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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Farmers and ranchers have until February 27 to sign up for nation’s largest federal conservation program!

February 3, 2015, Washington, DC – With a February 27 deadline
approaching, farmers and ranchers in California have only a few
weeks to apply to enroll in the federal Conservation Stewardship 
Program (CSP).

CSP rewards producers for the conservation and environmental benefits
they produce on their working agricultural lands; all private agricultural
land, including cropland, pasture, and rangeland, is eligible to enroll in
CSP.  For example, CSP contract-holding farmers can receive payments
for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation
activities like cover crops, rotational grazing, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and the transition to organic farming.

Details on this year’s program are available for free in an Information
 Alert published this  week by the National Sustainable Agriculture
 Coalition.  Farmers and ranchers must submit initial applications to
 their local NRCS office by Feb 27 to have their applications
considered for 2015.  Applications will be scored and ranked
based on farmers’ current and planned on-farm conservation
activities, and the applications offering the highest level of
environmental benefits will be awarded CSP contracts.

CSP contract holders that enrolled in 2011 are now in the final
 year of their five-year contract and are therefore eligible to renew
 for another five years.  Initial requests to renew must be submitted
 to local NRCS offices by March 31.

CSP is the nation’s largest conservation program by acreage and
 is widely popular among farmers and ranchers.  Since the program
 began in 2009, nearly 70 million acres of farm and ranch land have
 been enrolled in the program.

Monday, February 9, 2015

UC Cooperative Extension's Wholesale Market Tour for North & East Bay Farmers is on Feb. 24!

Are you interested in selling your produce to wholesale buyers but not sure how? Join the #workshoponwheels on Feb. 24th to tour SF Bay Area wholesale markets, retailers, and food hubs to meet buyers interested in supporting small farms. You’ll make valuable contacts and learn the requirements for wholesale-ready sales and how to help your story travel with your products all the way from farm to fork!

Please sign up using the above link!


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."