Thursday, January 28, 2016



9AM - 5:30PM

On February 20, agrarian communities from across California converge in Sonoma County to re-envision our food system at The Farmers Guild's 3rd Annual Farmers Guild Raising. We call upon you, farmers and good food advocates alike, to come forge local solutions to our agricultural and food system challenges, all while celebrating the newest generation of food and farms.

All eight Farmers Guilds—from the Mendocino Coast down to San Luis Obisbo—unite for one day to engage on vital issues such as carbon farming, land access and agricultural policy, exploring opportunities like growers’ cooperatives and innovative  markets for organic produce. Return home with new connections, tools and inspiration to enhance your farm and empower your community.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Farmer-to-Farmer Networking Breakfast
Wednesday, January 27th, 2016, 7:00 am - 9:00 am at the UC Cooperative Extension office 11477 E Avenue, in Auburn, CA
For commercial farmers and ranchers (or those intending to be)
Come get to know other farmers and ranchers in our area.  Enjoy a chance to relax and talk with other agricultural producers about farming and ranching issues. 

We’ll be talking about farm and ranch business record keeping, since this is the time of year most of you are putting together your records.  We’ll will highlight the most important financial records to keep and ways to keep office paper and numbers organized.

Buffet breakfast.  Cost is $10 per person, and reservations are required. Reservations and payment are online at Space is somewhat limited, so sign up early!

Also starting next week:

Farm Business Planning
Thursday evenings, 6-9 PM, January 28 thru March 3, 2016
This intensive 6-week, 7-session course is designed for established farm and ranch businesses, with at least one year of cost and sales figures.  Topics include mission and vision, business structure, economic analysis, operations planning, risk management, marketing strategies, and cash flow budgeting.
Limited to 8 businesses.
Cost is $50 per farm or ranch, up to 3 people, course materials included. For more information on the course, contact Cindy Fake,

Monday, January 11, 2016

Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture and Education Project, Farm Manager Position!

Job Title: Farm Manager

Program: Food Production and Farming Education – American River Ranch

Reports To: Co-Director

Farm & Organization Background

Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture & Education Project is a non-profit educational farm in Sacramento, California. Our programs focus on promoting health and providing experiential learning opportunities for youth and adults, producing healthy food, improving access to healthy food for all and modeling land and environmental stewardship. Beyond producing healthy, certified organic produce for our CSA members and local stores, restaurants, a weekly farm stand and farmer’s markets, Soil Born Farms has also developed several innovative education and food access programs in partnership with area schools and non-profit agencies.

The American River Ranch, a 55-acre historic ranch located within the American River Parkway, is the permanent home of Soil Born Farms.  It provides a wonderfully diverse landscape to engage both youth and adults in hands-on activities that educate and connect them with the natural world, healthy food, healthy eating, job and life skills, hard work, and service opportunities.  The American River Ranch also provides the opportunity to expand the production of vegetables and fruit to meet the needs of more Sacramento residents, particularly those in underserved neighborhoods with little or no access to fresh, nutritious food.  Current acreage of the American River Ranch includes 5 acres of perennial fruit plantings, 5 acres of annual vegetable crops, and 3 acres of irrigated pasture. This acreage will double in the next two years including an additional 10 acres currently being converted to restored creek habitat.

Job Summary

The Farm Manager has a passion for our organic farming, farming education and environmental stewardship goals. He/she works closely with the Field Manager, farm staff, other educators and Co-Directors to oversee development and management of the American River Ranch into a dynamic educational farm for beginning farmers and the visiting public. The Farm Manager has strong experience in all the primary aspects of a diversified farm operation including irrigation system management, orchard management, vegetable production, animal management, organic system plans management (OSP), tractor operation and bed preparation and staff management. Main duties include providing oversight and supervision of other farm staff, assisting in planning and on-going hands-on instruction for beginning farmers, managing site fertility, managing irrigation systems, managing site infrastructure development including addition of new production fields and overseeing all animal management (Currently includes 100 chickens, 8 ruminants, and two breeding pairs of heritage pigs). The farm manager is also expected to manage regular office related tasks necessary for overall farm education, operations, budgeting, scheduling and other farm logistics. These combined duties require that the farm manager must be technically experienced and a team player who thrives on sharing their knowledge with other beginning farmers and visitors.

 Hours and Compensation

 Between 40-50 hours a week including weekends and some evenings.
 Salary Range: Depends on experience.
 90% medical, dental and vision benefits. Includes agreed upon annual PTO accrual.

