Friday, July 29, 2011

New Land Opportunities in the CV

Sacramento County ID #1324: 2 acres available for lease.
The landowners of this small acreage would love to see it put to use. Flat land with a slight grade, on a busy street. Property has a driveway, perfect for fruit stand traffic. Water is provided by a domestic well and landowners live next door.

Placer County ID #1327: 7 acre organic farm available for lease.
These retiring farmers would like to see their land continue in crop production and are willing to mentor a new generation of farmers. The property has a conservation plan and there are several NRCS projects in place, which require maintenance. One such project, hedgerows, consists of marketable products including lilacs, pomegranates, lavender, and rosemary. The property features a barn currently set up for chickens, 2 greenhouses one of which is fully automated, a wash station and cold storage. 1.5 acres of the property is planted in citrus (figs, pomegranates, mire lemons, mandarins, apricots). Owners purchase 3 minors inches of water each year, and soil is clay that has been cover cropped for 18 years. Also included in the lease is a tractor with rototiller, mower, transplanter, plastic mulch layer, seeder, and hand tools. In the past the farm has produced high end products, including winter squash, melons, and starts and ginger (in greenhouse).

Nevada County ID #1321: 12 acre farm and 2-story Geodesic dome for sale, $210,000
Owners would like this property to be purchased by someone who wishes to live and farm and improve the land. Property features a 1,600 square foot, 2-story Geodesic Dome with solar panels, loft and fireplace- 4 BR, 2 1/4 baths. House has a back deck with views of the valley, a septic tank, raised flowerbeds, and a well. The soil has been amended over the last 22+ years by a very dedicated gardener. The property also features a large metal barn with workshop & tack room, pump house, propane tank and a cement slab for future construction. Included in the sale is a tractor needing repair, tools, and some lumber. There is also a creek running through the lower part of the property.

Photos Photos Photos!!!!!!

What do we want?
FarmLink wants YOU... that means photos of you and your farm or ranch, your animals, or crops - whatever you think represents your operation visually! Don’t forget to put yourself or family member in the photo – people like to see who’s doing the farming.

Why do we want them?
Images speak. We often need to plead our case, write up a report, put out a newsletter, get a story in the news or on our Facebook page – all to better serve our clients. Photos often tell a story - better than words. These photos will appear on FarmLink's website, annual report, brochures & other publications that help promote family farming in California.

How complicated is this for you?
Not very! You send in the photo (high resolution), with description & names of those in the photo (if you like, they don’t need to be named), and we send you a photo consent form to sign and return.

What do you get out of doing this?
Increased visibility of your farm and a good feeling of giving back if you’ve been helped by our organization. And if you’ve not yet been helped – this might spark someone’s interest!

Please email with questions AND photos

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Celebrating Farmers Markets

Check out this article on the Farmers Market Coalition website:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Job Opening with CCOF: Organic Certification Specialist

CCOF Certification Services, LLC (CCOF) is expanding our team of organic certification specialists in our Santa Cruz, CA headquarters. Over the next several months, we will be filling new positions in our Grower/ Farm department and our Processor/ Handler department. These positions will work within CCOF’s rapidly expanding USDA National Organic Program and internationally accredited organic certification program.
CCOF is one of the oldest and largest organic certification organizations in the U.S. and works to promote organic production through certification, education, and outreach programs. More information is available at
We plan to conduct two rounds of hiring, with the first in early fall 2011 and the second to be completed by early spring 2012. Please submit your resume and cover letter by September 1, 2011 for consideration in the first round of hiring and by January 1, 2012 for the second round. See below for more information on how to apply.
To master this position requires approximately one year, so please only apply if you are willing to make a multi‐ year commitment.
TITLE: Grower Certification Specialist or Handler Certification Specialist JOB DESCRIPTION: The CCOF Certification Specialist reviews applications and inspection reports of prospective
and current certified organic operations for compliance to the USDA National Organic Program regulations.
The CCOF Grower Certification Specialist reviews applications and inspection reports of prospective and currently certified organic farms and simple post harvest handlers. This includes, but is not limited to, review of land history, seed and planting stock use, input materials, harvest equipment, labeling and record keeping procedures for compliance to the USDA National Organic Program and international regulations.
The CCOF Handler Certification Specialist reviews applications and inspection reports of prospective and currently certified organic food processors, retailers and brokers. This includes, but is not limited to, review of labels, product formulations, ingredient suppliers, food additives and record keeping procedures.
This work involves interaction with clients via phone, email and through formal letters as well as occasional in‐ person office meetings. This position does not include on‐site inspection of certified organic operations. There are opportunities to represent CCOF at trade shows and conferences several times a year, depending on interest and availability to travel.
A Certification Specialist:  Reports directly to the Grower Certification Supervisor or the Director of Handler Certification.  Reviews client applications and files for compliance to the USDA National Organic Program and other
international programs.  Provides technical services to certified organic clients.  Ensures that the CCOF quality system is implemented.  Provides written and verbal instructions to CCOF clients regarding compliance to all applicable standards.  Ensures that physical files as well as database records are consistent and current.
 Completes routine administrative tasks including filing, copying and mailing.  Works on special projects as assigned.
REQUIRED SKILLS and EXPERIENCE: Please do not submit an application unless you have all of the following:
 B.A./ B.S. degree or higher in an appropriate field, depending on department:  Handler: Food Science or similar
 Grower: Agriculture, Environmental Studies or similar  At least one year of experience in a professional office environment.  Competency in word processing, formatting, databases, and email using applications including Microsoft
Outlook, Word and Excel.  Excellent communication skills in person, on the phone, and in writing.  Excellent spelling and grammar skills.  Excellent skills to organize, monitor, and track numerous activities throughout the year.  Ability to logically solve problems and work under pressure.  Ability to work with various groups of people.  Strong attention to detail.  Ability to multi‐task in a busy environment.
The following skills and experience are considered a plus:
 Experience in working with environmental regulatory programs.  Direct experience in agriculture or food processing.  Spanish language skills.  Experience with organic regulations or industry.
 IOIA Organic Inspector training.  Auditor training for food quality production systems or similar field.
EMPLOYMENT STATUS: Full time, at will employee. Salary is dependent upon experience with a likely range of $35,000‐$40,000 for an applicant without prior organic certification experience. Excellent benefits include fully‐paid medical, dental and vision; paid vacation; and 401k retirement plan with company match.
Positions are open until filled, with first round of applications accepted until September 1, 2011. Applications for the second round should be submitted by January 1, 2012. Submit cover letter and resume to CCOF Certification Services by email to or fax to 831‐423‐4528, attn: Steve. When you apply, you must indicate which department you are interested in. No phone calls please. You will be contacted only if an interview is requested.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hmong Specialty Crop & Medicinal Herb Conference (Fresno, CA)

