FRIDAY FEB 22, 2019
FRIDAY FEB 22, 2019
California Farmers Market Manager Training
Half-day training for Farmers’ Market Managers, covering the role of a Certified Farmers’ Market Manager, regulatory compliance, organic certification, volunteer recruitment, vendor management, marketing and more. DETAILS HERE >
Farmer-to-Farmer Field Days
Join fellow farmers as well as farm interns, students and ag employees for this free educational field day on a local farm to share best practices, sustainability techniques and glean on-farm know-how. DETAILS HERE>
Produce Safety Training for Farmers
Full-day workshop covers produce safety for fruit and vegetable growers, including the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) & co-management of natural resources and food safety. DETAILS HERE>
MAIN CONFERENCE DAY
SATURDAY FEB 23, 2019
4 - 5pm KEYNOTE: Lifting Up the Voice of Small Farmers (In the Science Lecture Hall, a 10 min. walk from Bowely Center)
KEYNOTE: LIFTING UP THE VOICE OF SMALL FARMERS
How farmers are changing policy, markets & our food system narrative
How farmers are changing policy, markets & our food system narrative
4 - 5pm
To grow a more sustainable and equitable food future we must start with healthy, thriving and empowered farmers. But when it comes to the conversations that shape our food system—be they in the halls of Sacramento, in classrooms or in corporate board rooms—small farmers rarely get a seat at the table. But some farmers aren't waiting for an invitation. These change-makers from diverse backgrounds and generations, rural and urban, are working to reform our food and agricultural policies and reshape the cultural narrative around where our food comes from and who grows it.
Join us for a discussion with three farmers about their grassroots work lifting up the voice of community-scaled growers like themselves. None trained to become advocates and there's no shortage of things to do back on their farms, but for them, letting others determine the systems in which they steward the land and grow food simply isn't an option. What can learned through this exchange between new farmers and those who've been growing for decades, between those tending soil in the Sacramento Valley, Central Coast and the heart of Oakland? Find out.
UC Davis, CA
This event, concluding the California Small Farm Conference, is FREE and open to all.
GOT GOPHERS? ON-FARM PEST MANAGEMENT
Gophers, rats, squirrels, deer and even marmots take a huge toll in agriculture. As much as 10 to 50 percent of crops can be lost to animal pests, not to mention to problem of contamination in leafy green fields. Thomas Wittman has been working on this issue for over thirty five years and has come up with innovative methods and tools to reduce crop damage by managing pest populations in several ways. Lethal trapping for some pests is necessary and the most effective traps and techniques will be presented. Field barriers, integrating pest predators and field rotations are a major component to reducing problems. Solutions for advanced rat control especially in the electrical systems of farm vehicles and machinery will be presented.
Thomas Wittman, Gophers Limited Wildlife Control and Supplies
SOIL HEALTH DEMO
Please join us for a hands-on workshop where we'll dig into the key components of soil health. We'll have a number of stations where we'll explore management practices that build organic matter, stir up microbial activity and improve water infiltration and water holding capacity.
Sara Tiffany, Climate Smart Farming Specialists, CAFF & The Farmers Guild
YOUR PLACE OR MINE? ON-FARM POULTRY PROCESSING AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE CUSTOM SLAUGHTER BOTTLENECK
In the entire state of California, there are only three USDA-licensed slaughterhouses that will custom process for poultry producers. Plants licensed by the CDFA add only a handful of additional options to the total. So how can small farms satisfy the demand for locally-produced poultry?
For some, the answer is on-farm exempt processing – killing, cleaning and packaging poultry by producers on the lands where they are raised -- but the labyrinth of federal, state and local rules makes it almost impossible for small farms to build a business on exempt processing. This panel will explore the business model, practices and economics of current exempt operators. It will also review the regulations that govern them and possible legislative relief that lies on the horizon.
Caleb Barron, Owner of Fogline Farm
Ann Baier, Sustainable Ag Specialist NCAT/ATTRA
Vince Trotter, Agricultural Ombudsman & Sustainable Ag Coordinator, UCCE Marin County
Dave Runsten, CAFF & Farmers Guild Policy Director
URBAN FARMING: BIG IMPACTS FROM SMALL FARMS
California urban farmers create livelihoods, grow healthy food and build healthy neighborhoods from small intensively cultivated farms. In this workshop, three urban farmers will share their experience followed by Q&A about urban farms.
