Friday, September 28, 2012

UC Soil Fertility Short Course

Mark your calendar!

If you missed… the February 2012 course, be sure to sign up for this one. The UC Soil Fertility Short Course will be repeated on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at the Buehler Alumni & Visitor Center, UC Davis. Register early before the course sells out—enrollment is limited.

The UC Soil Fertility Short Course will focus on the practical aspects of soil fertility management in an era of escalating fertilizer costs and increasing government regulation of nutrient inputs for environmental water quality protection. Topics covered include getting the maximum value from soil testing, interpretation of laboratory soil test results, comparing fertilizer sources, developing crop nutrient management plans, and fertilizer management and environmental protection. Although the focus will be on nutrient management in annual cropping systems, much of the material presented will be relevant to perennial crops as well.

The program is intended for growers, certified crop advisers (CCA), pest control advisers, government agency personnel, and others involved in fertility management planning. Take advantage of the early-bird registration fee ($125). The fee goes up on Oct. 29 to $150. The registration fee includes lunch, refreshments and study materials.

The course is approved for California CCA continuing education credits. Cooperative Extension specialists Tim Hartz(vegetable crops) and Stu Pettygrove (soils) are the instructors. The course is sponsored by the UC Vegetable Research & Information Center (VRIC).

More information, visit the VRIC website (

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Farmer -to-Farmer Networking Breakfast coming up!

The first Farmer -to-Farmer Networking Breakfast of the fall season…

Wednesday, October 3, 2012, 7:00-8:30 AM
Mel's Diner "The Back Room" 1730 Grass Valley Highway, Auburn

Join UCCE for their Placer/Nevada Farmer-to-Farmer networking breakfast. Come & 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. Commercial growers only, please.

RSVP to Cindy Fake ( by 9:00 AM, Monday, Oct. 1, so they can give the restaurant a count.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Urgent Action Needed to Save Beginning Farmer Programs!!!

This is it.  It’s make or break time for the 2012 Farm Bill. 

What’s on the table?

-       Hands-on training and tools for beginning farmers and ranchers.
-       Support for cutting-edge organic and sustainable research. 
-       New infrastructure – like ‘food hubs’ and innovative marketing tools – that helps farmers take advantage of ever-growing demand for local and regional food. 
-       … and more!

These are the programs in the bill that give farmers – and their allies in your community – the tools to grow and succeed, and to harness economic opportunities across the nation. 

Unless Congress takes action, these programs will expire on September 30 and hundreds of millions of dollars for sustainable agriculture, economic development, and beginning farmer support will literally disappear. 

We can’t let this happen on our watch.

Help us tell Congress this is unacceptable – take just 5 minutes to call your Representative and Senators today! Click here!

The message is simple:  “Don’t walk away from America’s farmers and ranchers.  Pass the 2012 Farm Bill and fully fund farm bill programs for beginning farmers, local food, organic agriculture, and rural jobs that expire on September 30 – programs that create jobs in rural communities, help farmers seize market opportunities, and invest in the next generation of farmers.”

Click here to get your Rep and Senators’ contact information.

Your message TODAY matters – thank you for taking action!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Help secure funding for climate-friendly farming!

Please call Governor Brown today to urge him to sign AB 1532. The bill guides how the public funds
from California’s new cap-and-trade program will be spent. Among the eligible activities for funding
are sustainable farming and ranching practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester
carbon. For more information, see

Take Action!

Make your voice heard and support sustainable agricultural solutions to climate change. Call Governor
Brown today! It's easy to call and it takes only 90 seconds.

Call (916) 445-2841. The message is simple:
“My name is ____ and I’m calling from (Town/City). I am calling to ask Governor Brown to sign AB
1532. The bill will help California reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide important resources for the state's farmers and ranchers to address climate change, and will support California to invest in the clean energy economy."

ShadeFund: New Capital for Natural Resource Based Businesses

Join ShadeFund for a free webinar to learn about a new capital source for natural resource based businesses. Green micro enterprises are critical to the development of vibrant communities, resilient economies, and healthy environments. Unfortunately, these businesses - whether they are a community sponsored farm or a wood products company using sustainable lumber - find it tough to raise the affordable capital they need to grow, especially in today's economic climate.

ShadeFund is a national, web-based microloan program (up to $50,000) for green entrepreneurs who use farmland or forestland responsibly. We invite you to participate in a webinar to learn how California microlenders can work together with ShadeFund to ensure that California's green innovators have access to the capital they need to grow.

Register for the webinar on Thursday, September 27, 2012 from 2:00-3:00 pm PT.

Upcoming CCOF Webinars and Tour

Marketing 101 Webinar
September 26, 2012, 9:30-11:00 a.m. PDT*

Learn the basics of how to bring your product to market from leading organic market experts, including the benefits and pitfalls of working with different market channels. This webinar includes a self-assessment tool to help you determine the right market channels for your operation. Speakers include Dina Izzo, founder of Bludog Organic Produce Services; and Jeff Bordes, marketing director of Frog Hollow Farm. Register now.

Sales Basics Webinar
October 3, 2012, 9:30-11:00 a.m. PDT*

This webinar includes tips and tricks on how to determine a fair price for an organic product, create an availability list, and create an invoice. Participants will receive a template prior to the webinar to draft a sales pitch, and a chance to practice the pitch live with our expert presenter. Speakers include Dina Izzo, founder of Bludog Organic Produce Services. Register now. * Register now to receive a discount on attending both webinars. 

Organic Wholesale Market Tour
October 16, 2012, 6:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. PDT San Francisco, California

Join CCOF for a day in the life of your produce at a wholesale distribution operation. Walk the docks of the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market and tour the warehouses of Earl's Organic Produce and Veritable Vegetable where you will learn the importance of pack standards, box quality, and cold chain management in preserving the integrity of your organic product. Get a firsthand look at a variety of NOP compliant labels. This is your opportunity to see behind the scenes of wholesale operations, learn about the varieties of fruit and vegetables currently in the marketplace, and see what your competition is doing. Sufficient time will be allowed for questions and answers with leading organic wholesale professionals from Earl's Organic and Veritable Vegetable. Discuss what you learned with other tour participants over lunch at Decks at Mission Rock Restaurant overlooking the San Francisco Bay.

Registration for the tour is $50 for CCOF members and $60 for members of the public, and includes lunch and round trip transportation from CCOF's office in Santa Cruz to San Francisco. Click here to register.