Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Central Valley Farm Finance Expo!!!

One Stop Shopping for Agricultural Loans and Resources for Financing Your Farm Business

January 10th, 2013 1-5pm
Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, 3333 3rd Avenue, Sacramento 95817

  • Meet Local Farm Lenders
  • Operating, Infrastructure and Farm Purchasing Loans
  • Micro & Social Network Based Lending, Crowd-funding
  • CA FarmLink Loan Program
  • Credit History: Building it, Repairing it, Maintaining it
  • Keys to Successful Loan Applications

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Job Opportunity: Farmworkers, Riverhill Farm, Nevada City

Riverhill Farm Now Accepting Applications for Two Full-Time Farmworkers for 2013

Riverhill Farm in Nevada City, California, is now accepting applications for two full-time farmworkers for the 2013 season.  Employment begins on April 1st and continues through the end of November.  Pay is hourly and housing is provided.  The regular work week is a 40-hour week, with rotating responsibility for extra hours to help at our Saturday Farmers’ Market.
Riverhill Farm is a CCOF-certified organic farm located three miles from Nevada City in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near the Yuba River.  We market our produce at two Farmers’ Markets, the Farm’s farmstand, to our local coop, and to restaurants.  We grow a diverse mix of vegetables, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries on ten productive acres.  For further description of our farm, please click link above and visit our Facebook page.
The applicant must be detail oriented, conscientious, energetic and hardworking, physically fit and enjoy working cooperatively with the farm owners and other employees.  The applicant should have at least one full season of previous employment working with diverse responsibilities on a commercial vegetable farm and be committed to working the entire season.
To apply, please submit a letter of interest and a resume with at least two relevant references by email to alan@riverhillfarm.com.  Qualified applicants will receive a reply email and have a phone interview.  A farm visit is required.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Intern Opportunity in Nevada County!

Heaven & Earth Farm
N. San Juan, Nevada County, CA

March through November 2013

*Educational opportunities:* Organic Plant Propagation, Nursery Work, Grafting and Budding, Greenhouse Production, Vegetable, Flower and Herb Market Gardening, Fruit, Berry and Grape Production, Orcharding, Direct Marketing, Composting, Seed Production, Bee Keeping, Chickens, Heritage Plant Exploration and Propagation, Homesteading Skills, Small Equipment Management, Ornamental Management, Community Living, Wildcrafting Vegetarian and Vegan Food Preparation (and consumption!), Food Preserving Skills such as drying, juicing, fermentation, baking, canning, freezing.

We live and grow on a gorgeous 11 acres on the San Juan Ridge, between the Middle and South Forks of the Yuba River at 2500' in the northern Sierra Nevada, 30 minutes from Nevada City and Grass Valley. Our farm is a mixture of productive fields, orchards, pines, oaks, madrone, cedar and fir forest, with a seasonal creek and four distinct seasons. We live and participate in an interesting, diverse community with a very active rural cultural scene.  Google Amigo Bob Cantisano to learn more. Amigo is the owner of the farm. Amigo, Abby and Jenifer share day to day farm management, education and support. This year we will be hosting three interns.

We offer a supportive environment for growth, community living, education and fun. We grow a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, berries, flowers, herbs, seedlings, heirloom nursery stock, ornamentals, chickens and bees, using mostly hand methods and limited machinery. We market  to farmers markets, neighborhood farmstand, direct to locals, wholesale to stores and restaurants, and at select events. You will learn a lot, and have a good time living and working on a diverse organic farm.

You will get housing and board, continuing hands on education, occasional topic specific classes and a small stipend. We provide all food, 95% organic, and much of it from the farm. We eat a predominantly vegetarian diet; omnivores are welcome. There is a great outdoor kitchen and lounge, composting toilet, hot outdoor and indoor showers, computers, phones, laundry, etc. Apprentices work 40-50 hours per week in exchange for excellent organic food, housing (room, solar powered trailer, or tipi) and $75 per week stipend. Hours above 50 are reimbursed at $8.00 per hour, starting salary. There is opportunity to earn a generous bonus at season's end.

*What we need from you: *A strong interest in agriculture and homesteading, love of nature, good work ethic, great attitude, flexibility, community cooperation, a good sense of humor, and open and ongoing communication. *The internship is for single people, no couples, children or families, sorry. We need your commitment for the entire growing season, March through November. Sorry, we are not able to accommodate short-term interns.