Penny Leff (moderator), UC Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program (UC SAREP)
Hope Sippola & Shayne Zurilgen, Fiery Ginger Farm
Chanowk & Judith Yisrael, Yisrael Family Urban Farm
Daniel Miller, Spiral Gardens Community Food Security Project
NITROGEN MANAGEMENT ON ORGANIC FARMS
In this workshop, we will discuss on-farm nitrogen management in organic vegetable systems. Coupling soil nitrogen supply with plant demand is challenging in organic systems. In this discussion we will build a nitrogen plan that includes cover crops, organic matter, nitrogen fertilizers, compost, liquid amendments and crop residue, using heirloom tomatoes as a model crop. In the first half of the discussion, we will cover how to determine when and in what quantities the crop needs nitrogen, and how to predict nitrogen release from different sources. In the second half of the discussion, we will cover the on-farm logistics and methodology of amendment additions (liquid and granular), composting, cover cropping, building organic matter and managing crop residue.
Margaret Lloyd, UCCE Small Farm Advisor
Andrew Brait, Full Belly Farm
Patricia Lazicki, UC Davis
LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP ONTO LAND: FINDNG & ASSESSING LAND TO FARM
No two ways about it: the hardest part of farming in California is finding suitable land. Often, when people do find a parcel to farm, they may not have the tools to assess whether it is right for them and their growing farm business. Luckily, all it takes is a bit of foresight and knowing how to "look before you leap" into a relationship with a piece of land.
Join Liya Schwartzman of California FarmLink for this hands-on field course designed in partnership with the American Farmland Trust to help farmers weigh their options for accessing land, identify and evaluate parcel features, and asssess the suitability of a parcel as it relates to your farm or ranch operation.
Liya Schwartzman, California FarmLink
KOREAN NATURAL FARMING
Basic intro to Korean Natural Farming techniques (KNF). Come learn the basic tenants of KNF, including the use of IMO (indigenous microorganisms) to strengthen the biological functions of every aspect of plant growth to increase productivity and nutrition in crops. We’ll cover collecting IMO, multiplying it, and application. As time allows we will speak to the other inputs in KNF. These work together to holistically strengthen the farm and dramatically reduce the cost of inputs traditionally purchased from off the farm. (BYO mason jar if you'd like to take home a sample of class-made amendments!)
Koby Guye, Cellar Door Collective
Additional workshop hosts TBD
CONSERVATION SUPPORT FOR ORGANIC PRODUCERS
Join this workshop to learn USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) support for organic (and all other!) producers. We will discuss conservation programs that provide the expertise to design a crop rotation to build soil organic matter and reduce erosion, select native plants to attract pollinators, and create a grazing management plan—and provide money to help you finance it. We’ll also discuss soil health principles and how NRCS can help you improve the health of the soil on your farm. Are you interested in becoming certified organic? Join this workshop to learn about specific support during the transition to organic that can even help complete the necessary paperwork for certification. Staff from the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will describe CDFA's Healthy Soils Initiative (HSI) and available support.
Ben Bowell, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service
Erica Lundquist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Fanny Ye, USDA NRCS
Ben Bowell, USDA NRCS
Omar Rodriguez, National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)
UC DAVIS STUDENT FARM TOUR
This Student Farm tour will end with three short interactive workshops. Participants will explore the 40-year old, 23-acre Student Farm and learn about our diverse educational programming and production practices. Participants will then split into three groups. One group will head to the Farm Shop where they'll discuss how to choose tools, how to set up a shop, and how to decide to do the work yourself or hire a pro when something breaks. The second group will explore growing wheat as a rotational crop and learn about new varieties of wheat, barley, triticale and rye being tested at the Student Farm for their agronomic and baking quality. Stone ground whole grain sourdough bread loafs made from these varieties will be available for tasting. The third group will deepen their understanding of native bees and honey bees and see pollinator habitat in the form of hedgerows, cut flower production, and native grass and wildflower mix trials. These three mini-workshop will be interactive and conversational. Please come with ideas, questions and comments. We will all learn from each other and have fun talking shop, grains, and bees!
