The California Climate & Agriculture Network is sponsoring the 4th California Climate and Agriculture Summit at the UC Davis Conference Center next week. The Summit’s agenda will cover climate change and sustainable agriculture in California. The Summit kicks off with a farm tour and includes a full day of plenary, workshop, and poster presentations.
The program includes keynote addresses by Ken Alex, a Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown and Craig McNamara, of Sierra Orchards, a discussion with farmers about their perspectives on the ongoing drought, and workshops ranging from Growing Clean Energy on Farms to Conserving Working Lands as a Climate Protection Strategy. The Summit ends with a wine and cheese reception.
The California Climate & Agriculture Summit takes place March 24th and 25th at the UC Davis Conference Center. For more information and to register, visit CalCAN.
Photo: © Patty O’Brien www.summercrowphotos.com
Join the Kansas Rural Center (KRC) for a “Women in Farming” workshop series. The series consists of four workshops that will explore the opportunities and challenges that women farmers face.
- Workshop One: Saturday, March 14th, in Lawrence, Kansas. This workshop will focus on specialty crop production in the morning and will conclude with a tour of the women-owned Red Tractor Farm. The morning session will include topics such as food safety, crop insurance, and whole farm revenue insurance, and will feature representatives from the Douglas County Extension, Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Douglas County Conservation District (DCCD), and Kansas Farm-to-School Program (KSDE). The workshop costs $15, and includes a catered lunch, snacks and materials. Click here for registration and details. **NOTE: Please eregister by Wednesday, March 11th.
- Workshop Two: Saturday, March 28th, in Bird City, Kansas. This workshop will continue with the topic of specialty crops. The morning session will include discussion of high tunnels, season extension, food safety, organic certification, pest management, cooperative marketing, and specialty crop insurance. The afternoon includes a farm tour of Y-Knot Farm and Ranch’s 960 acres of certified organic wheat, forage, and pasture.
- Workshop Three: Saturday, May 9th, in Linn, Kansas. The morning session of this workshop will focus on business, financial, and legal risk management. Speakers include representatives from Kansas State University who will cover financial and business planning, land price trends, leasing and tenant issues. The afternoon farm tour will take place at Lucinda Stuenkel’s farm near Palmer, Kansas, where participants will learn about conservation practices like cover crops and no-till, and cattle management specifically for women.
- Workshop Four: Saturday July 11th, in Emporia, Kansas. The final workshop in this series will focus on soil health, cover crops and integrated crop and livestock farming. The afternoon farm tour will take place at Gail Fuller’s farm.
Registration and more information about the last three workshops will be made available soon. Check KRC‘s website for details, and contact Joanna Voigt at (866) 579-5469, email@example.com with questions.
One of the biggest challenges that new farmers face is finding and securing land. Land trusts can be one source of help. Land trusts are non-profit organizations that are setup by a community to protect a resource like wildlife habitats or farmland.
The National Young Farmers Coalition recently released a guide to help farmers who want to partner with land trusts to procure affordable land. The guide explains the technicalities of working with such groups and provides farmers with a toolbox of practical information and resources to get a partnership started.
Purchase a copy of the guide for $8 at NYFC’s online store or download a copy from the website.
Photo: © Patty O’Brien / www.summercrowphotos.com
The 5th Annual Vermont Organic Dairy Producers Conference is coming up on March 11th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The conference is sponsored by the University of Vermont Extension’s Northwest Crops & Soils Program and NOFA Vermont’s Organic Dairy and Livestock Technical Assistance Program.
Keynote speakers include Dr. Roger Moon, a veterinary entomologist at the University of Minnesota, and Dr. Guy Jodarski, a staff veterinarian for Organic Valley, CROPP Cooperative. Dr. Moon will talk about pests and organic dairy, and Dr. Jodarski will cover innovative ways to deal with livestock health, nutrition, and management challenges.
Sessions include farmer-to-farmer panels that feature certified organic farmers telling stories of their challenges and successes.
Registration closes Wednesday, March 4th. Visit UVM Extension for more information and to register.
The 2015 Request for Applications (RFA) for the USDA Community Food Projects Grant Program through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture has been released. Applications have a strict deadline of Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 5 pm EST.
Farm Aid is collaborating with New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and additional partners to provide free one-on-one technical assistance and resources to applicants. If you are interested in receiving assistance, please fill out this intake form.
There will be 2 upcoming webinars to help prepare applicants.
- Overview of using Grants.gov and the application process on Monday, February 23 at 2 pm EST. *Pre-registration required – Registration link
- Evaluation for Community Food Projects Applications on Thursday, February 26 at 2 pm EST. *Pre-registration required – Registration Link
For more information and to apply for technical assistance, please visit New Entry’s website or fill out the request for assistance form.
Photo: © Patty O’Brien / www.summercrowphotos.com
The deadline is approaching for the 2015 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) administers this program, which funds initiatives aimed at helping beginning farmers and ranchers. Individual are not eligible for this program. Groups like State Cooperative Extension Services, community based organizations, non-profits, and colleges and universities may apply for a grant to support educational courses, technical assistance programming, and outreach initiatives.
The deadline for applications is 5:00 pm EST on Friday, March 13th.
Click here for more information about this program, and view the request for applications on NIFA’s website.
If you’re curious about making the transition to organic production, tune into the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s upcoming webinar. This webinar will cover different types of NRCS support that producers can utilize for the transition. Specifically, how producers can use a Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) 138 to help identify conservation practices that are a good match for their operation.
The webinar is scheduled for Feb 18th at 3:00pm EST. For more information and to join the webinar, visit the USDA’s Science & Technology Training Library.
The USDA is inventorying organic producers, certified and not, across the U.S. This information will help the agency track organic agriculture’s economic impact as well as trends and opportunities for organic products. The 2012 Census of Agriculture showed substantial growth in the organic market—an increase of 83 percent since 2007.
Approximately 17,000 organic producers received the census in early January. Organic farmers are required by law to respond. Survey responses are due by mail by on February 13th or online by April 3rd.
Data collected from the survey will help boost organic producers’ needs. Results will help the government assess crop insurance programs for organic producers, determine funding and extension support for organics, and calculate disaster payments for producers.
Read more about the USDA’s organic producer survey and learn about the history and consequences of the survey from the National Sustainable Agriculture’s blog post.