All posts in Blog

Integrating Sheep into Walnuts: a case study on Sierra Orchards

Integrating Sheep into Walnuts: a case study on Sierra Orchards

Want to find out more about the benefits and tradeoffs of integrating sheep into orchard systems? Check out our newest case study on Sierra Orchards of Winters, CA. Sean McNamara and Jeremy Shepherd share their experiences on integrating sheep into

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CAFF’s Farmer Survey Results 2021

CAFF’s Farmer Survey Results 2021

In 2020 we asked you to complete our annual survey, participate in one-on-one conversations, and listening sessions – this critical feedback from farmers helps guide CAFF’s work and advocacy to better serve and represent California family famers. The results are

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House Ag Committee Proposes Much-Needed Aid in Next COVID Relief Package

House Ag Committee Proposes Much-Needed Aid in Next COVID Relief Package

COVID-19 Funding Will Assist with Farm and Food System Response and Recovery February 9th, 2021, Washington, DC — Today, the House of Representatives released the Agriculture and Nutrition title of the FY2021 Budget Reconciliation bill, intended to address ongoing impacts

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CAFF on CA Assembly Ag Committee Hearing

CAFF on CA Assembly Ag Committee Hearing

CAFF’s public comment for the California Assembly Ag Committee Hearing, February 10, 2021:  Good Afternoon Chair Rivas and members. Jamie Fanous for the Community Alliance with Family Farmers. CAFF has represented small and mid-scale family farmers in California for over 40 years,

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Don’t Let FDA’s Unfair Rules Jeopardize Small Farms

Don’t Let FDA’s Unfair Rules Jeopardize Small Farms

When it comes to regulating American agriculture, one size does NOT fit all. That was the message that CAFF and thousands of family farmers brought to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ten years ago when they began hashing out

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California Relief Grant: Round 2 opens Tuesday 2/2

California Relief Grant: Round 2 opens Tuesday 2/2

(Español abajo) If you missed Round 1 of the California Relief Grant for businesses impacted by Covid, there’s still time to get your application in! Round 2 is open February 2-8. Here’s what folks who received grants in Round 1

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2021 California Food & Farm Champions

2021 California Food & Farm Champions

Every year, we honor individuals, farms and local businesses making a positive impact on our food and agricultural communities throughout California. This year’s nominations–submitted by people like you–overflowed with inspiring stories of change-makers who are innovating, giving back and working

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Tell Our CA State Legislature that Backing Governor’s 2021 Budget Means Supporting Family Farms

Tell Our CA State Legislature that Backing Governor’s 2021 Budget Means Supporting Family Farms

Last week, Governor Newsom released his California state budget, which included funding for a number of incredibly important programs aimed at helping family farms during the pandemic, advancing social equity in agriculture, and promoting climate smart farming–programs that CAFF and

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Farmers’ Market Workers Should be Included in 1B Vaccine Group

Farmers’ Market Workers Should be Included in 1B Vaccine Group

January 15, 2021 To: Dr Erica Pan, CDPH; Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, OSG; Community Vaccine Advisory Committee Members CC: Honorable Governor Gavin Newsom, Secretary Karen Ross, Bobbie Wunsch Re: Ensure CA’s Certified Farmers’ Markets Industry Included in Phase 1b of

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Family farmers applaud Governor’s investments in underserved small farmers & ecological agriculture

Family farmers applaud Governor’s investments in underserved small farmers & ecological agriculture

Sacramento – Earlier today, Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed FY 21-22 budget, including targeted investments to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), an agricultural group that represents small and mid-sized farmers in California, applauded Governor

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Farmers Standing Up for Democracy

Farmers Standing Up for Democracy

We at CAFF often find ourselves at odds with those in power, frustrated by a government that for too long has neglected family farms, drags its feet on climate legislation, and continues to uphold systems perpetuating racial inequities, monopolization, and

