Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Barter/Trade" Land Opp in Grass Valley

"I have an acre size lot very close to Grass Valley on rough and ready highway that I'm looking to have farmed. It gets a GREAT amount of sun and the soil is pure. Easy access for water and a truck or tractor of needed. There are two areas that would be PERFECT for all veggies to grow. Farmer would only be responsible for paying for the water usage, and we would get access to the crops for personal use. FarmLink will assist in negotiating and composing the best agreement possible for both parties!"
Please Email--Gothic_rosebud@hotmail.com, for the address to view the land and speak with the owner.

Friday, April 19, 2013

New Land Opp in Madera County!

Madera County #1443 
4.77 acre parcel located in Fairmead, available for lease or purchase. Purchase price is $100k or lease terms are open to negotiation. The soil type is a sandy hardpan and land is fully fenced. The land is flat & would require a well or service from Madera Irrigation District water. Power can be brought in from a power pole onsite.

The Placer Ag Resources Fair is Wednesday April 24th, 6 to 8:30 PM!!!

At the Loomis Veterans'  Hall, 5945 Horseshoe Bar Road, Loomis

Learn about the agencies that serve local farmers and ranchers and see what services they can provide you. Each organization will give an overview of the services they provide, then you will have an opportunity to talk with them and find out how they may be able to help with your farm or ranch.
More details and online registration at the Foothill Farming website http://ucanr.edu/sites/placernevadasmallfarms/?calitem=187095&g=22527.
Free of charge. Pre-registration requested. Please register at http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=10569

Some of the organizations that will be represented are:
Farm Services Agency (USDA)
Foothill Farmers' Market Association/PlacerGrown
Mountain Mandarin Growers' Association
Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA)
Placer Co Ag Department
Placer County Resource Conservation District
Placer County Vintners Association
Placer Farm Bureau
Placer Farm Supply:
PNSSNS Subwatershed Group
Sierra Economic Development Corporation (SEDCorp)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Monday, April 15, 2013

Support the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act

Wherever there’s local food, there are farmers feeding communities and creating jobs. Farmers and ranchers are responding to skyrocketing demand for fresh, healthy food everywhere – at farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and in schools across the nation.
Here on Capitol Hill, your representatives have a chance to help support this growing movement! The Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act was just introduced in Congress, and it’s a bill that everyone – eaters and growers alike – can get behind. The bill creates jobs and increases access to fresh, healthy food in rural and urban communities.
The introduction of the bill means we have a chance to pass legislation that expands local and regional food systems, helps feed communities, and supports family farms.
So what happens next? Congress had the chance to include these critical needs in the 2012 Farm Bill, but their inability to pass that bill last year meant that the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act was left behind. Congress will begin working on the 2013 Farm Bill soon, so now is the time to ensure the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013 is part of it!
For that to happen, the bill needs co-sponsors – legislators who will show their support for the bill and help to incorporate pieces of it in the next farm bill.
Will you ask your legislators to co-sponsor this bill today?
Legislator Contact Info HERE
Before you make a call, [check here]! If you see your legislator on this list of co-sponsors, make your call a THANK YOU call!
Tell your legislators:
I am a constituent and a voter. (tell ‘em if you’re a farmer!) I support local farmers, and I want good food in my community. Please co-sponsor the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013 (S.679 and H.R.1414) today!
Thanks for speaking out! Your voice will make a difference! Want more information on the bill? Check it out here. [Link to sustainableagriculture.net/take-action]

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Farm and Ranch Succession Workshop: Preserving Agricultural Lands for the Next Generation

All generations of farmers and ranchers are invited to this day-long workshop on transitioning agricultural lands and businesses to the next generation. Topics will include:

estate & tax planning * financial management
business transfers * family communication

Learn ways to maintain family harmony, keep the next generation viable, minimize taxes, preserve your land and working legacy, and more!

