Friday, October 24, 2014

California FarmLink is hiring a Land Access Program Manager! Come join our team!

California FarmLink seeks a motivated Program Manager to implement our Land Access Program for small, beginning, and low-income farmers in three regions: the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Foothills, North Coast and Central Coast. This position has the opportunity to shape the next phase of growth for this exciting program – increasing emphasis on farmland acquisition and transactions, partnering with public and private landowners, and developing creative land financing opportunities for farmers who are ready to purchase land.

The Land Access Program Manager reports to the Executive Director, supervises and serves as a resource to FarmLink’s three regional coordinators; manages regional grant-funded activities and workplans; tracks deliverables and deadlines; reports to funders on progress; and assists in planning new projects that serve the land access needs of farmers.

What You Will Do

• Grant and program management: Manage multiple grant projects for FarmLink’s Land Access Program. Provide written and on-line reports to funders. Support regional coordinators in meeting project deadlines and contributing to report writing. Interface with FarmLink staff accountant to coordinate timing of narrative and financial reports. Coordinate with FarmLink’s Capital Access Program and work with the lending team and regional coordinators to provide outreach, education and marketing for the loan program in each region.

• Personnel management: Supervise and support three regional coordinators in developing monthly workplans and progress reports. Compile these reports into a monthly program report for board and staff. Work with regional coordinators to track services provided to farmers using Salesforce and other tools. Assist regional coordinators in obtaining training as necessary to implement programs. Oversee consultants working on grant-funded projects, shape consultant workplans and contracts, and support consultants in completing their work

• Leadership: Lead the development of the Land Access Program and work with team members to plan new projects that serve the land access needs of small, beginning, low-income, organic and immigrant farmers. Participate in FarmLink management team meetings.

• Communications: Oversee website projects to align website content with programs; work with website consultant to ensure that farmer and landowner registration process runs smoothly. Participate with other staff in improving FarmLink’s overall internal and external communications including participating in Communication Team meetings, developing and providing content for social media postings, newsletter articles, press releases, website and blogs.

Qualifications & Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications and background:

• Relevant program management experience:

o 3+ years supervising multiple staff

o 3+ years managing programs and projects

o 5+ years experience in sustainable agriculture with deep understanding of farm

o real estate transaction and land leasing experience is a plus

• Strong analytical skills and judgment, with willingness to make hard decisions

• Demonstrated self-starter that can work independently, take initiative, and prioritize time wisely

• Great communicator and team builder

• Fluency with Microsoft Office, Google Docs, databases (such as Salesforce)

• Fluency in Spanish is a plus

Location, Travel, Compensation & Terms

This is a full-time position based out of FarmLink’s headquarters in Santa Cruz, CA with regular local travel within California. Salary range: $45,000-$65,000 depending on experience. California FarmLink offers a generous benefit plan, including health insurance after 60 days, retirement, and vacation. California FarmLink maintains a drug-free workplace and is an equal opportunity employer.

How To Apply

Please email a thoughtful cover letter explaining your interest in the position and organization, resume, and three references to Eric “at” cafarmlink.org. No phone calls please.

Who We Are

Based in Santa Cruz, California FarmLink is a non-profit that links independent farmers and ranchers with the land and financing they need for a sustainable future. For more info:
www.cafarmlink.org


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Three Farm Employees, Riverhill Farm Nevada City, California

Three Farm Employees
Riverhill Farm
Nevada City, California


Riverhill Farm is now accepting applications for three farm employee positions for the 2015 season.  Riverhill Farm is a thriving, successful twenty-acre farm three miles from Nevada City, California near the canyon of the Yuba River.  We cultivate ten acres of mixed vegetables and perennial berries, and we’re certified organic.  Our markets include two farmers’ markets, our farm stand at the farm, our local natural foods co-op and local restaurants.  We sell our produce direct to customers through our innovative Friend of the Farm program.  More information about the farm can be found on our website at www.riverhillfarm.com, and you can find photos of the farm via the Riverhill Farm Facebook page.

We pride ourselves on the quality of our produce, the beauty of the farm, and our relationship with our community.

The term of employment is March 2, 2015 through the end of November. Employees are paid hourly for a forty-hour work week and, in rotation with the rest of the crew, one farmers’ market per month on a Saturday.

Together with the farm owners, farm employees at Riverhill Farm are responsible for:

•       Greenhouse production of transplants;
•       Care of transplants, including thinning, irrigation and fertilization;
•       Field planting;
•       Field cultivation and weeding;
•       Drip installation and irrigation management;
•       Pruning, trellising and other crop maintenance activities;
•       Harvesting and packaging;
•       Record keeping;
•       Farm stand and farmers’ market sales;
•       End of season preparations for winter, including cover cropping.

The preferred applicant will have at least 2 years of experience in agricultural production and be able to demonstrate increasing responsibility over time.  An applicant should be internally motivated to help operate a diversified organic production system, and be able to work independently with close attention to quality and detail.

Applicants should be energetic, physically fit and without significant physical limitation. In order to be successful, applicants should be able to demonstrate experience and knowledge in one or more of these areas: organic seedling production, vegetable crop production and management, cane berry production and management, knowledge of general organic production practices, and experience in direct sales of farm products.  Familiarity with farm machinery and equipment operations is desired but not required.

The preferred applicant must make a commitment for the full term of one season, and will be given preference if he or she is competent to take on increased responsibility for farm operations and management over time, including staying on for multiple years.  Areas of increased responsibility include production planning and management, irrigation management, tractor work, and yearly planning.