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CSA / Farm Box Survey

CSA / Farm Box Survey

CSA/Farm Box Operators, Raise Your Voice! By taking just a few minutes to complete our 2020 CSA / Farm Box Survey, you help guide CAFF’s CSA-related work and help us capture the trajectory of the CSA model. PLUS: you’ll automatically be entered to win

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CA Offers New COVID Relief Grants

CA Offers New COVID Relief Grants

The State of California is offering $500 million in new relief grants to help small businesses and nonprofits, including farms, impacted by COVID-19. Grants range from $5,000 to $25,000 per business and can be used to cover a wide range

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Help CAFF Level the Playing Field for Family Farms

Help CAFF Level the Playing Field for Family Farms

Meet Celsa Ortega. After years of working in other peoples’ fields, in 2020 she finally started her own farm, Induchucuiti Organic Farms. With her own hands, Celsa tends her field in Salinas, exemplifying what it takes to be a small

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CAFF’s Cover Crop Decision Guides

CAFF’s Cover Crop Decision Guides

  We’re excited to share two new resources for growers: our Cover Crop Decision Guide for Perennial Systems and Cover Crop Decision Guide for Annual Systems created in collaboration with the Freshwater Trust. These practical guides are designed to walk

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2021 Awards

2021 Awards

NOMINATE YOUR FOOD & FARM HERO! Loading…

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Newest Round of Federal COVID-19 Aid for Farmers More Accessible

Newest Round of Federal COVID-19 Aid for Farmers More Accessible

The USDA is handing out $14 billion of CCC/CARES money as CFAP 2.0. The new program is a marked improvement on the last version with more eligible commodities and a payment option based on lost income rather than price decline. Applications opened September

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Did you receive a Healthy Soils Incentives grant?

Did you receive a Healthy Soils Incentives grant?

CAFF is offering technical assistance to growers and ranchers to help implement Healthy Soils practices on-farm! We can help: Provide advice on how to implement cover cropping, no-till and reduced tillage, whole orchard recycling, compost application and more. Connect with

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Black Lives Matter on our Farms

Black Lives Matter on our Farms

Since summer’s start, when CAFF joined millions in taking a stand for Black lives, the movement for racial justice has grown. But during that same time, violence against people of color has, too. From police shootings like that of Jacob Blake

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Seeking Farmers to Speak up on Groundwater Mgmt. Policy

Seeking Farmers to Speak up on Groundwater Mgmt. Policy

Concerned about the impacts of SGMA on your farm? Join CAFF’s farmer support network for resources, connections with other CA farmers, and the opportunity to influence State policy to serve family farmers’ needs The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF)

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Want to create a farm food safety plan but don’t know where to start?

Want to create a farm food safety plan but don’t know where to start?

From November 2020 – December 2021 CAFF is looking to partner with eight produce farms across California to help them improve their food safety practices and get into compliance with state and federal food safety regulations. If your farm is

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Remembering CAFF Board Member Pete Price

Remembering CAFF Board Member Pete Price

Late last month, we lost a friend, devoted CAFF board member and tireless champion in Sacramento fighting for family farms across the state. Pete Price served as CAFF’s legislative representative from 1998 to 2010 and joined the board in 2000

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More Funds for Farmers Impacted by COVID-19 & Economic Crisis

More Funds for Farmers Impacted by COVID-19 & Economic Crisis

For many family farmers reeling from the economic turmoil of COVID-19, sorely needed emergency relief never came because the government programs intended to serve them were targeted to the largest and wealthiest farms. To date, farm relief programs have proven

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2020 CAFF Survey

2020 CAFF Survey

CAFF’s ANNUAL SURVEY Your voice matters! By taking the time to complete this survey, you help guide CAFF’s work and advocacy to better serve and represent California family farmers, while promoting regenerative agriculture and local food systems. Deadline: Dec 1st,

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Why Family Farmers Say YES on Prop 15

Why Family Farmers Say YES on Prop 15

This November, California voters will have a chance to support small farms, small businesses and local communities, while ensuring big, wealthy corporations pay more of their fair share of property taxes. Prop 15 closes a corporate tax loophole that for