Key Responsibilities

 Soil Management (primary tillage, cultivation, weed control, fertility, etc.)
 Orchard Management (pruning, fertility, IPM, harvest and quality control)
 Pasture Management (utilizing rotation of grazing animals)
 Irrigation System Management (pump, filters, valves, etc.)
 Ranch Expansion (expanding orchard, pasture, and annual ground acreage)
 Assist Field Manager in vegetable production operations as needed.
 Farm Administration: staff management, scheduling, budgeting, annual organic inspection, crop planning assistance.
 Beginning Farmer education/supervision and public instruction
 Assisting on events as needed (all staff)

Experience & Skills Required

 A minimum of five years of organic farming experience
 Knowledge of sustainable agricultural systems
 Ability to operate a tractor and a variety of implements
 Ability to maintain organized records and files
 Ability to work quickly, multi-task and be flexible on a daily basis
 CSA program coordination and farm stand/farmers market experience a plus
 Ability to manage time and people
 Good communication skills and a positive attitude
 Ability to lift 50#
 Ability to work in all weather conditions and especially heat
 Strong leadership skills.

Note: Possible rental housing bordering farm currently available (3 bedroom and 2 bath).
Please email cover letter, resume, and two references to project Co-Director Shawn Harrison at

Friday, January 8, 2016

Holistic Management Workshop at Soul Food Farm

The solution to climate change is right beneath our feet. We can grow food and fiber while actually improving the environment instead of degrading it. Think this sounds crazy? Awesome? Want to learn more? 

Join Soul Food Farm and the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management at Soul Food Farm in Vacaville, California on February 27 from 9 am to 4 pm to learn how we all can reverse climate change by producing and consuming products grown in regenerating soils.  Sponsors of the event are Soul Food Farm, and The Savory Institute.

“This workshop is for proactive land managers who want to learn the tools of holistic management in order to build biological health and diversity into their soil while ensuring healthier profits,” said Spencer Smith, co-owner of the Jefferson Center and an accredited holistic management instructor. Holistic management is applied most frequently to land-based businesses because it is an effective framework for managing the complexities of natural systems. However, any family, business or organization can benefit from taking a holistic approach to decision making.

“This workshop will empower farmers and ranchers to make their land drought tolerant and mitigate the effects of fire damage to a landscape,” said Abbey Smith, co-owner of the Jefferson Center.

Abbey Smith and her husband Spencer started the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management, which is a Savory Institute Network Hub serving Northern California and Nevada. They are one hub in a global network of “ordinary folks working to advance holistic management for the people and places they cherish most,” Abbey Smith said.

Alexis Koefoed, owner of Soul Food Farm, employs soil-regenerating techniques on her 55 acres of prime pasture and farmland in Vacaville, Calif. “Farming has to keep evolving and offer new lessons. As Earth’s needs become more dire it’s our job to work with nature to repair soils and agriculture,” said Alexis Koefoed, owner of Soul Food Farm. She is determined to share the news that grazing livestock can save the planet.

Bring a little cash for the fabulous food truck lunches that will be available for purchase on the farm. Packing your own lunch and enjoying a picnic in the farm fields or orchard is an option, too. Please share this will your farmer and rancher friends. We can create change!

 Alexis Koefoed

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Part-time Position at the Cloverleaf Farm!

Part-time job available at the Cloverleaf Farm, a 4.5 acre organic fruit farm located between Davis and Dixon. We have two current farm partners - Katie Fyhrie and Emma Torbert - and are looking for one more person to join the team. The position will be 10 hours per week until May and 20-30 hours per week from May until September (potentially more if desired) at $12/hr. We are looking for someone that is interested in farming as a career and potentially becoming a partner in the Cloverleaf Farm at the end of the farming season. The work will consist of fruit tree care (thinning, pruning), fruit picking, packing, and delivery, row crop planting and cultivation, and fruit preservation (jams, fruit leathers).  
The Cloverleaf’s goal is to grow excellent fruit while improving our soil and the environment. We believe in treating ourselves and our customers with care. The Cloverleaf Farm hopes to develop innovative farming ideas, foster creativity and provide an educational forum for the community. The farm aims to use new markets to integrate the farm into the local food system. The Cloverleaf's vision is to create an orchard burgeoning with an ecosystem of insects, animals and soil microorganisms in order to reduce water, energy and external inputs and we would like your help! Anybody interested in the position please contact Emma and Katie at