Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Call for Applications: CCOF Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund!

Higher and Vocational Education Grants 
If you are interested in studying organic agriculture in an undergraduate program or in a vocational training program, please apply for one of our 20 $2,500 Higher/Vocational Education grants! Last year’s grants supported students involved in programs like Washington State University’s major in Organic Agricultural Systems and the Michigan State Organic Farmer Training Program.Application deadline is May 15, 2015.

Friday, April 24, 2015

New Regs for Direct Market Producers!

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has recently implemented new regulations related to direct marketing and food safety. While they could increase growers' costs, they also have the potential to foster more favorable market conditions for smaller farms engaged in direct marketing.
For the full story about these new regulations for direct marketing and food safety, please see the new issue of Small Farm News published by Shermain Hardesty, Leader of the UC Small Farm Program.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

From The USDA Organic Insider

New Resources to Support
Transitioning Farmers

There is a new tool available in the Program Handbook!
 The AMS National Organic Program (NOP) and NRCS have collaborated to provide producers working with NRCS on a Conservation Activity Plan 138 (CAP 138) with a new tool, "NOP 2616: Resource Inventory Supplements." The Resource Inventory Supplements complement the CAP 138. To learn more about NRCS support for producers transitioning to organic certification, contact your local NRCS office.

What is the CAP 138?

Producers transitioning land (both producers transitioning land for the first time and existing certified producers transitioning new land) can use the NRCS Conservation Plan Supporting Organic Transition. Also called a Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) 138, the plan helps transitioning producers identify resource concerns and introduce them to available NRCS conservation practices. The new CAP 138 also reduces paperwork through the "Resource Inventory Supplements" documents, which, when submitted with the CAP 138, meet the certification requirement to complete an Organic System Plan (OSP).

Call for Applications
CCOF Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund
 

Higher and Vocational Education Grants 

If you are interested in studying organic agriculture in an undergraduate program or in a vocational training program, please apply for one of our 20 $2,500 Higher/Vocational Education grants! Last year’s grants supported students involved in programs like Washington State University’s major in Organic Agricultural Systems and the Michigan State Organic Farmer Training Program. Application deadline is May 15, 2015.


Ag in the Classroom K-8 Grants

If you are a certified K-8 teacher in the United States interested in bringing organic agriculture into your classroom, please apply for one of our 20 $1,000 Look at Agriculture…Organically! grants for organic education, administered in collaboration with the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. Grants last year paid for amazing elementary and middle school projects such as organic seed saving libraries, organic pizza gardens, and organic food preservation demonstrations. Application deadline is May 15, 2015.

FFA Supervised Agricultural Experience Grants 

Grants for high school students’ organic Supervised Agricultural Experience projects through Future Farmers of America (FFA) will be available for application in September 2015 and will be due in November 2015.

This fund is made possible through contributions from UNFI Foundation, Driscoll’s, the National Cooperative Grocers Association, Clif Bar Family Foundation, Lauren & Eric Schiermeyer, Organic Valley, and CCOF.
 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mortgage Lifter Grant Opportunity Now Accepting Applications

We launched our Beekman 1802 Mortgage Lifter Pasta Sauces in 2013 with the promise of giving back 25% of the profit to other American small farms. This year, we raised $18,147, and now it's time to give that money away. If you're a small farm with big ideas, please apply for a "lift". Winners will be announced on May 12th. 

Learn more here: http://www.beekmanmortgagelifter.com/

Friday, April 10, 2015

Farm Apprenticeships at the Farmhouse

The Farmhouse has up to 2 part-time Farm Apprentice posi­tions open. This is a volunteer position without compensation, but has potential to become a paid position following the apprenticeship.

Position Description
The Farmhouse is a long-term residential care facility for peo­ple with mental illness, located on a 12-acre property in West Davis. The Farm Apprentice will work closely with the Farm Manager to help manage a ½ acre seasonal vegetable garden, maintain the landscape around the house, and provide care for the animals, as well as assisting in the training and supervision of others on these tasks. The Farm Apprentice will work along­side the Farm Manager in two main activities: Vocational Work Project and Farm-to-Mouth. See (www.y3c.org) for more de­tails.

Eligibility Requirements
Flexible, dynamic, ready to learn, and hardworking
Accepting and understanding towards
individuals with mental illness
Minimum 1 year previous gardening/ farming experience
Valid California driver’s license & personal transportation

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Drought Proofing Your Soil with Cover Crops

April 17th, 2015, 3:00 pm—6:00 pm
Dinner Bell Farm, Grass Valley
This workshop will include:
·       Understanding your soil
·       Soil moisture monitoring
·       Summer and winter cover cropping (seed varieties, equipment, planting schedules and techniques)

Cover cropping is an essential tool to improve soil fertility, increase soil organic matter, protect soil from erosion, and improve soil water holding capacity and drainage. Studies have shown that a 1% increase in soil organic matter results in an additional 16,000 gallons of water retained per acre-foot of soil! 

Workshop fee is $10 and covers refreshments and materials.  Advance registration is required. Register online at:http://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=15221.
Directions and information will be provided after registration.