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ACTION ALERT! Tell Congress: Local Farms Need COVID-19 Relief

ACTION ALERT! Tell Congress: Local Farms Need COVID-19 Relief

 The majority of farmers selling local foods have suffered severe market disruptions due to COVID-19, yet the USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) has left them out. Now we have a chance to fix this dire situation!  U.S. Representative Alma

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Fire Relief Fund Launched to Support Family Farmers

Fire Relief Fund Launched to Support Family Farmers

Responding to wildfires across the state, Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) re-launched a fund to support smaller-scale farms impacted by this latest disaster. The grassroots initiative aims to fill the gaps of government aid and insurance, which often fail

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Farm Resources for Wildfire Resilience

Farm Resources for Wildfire Resilience

CAFF has carefully compiled a variety of resources to hep you and your farm prepare, respond and recovery from disasters such as the wildfires engulfing the golden state right now. Tips, videos, financial aid and much, much more.

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California Invests in Transition to Ecological Walnut Production

California Invests in Transition to Ecological Walnut Production

In a move to help walnut growers shift towards safer, more sustainable pest management practices, this week the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) awarded a $1 million grant to Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) for the agency’s

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CAFF’S On-Farm Occultation Research Report

CAFF’S On-Farm Occultation Research Report

Research and recommendations on occultation Building on our work in biointensive no-till systems, CAFF’s Climate Smart Farming team launched a research trial on California vegetable farms on a related practice called occultation. Occultation or “weeding with tarps”, is considered an

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Don’t Let Congress Ignore Small Farms Yet Again!

Don’t Let Congress Ignore Small Farms Yet Again!

In the last COVID aid package, congress approved $16 billion to support U.S. agriculture. But how much of that money found its way to the small family farmers who need it most? …Crumbs. Of the 93 farmers that CAFF supported

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2020 IS A YEAR OF BIG CHANGES

2020 IS A YEAR OF BIG CHANGES

2020 IS A YEAR OF BIG CHANGES Over four decades ago, those who founded CAFF gave their word to help grow more resilient family farms, communities and ecosystems. Today, we’re excited to announce a few changes in our organization, both

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CAFF’s Ecological Farming Program

CAFF’s Ecological Farming Program

Since 2017, CAFF’s Climate Smart Farming program has worked closely with farmers, researchers and technical assistance providers to investigate and promote climate smart farming practices through on-farm research and demonstration projects, education and outreach. As we continue to work at

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Weak State Ag Report Highlights Need for Farmer Justice

Weak State Ag Report Highlights Need for Farmer Justice

Last month, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) released a much-anticipated report highlighting inequities in California agriculture and recommending steps the state agency can take to address historic and lasting racism. While the report identified some key areas

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Small Farm FSMA Series Post 4 of 4

Small Farm FSMA Series Post 4 of 4

SMALL FARM FSMA SERIES – POST 4 of 4 Author: Stepheni Norton, Regional Food Safety Specialist FSMA is serious business, so we have a few disclaimers before we dig in.   Advice provided here is general in good farm practice and

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Small Farm FSMA Series Post 3 of 4

Small Farm FSMA Series Post 3 of 4

Author: Stepheni Norton, San Diego Regional Food Safety Specialist FSMA is serious business, so we have a few disclaimers before we dig in.   Advice provided here is meant for QUALIFIED EXEMPT FARMS If you need help determining your status, read

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Best Design for Food Safety – Floors

Best Design for Food Safety – Floors

Farmers can learn more in this resource created by the University of Vermont Extension and translated into Spanish by CAFF about how to design on-farm postharvest floors so that they minimize food safety risk. Download the resource here. Este trabajo

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Smooth and Cleanable Surfaces

Smooth and Cleanable Surfaces

Farmers can learn more in this resource created by the University of Vermont Extension and translated into Spanish by CAFF about how to design on-farm postharvest areas so that the surfaces minimize food safety risk. Download the resource here. Este

