Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Water Efficiency Grants
for Farmers & Ranchers

Grant amounts: Up to $200,000
Due: August 5, 2016
For more information: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/sweep/

The CDFA just opened an $18 million funding round for on-farm projects that provide water savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) provides grants for activities such as:

  • upgrades to more efficient pumps
  • conversion to drip
  • installation of solar panels to produce renewable energy
  • improved water storage and/or recycling
  • soil moisture monitoring and scheduling 
Up to $200,000 per agricultural operation is available, and a 50% match is recommended but not required. Applications are due August 5, 2016. View the program’s webpage and application materials by clicking here.

We are excited to announce that, for the first time, free Technical Assistance is being offered to SWEEP applicants. We encourage you to attend one of the 23 in-depth technical assistance workshops throughout California. View the list of workshops by clicking here.

CDFA is also offering four grant application workshops in Yolo, Imperial, San Luis Obispo, and Fresno Counties. View the list of info sessions by clicking here.

For a helpful overview of the application resources available on the SWEEP webpage, watch this short video.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Growing Profitable Small Farms:
Financial Risk Management and Crop Insurance
Would you like to learn about opportunities to protect your farm’s long-term financial growth and viability? Join us for this webinar where we will look at two key aspects of farm risk management, and what you can do to protect your farm and plan for the future.


Farm Finance Tools to Help You Manage Risk
Wednesday June 22, 12-1:30 pm
Join FarmLink for this farm financial management workshop that will get you started (or keep you going) on the right 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


To RSVP for this free webinar, Click Here


Presented by California Farmlink and hosted by CCOF
Support for this project is provided through a cooperative agreement with the USDA Risk Management Agency.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Cannery Farm Coordinator, California Farm Academy

The Center for Land‐Based Learning (CLBL) inspires and motivates people of all ages, especially youth, to promote a healthy interplay between agriculture, nature and society through their actions and as leaders in their communities. We serve high schools students and adults through our experiential programs in 25 California counties. Our California Farm Academy beginning farmer training program and farm business incubator has provided hands‐on education, mentorship, land for lease and marketing support for over 80 new farmers to date.

Background:

The Cannery Farm is an urban farm site integrated into the Cannery, the first ‘agrihood’ development of its kind in California. It is the result of a partnership between the City of Davis, the Center for Land‐Based Learning (Land‐Based Learning), and The New Home Company (NWHM) – a model for a public‐private‐non‐profit partnership. The 7.4‐acre farm site is currently in its final development stages by The New Home Company, the master developer for The Cannery neighbourhood. As the final touches are put on by the NWHM Company, the Center for Land‐Based Learning is beginning operations of the working farm. Graduates of CFA are growing their farm businesses at the Cannery Farm, gaining access to more land, infrastructure, and new markets in a community enthusiastic about sustainability.

Job Description:

The Cannery Farm Coordinator will be based at our office at the Cannery Farm, 1550 Cannery Ave, Davis CA. This position will report to the California Farm Academy Director and will be responsible for the following:

• Work with the Beginning Farmer Apprenticeship Coordinator to coordinate farm maintenance and some field work with incubator farmers.

• Managing shared spaces at the Cannery Farm that will include maintenance of hedgerows, gardens, farm edges, roads, and the barn (including coordinating use of space for events, supplies and equipment storage, cooler, wash station, and kitchen/break room area), and events (both fundraising and educational).

• Setting and maintaining policies for day‐to‐day upkeep of the Cannery Farm.

• Coordinating, in partnership with incubator farmers and additional local and regional partners, educational opportunities, workshops, and volunteer events at Cannery Farm for community members.

• Set up and manage the Cannery Farm office, including infrastructure maintenance scheduling, general operations and logistics.

• Serve as the liaison between the Center for Land‐Based Learning, the City of Davis, the New Home Development Company, and the incubator farmers by working to foster open communication between all parties and promote the interests of all the stakeholders. This responsibility will include attending such regular meetings as the Davis Open Space and Habitat Commission (which is held in the evening once per month).

• Facilitating marketing opportunities for beginning farmers in the Cannery Community and Davis.

• Facilitating and coordinating possible research opportunities (e.g. UC Davis CAES, UCCE, and UC Ag and Natural Resources).

• Spearheading fundraising and development of partnerships to support long‐term management, development of infrastructure, acquisition of tools and implements for farm use.

• Assisting with CLBL events (fundraisers, donor appreciation events, open houses, etc).

Mandatory requirements:

The Cannery Farm Coordinator should have a strong commitment to education, community building, agriculture, and ecology and land stewardship. She/he must be self‐motivated, and capable of working effectively both alone and with a larger team.

● Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree (or equivalent experience) in Agriculture, Community Development, or other closely‐related field.

● Experience in farming; either as a beginning farmer, apprentice/intern, or other related agricultural farm job, or experience in restoration or landscape architecture.

● Experience working with diverse partners and stakeholders, with ability to work collaboratively to create and implement programs.

● Excellent communication, social and writing skills.

● Experience in event planning, workshop planning, and community building.

● Experience in adult education, particularly involving urban agriculture, community organizing, market development and mentoring new businesses.

In addition, the ideal candidate will also have:

• A background in either formal or informal educational programs, including developing and implementing workshops and community events

• An ability and willingness to be flexible

• Moderate to advanced computer skill, especially with Microsoft Office, web browsers, social media, and email

• Willingness to work odd hours and weekends as required.

Salary:

This position will begin at .50 FTE (half‐time), but is expected to grow to full‐time within three years. Salary commensurate with experience.

