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Laura Patterson  |  UC Davis  |  Davis, CA

Subject: For anyone in CA that raises at least 1 pig outdoors: fill out a survey & be entered to win a gi

Hello - I am a former small-scale California farmer and currently a PhD candidate in epidemiology at UC Davis. My thesis focuses on small-scale diversified farms, with an emphasis on the interface of feral pigs and outdoor-raised pigs. My advisor is Dr. Alda Pires, who is a University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) specialist of urban agriculture and food safety.

We recently created an online survey to identify outdoor-raised pigs in California as well as areas which are impacted by feral pig intrusions. This survey is appropriate for anyone that raises at least one pig outside including: pork producers, farmers, ranchers, backyard operations, 4-H/FFA members, pet pig owners, heritage pig breeders, pig rescue groups, etc.

Click here to take the survey.

Survey participation will help UCCE develop outreach and educational materials for all operations that raise pigs outdoors and/or

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In Topics Pest & Disease Management, Food Safety, Wildlife Management, Livestock

In General FarmsReach community

Comment 0
09/11/18
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FarmsReach Team  |  FarmsReach  |  Berkeley, CA

Subject: Transitions: Shermain Hardesty, former Director of UC Small Farm Program & 30 years serving CA f

Hot off the presses: the first blog in our mini-series interviewing a few respected leaders in the CA sustainable farming and agriculture movement who recently retired to a life of a bit more free time and freedom! In our first post, we share highlights (+ full transcript) from our conversation with Shermain Hardesty, former Director of the UC Small Farm Program.

Click to peruse her reflections on the past 30 years serving CA farmers and pontifications on the future of sustainable farming in California, including what new farmers should be tracking most closely, the future of Cooperative Extension, the role small farmers have in our future food system, and more... Enjoy!

Stay tuned for our next posts in the series: Ed Thompson of American Farmland Trust, and Tom Willey of T&D Willey Farms. If you know of other influential folks in the sustainable agriculture sector who have transitioned recently

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In Topics Washing, Packing & Packaging, Marketing & Sales, Food Safety, Equipment, Trucks, Delivery & Logistics, Business & Financial Planning, Farmland Conservation, Sales & Estate Planning, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Women in Agriculture, Policy

In General FarmsReach community

Comment 0
03/30/18
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Sarah McCamman  |  Root 64  |  SACRAMENTO, CA

Subject: Safe barrier between veggie fields and busy roadway

My partner and I are site planning for our new urban homestead and veggie farm in Sacramento. We have a lovely acre with a home, a few existing trees, and lots of potential. We will be planting fruit trees this Winter and starting with veggies, which will make up the bulk of our operation, next spring. The large open field where we will be growing veggies backs up to a busy roadway and we're planning to plant a hedgerow of drought tolerant natives and insectary plants along the back fence, potentially followed by a row of fruit trees, as a visual and auditory barrier, as well as to dissipate and absorb any potential toxins from the roadway (exhaust fumes, tire wear and tear, tar and other materials from the road itself) before they can get to the veggies.

The road itself is 10 feet off of our fence line and has a 5 ft shoulder (so cars are driving 15 ft from our fence) and we were imagining a ~15 ft

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In Topics Food Safety, Urban Agriculture

In General FarmsReach community

Comments 4
11/01/17

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  |   Cooperative Extension UC Davis  |  Davis, CA commented

Hi All,

The ANR Cooperative Extension has a webpage ( http://ucanr.edu/sites/UrbanAg/Starting_an_Urban_Farm/) with several resources such: soil testing, food safety , production etc. Here is recent publication about soil testing http://ucanr.edu/sites/UrbanAg/files/197207.pdf.