DATE:     Friday May 17, 2013

TIME:     8:45am Registration
                 9:00am - 4:00pm Workshop

LOCATION:     Robert Livermore Community Center, Palo Verde Room
                            4444 East Avenue, Livermore, CA 94550 - click here for directions

COST:       $40 per person for the first two family members, then $10 each additional 
         member. Cost includes lunch, materials and one succession planning guidebook
         per family.  
HOSTS:     Alameda County Conservation Partnership, California Rangeland Trust, Tri-Valley
                   Conservancy, and California FarmLink.
SPEAKERS:     Estate planning attorney Jennifer Theate, Certified Financial Planner, Ken
                           Perine, and more.      
Workshop attendees will have a chance to sign up for limited, low-cost follow-up sessions with an estate planning attorney or financial planner.

Please RSVP by May 7, 2013

Registration is requested - please contact Susan Ellsworth at susan.ellsworth@acrcd.org or call(925) 371-0154 ext. 103. Include your name, affiliation, phone and number of family members attending.

 Cash or check accepted at the door. For more information visit:  http://www.acrcd.org/workshops.aspx 

This workshop is funded, in part, by the USDA NIFA Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program Grant # 2011-49400-30641. Hosted in conjunction with Sustainable Agriculture and Education, this workshop is part of a series covering a variety of topics relevant to beginning farmers and ranchers.

Partnership Logo    SAGE logo    

Placer Ag Resources Fair

Wednesday April 24th, 6 to 8:30 PM

Loomis Veterans'  Hall, 5945 Horseshoe Bar Road, Loomis
Learn about all the agencies that serve local farmers and ranchers and see what services they can provide you. Each organization will give an overview of the services they provide, then you will have an opportunity to talk with them and find out how they may be able to help with your farm or ranch.
More details and online registration at the Foothill Farming website http://ucanr.edu/sites/placernevadasmallfarms/?calitem=187095&g=22527.
Free of charge. Pre-registration requested. Please register at http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=10569

Friday, April 5, 2013

New Land Opportunity in Yolo County!

Yolo County #1438 
13 acre almond orchard in Esparto available for below-canopy grazing. 
This orchard will be available to graze chickens or sheep for 9-12 months of the year. Water available on-site. Site is partially fenced.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Job Opportunities with California FarmLink!

Loan Officer Position Available
April 4, 2013

Summary: The Loan Officer will take a critical implementation and leadership role in California FarmLink's rapidly growing farm loan program. Reporting to the part-time Director of Lending, the Loan Officer is a new position that will be the only full-time dedicated FTE to the loan program and will have primary responsibility for business development, managing a pipeline of potential borrowers, underwriting loan requests, and managing a portfolio of loans. This is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned small business or agricultural lender that wants to wear multiple hats, get in on the ground floor of an exciting farm loan program, and work for a growing, mission-driven organization.

• Business development: collaborate with FarmLink’s Regional Coordinators and key partners to identify and reach out to potential small and mid-sized farms that need access to capital and that may not be served by conventional financing sources; travel throughout the Central Coast (Ventura to Santa Cruz) and occasionally to other parts of the state to visit with existing borrowers and loan applicants
• Customer relationship management: provide excellent customer service in handholding and providing technical assistance to potential borrowers throughout the loan process
• Underwriting: conduct thorough credit and financial analysis of potential loan applications, make decisive loan recommendations, and present compelling credit analyses to loan committee
• Portfolio management: monitor business, financial and loan repayment performance of borrower portfolio, including site visits and regular updating of loan risk ratings
• Loan program management: assist Director of Lending and Executive Director in other aspects of managing the loan program as needed, including training Regional Coordinators, collaborating with Finance & Operations, fundraising, and building infrastructure of growing loan program

• 5-10 years directly relevant experience in lending to small businesses and/or agricultural enterprises, preferably at a community bank, SBA or FSA guaranteed lender and/or community development financial institution (CDFI)
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including ability to work with broad range of audiences and make compelling cases to loan committee
• Self-starter and demonstrated ability to work independently with minimal supervision
• Demonstrated ability to wear multiple hats and be team player in small company environment
• Bilingual English/Spanish
• Willingness to travel throughout California to meet with potential borrowers and partners
• Interest in supporting sustainable agriculture, family farms, and healthier food systems

Compensation and Terms:
The Loan Officer will be a salaried full-time position with an annual salary range of $50,000 to $60,000 commensurate with experience. 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.

