Wednesday, October 30, 2013

CA Small Farm Conference in now accepting scholarship applications

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SMALL-SCALE FARMERS TO ATTEND THE CALIFORNIA SMALL FARM CONFERENCE

APPLICATION DEADLINE: DECEMBER 6, 2013                
           
The California Small Farm Conference awards scholarships to small farmers and ranchers, student farmer/ranchers, farmer/rancher employees and farmers market managers to attends the conference.

This year’s California Small Farm Conference will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rohnert Park, CA, on  March 9 – 11, 2014. Scholarships are awarded based on a number of criteria including farm and household income. Scholarship awards include registration to the three-day conference, all workshops and networking sessions, conference meals, and a Sunday Field Course at a discounted rate of $25.                   

Lodging and travel costs are offered depending upon the distance traveled to Rohnert Park, California.      
           
Applications may be obtained as follows: 
           
• Download the online application from our website at: 
           
• Call 1-888-712-4188 to request an application by mail or fax, or
           
• Email conference@californiafarmconference.com to request an application
           
All applications must be received by December 6, 2013. Applications received after close of business on December 6, 2013 through December 31, 2013 shall be placed on a waiting list.                             
           
_____________________________

           
About California Small Farm Conference Founded in 1982 by the Small Farm Center at the University of California, Davis, the California Small Farm Conference (http://www.californiafarmconference.com/) is the state’s premier gathering for not only small farmers, but farmers’ market managers, agricultural students, researchers, writers and food advocates to come together to    network, learn, discuss and grow.      

The Conference is a unique opportunity for smaller-acreage producers to gain insight from technical experts, network with other farmers and ranchers, and learn sustainable farming practices, business aspects, and more.        
           
The upcoming California Small Farm Conference will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rohnert Park, CA, on March 9 – 11, 2014.      


Get all the latest updates on the 27th annual California Small Farm Conference by “liking” us on Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaSmallFarmConference where            we regularly post news, photos, tips and more.

Internship opportunities!

Internships
Mountain Bounty Farm
Nevada City, California


Internship starts: April 1, possibly earlier
Internship ends: Nov 15
Number of Interns: 5
Contact: info@mountainbountyfarm.com

General Description of Internship:
Interns are a core element of our farm crew (total 12-14 people including interns) and participate in all farm activities from greenhouse work to harvest, delivery, and farmer’s markets. Interns work closely with the farm managers to maintain this complex and dynamic vegetable farm. This includes driving tractors, seeding, transplanting, lots of weeding and other crop care, irrigation, harvest, washing and packing produce, driving deliveries, and small amounts of animal and fruit tree care. Interns work 5 days a week (Mon-Fri), 8+ hours a day and are also responsible for doing one CSA delivery per week, two Saturday farmers markets per month, and occasional minor irrigation duties after hours. We average a 40 hour work week over the season, with slightly shorter weeks in spring and fall, and slightly longer weeks at the height of summer. Internships at Mountain Bounty are challenging, highly sought after, and immensely rewarding. The vast majority of Mountain Bounty alumni go on to either work at other farms or start their own farms. Interns who excel in their first season may be offered management positions and permanent employment here at Mountain Bounty.

Qualifications: 
Prior farm experience is preferred, but not a requirement. Successful candidates usually have experience with some type of outdoor labor and/or a strong athletic background. We are also looking for people who are serious about farming as a career. This is a top notch training opportunity for someone who is ready to take on the challenge. We are looking for people who are organized, curious, outgoing and personable, wacky and fun, and very motivated. Applicants should be able to work hard and fast in all weather (it can be cold and wet here in spring and fall, and summer temps are very hot) do heavy lifting, repetitive grasping, standing, bending, and lots of walking. Although we keep the work varied, farming is inherently challenging. Ideal candidates are committed to the farming lifestyle and all that it entails. Must appreciate palindromes.