Kyle Rizzo, UCD Student Farm
Margaret Cooper, UCD Student Farm
Jim Muck, UCD Student Farm
Allison Krill, UCD Plant Sciences
Katharina Ullmann, UCD Student Farm
FOOD SAFETY 101
Growers will learn about the three main categories of farms under the new federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and what they need to do for their farm to be in compliance. Additionally, FSMA updates on water, soil amendments, and inspection processes will be provided. There will be ample time for farmer questions and for farmers to share to the group what they've done to get ready for FSMA. Farmers will complete a FSMA Farm Action Plan tool to use after the workshop.
Kali Feiereisel, Food Safety Specialist, CAFF & The Farmers Guild
SALES & MARKETING
FOOD HUBS BOOSTING SMALL FARM SUCCESS
Food hubs can play a valuable role in creating new market opportunities for small farmers. California is home to over 20 food hubs, collectively doing business with hundreds of farmers. The food hubs in California range in scale and geographic scope, but most have been in operation for five years or more. In this session, you’ll hear two farmers discuss what it’s like selling their products through a food hub – both the benefits and the challenges. You’ll also hear two Northern California food hubs talk about what they are doing to support the success of their farmers. Capay Valley Farm Shop, in Esparto, builds relationships between their producers and supportive urban wholesale accounts through crop planning, site visits, and standing orders for the benefit of both their farms and their buyers. And Mandela Foods Distribution, based in Oakland, offers an in-house loan program to their farmers through their Harvest to Market Financing Program. UC Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education program, which has coordinated a CA Food Hub Learning Network since 2015, will discuss the results of a recent national survey about farmers’ experiences selling to food hubs.
Gwenael Engelskirchen, UC SAREP
Tracy Harding, Capay Valley Farm Shop
Carine Hines, Sun Tracker Farm
Yuro Chavez, Mandela Partners
Sorren, Strong Roots Farm
NON-TRADITIONAL COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE MODELS
Creative farmers are exploring innovative direct-marketing strategies, including non-traditional Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) models. In this session, we will share lessons learned from two non-traditional models and the strengths and limitations of these models compared to more traditional CSA. Participants will get ideas about how to tap into mutually beneficial partnerships to increase sales, reach new and more diverse consumers, and expand access to local food for rural, low-income, and minority customers. The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) will close the session with a short exploration into where CSAs typically go for help and what their technical assistance needs include.
Julia Van Soelen Kim, UCCE Cooperative Extension
LaSette Sewell, Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative
Michelle Wyler, Community Alliance with Family Farmers
FOOD BANKS AND LOCAL FARMS
For the last 10 years, Locally Delicious in Humboldt County has raised over $100,000 to support the Food for People Farmers Fund. Food for People uses the funds to contract with small farmers for local produce to distribute to over 12,000 low income neighbors monthly. Local small farmers get funds during the early spring planting season, and the farms deliver during the harvesting seasons. This has been a win-win for small farmers during a lean time of year; has benefitted the Food for People food bank, increasing the amount of fresh local produce available for low income families, seniors, and very poor people in the rural north coast area. Over 30 small farmers have participated in the Farmers Program. Low income people have access to healthy food every month that is sourced locally. The wider community is aware of the value of our rural small farmers, and the need by low income residents for good food for their health. The program is supported by local hospitals, foundations, businesses, and many individual donations. Increased donations have made it possible to add a stipend for staffing the program by the food bank. Farmers get to know the food bank, and in addition to their contracted produce, know to bring their surplus to the food bank for distribution. This successful Community-Food Bank-Farmers Fund supports the local economy, is good for the environment, and invests in assuring that low income people in Humboldt County have fresh local food on a regular basis. Learn How!
Edie Jessup, Locally Delicious
Learn from the stories of local farmers and institutional food service buyers about how their sustainable foods make it into schools, hospital and universities and how they benefit from these markets. Join a discussion-focused panel to learn new insights and share your experiences and questions.
Ben Thomas, CAFF & The Farmers Guild
Michael Bosworth, Rue & Forsman Ranch rice / Next Gen Foods
Santana Diaz, UCD Med
SUCCESSFUL MARKETING PROGRAMS
Looking for innovative strategies to promote your farmers’ market, attract more customers, and increase farmers’ sales? Join representatives from CUESA, PCFMA, SEE-LA and the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market for a fast-paced workshop to explore different marketing approaches and channels. Using the PechaKucha method (only 20 slides, each up for only 20 seconds), each farmers’ markets will seek to inform and inspire by sharing marketing strategy that they implemented successfully. There will be plenty of time after the presentation for questions and discussion.
