Wednesday, September 14, 2011

great opportunity for anyone interested in or considering installing a large irrigation system on their land

After much planning and preparation Soul Food Farm (http://soulfoodfarm.com/) is installing a irrigation system on their 50 acres of land near Vacaville. The installation will be taking place over four full days (9AM to 4PM - September 11, 18, 24, 25) and they are looking for volunteers interested in helping to set up the system. Volunteers will see the farm operation and be able to ask the irrigation designer and engineer questions about the system, design decisions, and other technical considerations. Volunteers are welcome on any or all the days (but need to RSVP with Alexis Koefoed (farmer/owner) so they can plan the work accordingly) and will be connecting pipes/drip lines, attaching sprinklers, or working on other farm projects.

This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in or considering installing a large irrigation system on their land. It is also a unique chance to visit an incredible pastured chicken operation that sells through farmers markets, a CSA, and direct to many fine restaurants in the Bay Area.

On a different note, with some extra acres and a need for some additional labor, Soul Food Farm is also looking for a few farmers interested in farming 5-10 acres of their certified organic land in Vacaville. Instead of leasing the land, they would like to explore work-trade arrangements, with the farmers paying for the parcel through work on Soul Food Farm.

If you have any questions about these opportunities please let me know, or if you'd like to RSVP for one of the workdays please call Alexis directly at 707--365-1798.

Thanks,

Josh

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sustainable Agriculture Workshop-Plumas Sierra Region

Click the link for more information on this October 7th event!
http://www.sustainableagworkshop.com/

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Farm Succession Conference being held in Modesto, CA

Passing the Family Farm on to a New Generation – Farm Succession Conference

Modesto, CA. The average age of California farmers continues to rise, and beginning farmers face increasing barriers to entry. If you are a farm owner, who will run your farm when you retire or are no longer capable? What can you do to help ensure their success? If you are a young farmer looking to get started or expand, how can business planning prepare you for success? What programs and strategies can help you finance your farm or ranch enterprise?

These are some of the issues that will be addressed during a two-part conference hosted by California FarmLink this winter, with support from the US Department of Agriculture. The first day of the conference will be Saturday, October 15, and the second day on November 19, 2011 at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Modesto.

"There are eight farmers over the age of 65 for every one under 35 years old in California. We are working to make sure the next generation has a chance to continue California's agricultural tradition," says Steve Schwartz, former Executive Director of California FarmLink. FarmLink is an eleven year-old state-wide nonprofit, helping new farmers find opportunities to lease or buy farmland by connecting them with retiring farmers and agricultural land owners. Staff members in three offices around the state are dedicated to facilitating farm and ranch transitions and providing other land, business and financing tools to farmers and ranchers. For more information about the organization’s linking program, technical assistance and financing opportunities, visit www.californiafarmlink.org.

"The long-term future of your family farm depends to a large degree on when you start talking about, and planning for, that future," says Schwartz. "This conference will help farmers of all ages clarify goals and identify tools that can help, whether or not they have another generation of family members committed to farming." Speakers at the event will bring expertise in estate and tax planning, farm business and management transfers, farmland conservation, and family communication. During the first day of the conference, families will begin setting goals and learning how to hold effective family meetings. They will be asked to do “homework” during the month in between conferences; then during the second part, families can expect to make significant progress on a real plan for keeping their land and businesses healthy and viable for the next generation.

To register for the conference, contact Nicole Alvernaz by email at nicole@cafarmlink.org or by phone at
(209) 525-4720

Farmers Benefit From Value-Added Products - MauiWeekly.com | News, information, serving Maui, Hawaii weekly — The Maui Weekly

Check out this article about the Value Added Production Workshops Reggie and Eric from our Santa Cruz office organized in Hawaii!

Farmers Benefit From Value-Added Products - MauiWeekly.com | News, information, serving Maui, Hawaii weekly — The Maui Weekly

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Asian Crop Harvest Festival

Check out this Article be California's Secretary of Agriculture, Karen Ross on the upcoming Asian Crop Harvest Festival

http://plantingseedsblog.cdfa.ca.gov/wordpress/?p=331

New Land Listing in Merced County

Merced County #1323: 8 farmable acres available in Stevinson. The land was previously used for cattle, neighboring properties in row crops. Excellent water access via well and pump on property, managed by the Merquin County Water District. Owners are particularly interested in vegetable crops, but are open to other options. Owners live on site. No housing or equipment available.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Land Listing in Kern County

Kern County #1330: 160 acres with water rights available on Twisleman Road and I-5. Land has traditionally been farmed in row crops; most recently cotton. The land comes with a 395 acre-feet of annual water contract from the Lost Hills Water district. It is currently set up for flood irrigation. There are no buildings on the property. Owners would prefer a long-term lease and pistachio trees put in but are open to discussion on any crops including an annual row crop lease. Owners are motivated to start right away. A full water allocation remains available for this year. Surrounding properties have pomegranate, pistachio and almond orchards.

Will you stand up for family farmers and prosperous rural and urban communities?

The chance of a lifetime can disappear

America urgently needs new farmers – and to keep current farmers on the land. At risk if you don’t act today are the dreams of farmers and aspiring farmers across this nation and the communities they strengthen.

Like any business - farmers must have access to financing to purchase things like farm equipment, fencing, animals, feed, and land itself. Without timely access to credit to purchase these necessities – farmers fail. Farm Services Agency (FSA) farm lending programs are ONLY available to farmers who cannot obtain credit from commercial sources.

After Congress slashed credit funding last spring, thousands of beginning farmers were approved for credit but unable to be funded because the USDA ran out of credit funding. Such a backlog often means the dreams of those young farmers are crushed – and the chance of a lifetime will disappear.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein is an appropriator who will vote next Wednesday on funding for affordable farm credit.

Unless Senator Feinstein hears from you by THIS Tuesday, USDA farm lending programs could once again be slashed in the Fiscal Year 2012 funding bill. This is particularly reckless because there is already a backlog of applications in California because of previous cuts!


Also at risk is The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Account (BFRIDA) Program. This innovative program provides business education and a matched savings account to beginning farmers of modest means. Participants in existing IDA programs are 84 percent more likely to become business owners than non-participants. Several states have successful pilot intatives, but the national program has never been funded.



Will you stand up for family farmers and prosperous rural and urban communities?



It just takes a minute to call Senator Feinstein’s office at (202) 224-3841.

The Message is Simple:

· Ask Sen. Feinstein to support direct farm ownership loans at the program level of $600 million, and direct farm operating loans at program level of $1.05 billion. Farmers need access to affordable credit for the purchase of land, livestock and equipment and for annual operating expenses.

· Also ask her to support the Beginning Farmer Individual Development Account program at the Farm Bill-authorized level of $5 million for fiscal year 2012. Existing IDA programs have a proven track record of increasing the success of new businesses.

Thank you for making this quick call, which is crucial to protecting affordable farm credit and helping beginning farmers!