Educational Components:
The majority of the educational component comes through the experience of working directly on the farm: learning by doing. Over the years we have developed a successful system that is also relatively simple and elegant. As an intern, you get the benefit of our many years of learning -- passed along to you. Interns are also, to the extent they are individually ready, gradually given more and more responsibility. We believe that being allowed to take charge of something important, and also being allowed to make mistakes, is one of the richest and most effective ways to learn. Additionally, each intern is responsible for a project of their own: managing chickens, irrigating crops, greenhouse care, farmers markets, etc. Toward the end of the season, we occasionally take field trips to other farms in the area. And periodically we take time to sit down after work for intern directed Q and A discussions (topics like “farm business management”). We love to teach and are stimulated by people who are excited about learning. Long hours in the field provide the perfect opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t, as well as plenty of discussion about why.

Compensation: $1000/month plus housing and produce (includes vegetables, fruit, and eggs).
Housing: The farm housing is situated in a beautiful, wild meadow on the periphery of the farm. There are individual small cabins for sleeping plus a shared kitchen and common space, outdoor shower and composting toilet. Interns are responsible for their own meals.

Application instructions and hiring process:
If, after exploring our website and reading about the internship, you would like to apply, please review the requirements below. Then, please email us a cover letter detailing your interest in our program. Please also include responses to the questionnaire below, and a resume including 3 work or farm related references. If your qualifications meet our standards we will contact you to schedule a phone or on farm interview. Unfortunately we cannot reply to all applicants.

All successful candidates will be required to visit the farm as part of the interview process. We do not accept Skype interviews as a substitute. Due to the serious nature of the program, we believe that it is vitally important for everyone that we get to meet in person, and that you get to see the farm. Please think carefully about this requirement before you apply.

Requirements:
  1. A valid driver’s license
  2. Unfortunately we cannot house pets of interns on the farm
  3. There is no smoking on the farm
  4. All applicants must be available to start work on April 1, 2014 and complete the entire season. In a few cases interns have started on March 1. We cannot host interns from late November through February.

Questionnaire:
  1. Why are you interested in Mountain Bounty Farm?
  2. What previous experience are you bringing to this position and what do you feel you have to offer?
  3. What practical skills do you hope to acquire?
  4. What are your personal goals related to farming?
  5. Do you have any prior injuries to back, knees, etc. that might limit your ability to do farm work?
  6. The Interns all live and work together on the farm. Do you have any experiences living and working in this type of environment?
  7. Do you have any allergies, food restrictions, or other physical limitations that might affect your ability to live in a rural setting and do farm work?
  8. Please tell us something interesting about yourself (hobbies, obsessions, talents, etc.)

Thank you for sharing this information with us. We will be in touch with you regarding a telephone interview if we think we're a good match!



 

Apprenticeships
Soil Born Farms
Sacramento, California

Soil Born Farms is seeking five full-season apprentices for the 2014 season. The apprenticeship runs from March 1 to November 1.

The goal of the apprenticeship program at Soil Born Farms is to provide training for aspiring farmers by teaching the basic concepts and practical applications of organic food production.  At Soil Born Farms, organic food production is a piece of the broader work of the organization, tying food systems into the larger social issues of food security, social justice, and public and ecological 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 55-acre ranch utilizing field-scale agricultural techniques. Throughout 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 grown for the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, for distribution to its clients.  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: 10’x10’ canvas platform tents with access to shared kitchen, living room and bathroom.

Compensation: Food from the farm (vegetables, eggs, etc), modest allotment for supplementary foodstuff and compensation for a portion of hours worked on the farm.

More information and application available at:
http://soilborn.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=60&Itemid=72
 
Contact apprenticeship@soilborn.org with questions.

Internship opportunities!

Internships
Mountain Bounty Farm
Nevada City, California


Internship starts: April 1, possibly earlier
Internship ends: Nov 15
Number of Interns: 5
Contact: info@mountainbountyfarm.com

General Description of Internship:
Interns are a core element of our farm crew (total 12-14 people including interns) and participate in all farm activities from greenhouse work to harvest, delivery, and farmer’s markets. Interns work closely with the farm managers to maintain this complex and dynamic vegetable farm. This includes driving tractors, seeding, transplanting, lots of weeding and other crop care, irrigation, harvest, washing and packing produce, driving deliveries, and small amounts of animal and fruit tree care. Interns work 5 days a week (Mon-Fri), 8+ hours a day and are also responsible for doing one CSA delivery per week, two Saturday farmers markets per month, and occasional minor irrigation duties after hours. We average a 40 hour work week over the season, with slightly shorter weeks in spring and fall, and slightly longer weeks at the height of summer. Internships at Mountain Bounty are challenging, highly sought after, and immensely rewarding. The vast majority of Mountain Bounty alumni go on to either work at other farms or start their own farms. Interns who excel in their first season may be offered management positions and permanent employment here at Mountain Bounty.