The conference kicked off on Tuesday with tours of 4 South East Asian farms in Fresno. It was so interesting to see the variety of crops that they grow, why they grow them and how they are grown. We even had the opportunity to see Papayas and Guavas grown in Greenhouses, which was remarkable. Among the many things that amazed me was if Sinqua (a squash like fruit from the Curcurbit family) is left on the vine it will eventually turn into a luffa sponge. So, if the price of Sinqua is down hold it over and you have a value added product.

Wednesday my eyes were opened to one of the most amazing cultures I have ever been introduced to. The conference covered medicinal uses of herbs and the beliefe systems behind them as well as ways to cook different crops. They also had a ceremony recognizing former USDA Under Secretary August Schumacher and Richard Molinar from UCCE on their work within the Hmong and South East Asian communities. This ceremony welcomed them to the community and gave them each Hmong names. Lunch was served with Traditional Hmong food and entertainment was provided by traditional Hmong dancers. 

As small farmers, the South East Asian communities face many obstacles, such as knowledge of labor and food safety regulations. They also face the challenge of educating the general public about the preparation and nutritional facts of their commodities. Groups such as UCCE and National Hmong American Farmers are working towards educating both the farmers and the general public on these amazing specialty crops.

Monday, July 18, 2011


City of Davis reselling  the Staib 72 Farm located at County Roads 29 and 98 in Yolo County.  The 72 acre farm will be protected with a permanent farmland conservation easement and sold to a private buyer. The purpose of this project is to permanently protect the Staib 72 Farm and keep it in agricultural use. 

Please email me at if you would like to review the qualifications. Statements of qualifications are due July 29th, 2011.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


California FarmLink wants  pictures of you on your  farm!

We would like to feature pictures of our farmers and their farms on our website, in our newsletters and in our offices.

You are the stars of our organization and we want to help you shine.

Please email your pictures with descriptions including the who, what, when, where and why to

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

USDA Deadline to Apply for SURE Crop Disaster Benefits is July 29

Farm Service Agency
430 G Street # 4161              
Davis, CA 95616
Contact:  Paul Lehman

USDA Deadline to Apply for SURE Crop Disaster Benefits is July 29

(DAVIS, CA), July 11, 2011 – California USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Val Dolcini, announced that the deadline to apply for assistance for 2009 crop losses under the  Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program is July 29, 2011.

"The SURE program compensates producers for significant production and/or quality losses during times of disaster," said Dolcini "All producers who have experienced crop production and/or crop quality losses must apply for SURE program benefits by the July 29th deadline," he said.

To meet program eligibility requirements, the farming operation must be physically located in a county that was declared a primary or contiguous disaster county by the Secretary of Agriculture under a 2009 Secretarial Disaster Designation.

Producers located in designated disaster counties must have suffered at least a 10 percent loss on a crop of economic significance and purchased crop insurance through the Federal Crop Insurance Act or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP).

However,  an operation not located in a county that did not receive a primary or contiguous disaster designation, can still qualify for SURE benefits if the actual farm production was less than 50 percent of the normal production on the farm due to the a qualifying disaster event.

Producers and legal entities collectively cannot, directly or indirectly, receive more than $100,000 in SURE and other FSA disaster assistance payments. FSA disaster programs include SURE, Livestock Forage Program (LFP), Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-raised Fish (ELAP).

Producers or legal entities, whose nonfarm income is more than $500,000, are not eligible for SURE program payments.

For questions regarding the SURE program, please contact your nearest County FSA office or visit .

Monday, July 11, 2011

Farm Credit Seeks Public Comment On New Rule By July 25

"The proposed rule is an excellent opportunity for family farm and local and regional food advocates to help shape FCA efforts to do a better job in reaching a growing market of farmers who are focused on producing for a wide variety of local and regional food distribution channels and marketing outlets."- National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition