Thursday, January 26, 2012

Farm and Ranch Succession Planning Workshop, February 10th in Woodland!

Learn about strategies and tools that will help pass your farm or ranch to the next generation.
Asset and Management Transfer and Distribution— Tax Strategies—Effective Communication With Family Members—Fair Treatment of Heirs—Living Trusts
COST is $10, due at the door. LUNCH will be provided.
Please RSVP to Yolo County Cooperative Extension at (530) 666-8143 by Feb. 7, 2012 .

For more information please visit http://cesolano.ucdavis.edu

DATE: Friday, February 10, 2012
TIME: 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM
LOCATION: Norton Hall
70 Cottonwood Street
Woodland, CA

Sponsored by: UC Cooperative Extension, Center for Land Based Learning, and California FarmLink

Monday, January 23, 2012

2012 PlacerGROWN Food and Farm Con­fer­ence is Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 4th! Scholarships available!

Plans are under­way for the 2012 Plac­er­GROWN and the UC Davis Exten­sion Food & Farm Con­fer­ence. The con­fer­ence will be held Feb­ru­ary 4, 2011 at Lin­coln High School. The theme of the 2012 con­fer­ence is “Cul­ti­vat­ing the next gen­er­a­tion”. 2012 Work­shops and courses are posted here.
The Plac­er­GROWN Food & Farm Con­fer­ence is Placer County’s pre­mier gath­er­ing of small farm­ers, agri­cul­tural stu­dents, farm­ers’ mar­ket man­agers and oth­ers involved in the small farm & agri­cul­tural indus­try. The one day edu­ca­tional con­fer­ence fea­tures over 25 work­shops; focused work­shops; engag­ing keynote addresses and numer­ous net­work­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. Every­thing you need to plan a Big 2012 Future.

If you are a beginning farmer, intern, or experienced farmer, we still have few scholarships available to attend the PlacerGROWN Food and Farm Conference scheduled for February 4th at Lincoln High School.

Here is a link for more information about the Farm Conference and the scholarship application:
http://ucanr.org/sites/PGFFC/

Thursday, January 19, 2012

FamilyFarmed.org is excited to inform you that The On-Farm Food Safety Project is now available

The On-Farm Food Safety Project was launched at a national press conference at USDA Headquarters on December 15th. Joined by a broad coalition of industry, non-profit, and government stakeholders, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan unveiled the online tool to help farmers create customized food safety plans.

"Farmers want to work the land, they don't want to spend days upon days trying to figure out paperwork," said Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.

Steve Murray, a produce farmer from Bakersfield, California used the tool to create a food safety plan and was one of the speakers at the USDA press conference. Mr. Murray commented, "If developing a food safety program were easy, everyone would be doing it, but they're not -- partly because developing a food safety program is difficult, and partly because it's expensive. If I can do this, anyone can do this. I was able to fill out the tool in a half a day. It's comprehensive, easy to use, you build it yourself, and you have ownership over your food safety plan. Using this tool has saved my farming operation a large amount of money."

Monday, January 16, 2012

Don't miss Nevada County's Sustainable Food & Farm Conference on Jan. 21 - 22

Nevada County's 2nd Annual Sustainable Food & Farm Conference is a two day event that includes lectures, workshops, and an exposition focused on a sustainable local food system. This year will feature a full day of internationally renewed speakers, and, a full day of farmer focused workshops.

The two day event starts Saturday, January 21st from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Hall with the speakers presenting "Keynotes on Sustainability" and the exposition booths including local retailers, organizations and farmers.

The second day, Sunday, January 22nd from 9:30 am - 4:00 pm at the Grass Valley Holiday Inn Express, will feature farmer focused workshops on a wide variety of subjects, including; getting started in farming, working with county agriculture resources, predator control, bringing produce to market, livestock fodder solutions, farm solar power, fencing, AG loans (presented by FarmLink!), and more.

This years speakers are Joel Salatin, Nicolette Hahn Niman, Michael Ableman and Patrick Holden. Each speaker brings a unique perspective to the event, covering farming, ranching, community organizing and the past, present and future of our food system.

Tickets are just $30 - $40, based on seating, for both days. All the details of the event are online at www.FoodAndFarmConference.com.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Last Crop Film Screenings and Discussions - Supporting the One Farm at a Time project

To enjoy local food, we must preserve our local farms. The Last Crop is a documentary film that tells the story of Jeff and Annie Main, who like many farming families, confront an uncertain future as development impinges on their rural community and their children choose careers off the farm. What sets the Mains apart is their resolve to ensure that their land will be affordable and productive for future farmers.

One Farm at a Time is a collaborative project that is raising funds and awareness to protect Good Humus, and eventually other local farms to ensure opportunities for young farmers and sustainable sources of local food for generations to come.

One Farm at a Time has raised about $200,000 toward the purchase of an easement to protect Good Humus in perpetuity. $4000 in matching funds have been offered by the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, Davis Food Co-op and Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation to encourage individual donations at upcoming events over the next month. This is an opportunity for everyone to invest in the future of local food!

For more information, visit:

www.onefarmatatime.org
www.thelastcropfilm.com
www.sacfoodcoop.com

Upcoming events will feature the film and a discussion with the filmmaker, farmers and others.

