Monday, February 27, 2012

Farmer & Rancher Business Planning and Collaborative Marketing Workshops in Livermore, Mar. 12th

Where: Martinelli Event Center, 3585 Greenville Road, Livermore
When: Monday March 12th, 2012.
Collaborative Marketing 9 am- noon
Business Planning 12:30-3:30 pm

Who: The workshops are aimed at farmers and ranchers with ten years or less of agricultural income, or who are starting a new agricultural enterprise.

What: Collaborative Marketing Workshop, 9 am- noon

Participants will learn how to: Select relevant collaborative marketing strategies; initiate planning for a collaborative marketing strategy; and locate resources to get started.

Bill Fujimoto, Produce Marketing Consultant. Marketing Decisions Shape Production Decisions
Ariane Michas, Local Food Systems Manager, Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). Connecting to Local Food Marketing; Local Food Distribution Networks and the Buy Fresh Buy Local Campaign
Kathryn Lyddan, Executive Director, Brentwood Agricultural Land Trust. Diversified Marketing in Brentwood
Thomas Nelson, Director, Capay Valley Farm Shop. Capay Valley Farm Shop: an Aggregated CSA Model

What: Small Farm Business Planning for Financial Sustainability Workshop, 12:30-3:30 pm

Participants will learn to: Track farm financial data to assess profitability of production and marketing choices improve financial management systems build people capacity to address business gaps and complement strengths locate resources improve long-term economic viability.

Anthony Chang and Eric Winders, California FarmLink.

$15 for Business Planning Session$15 for Collaborative Marketing Session$25 for both$10 for lunch
Scholarships are available for the workshops. Free follow-up assistance available.

Workshops hosted by SAGE in collaboration with ACRCD.

To register visit:

For further information please email:

Space is limited, please register by March 1.

These workshops are part of a planned series funded by a “Beginning Farmer and Rancher” grant from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The workshop series will include a variety of topics relevant to beginning and established farmers and ranchers, as well as opportunities for collaboration and mentorship.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Beginning Farming Academy, March 16th and 17th!

Are you a Beginning Farmer or Rancher or do you know one?

Beginning Farming Academy

March 16 and 17, 2012

Friday 8 AM to 8 PM and Saturday 8 AM to 5 PM

UC Cooperative Extension, 11477 E Avenue, DeWitt Center, Auburn

If you're thinking about starting a small-scale farm or ranch, this class is for you! Learn from local producers and agricultural experts.

Topics include:

· Assessing your resources

· Market-driven farming: learn how to do the market research you need before deciding on crops or species

· Fundamentals of a farm business plan

· Introduction to economic analysis tools: planning for profit in your new farming or ranching business

Class is limited to 15, so if you are interested, apply ASAP, as it is filling up!

Cost $60 per person, meals included. Scholarships are available from the Placer Ag Futures Project.

For application and more information, please contact UCCE Farm Advisor Cindy Fake at (530) 889-7385,

Contingency Planning Workshop in Auburn!

March 9, 2012, 2:00-5:00 PM

How much have you thought about the what ifs? in your operation? Do you have a plan if we don’t get full water deliveries this year? What if we get a whole lot of late rain? What if you or someone else gets injured on your farm?

Get prepared! Join us to assess your operation’s risks and create a contingency plan!
Cypress Room, CDRA (Planning Dept.) Building, corner of Richardson Drive and Bell Road, DeWitt Center, Auburn

$5 per person or $10 per operation (limit 3 people per operation)

Register online at
For more information, contact Cindy Fake,

Farmer to Farmer Networking Breakfast

Wednesday, March 7, 2012, 7:00-8:30 AM
Tofanelli’s Gold Country Bistro, 302 West Main St., Grass Valley, CA
Join us for this popular monthly gathering. Come and meet other farmers and ranchers. Enjoy a chance to relax and talk with other producers about issues affecting local agriculture.
Full menu will be available. Each producer will pay for his/her own breakfast.