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Farm Cooler Checklist

Farm Cooler Checklist

Farmers can learn more about food safety best practices for on-farm coolers by checking out this resource created by the University of Vermont Extension and translated into Spanish by CAFF. Download resource here. Este trabajo está respaldado por el Programa

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Worker Health & Hygiene: FSMA & NOP

Worker Health & Hygiene: FSMA & NOP

This factsheet explains what farms that need to be in full compliance with the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) need to do to be in compliance with worker health and hygiene requirements. There is also an overview of what

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Wild & Domestic Animals: FSMA & NOP

Wild & Domestic Animals: FSMA & NOP

This factsheet provides an overview of what farms that need to be in full compliance with the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) need to do to meet wild and domestic animal requirements. In addition, an overview of wild and

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Monitoring Animals: FSMA & NOP

Monitoring Animals: FSMA & NOP

This factsheet provides an overview of what a farm that needs to be in full compliance with the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) needs to do in regards to monitoring for animal contamination. There is also an overview of

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Land Use: FSMA & NOP

Land Use: FSMA & NOP

This factsheet provides an overview of what farms that need to be in full compliance with the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) need to do in regards to their land use. An overview of what the National Organic Program

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Soil Amendments from Animals: FSMA & NOP

Soil Amendments from Animals: FSMA & NOP

This factsheet explains what farms that need to be in full compliance with the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) need to do with their soil amendments of animal origin to be in compliance. The factsheet also provides an overview

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Written Plans: FSMA & NOP

Written Plans: FSMA & NOP

This factsheet discusses an overview of what farms need to have for a written food safety plan if their need to be in full compliance with FSMA. There is also an overview of the written plan requirements are for the

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Recordkeeping: FSMA & NOP

Recordkeeping: FSMA & NOP

This factsheet explains the records farms that need to be in full compliance with FSMA must have and compares those vs. what records are required for the national organic program (NOP). Download the English version here. Download the Spanish version

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FSMA 101 vs. Organic Regulations

FSMA 101 vs. Organic Regulations

This factsheet provides an overview of the three farm categories within the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and relates that food safety regulation to the national organic program (NOP) requirements. Download the English version here Download the Spanish version

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FARM SURVEY: COVID-19​ in the Workplace

FARM SURVEY: COVID-19​ in the Workplace

(CAFF and the UC Davis Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety invite you to complete a short survey about your experience addressing COVID-19​ in the workplace. The survey should take less than 10 minutes ​to complete. Our goal is to

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Black Lives Matter, Solidarity from the Farm

Black Lives Matter, Solidarity from the Farm

BLACK LIVES MATTER SOLIDARITY FROM THE FARM   FROM COMMUNITY ALLIANCE WITH FAMILY FARMERS   Like many of you, we at CAFF have been gripped by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement and the ensuing

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Where Government Aid Falls Short, Grassroots Fund Helps Family Farms

Where Government Aid Falls Short, Grassroots Fund Helps Family Farms

Second round of grants to 36 farmers totals $90,000 Davis, CA – Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) announced the second round of emergency assistance grants to California farmers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic earlier today. Despite the release of

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New FDA Guidance on FSMA Qualified Exempt Requirements During Covid

New FDA Guidance on FSMA Qualified Exempt Requirements During Covid

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released temporary guidance on the requirements that farms must meet to be considered qualified exempt under the Federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This is important for small farms to be aware of

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USDA’s COVID-19 Farmer Relief Will Leave Out Farmers Most Impacted by Crisis

USDA’s COVID-19 Farmer Relief Will Leave Out Farmers Most Impacted by Crisis

Thousands of Farmers and Ranchers Working to Feed their Communities Will Not be Fairly Compensated for Losses

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Federal Aid for Farmers: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Federal Aid for Farmers: Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Yesterday the White House announced that farmers may begin applying for direct payments as part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) through their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office starting May 26. Announced last month by the Secretary of

