All posts in Blog

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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A Closer Look at Farmer Relief in Senate Pandemic Aid Package

A Closer Look at Farmer Relief in Senate Pandemic Aid Package

As farmers and communities all across the country continue to deal with the impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Congress has been working around the clock to pass another round of emergency aid – this time targeted at small businesses

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Farmers’ Market Response & Best Practices: COVID19

Farmers’ Market Response & Best Practices: COVID19

As COVID19 is is rapidly changing, we will also update this guide. Please check back frequently for tips, best practices, communication, signs and alternative market models, such as Drive Thru Market.

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Congress Steps Up to Support Family Farmers

Congress Steps Up to Support Family Farmers

Washington, DC – Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), a nonprofit organization that serves small- and mid-scale farmers in California, issued the following statement from Policy Director Dave Runsten in response to the $9.5 billion in emergency funding meant to

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Sign Up for Buyer/Seller Support: COVID-19

Sign Up for Buyer/Seller Support: COVID-19

Are you in need of support to help sell, buy, or otherwise distribute local food in California as a result of impacts caused by COVID-19? Fill out this form and someone from CAFF will try to help make connections to

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Tell Congress: Support Family Farms & Local Food During COVID-19 Crisis!

Tell Congress: Support Family Farms & Local Food During COVID-19 Crisis!

The global COVID-19 pandemic is touching every part of our lives, including food and agriculture. Necessary measures to contain the spread of the virus have resulted in the immediate loss of key markets for growers, as ongoing uncertainty threatens farmers’

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Employee Transit Letter

Employee Transit Letter

On March 19th, Gov. Newsom issued an executive order directing California residents to “Shelter-In-Place.” However, Gov. Newsom’s order allows people employed in critical jobs like food production to move freely to go to work, come home, and otherwise travel as

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CSA Tools & Resources During COVID19

CSA Tools & Resources During COVID19

With COVID-19 rapidly evolving, we at CAFF are actively compiling CSA-specific tools and information to help farmers adapt, stay safe and continue to provide healthy food for their local communities…

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Coronavirus Aid Must Help Farmers Keep Foothold in Local Food Economies

Coronavirus Aid Must Help Farmers Keep Foothold in Local Food Economies

While the Trump administration prioritizes bailouts for airlines and other big businesses, it’s an imperative to support the family farms that put food on our plates. That’s why groups representing farmers and farmers markets nationwide are telling Congress they need to be included in

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Is Your Farmers Market Closed? Send this Letter!

Is Your Farmers Market Closed? Send this Letter!

Is your farmers market closed because of COVID-19? Use this template letter to urge your local government to reopen the market, recognizing it as an essential business keeping your community fed, healthy and resilient during this crisis.

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COVID-19 & its Impacts on the Farm and Food System

COVID-19 & its Impacts on the Farm and Food System

A policy update from CAFF’s advocacy coalition in D.C., the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition: The rapidly developing COVID-19 pandemic is already causing significant impacts across the entirety of our US food and agriculture system. Necessary measures to contain the spread

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What can consumers do to support farms & local food system during Covid-19?

What can consumers do to support farms & local food system during Covid-19?

What Can Consumers Do During the COVID-19 Crisis to Support Family Farms & Our Local Food System? While confusion abounds during this ever-developing COVID-19 crisis, one thing is clear: a strong, healthy, local food system is absolutely essential during times

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The Fight to Keep Farmers’ Markets Open During Coronavirus

The Fight to Keep Farmers’ Markets Open During Coronavirus

In communities nationwide, farmers and market managers are making the case for continuing to sell local food with precautions in place against COVID-19. At the downtown Berkeley Farmers’ Market last Saturday, shoppers showed up in droves, despite the cold, rainy

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CSA & Online Sales during Covid-19

CSA & Online Sales during Covid-19

SELLING DIRECT & ONLINE DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, many farmers are being forced to reconsider their sales outlets. While there may be no shortage of food and certainly no shortage of demand (in

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Coronavirus & CA Farmers Markets

Coronavirus & CA Farmers Markets

CORONAVIRUS & CA FARMERS MARKETS As the full affects of Covid-19 continue unfolding, we at CAFF are watching closely to find out how this pandemic will impact California family farmers as well as farmers markets. However, one thing is clear:

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Community Alliance with Family Farmers’ Statement on Governor’s Announcement on COVID-19 Actions

Community Alliance with Family Farmers’ Statement on Governor’s Announcement on COVID-19 Actions

For Immediate Release: March 15, 2020 Sacramento, CA – Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), a nonprofit organization that serves small- and mid-scale farmers in California, issued the following statement from Executive Director Paul Towers in response to the Governor’s