*Application deadline is January 1 or until positions are filled. We decide on our crew in early January, after phone or in person interviews with the finalists. Work begins in March. Please inquire for an application or further information. We look forward to hearing from and working with you!*

Amigo Cantisano
Heaven and Earth Farm
P.O. Box 942
No. San Juan CA 95960

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Farm Bill Call-in Day, TODAY! Make your voice heard!

The elections and endless campaigning are over – so what’s on the legislative agenda for the lame duck session? Together, we can make sure the 2012 Farm Bill is on that list. There’s too much at stake for it to get left behind – the future of healthy farms, food, and people depends on key reforms in this bill.  Join us TODAY in making a call to Congress.  Tell your legislators:  Get a farm bill done, and get it done right! http://bit.ly/betterfarmbill

Yesterday, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition delivered nearly 22,000 signatures to Congress on behalf of over 50 organizations nationwide – including us! – demanding an equitable, sustainable 2012 Farm Bill. Was your name included? If yes – Thank You!  If not, it’s not too late to make a difference. Join this National Day of Action for a BETTER farm bill, and tell Congress, we need a farm bill, and we need it now! http://bit.ly/betterfarmbill

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Agritourism Intensive Courses start tomorrow!

Are you considering agritourism or nature tourism on your farm or ranch?
Would you like to build your agritourism or nature tourism business?

This class is for you!
Local agritourism operators will share their own experiences and will be part of a supportive network of advisors as class participants plan and start new enterprises. Participants will learn from experts in business planning, regulatory compliance, risk management, hospitality and cost-effective marketing, including social media. The hands-on, interactive activities will guide participants as they assess their own farms or ranches for agritourism potential and start their own business, risk management and marketing plans. Each participant will receive a free copy of the extensive handbook, “Agritourism and Nature Tourism in California”, which will be used as a text for the class.

Sign up today!!!
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, valley and foothill region farmers and ranchers are encouraged to sign up for the 3-session course.  Registration is now open at http://ucanr.org/agtour.sac.12

Dates: Thursdays, November 15, 2012, January 17, 2013 and February 21, 2013
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. each session (lunch provided)
Location:  UCCE Sacramento County, 4145 Branch Center Road, Sacramento, CA 95827
Cost: $50 for 3-session course – Space is limited, please register early

Register for the Sacramento course (pay online or at the door)
Sacramento County class flier (please share)

Agritourism Intensive - Merced
When: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Mondays Dec. 3, Jan. 7, & Tuesday Feb. 12
Where: UCCE Merced County, 2145 Wardrobe Avenue, Merced, CA 95341
Registration: $50 for all three sessions (lunches included)
Register for the Merced course (pay online or at the door)
Merced County class flier (please share)

These classes are designed for farmers and ranchers considering agritourism and for agritourism operators who would like to minimize their risk as they develop their enterprises. Registration is open. For more information, contact Penny at paleff@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-7779.

This material is based on work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2010-49200-06203.

Understanding Whole-Farm Insurance for Specialized, Diversified and Organic Farms Webinar

When: November 29th, 1 pm EDT

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will offer a webinar on Thursday, November 29, to explain Adjusted Gross Revenue Lite (AGR-Lite) — a unique type of federally subsided crop insurance that holds great promise to serve the needs of smaller, diverse, specialty crop, organic, and direct-market farmers. While most insurance products are tied to a specific crop or commodity, AGR-Lite is based on whole-farm revenue and allows farmers who grow several specialty crops, high value crops (including organic), or diverse crops and livestock products, to insure their production based on the farm’s historic revenue.

The free, hour-long webinar, "Understanding Whole-Farm Insurance for Specialized,
Diversified, and Organic Farms" will explain how AGR-Lite works and also will demonstrate NCAT’s new AGR-Lite Wizard assessment tool. This tool allows farmers to evaluate the usefulness of whole-farm revenue insurance for their own situation, and is available as a free download from www.agrlitewizard.com, or by calling 1-800-346-9140.

Farmers who grow diverse specialty crops, organic crops, or who have mixed crop/livestock operations, are especially encouraged to attend, along with educators and other professionals who serve these growers. The webinar will feature regionally appropriate examples from the Southeast, although people from all parts of the country are welcome and will find it useful. There will be time for attendees to ask questions.

The webinar presenter will be Jeff Schahczenski, an Agricultural Economist with NCAT. The webinar is funded by the USDA Risk Management Agency.The webinar will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, November 29, 2012. It is funded by the USDA Risk Management Agency.

New Land Opportunity in Sacramento County!

Sacramento County ID #1432: 69 acres for lease, Walnut Grove 
Sacramento River water front, prime farm land available for lease at $275 per acre per year. The Delta region is famous for rich soil and farming friendly weather. This farm land has abundant underground water, minimum irrigation required and free river water for irrigation by agriculture pump. Property has most recently been farmed in corn. 

