Wednesday, July 23, 2014

National Good Food Network Webinar

Making IT Click:
Choosing Appropriate Technology to Run Your Good Food Business

Thursday, July 24
3:30 - 4:45pm ET (12:30 - 1:45 PT)

Free! Register Now

Good Food businesses are complicated. There are many types of exchanges that a business must track accurately, including money, food, plans, etc. And there are a large number of constituents that need to these goods or information - growers, buyers, consumers, drivers, and warehouse personnel to name a few.

In the 21st century, we must use software to ensure all pieces of our business are accurately served. But how do you choose the right technology to help run your business? A solution that does not fit your business could well cost a lot of money, and worse, lost productivity.

The first step in choosing the right solution is a deep understanding of your own business. With the right analysis you can make technology choices with greater speed, and with confidence. This webinar will give you the tools to perform an accurate analysis of your business technology needs. Although the presentation will focus on food hubs (arguably one of the more complicated Good Food businesses, as a "middle man" interacting with all pieces of the food system), the same theories apply to ALL businesses.

Reserve your spot - click here

Monday, July 21, 2014

If you are certified organic, this is a great deal to offset the costs of certification!

How to Get Reimbursed
Contact Sharon Parsons at CDFA

This is the website for the program, but it does not yet have 2014 info.

You will need at least the following documentation:
• Proof of USDA organic certification,
• Itemized invoice showing expenses paid for certification,
• W-9 tax form

This program covers costs from Oct 1, 2013 to Sept 30, 2014. So the sooner you apply, the more likely you are to get the cost-share.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Funding Deadline Extended for On-Farm Water Efficiency Projects

Funding Deadline Extended for
On-Farm Water Efficiency Projects

New deadline: July 29, 2014

Spread the word!
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has extended its deadline for applications for the new State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) until July 29, 2014.

$10 million in competitive grant funding, authorized by emergency drought legislation and funded with cap-and-trade revenue, will be awarded to provide financial assistance to agricultural operations for implementation of water conservation measures that result in increased water efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Examples of eligible projects include:
  • Pump efficiency retrofits to increase flow and upgrade overall pumping efficiency of well and booster pumps
  • Conversion from high pressure sprinkler to drip or micro irrigation systems
  • Replacement of high pressure sprinkler nozzles with low pressure nozzles 
  • Installation of variable frequency drives on pumps with varying operating conditions
  • Irrigation scheduling
  • Soil moisture monitoring equipment
  • Conversion of diesel pumps to solar or wind  
Applications must be submitted electronically by Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. PST. All applicants must register for a FAAST account at

Application guidelines and more information on applying are available on the CDFA website at:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Farm Manager Position at FARM Davis

Farm Manager Position at FARM Davis(10 hrs/week, 11 months from August 2014–July 2015 with a month off during winter)
FARM Davis is an alternative form of civic action, building community through sustainable farming of public and private space, assisting low-income and homeless populations, and integrating local and real food into mainstream culture and education.
We are a community who considers food a political matter in that we support organic food as a basic human right for all, whether someone is able to work or not. Our three FARM Davis “free farms” provide a weekly donation to Davis Community Meals and to low-income housing facilities in Davis, CA.

FARM Davis Core Values1. Pay it forward
2. Build on the ideas and generosity of others—never turn down a gift
3. Employ economic models that promote an equitable and generous culture
4. Work when you can— regularly or intermittently
5. Bring joy to community work and to working together
6. Value quality engagement over quantifiable results
Farm Manager responsibilities include: delegating tasks to FARMers, planting, harvesting, fertilizing, and ensuring that all FARMers follow safety regulations. The successful candidate will hold responsibility for executing weekly production schedules for optimal efficiencies and will make crop / method decisions in cooperation with the FARM Davis community.

Job Duties:
— Provide coaching, support, and direction to members of a work team.
— Work with the FARM community to plan and direct production activities and establish production priorities in keeping with effective operations and cost factors.

— Plan, support and coordinate farm activities and skillshares, such as planting and harvesting, fertilizing and pruning, and maintaining facilities and tools. Mentor and monitor FARMers.

— Inspect fields and equipment to ensure quality and to determine and address maintenance and repair requirements.

— Purchase or acquire supplies and equipment for FARM Davis activities.

— Monitor and maintain the quality and yield of crops;

— Understand the implications of the weather and make contingency plans

— Maintain and apply knowledge of pests and diseases and an understanding of how they spread and how to manage them.

— Apply health and safety standards.

— Identify practices that protect the environment and promote biodiversity, implement them at FARM as a working system and as an example to the larger community.

— Ability to provide leadership, using strong decision making skills, with integrity.
— Ability to organize, participate and facilitate groups with open and honest communication.
— Ability to respond to requests and to reply to email/texts in a timely manner.
— Excellent organizational skills to work efficiently.
— A “can do” attitude.
— Ability to supervise weekly activities, schedule tasks/activities that need to be undertaken.
— Transparent work habits that others can learn from.

— Ability to lift up to 50 pounds.
— Must be able to stand for extended period of time.
— Environmental exposure-seasonal outdoor temperatures.

 4 years practical experience in Sustainable Agriculture, Plant Science, Agroecology, Food Science, Environmental Horticulture, Agriculture, Nutritional Science, or related field.
— 1 year of managerial experience in a food manufacturing environment or farm.
— Valid California Driver License with a clean driving record.  

Send resume, contact information for two references, and cover letter to by 5pm on July 31, 2014. Please address the following questions in your cover letter:
    What experiences do you have that prepare you to work in an environment like FARM Davis?
—  How can you help make FARM Davis more productive, while honoring the core values by which we operate?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Free Open Forum on Irrigation Efficiency and PG&E's Aggregated Metering Rate Tariff for Solar Energy

Our expert panelists will answer your questions on irrigation energy efficiency measures, the benefits of aggregated metering to go solar and local finance options available.