Sacramento:
When: Tuesday, January 31, reception at 6:30, screening and discussion to
follow
Where: Sierra 2 Community Center, Curtis Hall 2791 24th Street
Cost: $15, $10 Co-op owners and students
Register at www.sacfoodcoop.com or 916-868-6399
Extras: Organic snacks, beer and wine will be available at the reception.

Ecological Farming Conference:
When: Friday, February 3, 12:15 pm
Where: Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, CA
Cost: Free to conference attendees

Auburn:
When: Tuesday, February 7, 7-9 pm
Where: The State Theater, 985 Lincoln Way
Cost: $10

Davis:
When: Thursday, February 9, 6:30-8:30 pm
Where: Storer Hall, UC Davis Campus
Cost: Free

San Francisco:
When: Wednesday, January 25, 6:30-8:30 pm
Where: SF School of Digital Filmmaking, 925 Mission Street
Cost: $10 General, $5 students/seniors
Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets/The Last Crop Film

Additional screenings are being planned in Palo Alto on January 26, at Pie
Ranch in Pescadero on January 27 and at the Sacramento Food Film Festival
on March 10.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2012 PlacerGROWN Food and Farm Con­fer­ence is Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 4th!

Plans are under­way for the 2012 Plac­er­GROWN and the UC Davis Extension Food & Farm Con­fer­ence. The con­fer­ence will be held Feb­ru­ary 4, 2011 at Lin­coln High School. The theme of the 2012 con­fer­ence is “Cul­ti­vat­ing the next gen­er­a­tion”. 2012 Work­shops and courses are posted here.

The Plac­er­GROWN Food & Farm Con­fer­ence is Placer County’s pre­mier gath­er­ing of small farm­ers, agri­cul­tural stu­dents, farm­ers’ mar­ket man­agers and oth­ers involved in the small farm & agri­cul­tural indus­try. The one day edu­ca­tional con­fer­ence fea­tures over 25 work­shops; focused work­shops; engag­ing keynote addresses and numer­ous net­work­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. Every­thing you need to plan a Big 2012 Future.

The Conference typically features 25-30 workshops, with lunch prepared by the Lincoln Future Farmers of America (FFA), and a trade show. The opportunity to meet and network with other farmers/ranchers and related agricultural organizations is as valuable as the educational content!

Contact Roger Ingram at (530) 889-7385 or rsingram@ucdavis.edu for additional information

When: Saturday, February 4, 2012
Where: Lincoln High School
790 J Street
Lincoln, CA 95648
Time: 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Cost: $50 PlacerGROWN Members ($60 after January 27, 2012)
$55 Non PlacerGROWN Members ($65 after January 27, 2012)

BEC: Sustainable Ag - Everything About Chickens #62891

Event Status: Open Event Fee: $30.00
Event Date: 1/21/2012 Register By: 1/21/2012
Time: 9am-12pm
Contact: Valerie Bible, (707) 253-3210
Center: Napa Valley College SBDC
Event Location: 1088 College Ave. Rm 7, Saint Helena, CA 94574-1366
Description: This class will teach you about chicken houses, designing and building a backyard chicken house, and caring for chickens.
Instructors: Alexis Koefoed-Soul Food Farm Vacaville,CA
Sherry Paukert-Farmer & Poultry Expert Napa,CA

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up-EXTENDED!

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced that the fiscal year (FY) 2012 ranking period cutoff for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) has been extended to January 27, 2012.

Interested farmers and ranchers have until Friday, January 27, 2012, to complete the initial application form to compete for a spot in the 2012 enrollment class for the program.

To sign up, producers should visit their NRCS local service center.

* Continuous Sign-Up, But if You Miss the Cut-Off You Wait a Full Year -- While CSP is a continuous sign-up program and producers can apply to enroll at any time of the year, NRCS applies a cut-off date for applications to be considered during a particular fiscal year. Once the cut-off date is past, producers may continue to apply for the program, but they will not be considered for entry until the spring of the following year, in this case spring of 2013, so if you want to enroll in 2012 you must get an application filed by January 27.

Process and Timeline
The application form, available at local NRCS offices, is a fairly short and simple one. Producers will also need to fill out the NRCS-CPA-1200 form. It is the same short generic two page form that is used for all the NRCS conservation programs offering financial assistance to farmers and ranchers.

Prior to submitting the CSP application (or an application for any other USDA conservation assistance program) you must have a farm record number established with the Farm Service Agency. If you do not currently have one, go to FSA first to establish your farm record.

All producers who have submitted their completed short conservation program application form by January 27 will then have until early to mid March 2012 to sit down with their local NRCS staff person and fill out the CSP Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT) which will be used to determine program eligibility, environmental benefits ranking, and CSP payment amounts. The CMT session will generally last an hour or more.

NRCS currently expects to complete the ranking process by sometime in March. Farmers and ranchers with the highest environmental benefits scores on the CMT will be chosen for enrollment. NRCS will then schedule on-farm verification visits and develop a CSP plan and contract for each enrollee. The agency currently expects that process to last through mid to late April. The first annual payments for five-year contracts awarded in this round will be made on or after October 1, 2012 and then every October 1 thereafter.

For detailed background information on CSP, visit the NSAC webpage.