Housing is also available for $950/mo. Property features a 1000 sq. ft., 2 bedroom/1 bath house on a separate 3.6 acre parcel surrounded with mature fruit trees.

New Land Opportunity in Yolo County!

Yolo County ID #1431: 5 acre fruit orchard for lease 
This supportive landowner would like to see a farmer revive her 5 acre, organic, multi fruit orchard. Orchard set up with drip irrigation from solo well with separate pump for orchard. Property features Class 1 and 2 soils. Parcel includes use of Kubota 21 HP tractor & possibly sprayer, mower, & disc. Potential for additional acreage in the future.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

California FarmLink Finance and Operations Manager Position Available

California FarmLink is a non-profit corporation seeking a full-time Finance and Operations Manager based in Santa Cruz, California.

FarmLink seeks a candidate with both finance/accounting and operations experience in the non-profit/small business arena, who is adaptable and willing to learn Loan Operations activities. 

Finance and Operations Manager Duties and Responsibilities

1) Finance: CA FarmLink seeks a full charge financial manager with drive and enthusiasm to maintain and upgrade systems consistent with a growing non-profit loan portfolio and technical assistance provider. This includes a fund based accounting system meeting U.S Government standards for a single audit. Duties will include:
·      Manage organizational and loan fund bank accounts, review monthly bank statements and strengthen risk and fraud management and transaction systems; assist with investment strategy for undeployed loan funds
·      Work with FarmLink’s bookkeeper and CPA to oversee accounts payable, accounts receivable, and billings and fund transfers for government and foundation grants
·      Use Quickbooks on a regular basis to review and produce financial reports; work with bookkeeper on regular fund allocations for incurred costs.
·      Control cash flow, billing of funders and grant document binders consistent with comptroller level responsibilities. 
·      Assist Executive Director in preparing and monitoring annual budget.
·      Prepare board financial reports and government agency reports including annual Lender Certification for the Department of Corporations.
·      Manage annual audits and insurance policies.

2) Loan Operations: Work with Director of Lending to manage loan disbursements, accounting, reporting and servicing.
    Loan systems:
       Handle inquiries from existing borrowers; produce loan documents and manage loan files and software to ensure accurate information.
       Track and report delinquencies; document workouts, collection activities and costs within the loan accounting system.  Document loan pay-offs. Create policy for archival loan records.
       Manage credit reporting on FarmLink borrowers.  
       Improve loan operations efficiency and effectiveness. Choose, implement and develop loan accounting and monitoring system using specialized software that interfaces as fully as possible with QuickBooks GL systems and tracks secondary market sales of government issued loan guarantees. 
    Risk management:
       Support Director of Lending in managing loan portfolio risk, including risk rating and loan loss reserves.
       Generate portfolio reports for management, board and external stakeholders including a loan receivable aging report.
    Investor relations
       Lead and manage relationships with existing loan pool investors.
       Assist Director of Lending and Executive Director in organizing and tracking requirements of new loan pool investor agreements.
       Manage investor reporting with support from Director of Lending and Executive Director.

3) Admin and Operations: The applicant should have experience with both client-server and cloud based technology solutions appropriate for a community development lender and technical assistance provider.  CRM software, financial software, cloud based document handling and dissemination and GL software should be familiar and manageable.
·      Technology and Office Management: Assist staff with computers, phone systems, email and database access and ensure FarmLink has adequate IT resources when things can't be handled in-house. 
·      Human Resources: Manage on-boarding, personnel policy and health insurance administration, payroll coordination and assist with hiring as necessary.

Qualifications: The position will require a generalist who is detail oriented, organized and good at multitasking.
·      Experience in business finance/accounting and operations. Agricultural business experience is desirable;
·      Interest in, and commitment to CA FarmLink’s mission and the future of California agriculture;
·      Well-organized and detail-oriented; ability to complete self-directed projects and to work well in a team atmosphere;
·      Non-profit business management and accounting experience;
·      Excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to prepare professional letters and reports;
·      High-level computer skills including Quickbooks, word processing, spreadsheet, database and cloud based data sharing.

Compensation and Terms: The Finance and Operations Manager position will be a salaried position with an annual salary range of $55,000 to $65,000 commensurate with experience. This is a full-time, exempt position and includes a four-month introductory or probation period. After six months, the employee will be eligible for health benefits. After one year, the employee will be eligible to participate in FarmLink’s retirement plan. FarmLink maintains a drug-free workplace and is an equal opportunity employer. Position will begin as soon as hiring process is complete.