Qualifications: 
Prior farm experience is preferred, but not a requirement. Successful candidates usually have experience with some type of outdoor labor and/or a strong athletic background. We are also looking for people who are serious about farming as a career. This is a top notch training opportunity for someone who is ready to take on the challenge. We are looking for people who are organized, curious, outgoing and personable, wacky and fun, and very motivated. Applicants should be able to work hard and fast in all weather (it can be cold and wet here in spring and fall, and summer temps are very hot) do heavy lifting, repetitive grasping, standing, bending, and lots of walking. Although we keep the work varied, farming is inherently challenging. Ideal candidates are committed to the farming lifestyle and all that it entails. Must appreciate palindromes.

Educational Components:
The majority of the educational component comes through the experience of working directly on the farm: learning by doing. Over the years we have developed a successful system that is also relatively simple and elegant. As an intern, you get the benefit of our many years of learning -- passed along to you. Interns are also, to the extent they are individually ready, gradually given more and more responsibility. We believe that being allowed to take charge of something important, and also being allowed to make mistakes, is one of the richest and most effective ways to learn. Additionally, each intern is responsible for a project of their own: managing chickens, irrigating crops, greenhouse care, farmers markets, etc. Toward the end of the season, we occasionally take field trips to other farms in the area. And periodically we take time to sit down after work for intern directed Q and A discussions (topics like “farm business management”). We love to teach and are stimulated by people who are excited about learning. Long hours in the field provide the perfect opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t, as well as plenty of discussion about why.

Compensation: $1000/month plus housing and produce (includes vegetables, fruit, and eggs).
Housing: The farm housing is situated in a beautiful, wild meadow on the periphery of the farm. There are individual small cabins for sleeping plus a shared kitchen and common space, outdoor shower and composting toilet. Interns are responsible for their own meals.

Application instructions and hiring process:
If, after exploring our website and reading about the internship, you would like to apply, please review the requirements below. Then, please email us a cover letter detailing your interest in our program. Please also include responses to the questionnaire below, and a resume including 3 work or farm related references. If your qualifications meet our standards we will contact you to schedule a phone or on farm interview. Unfortunately we cannot reply to all applicants.

All successful candidates will be required to visit the farm as part of the interview process. We do not accept Skype interviews as a substitute. Due to the serious nature of the program, we believe that it is vitally important for everyone that we get to meet in person, and that you get to see the farm. Please think carefully about this requirement before you apply.

Requirements:
  1. A valid driver’s license
  2. Unfortunately we cannot house pets of interns on the farm
  3. There is no smoking on the farm
  4. All applicants must be available to start work on April 1, 2014 and complete the entire season. In a few cases interns have started on March 1. We cannot host interns from late November through February.

Questionnaire:
  1. Why are you interested in Mountain Bounty Farm?
  2. What previous experience are you bringing to this position and what do you feel you have to offer?
  3. What practical skills do you hope to acquire?
  4. What are your personal goals related to farming?
  5. Do you have any prior injuries to back, knees, etc. that might limit your ability to do farm work?
  6. The Interns all live and work together on the farm. Do you have any experiences living and working in this type of environment?
  7. Do you have any allergies, food restrictions, or other physical limitations that might affect your ability to live in a rural setting and do farm work?
  8. Please tell us something interesting about yourself (hobbies, obsessions, talents, etc.)

Thank you for sharing this information with us. We will be in touch with you regarding a telephone interview if we think we're a good match!



 

Apprenticeships
Soil Born Farms
Sacramento, California

Soil Born Farms is seeking five full-season apprentices for the 2014 season. The apprenticeship runs from March 1 to November 1.

The goal of the apprenticeship program at Soil Born Farms is to provide training for aspiring farmers by teaching the basic concepts and practical applications of organic food production.  At Soil Born Farms, organic food production is a piece of the broader work of the organization, tying food systems into the larger social issues of food security, social justice, and public and ecological 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 55-acre ranch utilizing field-scale agricultural techniques. Throughout 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 grown for the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, for distribution to its clients.  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: 10’x10’ canvas platform tents with access to shared kitchen, living room and bathroom.