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YouTube video

Vídeo: Los Cinco Principios de la Salud del Suelo

Los agricultores en todo el mundo operan en una era de clima incierto. Los suelos sanos y vivos pueden soportar mejor la creciente demanda que les estamos imponiendo para cultivar alimentos saludables y mantener el agua y aire limpios bajo

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Technical Assistance for the Healthy Soils Program

Technical Assistance for the Healthy Soils Program

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR THE HEALTHY SOILS PROGRAM Are you interested in implementing cover crops, compost, hedgerows and other Healthy Soils practices on you farm? The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is offering 3 year grants to farmers to

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Now more than ever, we should be supporting SLO county’s small organic farms

Now more than ever, we should be supporting SLO county’s small organic farms

NEW TIMES SLO – The American disconnect between food and farmer is nothing short of catastrophic. Farming is complicated and grossly underestimated, especially small, organic farming in a state that doesn’t seem to support it very well—ask any small farmer

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2020 Awards: California Food & Farm Champions

2020 Awards: California Food & Farm Champions

Every year, our community recognizes farmers and food system advocates from across California who are contributing to a stronger local food economy, promoting food justice and empowering a new generation of agrarians. Awards are selected from hundreds of nominations by

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CA Small Farm Conference Comes to San Luis Obispo County Feb 27-29

CA Small Farm Conference Comes to San Luis Obispo County Feb 27-29

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    CALIFORNIA SMALL FARM CONFERENCE COMES TO SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY For its thirty-second year, the annual California Small Farm Conference is heading to San Luis Obispo County from February 27th through the 29th. Attracting family

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FSMA Produce Safety Rule Inspection Updates

FSMA Produce Safety Rule Inspection Updates

Looking to learn more about when and how Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Inspections will happen in California? Read this blog post to learn about the current timeline of California FSMA Inspections on large, small, and very small

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California Food & Farming Network Releases Annual Scorecard

California Food & Farming Network Releases Annual Scorecard

Over half of state legislators receive “A” grades. More ambitious policy proposals face challenges Sacramento, CA – The California Food and Farming Network (CFFN) released the 2020 scorecard, revealing policy votes of California’s 120 elected state legislators, with a majority

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Community Alliance with Family Farmers’ Statement on Governor Newsom’s Proposed Budget

Community Alliance with Family Farmers’ Statement on Governor Newsom’s Proposed Budget

Sacramento, CA – It’s a new year in Sacramento and that means the Governor is proposing his budget. Over the next five months the Legislature will work his proposal over, adding and subtracting, and there is a revision in May

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Shouldering the Burden

Shouldering the Burden

COMSTOCK – Progressive-minded farmers in the Capital Region undertake steps to battle and adapt to climate change. “David Kaisel has to run to the hardware store. He needs to fix his combine harvester, he explains, taking off his ball cap

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Farm Workforce Modernization Act Fails Small Farms, Farmworkers

Farm Workforce Modernization Act Fails Small Farms, Farmworkers

A newly proposed bipartisan congressional bill aims to grant legal status to farmworkers currently in the country illegally. But while it may seem a boon to growers and farmworkers alike, we CAFF, having worked on these issues for over four

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Open Source Technology Could Be a Boon to Farmers

Open Source Technology Could Be a Boon to Farmers

CIVIL EATS – The growing ag tech sector can be pricey and ill-suited for smaller operations. These new companies aim to make it free, fair, and more accessible. Robert Chang’s fellow small-scale farmers turn to each other when they need

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Food industry, farmers step up response to natural disasters

Food industry, farmers step up response to natural disasters

PRESS DEMOCRAT – If practice makes perfect, it’s no wonder North County chefs and farmers have gotten so good in the last few years at responding to natural disasters. Since the Tubbs fire in October 2017, fires and floods have

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Photography in Support of Women Owned CSA’s

Photography in Support of Women Owned CSA’s

SONOMA COUNTY GAZETTE – This past Saturday Nov 16, I attended a very unusual and heartwarming event at REFRAME Hair Gallery  run by Nevuah Tova  and Cameron Nairn Wayland the owners. The event Glamour + Grit: Art Show & CSA Fair, featured

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CAFF Ag Policy Update: Fall 2019

CAFF Ag Policy Update: Fall 2019

(In order of importance as ranked by our 2018 Policy survey) Immigration reform and farm labor CAFF spearheaded the creation of an immigration reform policy position at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition in 2013, which we then used to influence

