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FarmsReach Team  |  FarmsReach  |  Berkeley, CA

Subject: Minimum wage & farm viability

The recent posts in our Classifieds about minimum wage reflect the unfortunate truths for both hiring farms and farm workers. For some farms, it can be tough to break even paying just minimum wage, while, for farm workers, minimum wage is hardly a living wage.

There are obviously no easy answers, but it’s clear that farm operators must somehow find ways to maximize production and efficiencies with less human power.

Below are some resources as practical guidance or simply food for thought. Please feel free to share other resources you think folks may be interested in!

... Read More

In Topics Business & Financial Planning, Staff, HR & Worker Safety, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers

In General FarmsReach community

Comments 9
05/14/18

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  |  Jellicles Farm  |  Sunol , CA commented

Also: in most parts of the world, farm sizes are 3-7 acres and they can’t afford 100k worth of tractors. There is severe drought and/or depleted soils. Climate change is literally changing landscapes and industrializion has dried up aquifers. And a desperate lack of people interested in farming because there is no safety net like in the USA. We can’t deny innovation by imagining that the rest of the world lives like us or grows food like us. Innovating and automating food production and farming for smaller farms will be truly game changing at a global level.

05/16/18 6:05 PM

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FarmsReach Team  |  FarmsReach  |  Berkeley, CA

Subject: Compiled list of Job Opportunities posted recently

There have been a lot of job opportunities posted in FarmsReach lately! Please pass this on to friends who are looking for farm positions or internships! To view all Classifieds, go to http://FarmsReach.com > Community > Classifieds.

Field Crew (Full Time and Part Time), Bluma Farm, Sunol

http://www.farmsreach.com/welcome/groups/classifieds-employment-opportunities/forum/topic/field-crew-full-time-and-part-time/

Assistant Manager (Full Time), Bluma Farm, Sunol

http://www.farmsreach.com/welcome/groups/classifieds-employment-opportunities/forum/topic/assistant-manager-full-time/

Nursery Assistant, MIX Garden, Healdsburg

http://www.farmsreach.com/welcome/groups/classifieds-employment-opportunities/forum/topic/nursery-assistant-position/

Ranch Manager, SoMar Farms, Petaluma

... Read More

In Topics Staff, HR & Worker Safety

In General FarmsReach community

Comment 0
02/11/18, updated
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Paula Balbontin  |  West Valley College  |  Davis, CA

Subject: Farmers in San Benito County, Educators need five minutes of your time.

In San Benito County, we live one step away from Silicon Valley, the world’s hub for technology development, where high-tech workers find new ways to improve our connectivity, boost our economies, and improve our livelihoods.

Being California the state that feeds our nation, the agricultural sector is not left behind, and Silicon Valley’s innovators work hard to equip our agriculture with cutting-edge tools. However, technology by itself is not, and will not be enough to move our California’s agriculture to the next level in terms of productivity and environmental sustainability.

Even though technologies such as drones or automatized harvest machines have proved to increase our agricultural productivity, we know that adopting them is not an easy road. Not only high start-up costs, but also a lack of qualified labor with skills and knowledge on how to use these technologies effectively makes the

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In Topics Staff, HR & Worker Safety, Certifications, Women in Agriculture, News & Events

In General FarmsReach community, California FarmLink, CA Women, Food and Agriculture Network, California Agritourism

Comments 3
06/21/17

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  |  FarmsReach  |  Berkeley, CA commented

Hi folks! We have you log in to update your settings, as there are several choices: receive certain types of posts, posts to certain groups, daily digest, weekly digest, or none at all. You can always email us at support@farmsreach.com for help, or if you have any questions! RJ, we'll update your settings for you!

06/22/17 2:18 PM

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FarmsReach Team  |  FarmsReach  |  Berkeley, CA

Subject: Revisiting Your Agritourism Strategy for Increased Income

If you offer any kind of agritourism - from U-Pick to to bed-n-breakfast - we think you may be interested in the upcoming Agritourism Conversations hosted by UC Small Farm Program and FarmsReach! It is a series of 5 practical webinars with ongoing Q&A and resource-sharing by presenters and the community online in between. It kicks off on May 19th and continues through July 14th.