Compensation: Food from the farm (vegetables, eggs, etc), modest allotment for supplementary foodstuff and compensation for a portion of hours worked on the farm.

More information and application available at:
http://soilborn.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=60&Itemid=72
 
Contact apprenticeship@soilborn.org with questions.

Friday, October 25, 2013

California Farm Academy Info Session, October 29th!!!

Hello from the California Farm Academy,

We are excited to let you know that while we are finishing up with the current session of the CA Farm Academy (CFA), we are planning next year's classes! Applications are available on our website at www.CaliforniaFarmAcademy.org, and being accepted now through Nov. 8th for the first round of admissions. Late applications will be reviewed and may be added to a waiting list or admitted, as space permits.

To meet some of us involved with CFA and to find out more, please come to the farm and see!

When:
  Tuesday, October 29th, 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm

Where:
  Center for Land-Based Learning, 5265 Putah Creek Road, Winters, CA  95694

Who:  Prospective students and applicants to CA Farm Academy; program staff, partners and graduates; interested public

What:
  An evening conversation about the upcoming 2014 session of the California Farm Academy:  presentations by the Program Director, Jennifer Taylor & Farm Program Manager, Maureen Thompson; and comments and opportunities for conversation with several program partners, guest speakers, farmers, as well as graduates of CFA.

If you know in advance you are coming, please RSVP with your name and number of attendees to:
Maureen Thompson, maureen@landbasedlearning.org530-795-4146

If you have any questions, feel free to email or call. Please forward this announcement to others you think might be interested.

Best,
Jennifer and Maureen

Sign up for the Small Farmer Marketing Tour!

Are you interested in selling your boxed and labeled product to buyers who want to know your story? Join us on a bus tour of markets in San Francisco Bay Area to make valuable contacts with these buyers and decide for yourself if the wholesale market is right for your farm.

Tour:                      Tuesday, October 29 from 5:30am to 6:30pm
Where:                 Bus departs from Sacramento visits at San Francisco Bay Area markets.  Growers may board the bus in either Sacramento or Vacaville

Corner of Riverside and Broadway
(Next to the Target Store
2505 Riverside Blvd) Sacramento
5:30 am
Nut Tree Plaza
(Next to Panera Bread
1637 East Monte Vista Ave.) Vacaville
6:15 am

Registration:                      $20 per person to register; fully refundable upon boarding the bus.
 Space is limited. Register by calling (916) 875-6913

Why join the bus tour:  If you grow fruits or vegetables on a small farm and are looking for a new market channel or just want to learn about a variety of wholesale markets in the SF bay area, this one-day bus tour is for you. Perhaps you sell at the farmers market, have a CSA, or sell everything to a processor or packinghouse but you are now looking for another way to sell your produce. Where do you begin? A good way to start is simply meet the people who are interested in buying produce directly from smaller farms and sell to customers who care about family farms like yours. They will show you how their operation works, and describe what they need from you.

The itinerary:
·       5:30am Exactly! - board the bus at the Target Store at Riverside and Broadway in Sacramento
·       We head for San Francisco with one stop in Vacaville at the Nut Tree Plaza near Panera Bread to pick up more farmers
·       On board we will learn about food safety for small farms by viewing a newly released 20 minute video and will also learn about credit and lending opportunities from a representative from Farm Credit banks.
·       Our first stop will be at the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market where we will hear from different buyers at the terminal market.
·       We will then visit one or more distributors and /or fresh cut operations close to the market
·       Lunch is on us
·       In the afternoon on we visit an independent retailer and a food service buyer that markets local products. You will have time on the return trip to network with other grower attendees.
·       6:30pm estimated arrival back in Sacramento

After tour assistance: If you join the tour and then decide that you would like some assistance with developing a marketing strategy, we will arrange a one-to-one consultation with you.