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The Women of CSA Farming

The Women of CSA Farming

THE WOMEN OF CSA COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE Did you know that female producers now make up 36% of farmers in America? And that in the North Bay of California, 100% of CSA farms are owned or co-owned by women? Community

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YouTube video

Immigration Reforms Effects on Organic Farming

Immigrants are central to California’s farm community and critical to meeting the agricultural labor demand. In this webinar, CAFF’s Policy Director, David Runsten gives updates on immigration reforms, such as the H2A temporary agricultural program for guest workers, and the

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California Farmers Face a Long Road to Recovery After Wildfires

California Farmers Face a Long Road to Recovery After Wildfires

CIVIL EATS – At the peak of the state’s fire season, we spoke to five farmers who endured wildfires over the past two years. Here are their stories. David Kaisel had completed his weekly trip to the Ferry Plaza farmers’

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California hospitals and schools bring the (grass-fed) beef

California hospitals and schools bring the (grass-fed) beef

HEALTHCARE WITHOUT HARM – On a beautiful sunny July day in Pescadero, Calif., 30 leaders representing K-12 school districts, hospitals, and ranches gathered at TomKat Ranch, a 1,800-acre grass-fed cattle ranch in the San Francisco Bay Area. After touring the

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“Public Charge” Immigration Rule Disaster for Agriculture & Farm Workers

“Public Charge” Immigration Rule Disaster for Agriculture & Farm Workers

Earlier this month, CAFF & The Farmers Guild joined hundreds of thousands of other organizations and individuals across America to ask the Trump administration not to implement their changes to the “public charge” rule used to screen immigrant applicants for legal permanent

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Fire Survivor: David Kaisel, Capay Mills

Fire Survivor: David Kaisel, Capay Mills

David Kaisel of Capay Mills in Rumsey, CA  David Kaisel first came to the Capay Valley in Northern California about 30 years ago to learn to paddle white water on Cache Creek. “I remember coming up here when the river’s

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Farmers of Color May Soon Get More Support in California

Farmers of Color May Soon Get More Support in California

CIVIL EATS — In an effort to address historic, systemic racism, two bills would support socially disadvantaged farmers, offering financial assistance, training, and more. Abel Ruiz would like nothing more than to farm his own land, but he lacks the

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3 CA Bills Supporting Family Farms Head to Sacramento

3 CA Bills Supporting Family Farms Head to Sacramento

This year, we at CAFF & The Farmers Guild are co-sponsoring and supporting three bills that, if passed, would help family farmers thrive, ensure healthy local food and promote sustainable agriculture. Will you join us in telling your state representatives

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What does the Ag Census Tell Us About the Future of Farms?

What does the Ag Census Tell Us About the Future of Farms?

Last week, the USDA released the Census of Agriculture, a (nearly) complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Taken only once every five years, the census looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices,

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Bill Would Bring Local, Organic Food to Schools

Bill Would Bring Local, Organic Food to Schools

Last month, Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) introduced Assembly Bill 958, to provide local, organic food to children in schools. Co-sponsored by CAFF & The Farmers Guild, together with the Natural Resources Defense Council, this bill recognizes that school meals with

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Fire Survivor: Melissa & Austin Lely, Bee-Well Farms

Fire Survivor: Melissa & Austin Lely, Bee-Well Farms

College sweethearts Melissa and Austin Lely knew they wanted to make a life together not just living off the land, but giving back to it. So after graduating from Chico State in 2012, they jumped at the chance to live

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New Leadership at CAFF & the Farmers Guild: Welcome, Paul Towers!

New Leadership at CAFF & the Farmers Guild: Welcome, Paul Towers!

Today we’re excited to announce new leadership here at Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the Farmers Guild, with Paul Towers assuming the role of Executive Director. We offer our heartfelt thanks and bid farewell to Diane Del Signore who

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Fire Survivor: David Cooper, Oak Hill Farm

Fire Survivor: David Cooper, Oak Hill Farm

About Oak Hill Farm For seven decades, Oak Hill Farm has used sustainable agricultural practices on about 25 acres of farmland and has protected hundreds of acres of native oak woodland on the western slope of the Mayacamas Mountains in

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Eureka hospital employees excited for local foods

Eureka hospital employees excited for local foods

HEALTHCARE WITHOUT HARM — Local food has become a priority for individuals and institutions across the country as people are increasingly interested in knowing where their food comes from. Consistently listed as a “hot trend” by the American Restaurant Association

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California Farmers Climate Pledge

California Farmers Climate Pledge

As California farmers and ranchers, our livelihoods as well as the ability to feed America entirely depends on the climate. Working close to Nature, we are the first to notice shifts in weather. On our land and in our harvests,

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