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Friday, May 22, 2015

Upcoming Grant Deadlines for Producers!

Upcoming Grant Deadlines for Producers

Value-Added Producer Grants – July 2
The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program provides
competitively awarded grants to individual independent 
agricultural producers, groups of independent producers, 
producer-controlled entities, organizations representing 
agricultural producers, and farmer or rancher cooperatives 
to create or develop value-added producer-owned businesses.
These grants may be used to fund business and marketing plans 
and feasibility studies or to acquire working capital to operate 
a value-added business venture or alliance. On May 8th , the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the availability of 
$30 million in funding through the competitive VAPG Program. 
The deadline to submit paper applications isJuly 7. Electronic 
applications submitted through are due July 2.

Organic Certification Cost Share Programs – 
Reimbursement On-going
USDA will reimburse up to 75 percent of an individual producer’s or
handler’s certification costs, up to a maximum of $750 per farm
certification through September 30!
USDA offers farmers two programs to help defray a portion of the
annual costs associated with organic certification:
the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP) and
 the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost 
Share Program (AMA). Both programs are noncompetitive financial
assistance programs that help defray the costs of organic certification
and are administered by the National Organic Program (NOP). NOCCSP
is available nationally, while AMA is available only in certain states in
the northeast and west.
On May 14, the USDA announced the availability of approximately
$11.9 million in funding for organic certification cost-share assistance
for organic producers and handlers through state departments of
agriculture. Payments for certification-related expenses incurred from
October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015 can reimburse up to 75
percent of an individual producer’s or handler’s certification costs,
up to a maximum of $750 per farm certification.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday, May 4, 2015

NGFN Webinar - Crop Insurance for Small Farms: A Crash Course, Thursday May 14, 3:30-4:45 pm

Crop insurance is a critical part of a comprehensive risk management strategy. Matching operations with crop insurance options is important. In addition, identifying and matching a farm's overall business goals to other insurance tools is an important step in the growth and sustainability of the operation.
Learn about crop insurance options, what it means to be in an insurance contract, how to think about the best options for your farm, or the farms that you advise and work with.

Vineyard Irrigation Efficiency and Water Quality Management Workshop Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 8:30-11:30 am, Benziger Family Winery, Glen Ellen

Join us for a workshop on vineyard water management and conservation. Presentations will be made on how to best manage your water resources to maintain good crop quality, while protecting water quantity and quality. The meeting will feature presentations in the Winery’s meeting room, and end with a demonstration in the vineyard.

Speakers include:

  • Keith Abeles, Sonoma RCD -Irrigation Evaluations and Achieving Good Distribution Uniformity
  • Mark Greenspan, Advanced Viticulture- Irrigation Scheduling to Maximize Efficient Use of Water
  • Adam Weinberg and Cree Morgan, Department of Agriculture (formerly known as Sonoma County Ag Commissioner’s Office)­-Farming in the Riparian Corridor
  • Anya Starovoytov, Sonoma RCD- Developing LandSmart® Plans to Protect Water Resources and Comply with Emerging Regulations
  • Jennifer Walser, NRCS Petaluma- NRCS Cost Share Opportunities for Grape Growers and Landowners
  • Robert LaVine, Sonoma County Winegrowers- Sustainability Program Update

This event is sponsored by Sonoma County Winegrowers and Sonoma Resource Conservation District, in partnership with USDA Risk Management Agency, Sonoma County Farm Bureau and the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.

For more information contact Keith Abeles at 707-569-1448 x 112 and or Karen Thomas, SCWC, at 707-522-5862 and

Friday, April 17, 2015

Old Mill Farm in Mendocino has a live and work opportunity!

Old Mill Farm, on the coast near the town of Mendocino, has a rental cabin and part-time work opportunity! They are actively looking for a couple that wants to rent the cabin and work with Doug, their farm manager. He has tripled the amount of crops in the ground and needs help. He actively working toward CCOF certification, participates in two farmers markets, and sells wholesale to a grocery and restaurants. 

Old Mill Farm is an off-grid family homestead consisting of over 40 acres of farmable land and 280 acres of sustainably managed timberland. As they express it, “We wish to live so that Old Mill Farm is one harmonious working body whose actions create a symbiotic relationship between all organisms, from the microorganism in the soil to the greater summation of energy which encompasses this land, and to the community in which we live.” Learn more about the farm at

If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Barbara at or (707) 937-0244.

Frederick Smith
North Coast & Bay Area Program Coordinator

California Farmlink

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Water Efficiency for Vineyards and Diversified Farms Workshop, Rose Ranch, Kenwood, CA

The Sonoma RCD and Community Alliance for Family Farmers are sponsoring a water efficiency workshop next Tuesday morning!
When: Tuesday April 14, 8:30-11:30 Workshop; 11:45-1pm Lunch
Where: Rose Ranch, Kenwood, CA

  • Keith Abeles, Sonoma RCD, will explain the irrigation system evaluation process and the importance of establishing good distribution uniformity to benefit crop production and maximize the efficient use of water.
  • Rachel Petitt, CAFF, will discuss water management practices including resources and technical expertise.
  • Tom Shapland, PhD, Tule Technologies, will discuss the influence of soil characteristics of irrigation management with benchmarks for comparing strategies.
  • Jodi Wilson, CSWA, will provide an overview of water management tools and resources including an online metrics calculator to track water use and other BMPs found in the California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing, 3rd Ed.
  • Ellen Hopkins, Zero Waste Consultant, will demonstrate a compost system on-site for food waste, chicken bedding, and green waste to produce compost for the vineyards and gardens to increase soil health and fertility while reducing water needs.
  • Steve Rose, Rose Ranch/Vineyards Inn owner/Chef, will discuss and demonstrate holistic/biodynamic approaches to vineyard and farm management including compost and vermi-compost applications, grazing and cover crop techniques.
Cost: $15

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

CFL is co-sponsoring an East Bay Lease Clinic on April 15!

Creating Secure Land Tenure Agreements:
Grazing Leases that Work for Beginning Ranchers

April 15, 2015, 3:30-6:30pm
Sunday School Building at Heritage Park, Dublin

Are you a new rancher looking to lease land in San Francisco’s Bay Area or a landowner interested in grazing your property? Are you interested in learning more about what makes a good grazing lease?California FarmLink, the Alameda County Conservation Partnership and UC Cooperative Extension invite you to join us for a Rangeland Lease Workshop and Mixer!

This introductory workshop is geared towards ranchers in the first ten years of production who are looking to better understand components of a good grazing lease, differences between public and private leases and background on how to secure a grazing lease in the Bay Area’s highly competitive environment. Specific topics will include the legal and financial risks of poorly developed leases, leasing best practices, alternative lease clauses, and lease development and negotiation. Join us afterwards for refreshments and networking.

DATE:   Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

TIME:    3:30 – 6:00PM  Workshop; 6:00 PM Mixer

LOCATION:    Sunday School Barn at Heritage Park,6600 Donlon Way, Dublin


·       Sheila Barry, UCCE Bay Area Livestock Advisor

·       Clayton Koopmann, Rancher & Midpeninsula Open Space District

·       Frederick Smith, North Coast & Bay Area Regional Coordinator, California FarmLink

·       Carissa Koopmann Rivers, Rancher & Audubon California

·       Additional speakers TBA 

COST: Free – but space is limited so be sure to RSVP 

For more information on this workshop, visit: 

Pre-registration is requested – please email Susan Ellsworth at or call (925) 371-0154 x 103 to reserve your spot. Include your name, ranch or organization, email and phone.