11/08/17 7:55 AM

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Jacob Roberson  |  Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF)  |  Fresno, CA

Subject: Food Safety Regional Lead for Tulare, Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties

Good Morning Ya'll,

My name is Jacob Roberson and I am the Food Safety Regional Lead for Tulare, Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties for a non-profit organization called Community Alliance with Family Farmers (new to Fresno area). CAFF is well established all over California except for the Central Valley which is where I am based out of (Fresno to be exact). I wanted to use this post as a source to contact farmers who are struggling with food safety and cannot afford to hire an outside consultant to come to their farm, perform assessments, help with documentation, and get their farm ready for a 3rd party audit. I perform the same duties as an outside consultant but my service is no cost to the farmer. CAFF is a non-profit organization looking to better food safety standards and procedures practiced on small farms / farms at a disadvantage (financial hardships, language barriers, new farmers, etc.).

Food

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In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Pest & Disease Management, Water & Irrigation, Harvesting, Washing, Packing & Packaging, Waste Management, Food Safety, Trucks, Delivery & Logistics, Certifications, Wildlife Management, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Anything Goes

In General FarmsReach community

Comment 0
06/09/17
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Laura Patterson  |  UC Davis  |  Davis, CA

Subject: ORGANIC PRODUCE FARMS NEEDED FOR RESEARCH STUDY

We are looking for California certified organic growers to participate in a multi-regional study to assess current management practices affecting soil health and the survival of pathogens, related to adding raw/aged/untreated manure to crop production fields.

The goal of our study is to provide organic farmers with science-based effective strategies that limit food safety risks when using raw manure based soil amendments.

University of California-Davis researchers will visit enrolled farms 8 times per growing season (in 2017 & 2018). We will collect water, produce, soil and manure samples. All samples will be tested for bacterial indicators such as nonpathogenic E. coli & pathogens. Farmers will be asked to complete a short survey. The study is voluntary and all locations and names will be kept confidential.

How you can participate:

We are looking to enroll farms that fit these criteria:... Read More

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Pest & Disease Management, Food Safety, Livestock, News & Events

In General FarmsReach community

Comment 1
01/11/17
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  |  P.J. Dunn Working Redworms  |  Galt, CA commented

Sounds like a very important study for pastured land producing crops for human consumption. I like to remind farmers if they do have access to large quantities of raw manures and spread them on their fields that processing through the gut of the composting worm adds incredible benefit to the finished product. Getting started is easy if you want to know more you can contact Michael Dunn at PJ Dunn Working Red Worms in Galt

01/16/17 12:08 PM

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Laura Patterson  |  UC Davis  |  Davis, CA

Subject: Farmer participation request for UC Davis study

We are seeking volunteers for a study accessing the dynamics of foodborne pathogens (i.e. Campylobacter spp.) in integrated mixed crop-livestock systems involving multiple livestock species. The use of livestock to graze vegetable, fruit or nut production fields has increased in recent years in California. The results of this project will develop scale-sized management practice recommendations to reduce foodborne pathogen risk for mixed crop-livestock farms producing fresh produce or nuts.

How You Can Participate:

Researchers at the University of California Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture Natural Resources Cooperative Extension are looking to enroll farmers that fit these criteria:

  • Farm in Yolo, Solano, Sacramento, Sonoma, or Marin counties
  • Integrate livestock grazing and crop production or integrate livestock grazing in orchards (fruit or nuts)
  • Small to medium-sized farms
  • Raise
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In Topics Food Safety, Livestock, News & Events

In General FarmsReach community

Comment 0
01/11/17
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Alda Pires  |   Cooperative Extension UC Davis  |  Davis, CA

Subject: ORGANIC PRODUCE FARMS NEEDED FOR RESEARCH STUDY

We are looking for certified organic producers in California, to participate in a multi-regional study to fully assess current management practices affecting the survival of pathogens and soil health, used by the organic industry related to adding raw or untreated manure to crop fields. The goal of our study is to provide organic farmers with science-based effective strategies that limit food safety risks when using valuable raw manure based soil amendments.

University of California-Davis researchers will visit enrolled farms 8 times over the growing season (2017- 2018). We will collect produce, water, soil and manure samples. All samples will be tested for bacterial indicators such as nonpathogenic E. coli & pathogens. Farmers will be asked to complete a short survey. The study is voluntary and all locations and names will be kept confidential.

Who are we looking for?