To apply: Email a cover letter, resume, and three references to Liz Foster, liz@cafarmlink.org.
Position open until filled.

About FarmLink: California FarmLink is a non-profit corporation that strengthens independent family farms and builds sustainable food systems by helping small and mid-scale farmers to lease and purchase land, access capital, and improve business and financial management skills. armLink has seven staff and is headquartered in Santa Cruz with field offices in Sacramento and Sebastopol. The organization has moved through several phases of activity, to reach its current role as an independent direct lender and an emerging Community Development Financial Institution.

FarmLink provides educational workshops and individual technical assistance to farmers in business, finance, and land tenure. FarmLink assists retiring farmers in transitioning farm businesses from one generation to the next, keeping good agricultural land in production. In 2005 FarmLink began developing a farm loan fund to provide financing to growers with limited access to capital. The organization initially partnered with larger agricultural lenders who provided underwriting and loan servicing. FarmLink obtained its own lending license and guaranteed lender status from the USDA in 2011, and began underwriting and servicing farm operating and equipment loans. Since October 2011 FarmLink has closed 23 loans to beginning, low-resource and sustainable farms, with a fast and customer-friendly process. Seventy percent of loans have been to minority farmers. A $1.75 million loan pool is comprised of investments from commercial banks, private investors, foundations, and government funders. By 2017, California FarmLink seeks to become the recognized lending institution for traditionally underserved farmers in California ensuring that small- and mid-scale limited resource farmers have access to the capital and land they need to grow and succeed.

Finance and Operations Manager Position Available
March 25, 2013

FarmLink seeks a financial manager based in Santa Cruz, California with drive and enthusiasm to maintain and upgrade systems consistent with a growing non-profit loan portfolio and technical assistance program. 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.

1) Finance: Work with the Executive Director to manage a fund based accounting system to
meet U.S Government standards for a single audit.
• Manage bank accounts, review monthly bank statements; strengthen risk and fraud management and transaction systems; assist with investment strategy for undeployed loan funds
• Work with bookkeeper to oversee accounts payable, accounts receivable, billings and fund transfers for government and foundation grants
• Use Quickbooks to review and produce financial reports and allocate funds for incurred costs
• Control cash flow, billing of funders and grant document binders consistent with Controller 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
o Handle inquiries from existing borrowers; produce loan documents and manage loan files and software to ensure accurate information
o 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
o Manage credit reporting on FarmLink borrowers
o Improve loan operations efficiency and effectiveness; choose, implement and develop loan accounting and monitoring system using specialized software
• Risk management

o Support Director of Lending in managing loan portfolio risk, including risk rating and loan loss reserves
o Generate portfolio reports for management, board and external stakeholders including a loan receivable aging report
• Investor relations
o Lead and manage relationships with existing loan pool investors
o Assist in organizing and tracking requirements of new loan pool investor agreements
o Manage investor reporting
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

• Experience in business finance/accounting and operations; agricultural business experience 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 from half to full-time with an annual salary range of $55,000 to $65,000 FTE commensurate with experience. 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.

To apply: Email a cover letter, resume, and three references to Eric Winders, eric@cafarmlink.org. Position open until filled.

Call now to defend family farmers and ranchers!

Big Ag is at it again on Capitol Hill. They’ve spent the past few months lobbying Congress, trying to change the rules in favor of corporate interests at the expense of family farmers. Did you hear about the Monsanto Protection Act? Or the “GIPSA”* rider that would put independent ranchers at the mercy of giant meatpackers? These policies were snuck in – behind the scenes– to a spending bill just a few weeks ago.