This tour is funded by a grant from CoBank, Farm Credit West, American AgCredit, and Farm Credit Services of Colusa-Glenn.  It is a project of the University of California Cooperative Extension and UC Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education Program, (SAREP), / Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Partnership Opportunity in Placer County

Placer County #1468 
4 acre organic farm available for partnership. Owners have a wooded hillside with a view and flat bottom land that can be farmed. Walking distance to Sierra Junior College and a mile or two off the I-80 freeway and shopping centers. Deer and wild turkeys run through a wild life corridor on the land – owners are working on deer and other wild critter control fencing. Currently partially fenced. Canal runs through land, soil is clay loam. Owners can buy up to 2 miners inches of water. Current production in raise beds with overhead drip watering for row crops, chicken house, barns, water pond and tanks. Also available are a backhoe, small tractor, rototiller, and full shop of power tools.

Sacramento County ID #942: Apprentice Farm Manager Position at Kingbird Farms

Kingbird Farms is a small, diverse, year-round growing operation about 25 miles south of Sacramento, in the heart of California’s Great Central Valley. We run a 20-30 member CSA and sell to Magpie CafĂ©, a high-end restaurant in Sacramento.  We have evolved from growing largely for charity (the local food banks) to growing for income (while continuing to make substantial donations to the food banks). 

The farm manager receives room and board, lives in a comfortable private studio apartment, earns a base pay plus a share of revenues, and has use of a vehicle. We are open to considering couples.

The work here varies by season but generally includes soil prep, planting, weeding, harvesting and CSA box assembly, compost management, work in the greenhouse, orchard maintenance, and other farm-related projects. We are non-certified but use sustainable and chemical-free practices. Production is intensive, substantially greenhouse-based, and year-round. We are semi-mechanized, with a larger BCS two-wheeled tractor and Hoss seeder. We grow hops (generally swapped with local home-brewers for beer or used for beer-making here) and have a 120-tree fruit orchard. We have a large "insectivary" of native plants. 

About the place: Kingbird is a 5-acre inholding within the 50,000-acre Cosumnes River Preserve (www.cosumnes.org). The Preserve is a world-renowned refuge for a variety of resident and migratory birds including the Sandhill Crane, which winters here. It is one of the best remaining examples of the Valley landscape as it used to be. Kingbird Farms takes its name from the Western Kingbird, our most colorful and abundant summer migrant songbird. We are six miles west of the small town of Galt, CA, about 25 miles south of Sacramento and 90 miles east of San Francisco.

Internships are also available! Contact liya@cafarmlink.org for information on how to apply.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

THE LAST CROP goes Indiegogo!

Consider contributing to the Indiegogo campaign to help finish THE LAST CROP, an independent film about one family's determination to address three critical issues facing farmers and our nation’s food system today (all of which California FarmLink also seeks to address): 

(1) the affordability of farmland
(2) the fragile balance of farm succession
(3) the preservation of small, family run farms

The film tells Jeff and Annie Main’s struggle to ensure their family farm’s future in California’s Central Valley, personalizing a story being echoed in farms across the nation. Their story challenges food consumers, conservation groups, local communities, and some 500,000 aging U.S. farmers to rethink what actions they are willing to undertake in order to transfer their land to a new generation of family farmers. 

WHAT IS INDIEGOGO?
It is a “crowd funding” website that allows independent ideas – to gain an international following, and raise the necessary funds to achieve their individual goals. THE LAST CROP's goal is to raise $50,000, so they can complete final principal photography and the post-production process. Over the first three weeks they have raised $30,000, and they still need to raise another $20K by October 30th.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?
(1) Visit the campaign page at http://igg.me/at/thelastcropto learn about the film.
View the pitch video and the great perks they are offering in return for your support.

(2) Help them get featured on INDIEGOGO’s homepage. Under the pitch video, click
on the Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ link, share as an email, or embed our URL link on your
organization or farm’s website.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Food Safety Modernization Act: A FREE Workshop for Farmers


The FDA has proposed food safety rules that will affect anyone growing fruits, vegetables, nuts or processing food. The comment period on these rules closes onNovember 15. Every farmer should tell the FDA how these rules will influence his/her farm because this will have the greatest effect. This workshop is designed to help farmers understand the proposed rules and learn how to comment.
  • Discuss some of the potential impact of these rules on small farms, organic farms, sustainable agriculture, mixed crop/livestock farms and CSAs.
  • Learn about the issues that will affect your farm.
  •  Learn how to comment to the FDA.
  • Take home some written materials that will help you comment to the FDA.
Discussion led by:
Dave Runsten, Policy Director, CAFF
Jo Ann Baumgartner, Executive Director, Wild Farm Alliance
Judith Redmond, Partner, Full Belly Farm 
CCOF Representative

Where: Glide Ranch, 36355 Russell Blvd, Davis CA 95616
When: 3:00 PM, Friday, October 18  2013
Food and drinks will be provided.


