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Thursday, January 29, 2015

CFL North Coast Regional Coordinator, Frederick Smith, on the radio talking about farm leases

Hi all,

I was interviewed on the radio a few weeks ago by Andrea Davis-Cettina from Quarter Acre Farm. If you are interested in listening in to learn more about farm lease development and considerations, here is the link to the archived podcast:

This is a poignant time to mention that California Farmlink is funded through grants to provide affordable lease expertise, negotiation, and development foe interested farmers. Its only a $15 annual registration fee to access our no-cost expertise in leases and financing. For more information about our services, please visit our website at

If you are in the process of developing a lease, please call me at 707-347-9309. Take advantage of our services.

New Sustainable Livestock Grazing Management "From the Field" Report

Hi everyone!

Here is a link to Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education's (SARE) new Sustainable Grazing Report:

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Guide - Finding Farmland: a farmers guide to working with land trusts

Hi everyone,

The National Young Farmers Coalition has a new guide focused on farmers working with land trusts. If you are looking for land to farm, its definitely worth the read. The link is:

Happy Friday!

Frederick Smith
North Coast Regional Coordinator

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Upcoming RMA Webinar: register Now for the January 22 webinar on

Mark Your Calendar: Specialty Crops & Diversified Farm Operations – Discover how the new Farm Bill Whole Farm Revenue Protection program can benefit your farm operation. Whole Farm is a new revenue protection insurance program that provides a risk management safety net for all commodities on the farm under one insurance policy.  This webinar is designed to provide basic information on this new crop insurance program provided by USDA’s Risk Management Agency.

Date:                     Thursday, January 22, 2015                     

Time:                     10 AM Pacific Standard Time for California and Arizona
                                1 PM PST for Nevada and Utah
                                4 PM PST for Hawaii

Location:              Online

Cost:                      Free

Duration:             30 minute presentation, plus interactive question and answer time

Presenter:          USDA Risk Management Agency - Davis Regional Office

Registration:      Space is limited.  Reserving a seat is easy.  Send an email to with your name, email address, and the time or state for which you wish to attend and we will send you a confirmation email with the link and call in number to the meeting.

·         Is Whole Farm a good fit for your farm operation?
·         What does Whole Farm cover?
·         Whole Farm key features
·         Benefits of Farm Diversification
·         Deadlines and Requirements

We look forward to your participation!

Risk Management Agency
Davis Regional Office
430 G Street, #4168
Davis, CA 95616

Serving Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah

Monday, January 12, 2015

Please fill out the North Bay Farmers Needs & Opportunities Survey!

 Launch of North Bay Farmer Needs & Opportunities Survey! Please fill it out!

The Business & Entrepreneurship Center (BEC) at Napa Valley College has launched a Farmer Needs & Opportunities Survey for the North Bay counties. The goal is to learn from farmers about what they see as their biggest challenges and opportunities to expanding production and local sales.

The survey can be found at:

Farmers who fill out the survey will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift certificate to their favorite farm supply store and other prizes.

“What do farm owners view as their biggest challenges to expanding production? What barriers exist to expanding in-county sales of locally produced products? What do the next generation of farmers view as there biggest challenges to staying in agriculture and potentially starting their own independent farm businesses?” said Frederick Smith, the survey consultant. “The Ag Census and other surveys provide a host of great data, but we still have little quantifiable information about what the farmers in our region perceive as their biggest challenges and opportunities.”

The survey is co-sponsored by the Sonoma Farm Bureau, Marin Farm Bureau, Napa Farm Bureau, Solano Farm Bureau, CAFF North Coast Chapter, Farmers Guild, California Farmlink, Marin Organic, UC Cooperative Extension – Mendocino & Lake counties, and the Business & Entrepreneurship Center at Napa Valley College. The survey was developed over the last six months with the assistance of a number of Sonoma County agencies and organizations. During that time, the BEC expanded the survey from to cover all the North Bay counties.

“This survey is meant to provide county agencies, decision-makers and non-profit organizations with information they can use to prioritize their agricultural business support efforts where farmers say they need it most,” said Smith. "Farmers, please help us help you by filling out the survey."

Farmlink's North Coast RC being interview this Friday live!

Farmlink's North Coast Regional Representative, Frederick Smith, will be interviewed "Sustainable Growing with Quarter Acre Farm" from 2-3 pm this Friday! Frederick and Andrea will be discussing the ins and outs of farm leases. 

The show broadcasts live from 2pm to 3pm on 91.3 FM (Sonoma) and streaming online at A few days later the entire show will be available as a podcast at

Don't Miss FarmLink at EcoFarm!

Please join us for our annual New and Beginning Farmer Mixer!

Thursday, January 22 from 5:30-11pm in Kiln
Groups that support new and beginning farmers and ranchers are joining forces to offer a two-part mixer.

  CFL logo brown 2011

Join us on Thursday evening from 5:30-6:30pm to meet
other beginners and potential landowners, and connect with resources. 

The evening then shifts to a reception, with music from Dead Slug Society from 6:30-11pm. Enjoy complimentary refreshments while linking up with potential partners, landowners, and supporters.

This year we are adding an intergenerational twist to this fun two-part mixer by inviting EcoFarm elders who want to meet and provide mentorship to new farmers.


Leases Group Session:
Liya Schwartzman of CA FarmLink will be conducting group discussions directed by attendee interest, covering issues such as the basics of agricultural leases, pitfalls to avoid, and innovative options to consider. 

Thursday, Jan 22 10:30am-12:00pm and Friday, Jan 23 10:30am-12:00pm.  

Please sign up for a group session onsite at Surf & Sand. Drop-ins are welcome, but those who sign up will be given priority.

Leases Individual Session: 
Representatives from CA FarmLink will be conducting individual office hours, addressing questions such as: Do you have a sense that you should have a formalized agreement between you and your property owner? Not sure what to do to make that happen? Feeling uncertain about what you need to consider when approaching a landowner? 

Thursday, Jan 22 3:30pm-5:30pm and Friday, Jan 23 3:30pm-5:30pm, Pirates Den. 

Pre-registration is required; please sign up for a 30 minute session beforehand via Brown Paper Tickets.

Pre-Session: Wednesday, January 21 from 9am-5pm
Presenter: Ali Robinson, CA FarmLink

Get to Know Your Farm: Planning Tools to Achieve Financial and Personal Goals
Session C: Thursday, January 22 at 3:30pm
Presenter: Alan Haight, Riverhill Farm
Moderator: Eric Winders, CA FarmLink

Excellent Seedbed Preparation 
Session D: Friday, January 23 at 10:30am
Presenters: Jim Leap & Christina Oatfield
Moderator: Eric Winders, CA FarmLink 

Find Land You Can Afford: Partnering with a Land Trust to Secure Farmland
Session E: Friday, January 23 at 1:30pm 
Presenters: Melissa Campbell, Holly Rippon-Butler & Dan Hulse 
Moderator: Reggie Knox, CA FarmLink
Farmland Conservation and Land Access in California
Session G: Saturday, January 24 at 8:30am
Presenters: Misti Arias, John Guardino, & Jaclyn Moyer

Moderator: Liya Schwartzman, CA FarmLink