How to Apply:

Send cover letter and resume to: Sri Sethuratnam, Director ‐ sri@landbasedlearning.org. Application deadline is July 6, 2016, or until filled. We encourage you to visit our website www.landbasedlearning.org.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Farm Finance Tools to Help You Manage Risk

June 22, 2016
12-1:30 p.m. PDT

Join CCOF and California FarmLink for a webinar on tools to help you manage the financial risks associated with farming.

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



Registration

This webinar is free!


 


More Information

For more information please contact Frederick Smith atfrederick@cafarmlink.org.

This event is a co-production of California FarmLink & CCOF with support from the USDA's Risk Management Agency.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Two Farm Employees
Riverhill Farm
Nevada City, CA

Riverhill Farm cultivates 10 acres of certified organic mixed vegetables and perennial berries for two farmers markets, a farm stand, local restaurants and co-op, and directly to customers through our innovative Friend of the Farm Program. 

Farm employee responsibilities:
  • Propagation house 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 packing
  • Record keeping
  • Farm stand and farmers market sales
  • End of season preparations for winter, including cover cropping
The preferred applicant will have at least 1-2 years of experience in agricultural production on a commercial farm.  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.

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 two farm-related references to alan@riverhillfarm.com.  All qualified applicants will receive a reply.  A farm visit is a condition of an offer of employment.


 

 

Farm Institute Director
Sierra Harvest
Northern California

Sierra Harvest is a non-profit organization focused on farm to school education, supporting families to grow food at home and farmer training.

The Farm Institute Director will be responsible for developing and implementing a farmer training program which increases local, sustainable food production in Nevada County, by increasing the number of farms formed, acres cultivated and farmers trained. Key responsibilities will be launching and running a farm institute which includes developing a Farm Corps of on-farm apprentices, a Farm Business Academy which teaches business planning and marketing, and eventually a Farm Incubator site, small plots of land for farmers to manage their own production and matching farmers with potential land to start their farming business.

Hours: Up to full time. Must work some nights/weekends when needed.
Compensation: $25-30/hr DOE

 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Loan Processor
CA FarmLink
Watsonville, CA

Click here for more information.

Job Summary:
This new position will play a key role in the expansion of CA FarmLink’s innovative Community Development
Financial Institution which is unique in the country in providing small and immigrant farmers with access to capital and technical assistance. The Loan Processor will manage the loan application intake process, ensuring that FarmLink receives a complete application package from farmer applicants, supporting timely and efficient underwriting by loan officers and underwriters. The position will support the planned growth of FarmLink’s Loan Program in 2016, and the integration of regional field staff into the loan intake process.


Essential Responsibilities: 
Customer Service
• Serve as initial point of contact for FarmLink’s Loan Program; effectively represent/sell loan products
• Act as liaison between borrower, regional field staff, loan officer/underwriter and loan services
• Provide customer with timely and periodic status updates of their loan application; return all inquiry calls within one business day
• Provide technical assistance to farmer applicants in completing applications as necessary
Loan Intake and Data Management
• Collect required documentation from applicants, verify accuracy and completeness, and follow up on missing items
• Compile documents for applicant loan files and enter information into underwriting system for loan officer assessment and processing
• Maintain pipeline report and ensure lenders are apprised of updates
• Order credit and title reports; verify application information
• Establish, maintain, and update files, databases, records and documents for recurring internal reports
• Ensure that all applicant/borrower files are complete and in compliance with regulatory and internal policies
• Continually assess loan intake processes and systems to increase operational efficiency and effectiveness

 
Position Requirements
• Ability to provide excellent customer service in person, on the phone and via email
• Ability to communicate the written and spoken word in both English and Spanish (Bilingual)
• Good organizational skills, well disciplined, and able to meet deadlines; self starter
• Ability to handle multiple tasks and frequent interruptions
• Ability to handle stressful situations with calmness and courtesy, while meeting deadlines
• Knowledge and experience using MS Word, Excel; as well as basic accounting procedures
• 1-3 years of experience handling personal financial information, ideally in a banking or lending setting
• Minimum BS in business administration, finance, community development or other related field, or the equivalent combination of education and work experience
• Familiarity with agriculture, agricultural lending, and CDFI loan products a plus 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.

Compensation:
$35-50k commensurate with experience


How To Apply
Please email a thoughtful cover letter explaining your interest in the position and organization with resume to: info@cafarmlink.org. No phone calls please.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hiring for Farmers Market Staff
Shooting Star CSA is a 15-acre, certified organic farm located in Fairfield's Suisun Valley. We have a CSA program and sell through weekly farmers markets. For more about our farm, visit our website http://www.shootingstarcsa.com.
Job Description:
We are looking for a highly motivated individual to work our weekend farmers markets (Saturdays and Sundays). This is a fun, fast-paced work environment! The markets are great for someone who enjoys eating healthy food, cooking, and interacting with our wonderful customers.
The work day starts and ends at the farm in Fairfield. A typical day involves loading the van, driving to the market, setting up, selling, keeping the stall looking tidy and well stocked, and interacting with customers. After the market is over, break down the stall, drive back to the farm and unload.
This seasonal position is approximately 18 hours/week, May through November. Must be able to work weekends.
Qualifications:
The ideal candidate for this position has a good work ethic, passion for farming and food, the ability to take initiative, and a good sense of humor. Punctuality and reliability are key. Work is fast paced. Previous farmers market experience would be great but we’re willing to train the right person!
This position requires lifting, must be able to lift 50lbs. Must have a clean driving record and current drivers license.
Compensation:
$13/hour.
To Apply:
Please email your resume, two references, and a short description of why you would like to work for us to: shootingstarcsa@gmail.com. In person interview is required.