  • NOP certified organic farms in
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In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Food Safety

In General FarmsReach community

Comments 5
11/29/16, updated

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  |   Cooperative Extension UC Davis  |  Davis, CA commented

Dear Tom Willey,

Thank you very much for your interest in our research and insights about this project. We are aware that the use of raw manure in organic agriculture is a practice only used by a small proportion of producers (about 30% of surveyed farmers in a recent nationwide survey conducted by our research team, with west coast producers showing the smallest percentage of raw manure use).

The objective of this current project is to provide science–based data and effective strategies to support those using raw manure or untreated manure.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss this further.

Thank you again for your insights.

Best,

Alda Pires

12/07/16 2:20 PM

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FarmsReach Team  |  FarmsReach  |  Berkeley, CA

Subject: Agritourism: Negotiating permits & regulations archive, presentation slides and Q&A overview

Below are links to access all the useful info from the third webinar in the Agritourism Conversations Series: The Rules: Negotiating Permits & Regulations -- presentation slides, webinar recordings and a summary of the Q&A. We welcome your other questions or tips in the CA Agritourism group as well!

Below is a summary of what was covered in the Q&A section, if you want to jump to the spot in the second video recording

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In Topics Marketing & Sales, Food Safety, Business & Financial Planning, Insurance

In General FarmsReach community, California Agritourism

Comment 0
06/21/16, updated
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Alda Pires  |   Cooperative Extension UC Davis  |  Davis, CA

Subject: SURVEY TO CHARACTERIZE THE USE OF SOIL AMENDMENTS IN ORGANIC AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE: MAKING SUR

Dear Organic Farmer,

In national effort to evaluate the needs and concerns of organic producers surrounding the safe use of manure and compost in the production of organic produce, U.C. Davis, The Organic Center and Organic Trade Association are conducting a farmer-focused survey to characterize the use of manure and compost based soil amendments.

The impetus of this survey is the ongoing implementation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FDA last fall revised some of its new rules putting into place the FSMA regulations. Of the revisions, one of the most notable for organic were changes made relating to the use of compost and manure and the required interval that untreated manure could be applied and crops harvested.

Instead of its earlier proposed 9-month minimum interval requirement, FDA moved to give the agency time to conduct research into

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In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Food Safety

In General FarmsReach community

Comment 0
03/18/16, updated
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Susan Ellsworth  |  Alameda County RCD & Flatlands Oil & Mill  |  Livermore & Winters, CA

Subject: Niche Meat Processing in the East/South Bay

Hi all,

As part of an LFPP grant-funded project, a group of producers and ag/resource professionals just wrapped up a needs assessment process here in the East and South Bay related to livestock slaughter and processing. As many of you well know, this is big topic without many clear answers. Nevertheless, the report has some interesting findings and good next steps - see the final sections of the report and executive summary.

Here is a link to the website with the report and some useful background information, including an updated map of local facilities.

If you're interested in learning more or being a part of any next steps, contact susan.ellsworth@ca.nacdnet.net.

Cheers and happy new year!

Susan

Alameda County RCD

In Topics Food Safety, Livestock, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Anything Goes

In General FarmsReach community

Comments 5
01/07/16

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  |  Devils Gulch Ranch  |  Nicasio commented

Virtually all "Poultry" are permitted to be slaughtered in a California Dept of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) inspected facility, based upon certain criteria that the USDA has allowing an exception to USDA inspection for poultry. This includes chickens, quail, squab, duck, goose, chuckers, pheasant, and rabbits. Poultry slaughtered in a CDFA facility are legal to sell to consumers, stores and restaurants within California. There are not a lot of CDFA poultry facilities, but there are certainly more than USDA facilities. Also, it is actually not that difficult to have your own CDFA facility, as far as the CDFA is concerned. Biggest challenges come from your local health and building depts, (waste water, bathrooms, potable water, buildings, etc) but I know of several small producers in the North bay area that process their own birds under CDFA regulation. The CDFA has been very helpful when I have sought

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03/08/16 6:24 AM

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