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Reconnecting Markets, Feeding Communities

Reconnecting Markets, Feeding Communities

RECONNECTING MARKETS, FEEDING COMMUNITIES Food System Supply & Demand during COVID-19 Are you seeking new markets and new customers during the COVID-19 crisis? Have you lost sales outlets? Do you want to sell into a programs that are helping feed

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Fund Supports Family Farmers Falling Through the Cracks of COVID-19 Crisis

Fund Supports Family Farmers Falling Through the Cracks of COVID-19 Crisis

Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) announced the first round emergency assistance grants to California farmers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic earlier today. Most of the growers haven’t or are unlikely to receive other forms of assistance, falling through the

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Take Steps Now to Prepare for Coronavirus Assistance

Take Steps Now to Prepare for Coronavirus Assistance

Since the COVID-19 crisis hit, CAFF has been working hard with our allies at the state and national levels, urging our government to not only provide relief for the agricultural industry, but to make sure these funds reach family farms, smaller-scale businesses,

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Urging Congress to Protect Organic Food & Ag During Pandemic

Urging Congress to Protect Organic Food & Ag During Pandemic

As a member of the Organic Farmers Alliance in D.C., CAFF joined in urging congress to include provisions in the next coronavirus relief package to help organic farmers, farmworkers, retailers, certifiers, and other businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Like all

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EIDL Disaster Loan Applications Now Open to Farms

EIDL Disaster Loan Applications Now Open to Farms

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories were able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance is designed to provide economic

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State Program Puts Food Industry Back to Work, Sources from Local Farms to Feed Seniors in Need

State Program Puts Food Industry Back to Work, Sources from Local Farms to Feed Seniors in Need

Last week, Governor Newsom announced the launch of a first-in-the-nation “Great Plates Delivered” program, a state-funded meal delivery service with two goals: 1) help seniors and other adults at high risk from COVID-19 stay home and stay healthy by delivering

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How To Be A Good Farmers Market Customer

How To Be A Good Farmers Market Customer

To assure our farmers markets stay open, accessible and safe for everyone, it’s gonna take everyone doing their part on both sides of the booth.

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Farm to Family Program

Farm to Family Program

$2 million in USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant funding for CAFB to support harvesting, packing  and shipping of donated specialty crop products. In addition, the state Department of Social Services has more than $860,000 in USDA Farm to Food Bank

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Governor: Expansion of Farm to Family Program

Governor: Expansion of Farm to Family Program

Governor Newsom Announces Expansion of Farm to Family Program and New Initiatives to Combat Food Insecurity. The Governor unveiled $3.64 million in new funding to expand the state’s Farm to Family program, including $2.86 million from the USDA and $775,000

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Farm Tough First Aid Kit

Farm Tough First Aid Kit

Most standard first aid kits you can buy do not come with supplies that are tough enough to withstand farming activities. CAFF created this Farm Tough First Aid Kit resource that guides you through curating a first aid kit that

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Don’t Let the USDA Leave You Out

Don’t Let the USDA Leave You Out

ACTION ALERT! As farmers and ranchers across the country are feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, USDA is preparing to distribute $16 billion in direct aid to producers who have experienced financial losses.Applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will

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New Funding: Soil Health Management in Orchards

New Funding: Soil Health Management in Orchards

Financial & technical assistance available through participating in On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials with the East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District! View below or download the application here.    

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New CDC Resource on Facemasks in Agriculture

New CDC Resource on Facemasks in Agriculture

Today (4/24/20) CDC released a new webpage providing information on facemasks, face coverings, and respirator use in agriculture. The article explains what type of face covering can be worn effectively in what farming situation.