Housing is available, and pay is commensurate with experience.  To apply, please send a detailed letter of interest and a complete resume, including at least three professional references, preferably farm related, to alan@riverhillfarm.com.

All qualified applicants will receive a reply.  A farm visit is a condition of an offer of employment.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Last chance to sign up for the Permaculture Design Course with Toby Hemenway!

Hello Friends,

Our Permaculture Design Course with Toby Hemenway starts this Saturday, October 25!  There is still space available for this amazing course, but time is short!

I wanted to share my personal experience:

I went to the first weekend of Toby’s Permaculture Design Course in Petaluma last weekend and was BLOWN AWAY.  The excitement of the other students was palpable as well.   All weekend long,  I heard words and phrases like “life-changing,” “transformative” and “Why isn’t everyone taking this course?”  Teachers, therapists, landscapers, contractors, doctors, lawyers – it was incredible how many different kinds of people were there for different reasons, and all finding out that permaculture is way more than just an approach to gardening.



If you’re curious, if you’re interested, if you know someone who might be, please contact me and share widely.

Thank you, and happy growing!

Sarah Barnes
Education Coordinator
Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture & Education Project

Help transform Sacramento into an edible city.  Check out the Grow Your Groceries urban farmer training program!

Monday, October 20, 2014

CALIFORNIA TO HOST LISTENING SESSION ON THE FOOD SAFETY MODERNIZATION ACT (FSMA)

SACRAMENTO, October 17, 2014 The California Department of Food and Agriculture will host a listening session on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Updated Proposed Rules for Produce Safety, Preventive Controls for Human Food, and Preventative Controls for Animal Food on Thursday, November 6, in Sacramento, CA.
The listening session will be held at the Hyatt Regency, 1209 L St, Sacramento, and is scheduled as follows: Updated Proposed Rule for Produce Safety from 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.; Updated Proposed Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; and the Updated Proposed Rule for Preventative Controls for Animal Food from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
The FDA FSMA was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. It aims to ensure that the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it. On September 29, 2014, FDA issued the updated proposed rules for comment.
The purpose of the listening session is to provide industry with an overview of the updated proposed rules, solicit comments, respond to questions, and inform the public about the rulemaking process.
Invited speakers include: Karen Ross, Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture; and Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods & Veterinary Medicine, U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
The listening session is sponsored by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), California Citrus Mutual (CCM), California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF), California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA), California Grain & Feed Association (CGFA), and Western Growers Association (WGA).
For more information about the FSMA listening sessions, including agenda and registration, visit:www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/fsma. Due to limited space you must pre-register; there is no cost for registration.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Farm Marketing Tour for Commercial Farmers

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Meet at UC Cooperative Extension, 11477 E Avenue, DeWitt Center, Auburn

Thinking about diversifying your marketing outlets?  Learn about different types of farm marketing from the source.  With a group of other farmers, visit the Capay Valley Farm Store and Produce Express, a wholesale produce distributor.  Learn about the requirements for various types of marketing channels and market economics.

Pre-registration is required. Limited to 20 participants, so register early!
Cost is $15 per person, which includes morning snacks and lunch.  Refunds are not available.
For more information contact Cindy Fake, cefake@ucanr.edu

Funding for the Farm Marketing Tour is provided, in part, by the Washington State University Western Extension Risk Management Education Center and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Thursday, October 9, 2014

West Sacramento Urban Farm, Internship Position

Center for Land-Based Learning’s West Sacramento Urban Farm Program seeks 1-3 interns to help run their year round urban farm site at the corner of 5th and C St in West Sacramento (317 5th Street). The 2/3 acre farm site is the pilot site of an expanding program in which vacant lots within the city of West Sacramento are being converted into farm incubators.

Intern duties will vary throughout the season but will entail tasks such as irrigation duties, weeding, planting, harvesting, site maintenance, and other general farm work. Help with creating information fliers, documents and other research may also be available for those interested in helping develop the Urban Farm Program. Also, as product becomes available a weekly farm stand needs manning each Friday from 8am-2pm. Intern(s) would be responsible for set up, selling and breakdown of the farm stand. An interest in communicating with the public, attention to detail and general interest in urban farming is required.

Hours can be anywhere from 8-15 hours per week and can be scheduled with flexibility.

If interested please contact:

Sara Bernal

West Sacramento Urban Farms Program Manager

Farm Manager

sara@landbasedlearning.org

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

California Farm Academy Info Session

We are excited to let you know that we just graduated our third class of the CA Farm Academy (CFA) at the Farm to Fork Festival in Sacramento, and are thrilled to start planning next year's classes! Applications are being accepted now through Nov. 8th for the first round of admissions. Late applications will be reviewed and may be added to a waiting list or admitted, as space permits.

To meet some of us involved with CFA and to find out more, please come to the farm and see!

When:
  Thursday, October 23th, 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm

Where:
  Center for Land-Based Learning, 5265 Putah Creek Road, Winters, CA  95694

Who:
  Prospective students and applicants to CA Farm Academy; program staff, partners and graduates; interested public

What:
  An evening conversation about the upcoming 2015 session of the California Farm Academy:  presentations by the Program Director, Jennifer Taylor & Farm Program Manager, Maureen Thompson; and comments and opportunities for conversation with several program partners, guest speakers, farmers, as well as graduates of CFA.

If you know in advance you are coming, please RSVP with your name and number of attendees to:
Maureen Thompson, maureen@landbasedlearning.org530-795-4146, or on Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/events/310460225805633/.