RSVP to Cindy Fake ( by 9 AM on Monday, March 5, so we can give the restaurant a count. Please don’t RSVP if you’re not sure you’ll be there. It is unfair to the business if we give them a number to expect, and then several people don’t show up. Thank you.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) 2012 Organic Initiative

EQIP Organic Initiative Application Period 2
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) 2012 Organic Initiative provides financial assistance to implement conservation practices, assisting organic producers in meeting their resource concerns and fulfilling requirements of an Organic System Plan. Applications for the EQIP Organic Initiative are accepted on a continuous basis throughout the fiscal year; however, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has established specific dates when eligible applications will be evaluated, ranked, and approved for funding.
The Application Period 2 submission deadline is March 30, 2012. More information at

Thursday, February 16, 2012

USDA Announces Greater Flexibility and Additional Tools for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Bruce Nelson announced a new rule that expands loan opportunities for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, while also establishing a new Land Contract Guarantee Program. The rule provides additional flexibility allowing FSA loan officers to consider all prior farming experience, including on-the-job training and formal education, when determining eligibility for FSA for farm operating and ownership loans. It also expands a previous pilot program, the Land Contract Guarantee Program, from six states to all 50 states. This program is designed to encourage farmers and ranchers to sell their property to beginning and socially disadvantaged (SDA) farmers and ranchers through the use of seller financing. For more, go here!

USDA Announces START2FARM.GOV to Support America's Future Farming Generations

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USDA's National Agricultural Library, in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, announced, a new online portal that helps provide assistance for beginning farmers and ranchers. The portal includes links to training, financing, technical assistance and other support services specifically for beginning farmers and ranchers as well as successful case studies about new and beginning farmers and ranchers. For more information, go here! or the website START2FARM.GOV

Monday, February 13, 2012

New Beginning Farmer and Rancher Training in Sonoma County

University of California Cooperative Extension in Sonoma County is launching the first in a series of three trainings (one training each year) for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers in Sonoma County in partnership with Santa Rosa Junior College, Latino Service Providers, Sonoma County Ag & Open Space District, County of Sonoma, California FarmLink, and the Redwood Empire Food Bank.

The program provides nine months of customized training for beginning farmers and ranchers, including:
Farming and ranching training by SRJC agricultural instructors and others
Development of a successful business plan.
Opportunities for hands-on mentorship training with established Master farmers & ranchers in Sonoma County.
Access to affordable farmland and other resources.
Classes start March 30th and are usually held the last Friday of the month from 9am to 5pm at Santa Rosa Junior College’s Shone Farm.

• Learn valuable farming & ranching practices, as well as business and finance savvy from their experts:
Laura Mendes, Experienced Ag Instructor
Paul Bozzo, Small Business Development Center Consultant
Master Farmers and Ranchers.
Limited Scholarships Available!

Applications (due March 5th):

English Version

Spanish Version

This is a 3-year USDA funded project for Sonoma County to grow more farmers and ranchers and strengthen our local food system.

The deadline for applications is March 5, with the first class beginning March 30.

For more information, contact:

Linda Peterson, UCCE Fabiola Espinosa
BFRD Project Coordinator BFRDP Bilingual Coordinator
(707)565-2648 (707) 799-2577

Monday, February 6, 2012

Farmer to Farmer Networking Breakfast

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 7:00-8:30 AM
Happy Apple Kitchen, 18532 Hwy 174, Chicago Park, CA

Come and meet other farmers and ranchers.
Enjoy a chance to relax and talk with other producers about issues affecting local agriculture.

Venue changes monthly. This month at the Happy Apple Kitchen, we will have a full breakfast: eggs, potatoes, bacon and sausage, sweet roll, coffee. $12 per person, plus tip. Each producer will pay for his/her own breakfast.

Please RSVP to Trina Filan ( or 530-889-7385) by 9:00 AM, Monday, February 6, so we can give the restaurant an accurate count. Please do not come to the breakfast without an RSVP.

Visit the events calendar at for more information about future breakfasts.