Friday, May 25, 2012

Commercial Mushroom Production Workshop Thursday, June 7th

Commercial Mushroom Production Workshop in Auburn Thursday, June 7th from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM Auburn Vet Hall just off I-80 (Maple Street or Hwy 49 exit) in Old Town Auburn. Cost is $10 per person. No refunds are available. This workshop is for commercial farmers wishing to start or diversify their operations. Space is limited, so if you are interested in attending, please register as soon as possible at http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=8420. Please be sure you get confirmation that your credit card charge has gone through. Your registration will not be valid if the payment is not successful. If you have problems, please contact Cindy Fake at cefake@ucdavis.edu.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Farm Finance Webinar Now Online

NCAT and USDA RMA Offer Practical Advice for Beginning Farmers on Organizing and Understanding Their Numbers Beginning farmers and anyone else considering farming have a new tool for one of agriculture's most daunting tasks--crunching the numbers. The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), with funding from the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA), has just posted a new webinar that can smooth the road for anyone who is beginning a journey in agriculture and wants to get comfortable with handling finances. The webinar, "Farm Finances: Organizing and Understanding Your Numbers," is available now at https://attra.ncat.org/webinars/. As with any small business, starting a farm requires basic accounting and business-management skills. This webinar helps beginning farmers become familiar with necessary basic accounting techniques and gives them tips on organizing and understanding their numbers. "With a few easy steps and forms, farmers can develop good record-keeping and accounting habits from the outset," said Hannah Lewis, one of the featured NCAT ag experts in the webinar. The topics in the webinar provide a solid overview. They include: •Clarifying your goals and attaining them. •Determining which resources are necessary for farming. Do you have them? •Organizing your data. •What can your numbers teach you?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Farmer-to-Farmer Networking Breakfast June 6th!

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012, 7:00-8:30 AM
Wings Grill, 13595 New Airport Road, Auburn, CA (at the Auburn airport)
Come join other farmers and ranchers for this popular monthly meeting. Enjoy a chance to relax and talk with other producers about issues affecting local agriculture. Full menu available. Each person will pay for his/her own breakfast. An 18% gratuity will be added to each check. PLEASE RSVP to Cindy Fake (cefake@ucdavis.edu) by 9 AM on Monday, June 4th. There is limited space at Wings, so we have to have an accurate count.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Business Planning Webinar, May 31st!

The One Page Business Plan and One Page Financial Plan Thursday, May 31, 2012 9:00 AM - 10:15 AM EDT (6:00 am Pacific) Webinar Registration No matter what type of farm or food enterprise you envision, a business plan will serve you well. In this webinar, we will introduce the One-Page Business Plan and the One-Page Financial Plan that goes with it. These tools are designed to get you started on formalizing your thoughts about your enterprise, and are the first step in clearly articulating your business to partners, employees, or lenders. We’ll take you through the documents, including examples and hints, give you a sense of what your next steps will be after the One-Page documents, and then open the floor to your questions. Join us for this morning webinar, and take your farm business to the next level.

The CSA Benchmark Project: How Well Is My Operation REALLY Doing? - an NGFN webinar

Thursday, May 17 3:30 - 4:45pm ET Free! Register Now Farm Credit East, part of the nationwide Farm Credit System of lending cooperatives, has made loans to many farms that use a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. Generally CSAs work by collecting up-front capital from consumers before the planting season, which buys them a weekly portion of the farm’s bounty during the growing months. The basic CSA business model is now a widespread direct-to-consumer marketing strategy. But how is a farmer to know if their operation’s financial performance is adequate, or find out how they can improve their profitability? As part of their strategy to serve the needs of their farmer-members, Farm Credit East has aggregated and analyzed the data from a sample of their CSA borrowers, and has established some preliminary financial benchmarks and performance standards. With benchmarking, it’s as if farmers can peer into the financial results of many CSA farms in order to understand how their business financial performance compares to others. That data will help CSA farmers identify where they can improve business practices to increase profitability. This webinar will illustrate what you need to measure (the key evaluation factors), what expectations can be set from comparison to best practices (benchmarking), and what management strategies can help move financial performance to a higher level (implementation of leading edge practices). Reserve your spot - click here

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Land Lease Webinar May 16th at 2pm!

Land Leases:  Share, Cash, and Flexible Arrangements in Changing Times Presenters William Edwards-Iowa State University, Ray Massey-University of Missouri and Kevin Dhuyvetter-Kansas State University will cover land leases in changing times for agriculture. Specific topics include: 1) Alternative types of leases for crop land (crop share, fixed cash, and flexible cash), how rates are determined, and information available for use in education; 2) Pasture leases versus crop leases – additional considerations to think about in the negotiation process when considering pasture leases; and 3) General trends and issues related to leasing land (e.g., lease types, land tenure, relationship between landowner and tenant, etc.). To Participate: No pre-registration is required, however the seminar is limited to 500 users. Sign-in is first come, first served. Equipment needed: A computer with speakers/headphones and a high-speed Internet connection (LAN, DSL/cable modem, high-speed wireless). To join the seminar: Visit http://www.msuextensionconnect.org/aginuncertaintimes/   • This web link opens a screen that has the Enter as a Guest option selected. Use this option and enter your name and then click on the Enter Room button. • Start time: is 2:00 pm Eastern (1P CDT /12 Noon MDT/11A PDT). Please log on a few minutes early to view information about how to ask presenters questions and to make sure your audio is working. • Prior to the meeting date and time: Test your computer’s connectivity with the system. Visit http://www.msuextensionconnect.org/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm. Follow the instructions provided. This webinar is part of a continuing effort by the AAEA Extension Section to expand its relevance for Section members. Similar issue-based webinars are planned for the future.

Land For Good free online course!

Land For Good is pleased to announce a new online course, “Acquiring Your Farm.“ AYF takes farm seekers through a comprehensive, step-by-step investigation of options and strategies focused on access to land and farms. This free course consists of 7 topic modules. Each topic is loaded with content, plus stories and resources. Every topic includes tools such as worksheets and checklists. The course is designed so that each learner can come away with a customized farm acquisition action plan. Or s/he can focus on any aspect or content area separately.