If you are an agritourism operator and have a burning question about how to improve or expand your operation, you can also share your questions in the new CA Agritourism group ahead of time, or email: paleff@ucdavis.edu. We will make sure your questions are answered!

SCHEDULE – all webinars will be 11am-12pm PT:

  • Thursday May 19 – The Strategy: Identifying, Reaching & Connecting with YOUR Agritourism Customers
    Presenters: Kristen Skaggs and Anna Farrell, Farrell Design Group; Al Courchesne (Farmer Al), Frog Hollow Farm.
... Read More

In Topics Marketing & Sales, Business & Financial Planning, Staff, HR & Worker Safety, Insurance

In General FarmsReach community

Comment 0
05/03/16, updated
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Bryce Loewen  |  Blossom Bluff Orchards  |  Parlier, CA

Subject: Opinions wanted regarding "fair compensation" for farmers market work in the Bay Area.

Howdy folks!
We've been selling our fruit at Bay Area farmers markets for over 20 years now and have probably experienced the full spectrum when it comes to our market workers ranging from "near perfect" to "big disappointment". Luckily for us, the VAST majority have landed closer to the "near perfect" side of that spectrum, and I think that overall it's a testament to the quality of people that are attracted to the farmers market scene in the first place.
Like any job, though, compensation is pretty crucial for attracting (and then keeping...) good candidates, and as market sales are plateauing (or declining), the cost of living and established minimum wage in the greater Bay Area keeps going up. I'm curious to know how other farms are dealing with this dilemma and hoping we can share information. For the past number of years we have had a model with two tiers, the first being a "manager" who is
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In Topics Marketing & Sales, Business & Financial Planning, Staff, HR & Worker Safety, Anything Goes

In General FarmsReach community

Comments 3
04/02/16

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  |  Terra Firma Farm  |  Winters, CA commented

Going forward with the recent agreement on the $15 minimum wage it feels to me and the other farmers I talk to that it is going to be extremely challenging to survive in the fresh-produce business. So far this year I haven't seen that any produce prices have gone up in response to the Jan. 1 increase which translated for us into a 10% across-the-board pay raise. We picked our first berries this week and I'm being told that the price is...the same as last year.

I don't to highjack your post, just commiserating.

04/04/16 10:46 AM

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Michael Hermon  |  Farm Dog  |  San Jose, CA

Subject: Answer 25 farming questions - and we'll mail you a hat

Dear farmers!

We're a small team on a big mission - to make precision agriculture concepts affordable and accessible to even the smallest of farmers. We need some input to be smarter about what we're building.

Our name is Farm Dog (http://farmdog.ag/) and we'll gladly send a Farm Dog hat to the first 50 people that will answer the 25 questions in this survey form: http://goo.gl/forms/88SywcPrlt

Yours,

Michael Hermon

Co-founder and CTO

Farm Dog

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Seed & Planting, Trees, Vines & Planting, Pest & Disease Management, Water & Irrigation, Harvesting, Washing, Packing & Packaging, Waste Management, Marketing & Sales, Food Safety, Equipment, Trucks, Delivery & Logistics, Growing Structures: Greenhouses, Hoop Houses, etc., Facilities, Cooling & Energy Systems, Business & Financial Planning, Funding Opportunities, Staff, HR & Worker Safety, Immigration & Farmworker Rights, Insurance, Certifications, Farmland Conservation, Sales & Estate Planning, Wildlife Management, Livestock, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Women in Agriculture, Weather & Climate Change, Urban Agriculture, Policy, News & Events, Anything Goes

In General FarmsReach community

Comment 0
12/08/15
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Ruthie King  |  Grange School of Adaptive Agriculture  |  Willits, CA

Subject: Grange Farm School offers residential, vocational training in 2016

The Grange Farm School is looking for a special kind of student. You think holistically rather than in parts. You see the importance of asking high quality questions. You are innovative, ambitious, persistent, and collaborative. You want to be part of the new face of agriculture that will transform our world for the better.

