmers and the subscribers
  • Occasional travel to conduct farmer interviews
  • Day-to-day customer service and office duties
  • Outside the box thinking, innovative ideas about how to build the business throughout California
Position is full time, located in Kingsburg, CA.
Pay TBD based on experience.
If interested please email your resume to Heather@AHOrganic.com, including a paragraph description selling us on why you think you would be a good fit for the position. 

Part-Time Ranch Hand/Cattle Manager


Open Space Meats
Turlock, California

Part time Ranch Hand/Cattle Manager for grass fed beef operation based in Turlock, CA, with ranches in Mariposa and Santa Clara Counties. Up to 30 or 40 hours per week, flexible schedule. Must be physically able. Must have experience with irrigation. Experience with cattle work, fencing and range management and horses preferred. Must have a clean driving record. Must be able to pull a trailer. Needs to have a good work ethic and be able to work a long day if necessary. Need a good attitude and able to work outdoors. Will train the right candidate. Compensation DOE. Sorry, housing not included.

Please respond with resumes or fill out an application at our office. Contact Seth atorders@openspacemeats.com or 
209-262-8780http://openspacemeats.com/

Friday, June 26, 2015

Organic Trumps Conventional Across the Board! according to The Rodale Institute’s 30-Year Report


 
After a 30-year, side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional agricultural systems, the Rodale Institute reports that organic systems match, or even outperform, conventional systems in terms of yield, profitability, and energy efficiency, while having positive effects on soil health, water quality, and rural communities.

The Farming Systems Trial (FST) at Rodale Institute is America’s longest running, side-by-side comparison of organic and chemical agriculture. Started in 1981 to study what happens during the transition from chemical to organic agriculture, the FST surprised a food community that still scoffed at organic practices. After an initial decline in yields during the first few years of transition, the organic system soon rebounded to match or surpass the conventional system. Over time, FST became a comparison between the long term potential of the two systems.
As we face uncertain and extreme weather patterns, growing scarcity and expense of oil, lack of water, and a growing population, we will require farming systems that can adapt, withstand or even mitigate these problems while producing healthy, nourishing food. After more than 30 years of side-by-side research in the Farming Systems Trial, Rodale Institute has demonstrated that organic farming is better equipped to feed us now and well into the ever changing future.
CLICK HERE to read the complete 30-year Farming Systems Trial report.

Procurement Specialist
Community Alliance with Family Farmers
Davis or Oakland, California


Location: Based in Sacramento Valley (Davis) or Bay Area (Oakland) but operates statewide
Hours: 1.0 FTE
Target Start Date: August 15, 2015
The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advocate for California family farms and sustainable agriculture. CAFF is a farmer member organization that works statewide to increase the economic viability of California family farmers and to connect communities with their local producers. The organization is headquartered in Davis and has 4 regional offices throughout Northern California. At the state level, CAFF works on policy advocacy and runs networks such as the CA Farm to School Network and CA CSA Network. At the regional level, CAFF runs Farm to School projects, Buy Fresh Buy Local campaigns, and provides technical assistance in accessing new markets to farmers around the state. See http://www.caff.org for more information. 

The Procurement Specialist will work on a variety of projects that provide technical assistance to farmers in selling their products to different markets, primarily institutions such as schools and hospitals. The Procurement Specialist will support some projects and lead others, depending on the project. The ideal candidate will have a strong competency in sustainable procurement work, farm to institution, and regional food systems in California. This position reports to the Chief Operating Officer.