When: Thursday July 24th 9:00a – 12:00noon
Where: Fresno State University, Center for Irrigation Technology,
Conference Room, 5370 N Chestnut Ave, Fresno, CA
Southeast corner of Chestnut and Barstow
RSVP Today: or (559) 512-0358 – Hurry, Space is Limited

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Farm Apprenticeships and Education Apprenticeships at Fairview Gardens, Santa Barbara, CA

Deadline Extended to July 15th

The Fairview Gardens Apprenticeship program provides a hands-on direct experience in organic farming, sustainable food systems, and agricultural education. You will work alongside our farming and marketing staff, engaging in all activities essential to the operation of an organic and public education farm. Duties include planting, propagation, weeding, irrigating, farm clean up, animal maintenance and harvesting. In addition you are asked to devote one weekend per month to work a farmers market and gain an understanding of the sales part of farming. Apprentices work as a close team to develop an introductory understanding of organic farming as well as an understanding of the broader food systems in which farming is embedded. Topics covered include marketing, harvesting, caring for farm animals, plant ecology, soil systems, integrated pest management, food systems, farm finance, and farmers markets. Yurt housing and stipend provided. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Farmer and Landowner Happy Hour at the Center for Landbased Learning!

California FarmLink invites local farmers and landowners to join us for refreshments and mingling at the Center for Landbased Learning. Appetizers prepared by San Francisco chef, Dennis Leary, and grown by California Farm Academy students. Beer donated by Hoppy Brewery and cider donated by Two Rivers Cider Co. 

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

The event is free but please RSVP at

Free Farmers Campaign from the Farmers Guild

The Farmers Guild has launched a campaign we're calling "Free Farmers". We intend to simply start a dialogue that gives direct and individual voice to producers about the food movement and what they envision, struggle with, or need to succeed. We hope that through this opportunity people--whether agricultural policy-makers or just average consumers--will obtain a broad understanding of the circumstances of the many people who grow their food. No sales or lobbying, just personal statements from farmers about farming and about food. 

Here's the link with more info and instructions:

As for what kinds of statements we're looking for, it's totally up to interpretation and we encourage diverse perspectives, but so far we've got everything from "free farmers set their own prices" to "free farmers eat the food they grow" and even "free farmers get to take a vacation", in addition to more politically-leaning statements. Up to you.

New Farmers Website from the USDA just launched!

The USDA just launched a new website specifically for new and beginning farmers. The website includes ideas about how the USDA can help you get started, access education, manage risk, protect the environment and more.  It also profiles some new farmers across the country and links to helpful blogs from other organizations.  Take a look

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Farm Manager, Terra Bella Family Farm

Farm Manager, Terra Bella Family Farm
Pleasanton, CA. 

Contact: Shawn 925.202.8020

Job Summary:
The Farm Manager will help teach, motivate and lead a field crew of 4-6 employees through the completion of various daily farm tasks. The Farm Manager will help design and implement innovative systems to maximize production of vegetables, fruit, herbs, nursery plants and other products. The Manager will also direct the maintenance of soil health and fertility, farm infrastructure, irrigation systems and equipment.

Key Responsibilities:
The Farm Manager will have the following responsibilities:
• Production planning
• Implementation of production plans
• Continuous improvement of soil health and fertility
• Harvest schedules
• Post-harvest handling
• Supervision of farm team
• Implementation and maintenance of Good Agricultural Practices
• Compliance with Food Safety requirements and regulations
• Report preparation
• Coordination of production and operational logistics
• Sales and Marketing operations

Organizational Role and Supervisor:
The Farm Manager will manage the 3 acre Ag Park Parcel, including the farm and greenhouse. The Farm Manager must be posses extraordinary communication as well as organizational skills in order to meet and exceed our farms goals. The Farm Manager will report directly to the farm Owner.

Skills and Qualifications:
The Farm Manager will have either (a) a Bachelor’s degree in food studies or a related field, plus a minimum of two years experience in farming and farm production, or (b) a minimum of four years of experience in farming and farm production, including at least one year of farm management. This experience should include some greenhouse production. The Manager ideally will have knowledge and skill in the use maintenance of farm equipment, including tractors, discs, cultivators and other farm
2 equipment and implements. The Manager must have strong communication & leadership skills as well as the ability to inspire others to do high quality work. The Farm Manager must have a valid California driver’s license insurable by any insurance carrier. The Farm Manager must have the ability to lift a minimum of 50 pounds.

Company Overview:
Terra Bella Family Farm has been farming in the far East Bay for 7 years now. Our farm is located in the fertile Sunol Valley, just north east of Fremont and just south of Pleasanton. Our business has expanded and contracted over the years from 2 to 5 to 7 now back to 3 acres of intensive plantings of cucurbits, nightshades, greens and herbs. We have a 120-200 Member CSA Program and participate in 4 Farmers Markets during the peak season. We also sell to 10 restaurants and 4 grocery store. We have a successful business based on growing seasonal, certified organic, super local high quality unique varietals of familiar crop and marketing it all to our local communities. Our enterprise helps facilitate community benefits including healthy soil, healthy food, and healthy people with a vital stake in their own community. We are gearing up for an amazing season and want a Farm Manager that can join our team and continue growing our farm to it’s full potential.

505 Paloma Way Sunol, CA. 94586

Type of Employment:
The position is a full-time position. Starting in June and tapering off in late December. Potential Partnership Opportunities Welcome.

Salary and Benefits:
The salary is fully negotiable according to skill set and years of experience.
For more information and/or to set up an interview please call:
Shawn Seufert