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Monday, February 8, 2016

Conservation Stewardship Program 2016 Sign-Up Opens

Get compensated for good conservation practices on your farm! 

Farmers and ranchers interested in enrolling in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) this year have until March 31 to submit their initial applications to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). USDA will enroll 10 million acres of farm and ranch land in the program this year, with payments to farmers and ranchers of over three-quarters of a billion dollars over the next five years.

March 31 is also the deadline by which initial applications are needed from farmers with expiring 2012-2016 contracts if they want to renew them for another five years.  Some 12 million acres already in the program are eligible for renewal this year.

“The Conservation Stewardship Program is one of our most popular programs with producers because it results in real change on the ground by boosting soil and air quality, conserving clean water and enhancing wildlife habitat,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “With this investment, we’ll be able to build on the already record number of acres enrolled in USDA’s conservation programs, enabling producers to achieve higher levels of conservation and adopt new and emerging conservation technologies on farms, ranches and forests.”


Easy First Step
The initial step to apply to CSP is easy. Farmers and ranchers can go to their local NRCS office and submit the initial application to enroll, which is a simple form that asks for basic information regarding land ownership, type of production, and contact information.

While applicants can sign up anytime throughout the year for CSP, producers should submit applications by March 31 to ensure they are considered for enrollment in 2016. This year’s deadline carries particular significance, as a major program overhaul is scheduled for 2017. In order for producers to enroll in CSP under its existing structure, ranking process, and current conservation activities, they must apply before the March 31 deadline.

Once a farmer or rancher’s initial application is accepted by NRCS, they are then scored based on current and planned future conservation activities. If applicants meet acceptable conservation levels, they become eligible to compete in a ranking process that determines who will receive contracts. NRCS works down through the list of eligible applicants until acreage allocated to the particular state for that particular year runs out.

Sonoma Incubator Farm - Public meetings on Monday Feb 8 (today!) and Thursday Feb 11 in Rohnert Park.



Sonoma County Incubator Farm Public Meetings!

Two public meetings will be held this week on the incubator farm concept - providing updates and getting input from neighbors & community. Please join us at one or the other if at all possible. We want to show that the ag community supports these types of opportunities to teach aspiring farmers how to be successful with less risk and more support!

Please respond to the RSVP link if you are coming – it helps to know how many chairs to set up! http://www.sonomaopenspace.org/youngarmos

We hope to see you there!
   
Neighbor Input Session
Intended for adjacent landowners, homeowners, and residents to provide input on the project concept, including potential site improvements and farm activities.
Monday, February 8, 2016 from 6-8pm
Lawrence E. Jones Middle School, 5154 Snyder Ln, Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Community Design & Programming Input Session
All interested parties are welcome to join us in discussing early concepts for farm programming, potential site improvements, and next steps for this project.
Thursday, February 11, 2016 from 6-8pm
Lawrence E. Jones Middle School, 5154 Snyder Ln, Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Please RSVP!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Planning for Succession: Organic Farmers and the Next Generation - Wednesday Jan. 20, 9:30am-4:30pm, Pacific Grove, CA


Planning for Succession:  Organic Farmers 
and the Next Generation

 

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 20, 2016
9:30am – 4:30pm  
ASILOMAR CONFERENCE GROUNDS IN PACIFIC GROVE, CA 

$50 REGISTRATION FEE INCLUDES LUNCH. 


Are you a farmer who is wondering how you will be able to retire and pass your knowledge on to the next generation? Many older farmers are struggling with these questions. 

Are you a young farmer who is wondering how you can get started and build on what established farmers have accomplished? 

Join California Farmlink and partners for a full-day workshop that will include: 

 Interactive discussions of key succession issues and challenges 
Tools, strategies, and resources for: 
           - Retirement planning 
           - Farm business transitions 
           - Family communications and goal setting 
           - Passing down land and other assets 
           - Tax demystification 
           - Transitioning to non-heir successors 
           - Mentoring new farmers 
           - Creative financing ideas
Farmers sharing real-life succession stories 

Featuring a sneak preview with Deborah Koons Garcia from her upcoming film on the crisis of agrarian elders and succession! 


                                 Click Here to Register

Interested in a scholarship? Please call Mika Maekawa 831.425.0303 Ext. 7022 or e-mail mika@cafarmlink.org 

Thank you to the UNFI Foundation, FarmAid, Clif Bar Family Foundation, Clarence E. Heller Foundation, and Gaia Fund for supporting the Organic Elders and the Next Generation project. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Happy ‪#‎GivingTuesday‬!

Support California FarmLink's work providing farmers with top-notch training, one-on-one technical assistance, direct connections to farm land and financing, and the business resources to succeed:  https://farmlink.secure.nonprofitsoapbox.com/donate
‪#‎GivingTuesdayCA‬ ‪#‎SupportLocalAg‬ ‪#‎SustainableAgriculture‬

Monday, November 2, 2015

Have you ever dreamed of running your own vineyard?

Check out this listing on the California Farmlink website!

http://www.californiafarmlink.org/find-land/land-listings/record/a033000000FbcEFAAZ

5 acres of established, organic Cabernet grapes for lease (currently sells grapes to Fetzer). Has housing on site, room for future expansion, and includes an Option to Purchase for the right person.




Friday, September 18, 2015

Partnering with a Land Trust to Access Affordable Farmland, Wednesday afternoon October 7 in Placerville!

Partnering with a Land Trust

to Access Affordable Farmland

Wednesday, October 7

  • 1-4 pm presentations and farm tour 
  • 4-6 pm networking and potluck

Where: Wakamatsu Colony Farm, 941 Cold Springs Road, Placerville, CA

This workshop will help farmers successfully engage in the process of partnering with a land trust to access affordable, secure farmland. The event will include presentations by NYFC, California Farmlink, Equity Trust and farmers, as well as a farm tour and potluck dinner. Bring your land access questions and dishes to share! Free local beer provided!

The workshop will feature presentations on:
            An overview of other organizations that can help you in your      
                                  partnership with a land trust

            Sources of financing to consider when working with a land trust
           Matching your land access needs to the range of tools available 
            when working with a land trust

             Land trusts as landlords - what this means for you and how to 
             engage in the process

             Structuring a solid lease agreement with a land trust

The workshop is free, but please bring a dish to share and RSVP here: landtrustworkshop.brownpapertickets.com

 This workshop is made possible with generous support from the Cedar Tree Foundation and the Lydia B. Stokes Foundation.



Local beer and wine will be provided!