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Farmers Now Eligible for Federal Funds

Farmers Now Eligible for Federal Funds

This week the Senate passed the latest aid package, which is now on its way to the House for a likely vote and the President has indicated he will sign it. This means that the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) as

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New Guidance for Operating Certified Farmers’ Markets During COVID-19

New Guidance for Operating Certified Farmers’ Markets During COVID-19

Updated 4/21 by the CDFA: This guidance is based on what is currently known about the transmission and severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will update this guidance as needed and as

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CAFF Participating in Survey of Farm Workers During COVID-19

CAFF Participating in Survey of Farm Workers During COVID-19

Farmworkers are considered essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis and continue to work on California farms and ranches. In order to ensure that these workers’ voices are shaping responses to COVID-19, a broad coalition of researchers and farmworker advocates are

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COVID Update: CA Dept. of Food & Ag

COVID Update: CA Dept. of Food & Ag

Governor Newsom Action on Unemployment Benefits, Including Undocumented Immigrants On April 15, Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-50-20 to support California workers impacted by the Coronavirus, including financial aid to undocumented immigrants. The state also issued a Guide for Immigrant Californians. Employee Health Resources

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COVID-19 USDA Farm Stimulus Packages

COVID-19 USDA Farm Stimulus Packages

On Friday, the White House announced that it will direct $19 billion in funds to aid farmers and ranchers during the coronavirus crisis. CAFF and our allies in D.C. are currently awaiting more details in order to explain exactly what

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State Water Resources Control Board Limits Regulation of On-Farm Composting

State Water Resources Control Board Limits Regulation of On-Farm Composting

(Updated 4/15/20) The State Water Resources Control Board’s Compost General Order that passed in 2015 presented a regulatory obstacle for on-farm composting, despite the state’s efforts to reduce waste and provide for more ecological farming practices. The Order limited farmers

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On-Farm Food Safety Webinar

On-Farm Food Safety Webinar

On 4/8/20 CAFF gave a webinar answering dozens of questions on on-farm food safety related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Judith Redmond from Full Belly Farm shared some tips and other info on how their farm is adapting during this challenging

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CAFF Policy Update: COVID-19

CAFF Policy Update: COVID-19

Updated 4/10/20 (we will continue to update this document as new developments unfold and as new information is released) CARES Federal programs In the face of our public health crisis due to the coronavirus, Congress passed a stimulus package on

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Emergency Fund Supports CA Family Farmers Impacted By Covid-19

Emergency Fund Supports CA Family Farmers Impacted By Covid-19

Given the pressing challenges facing California farmers as a result of Covid-19, Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is launching a new fund today to support those farmers most impacted by the virus and the resulting economic turmoil.  California farmers

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New CAFF Resource: How to Run CSA Pick Up Sites during COVID-19

New CAFF Resource: How to Run CSA Pick Up Sites during COVID-19

CAFF has created a new resource for farmers that have Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pick up locations. The guide has tips for farmers and a sign that farmers could post at pick up locations and/or share electronically with CSA members.

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New CAFF Resource: How to Prepare for Farm Labor Shortages

New CAFF Resource: How to Prepare for Farm Labor Shortages

CAFF has created a new resource to help farmers prepare for possible labor shortages due to COVID-19. The first page of this resource is a flowchart that helps farmers determine the readiness of their operation. The second page is a

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California Okays On-Farm Compost, Key to Sustainable Agriculture

California Okays On-Farm Compost, Key to Sustainable Agriculture

Sacramento, CA – After more than five years of negotiations, the State Water Resources Control Board issued a historic decision to allow for much-needed composting on California farms.  “Farmers can now compost more, build healthy soils, and reduce and mitigate

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On-Farm COVID-19 Food Safety Info & FAQs

On-Farm COVID-19 Food Safety Info & FAQs

By: Kali Feiereisel, MPH Senior Manager, Farmer Services   Last updated: April 7th, 2020 We realize this is a time of great uncertainty and anxiety. Hopefully this blog post can provide some tangible information to help answer some of your

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COVID-19 Small Business Survival Guide

COVID-19 Small Business Survival Guide

Need help navigating through the chaos COVID-19? This Guide from the U.S. Small Business Development Center is here to help, from loans to labor to answering questions regarding how your business can maximize the available help.

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