We can’t let this happen again. Help us defend family farmers and ranchers against rules that prevent fairness in the marketplace and that short-circuit safety measures on GMO crops!

The meat industry is working tirelessly to maintain market dominance and drive independent livestock producers out of business. The global industry giants have successfully blocked completion of common-sense US Department of Agriculture rules to give farmers a fair shake in the marketplace. Likewise, Monsanto is pushing to override the normal review process for new GMO crops – so that new, potentially unsafe crops can be planted even if a judge determines their environmental safety has not been proven.

We need your help to make sure that Congress listens to family farmers and ranchers – not only a few corporate giants! Can we count on you to make two quick calls?

It takes just a moment - please call California’s Senator Diane Feinstein and Congressman Sam Farr (D-20th), who are key agricultural appropriators. Call Sen. Feinstein’s office at (202) 224-3841 and Rep. Farr’s office at (202) 225-2861and ask for their agricultural appropriations aides. Share a message like this one:

“I am a constituent and a voter. (If you’re a farmer, let them know!) Please ask Senator Feinstein (or Congressman Farr) to stand up for family farmers and ranchers – please oppose any legislation that would limit, through the appropriations process, USDA’s implementation of the important GIPSA fair competition rule or undermine judicial review of genetically modified crops. Both of this issues are critical for family farmers and for a safe food supply.” 

Congress has to know that we’re watching – and that corporate interests can’t change the rules of the game to benefit their narrow interests at the expense of family farmers and ranchers. Please call today!

Stay tuned for more opportunities for action – it’s going to take all of us speaking out loud and clear for sustainable agriculture in the weeks to come.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Support Farmland Conservation!

Under AB 823, for every acre of California farmland that is lost to development, another acre would be permanently protected.
The bill will be heard by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on April 15 th. Please call Committee Chair Wesley Chesbro and the committee members in support. It’s easy to call. See details below.


California is the number one agricultural state in the country, but we’re losing farmland at an alarming rate. An average of 30,000 acres of California farmland is permanently converted to non-agricultural uses every year. A thriving agricultural sector is critical to the long-term strength of California’s economy, our food security and natural resource protection; we must ensure that appropriate policies are in place to preserve valuable agricultural land.
In addition, the preservation of agricultural land is of vital importance in limiting the impacts of climate change. Research funded by the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Research (PIER) program found that an acre of irrigated cropland emits 70 times fewer GHG emissions than an acre of urban land.
Current policy tools are failing to adequately mitigate for the permanent loss of agricultural land and its consequences.

AB 823

This proposal would – for the first time – establish clear minimum requirements for mitigating the loss of agricultural land related to a project, including requirements to: conserve agricultural lands that are at least the same acreage as the farmland that is being converted to nonagricultural uses; establish that the soil quality of the conserved land is at least comparable to the converted agricultural land; ensure that the conserved land has an adequate water supply for agricultural purposes, and that the conserved land is located as close to the converted land as feasible.
In addition, AB 823 would provide certainty for developers by detailing additional steps they could take so that the project could be deemed by statute to have been fully mitigated with regard to the impacts associated with the loss of agricultural land.
AB 823 is authored by Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) and co-authored by Assembly member Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara). The bill co-sponsors are American Farmland Trust, Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the California Climate and Agriculture Network and supported by the Ecological Farming Association.

CALL TODAY:It's easy to call, and takes only 90 seconds. Call the Assembly Natural Resource Committee Chair Wesley Chesbro in support of AB 823. Ask to speak to the staff person who handles agriculture issues. The message is simple:
"I am calling to ask Assemblymember Chesbro to support AB 823, the California Farmland Act. AB 823 will help protect one of California’s most valuable resources – farmland. California lacks adequate policy tools to support farmland conservation. Please support AB 823.”
If you can, please also reach out to the other Assembly Natural Resource Committee members, found here:http://antr.assembly.ca.gov/membersstaff

Please let us know you called. Drop us a line at: info@calclimateag.org.