Essential responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Farm to Institution Project Management:
  • Lead and coordinate various Farm to Hospital and School projects as funding allows
  • Work with institutional food service buyers to provide education on local food and food systems, coordinate demand, and support staff training and cafeteria marketing
  • Facilitate development and sales of local products with distributor/processor partner(s)
  • Conduct outreach to and develop relationships with local farmers and distributors for institutional sales
  • Stay up to date on current procurement regulations and practices
  • Track sales volumes & produce regular progress reports
  • Develop and grow relationships with institutional buyers
  • Provide supply chain consulting to partner institutions
  • Attend related meetings in the project regions
Project Support:
  • Provide technical assistance on projects throughout CAFF’s other regional offices in working with suppliers on local sourcing
  • Develop and grow relationships with institutional buyers
  • Recruit and develop relationships with local farmers and distributors
  • Develop and deliver procurement trainings for partners statewide
Other Duties:
  • Serve as the Bay Area Regional Lead for the CA Farm to School Network (depending on location)
  • Manage project data collection and funder reports
  • Support in fundraising as needed
  • Support regional farm to market activities and actively promote CAFF membership with farms & businesses
  • Represent CAFF by participating in community activities and events as necessary
  • Other duties as assigned
  • Participate in staff meetings and collaborate with regional staff statewide
  • Handle some administrative duties in the regional office
Qualifications:
  • At least 5 years of professional experience in the field
  • Experience and demonstrated knowledge of working with farmers, distributors, and/or supply chains required
  • Experience in working with institutional buyers required
  • Experience in working with non-profits strongly preferred
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Resourceful and able to perform a variety of administrative and organizational tasks with a creative approach to problem solving
  • Flexibility to work independently, with minimal supervision, as well as collaborate with others in a team setting
  • Flexibility to work on a variety of projects
  • Strong ability to multi-task
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, especially Excel
  • Willingness to work occasional weekends and evenings
  • Applicant must have own vehicle as frequent driving throughout the region and beyond is required. Proof of valid auto insurance.
To apply: Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information of three references with the subject line “Procurement Specialist” tojobs@caff.org by July 8, 2015.
CAFF’s policy is that all persons are entitled to equal employment
 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Exciting Land Opportunity at Sunol Ag Park!

There are at least 2 vacant acres at the Sunol Ag Park that will be leased beginning in September of 2015. This land is located within the 18 acre organic Ag Park in Sunol, CA and is adjacent to farms currently in production. The Sunol Ag Park is a project of Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE) in conjunction with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). The Ag Park itself is located near the Sunol Water temple on land in the Sunol Valley owned by the SFPUC. 
The land has a long history of agricultural production over the past century ranging from walnut orchards, hay fields, to row crops. Two creeks, Alameda Creek and Arroyo de la Laguna border the property. This is an ideal setting for a new or existing farmer to grow a farm business as there is not only easy access to water with meters adjacent to each acre it  is also conveniently situated in the Tri Valley region of Alameda County, only miles away from major market outlets.  

Water is billed at $496.58/ac/ft. Land is leased at $1000/ac/yr.

http://www.mesaprogram.org/files/images/terrabella4_0.jpg
The following is some criteria which will help a farmer be successful at the Ag Park:

  • Prior knowledge and experience in organic farming principles
  • Must have or be working towards organic certification
  • Ability to manage land without compromising the ecosystem
  • Have a business plan and the resources to sustain a business
  • Can successfully and respectfully cooperate and interact with farmers and other Ag Park community members

      Any interested farmer or prospective farmer is encouraged to apply! Basic written and spoken English language is required. English language learners are welcome to apply. Please fill out the prospective farmer interest form which can be found on the SAGE website: http://www.sagecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Prospective-Sunol-AgPark-farmer-form_2014.pdf

Please send requests for more information or completed interest forms to Aspen: aspen@sagecenter.org
Applications are due at the end of June. SAGE and Sunol Ag Park would like to select a farmer by the end of July.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

CAFF's Dry Farming Workshops

The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is now more than ever focusing on working with farmers to promote the adoption of on-farm water management practices. Their workshop series aims to connect growers with information and resources necessary for on-farm practice adoption. Workshop topics include dry farmingfor winegrape growing as well as irrigation management. Handouts and case studies from past workshops can be found here, and stay tuned for news on upcoming workshops.