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.
Michael Dimock, President of Roots of Change; Richard Coon, Co-owner of Wookey Ranch; Caleb Baron, Owner of Fogline Farm; Vince Trotter, Agricultural Ombudsman, UCCE Marin County
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
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!