Contact information: Dave Runsten, 310-925-0857 or dave@caff.org


Monday, October 7, 2013

Attention Central Valley farmers, engineers, makers, mechanics, builders, and innovators!

Put your skills and yearning for collaboration to work at the upcoming Farm Hack in Davis! Farm Hack design events are meant spark collaboration and creative design to help make our region's small-scale agriculture stronger and more resilient. This event will bring together farmers and makers to develop, document and design low-cost, low-tech tools, improve efficiency of existing tools, or hack other agricultural issues that are common barriers for local farmers. Come be a part of improving local agriculture!

Call to Farmers! Help shape the Farm Hack Davis event and register your idea, problem, or project!

Are you a farmer with a project you've started working on, have an idea on the back burner that you think is ripe for new designs, or a problem on your farm that you want help fixing? We're looking for your ideas to help shape the Farm Hack event. We want to hear from you! Register for the event and tell us about your idea or project.

Event Details
Event Dates: November 16th, 2013; November 17th is optional
Time: 9:00 am – 6:30 pm Day 1; 9:30am – open Day 2
Location: Glide Ranch, Davis, CA

We’ll provide a shuttle van from the Davis Amtrak Station departing at9:00am, arriving at Glide Ranch on November 16th. Coffee and refreshments will be provided in the morning as well as lunch and dinner in the evening. After dinner mixer will go into the evening.

Registration is required and attendance is very limited, so please sign up soon!
Visit the Farm Hack Davis website to learn more about the agenda.  We'll post more information about logistics as they are pieced together. Also check out Farmhack.net for a look at what some previous Farm Hacks around the county have done.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Food Safety Modernization Act webinar!

PARTNER / FARMER WEBINAR: 

Thursday, 10/10 at 1:30pm

OPEN TO ALL - especially targeted to orgs and farmers - we will walk folks through the FSMA 101 / issues and how to take action - https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/697410614

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Beginning Farming Academy Now Accepting Applications!

Beginning Farming Academy
November 1, 8 AM to 8 PM, November 2nd, 8 AM to 5 PM
UC Cooperative Extension Placer/Nevada, Dewitt Center, Auburn, CA

This is a 2-day intensive introduction to starting a small commercial farm or ranch. If you are considering starting a small ag operation in the foothills, you should attend the Academy. Learn about assessing your resources and choosing products, the basics of market-driven farming and basic economic tools. The Academy includes two field trips to complement classroom instruction and discussion. You will finish with an action plan for jumpstarting your operation.

This workshop does not address production practices, but focuses on market, business, and economic planning for small farms. Local expert farmers and ranchers and UCCE Farm Advisors will help you refine your plans for your farm or ranch.
Topics addressed in the Academy include:
Getting Started and Charting Your Course
Top 10 Essentials for a Successful Business
Market-driven Farming: What Can You Sell?
Planning, Market, & Customer Research
Marketing Strategies
Farm Visit                       
Economic Principles for Farmers
Market Research at Foothill Farmers’ Market
Introduction to Farm Economics
Capital Purchases
Enterprise Analysis                    
Action Planning

The class runs from 8 AM to 8 PM on November 1st, and 8 AM to 5 PM on November 2nd. Participants are expected to attend the entire Academy.
The Beginning Farming Academy is partially funded by a Specialty Crop Block Grant from CDFA, so instruction and materials are free of charge. Meal cost for the two days is $60, and includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks on Friday; and breakfast, lunch, and snacks on Saturday.

If you are interested in attending, please fill out the application as completely as possible, as we cannot accept all the applications we receive, and we rank them on the information provided.
The application is at: http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=11364 Applicants will be notified within two weeks whether or not they have been accepted. Once accepted, an applicant with have one week to register and pay for the Academy.

For questions or more information on the Academy, please contact Cindy Fake at cefake@ucanr.edu