To apply: Email a cover letter, resume, and three references to Eric Winders, eric@cafarmlink.org. No phone calls, please. Applications are due 5 p.m., November 21, 2012.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Funds Available For Organic Producers Application Deadlines Rapidly Approaching

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for the 2013 EQIP Organic Initiative, and has $50 million to give to organic (and transitioning) producers who will be implementing conservation practices on their land.

Every state has a different application deadline, California is around the corner-- November 16th, 2012!
See Organic Farming Research Foundation's EQIP Organic Application Deadline Chart to see when each state's deadline is. Jump on this funding NOW for your organic conservation practices, before the deadlines come and go.
To apply, contact your state's NRCS local office here.
It's you get paid for your conservation efforts!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It’s now or never for the 2012 Farm Bill – speak out today!

Now that you’ve cast your ballot in the 2012 election, it’s time to vote again – only this time, for a better food and farm system for our nation!

By signing your name to this petition, you’ll let Congress know that your vote is going for an equitable, sustainable 21st century farm bill that:
  • Invests in the future of healthy farms, food, and people
  • Protects our precious air, soil, and water
  • Reforms farm subsidies and levels the playing field
Congress returns to the Hill in just one week, and when they return, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition will be in DC - with thousands of signatures in hand - telling them we can’t end the year without a 2012 Farm Bill that invests in an equitable, sustainable future for our food system and our farmers.  

Can Congress still finish a Farm Bill this year? YES!

PS.  Help us reach 50,000 signatures!  Thousands people have already signed on to support an equitable, sustainable 21st century 2012 farm bill.  Share this message with your friends, family, and colleagues – we need YOU to help us reach 50,000!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Vote Yes on Prop 37!

Join California FarmLink on November 6 and VOTE YES on California Proposition 37.

We have the right to know what is in our food!

CFL believes that people have the right to make informed decisions about how to feed their families.  Over sixty countries around the world have require food products containing genetically-engineered (GE) ingredients to be labeled: our country should be the same!

We want there to be more conclusive research performed before they are deemed "safe" for human consumption and the environment (without intimidating farmers and scientists).  Proposition 37 gives California residents transparency to make informed decisions, bolsters the organic regulations to help farmers, and paves the way for more awareness and education about genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in our food supply.

"Democracy, via Prop 37, now serves as a means for, 
Californians to regain a transparency about GE foods
that died along with Calgene's tomato.
And this 
citizen-scientist, for one,
is voting 'yes' on Prop 37."
Belinda Martineau,
principal scientist in the creation
of Calgene's Flavr Savr tomato

Want more information?
1. For more information about the CA Right to Know campaign, visit http://www.carighttoknow.org/

2. Stay up to date on news about genetic engineering by signing up for EFA's GE News Service.

3. Check out this article in the New York Times by Michael Pollan.

4. As part of the campaign to label genetically modified foods in California, Deborah Koons Garcia and Lily Films are making THE FUTURE OF FOODavailable for free online for home use or public screening until the election on Nov. 6th.

5. Check out these videos from Food & Water Watch


Soil Born Farms Apprenticeship Accepting Applications

Soil Born Farms is accepting applications for the 2013 season. The apprenticeship runs from March 1 to November 1.

The goal of the apprenticeship program at Soil Born Farms is to provide a training ground for aspiring farmers by teaching the basic concepts and practical applications of organic food production.  This experience is contextualized within Soil Born Farm’s work using agriculture as a platform to tie Food Systems into the larger social issues of food security, social justice, and public health.
Apprentices are exposed to all aspects of food production. They learn about propagation, irrigation, soil management, harvesting, marketing and many other related skills through a combination of hands-on learning and structured classes. Apprentices work and live on the American River Ranch, a 25-acre ranch utilizing field-scale agricultural techniques. At some point during the season, they also have the opportunity to work on our smaller Farm on Hurley Way, a 1.5 acre market garden, applying hand-scale bio-intensive gardening methods. Produce is distributed to several outlets in the county of Sacramento including an on-site farm stand, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, and retail and restaurant sales. Additionally a significant portion of our produce is sold or donated to low income residents.  This program is an educational experience but it is also a working Apprenticeship, applicants should be prepared to work hard and commit themselves to the task of running a farm.
Housing: Canvas tents with access to shared kitchen, living room and bathroom.
Compensation: Food from the farm (vegetables, eggs, dairy, etc), modest allotment for supplementary foodstuff and compensation for a portion of hours worked on the farm.
Contact Marissa at mlankes@soilborn.org with questions