Allen Moy, Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA)
Jodi Low, Santa Monica Farmers’ Market
Maureen Everett, Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA)
Rebecca Crawbuck, Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA)
Ruth Galaviz, Sustainable Economic Enterprises Los Angeles (SEE-LA)
MAKING FARMERS MARKETS MORE ACCESSIBLE
Over 4 million Californians currently receive CalFresh (also known as SNAP, the federal food assistance program). Making your farmers' market accessible to low-income Californians helps increase access to healthy food options, ensures that you farmers' market is welcoming to all, and also increases revenue for your farmers. Learn easy ways to make your farmers' market more welcoming and accessible to low-income shoppers, including how to become EBT and WIC authorized, and how to overcome common barriers that prevent markets from successfully attracting low-income shoppers.
Leah Ricci, Ecology Center
Danielle Hamilton, Fresh Approach
Portia Bramble, North Coast Growers' Association
Laura Hughs, North Coast Growers' Association
FARMERS MARKET CUSTOMER SERVICE
Farmers' Market Managers are very public positions. One of the most important qualities you can have as a successful Farmers' Market Manager is really good customer service. Farmers' Market Managers interact with a whole spectrum of customers, from the homeless person to the City Official to the tired Farmer to the stressed out food vendor to the unhappy customer. It's not uncommon to find yourself feeling overwhelmed from time to time as a Farmers' Market Manager. Come explore customer service tools that have worked for other managers, as well as how to engage with compassion so the customer feels heard and with a sense of humor. Learn how to stay calm during unexpected stormy moments.
Joyce Chan, Torrance Certified Farmers' Market
Laura Hughs, North Coast Growers’ Association
Viet Hoang, Assistant to the City Manager, City of Torrance
FARMERS MARKET MANAGER ROUNDTABLE
The Market Manager roundtable workshop is the perfect place for farmers' market managers to dive deep, share best practices, and learn from fellow market operators. The workshop will focus on the topics participants are most keen to explore. We'll start with a brainstorm of topics, including some pre-arranged. Six facilitators will then lead breakout conversations, each discussing one of the proposed topics. You'll get a lot out of it if you're interested in networking with others in the industry, looking for problem-solving support with an issue at your market, or interested in having your say in potential policy changes that would increase value-added products in CFMs, etc.
Amelia Moore, CA Alliance of Farmers' Markets Farmers
Jodi Low, City of Santa Monica Farmers’ Markets
LuLu Meyer, CUESA
Ben Palazzolo, PCFMA
Alisha Eastep, Slow Food San Francisco
Carle Brinkman, Ecology Center
ISSUES IN FOOD & AG
FOOD & FARM POLICY FORUM
The resilience of your farm and of sustainable agriculture and local systems more generally depends not only on the boot-strapping perseverance of lone agrarians, but also on the context in which we work and farm. Regulations, subsidies, trade laws and other policies can either make or break family farms like ours. But can the voice of small-scale agrarians and local food communities be heard over the din of high-paid lobbyists and politicians far removed from the field? We believe so. But we need your help! Join us for an update on the current state of food & ag policy where you can express your concerns, ideas and questions related to state and national food and farming policies including those that relate to farmers markets, crucial feedback that will help shape the political agenda of CAFF, the Farmers Guild and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition in the year ahead as we take the fight to Sacramento and Washington DC!
Paul Towers, CAFF & The Farmers Guild California Food & Farming Network
Dave Runsten, CAFF & The Farmers Guild
Pete Price, CAFF & The Farmers Guild
All farmers don’t have the same opportunities. What role do we all have to play to ensure every farmer can farm? Cutting-edge efforts are underway to redefine collaboration as a solution to move farmer equity from an ideal to reality. Action-based coalitions are bringing together multi-ethnic farmers, farming groups, and allies to root our food and farming system in practices and policies that support underserved farmers and combat decades of racial injustices.
What does equity look like in action? How do we grow agency for farmers of color? It’s possible to redefine the role of white ally ship in the collaborative fight for a racially equitable farming landscape: it’s time for all farmers to farm.
Beth Smoker, PAN & California Farmer Justice Collaborative
Nelson Hawkins, We Grow Urban Garden
Doria Robinson, Urban Tilth
Alfred Melbourne, Three Sisters Gardens