Our 14 week residential, Student Program offers you the tools and confidence to manage a successful agricultural enterprise, whether in farming, ranching, or related fields. You will live and work on a beautiful 5,000 acre ranch with diverse vegetables, grains, fruit trees, and livestock. Guest instructors and staff members provide a comprehensive curriculum in business management, industrial arts, animal husbandry, soil and ecology, and crop production, supported by an understanding of the theory and history of our food systems. You will leave with hands-on practical experience, and

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In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Seed & Planting, Trees, Vines & Planting, Pest & Disease Management, Water & Irrigation, Harvesting, Washing, Packing & Packaging, Waste Management, Marketing & Sales, Food Safety, Equipment, Growing Structures: Greenhouses, Hoop Houses, etc., Facilities, Cooling & Energy Systems, Business & Financial Planning, Staff, HR & Worker Safety, Insurance, Certifications, Farmland Conservation, Sales & Estate Planning, Wildlife Management, Livestock, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Women in Agriculture, Weather & Climate Change, Urban Agriculture, Policy, News & Events

In General FarmsReach community

Comment 0
12/05/15
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Kevin Gant  |  Organic Farm  |  Oklahoma City, OK

Subject: What you should have asked prospective employees in the interview process

For those that hire farm workers, what are some questions you asked or wish you had asked during the interviewing process to help find a better candidate?

Our farm has started out with 3 people and we've just hired 1 additional to help but my wife knew her before at a previous job. We are now going to be hiring people we do not know at all and it's a bit scary to me that we don't choose the wrong person.

Thanks!

Kevin

In Topics Staff, HR & Worker Safety

In General FarmsReach community

Comment 1
02/05/15
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  |  FarmsReach  |  Berkeley, CA commented

Hi Kevin,

This is a great question! We've have some great resources on this topic in our Labor & Worker Safety Toolkit, especially the section on Labor Management, which includes resources on hiring the right employees, and worker retention and satisfaction.

Who else has ideas on hiring new labor and the interview process? Chime in!

02/09/15 12:48 PM

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Johnny Campbell  |  Campbell Family Farm  |  Santa Rosa, CA

Subject: Farmworkers Right Speaker

Does anyone have any recommendations for someone who would be good for speaking to a group about local and national farmworkers rights issues? I have tried multiple times to reach the local UFW office with no success. I am in Sonoma County, California.

Thank you!

In Topics Staff, HR & Worker Safety, Immigration & Farmworker Rights, Policy

In General FarmsReach community

Comment 1
01/19/15
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  |  Quarter Acre Farm  |  Sonoma, CA commented

The best is Elizabeth Henderson but she is not local. Check out her organization Agricultural Justice Project , they will be at Eco Farm this week.

Food First does a lot of good work too, and they are based in the East Bay.

01/19/15 3:27 PM

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Cynthia Jordan  |  Corralitos Creek Farm  |  Santa Cruz, CA

Subject: Would you support a job training program for disabled Vets?

Your input/thoughts/opinions would be greatly appreciated on the following:

Would you - as a new farmer or an experienced farmer - participate in/hire a disabled Vet through a job training program wherein salary and all applicable labor expenses were covered by a grant?

Would you be as likely to hire and pay all associated employee expenses for a disabled vet who wanted to learn how to farm?

Whether or not you would hire a disabled vet in either circumstance described above, what kinds of farming tasks would you train a vet to do -- taking into account that a disability could be slight or extensive (loss of limbs, sight, hearing) but the person would have the ability to function well once trained?

Do you have any personal knowledge/experience working on a farm with a disabled vet or any disabled person? If so, what insight could you offer about the ability of a disabled person to work on a farm?

Thank you for your input.

Cynthia

In Topics Staff, HR & Worker Safety

In General FarmsReach community

Comments 5
11/17/14, updated

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  |  Rural Community Assistance Corporation  |  West Sacramento, CA commented

I'm the resident writer at the Rural Community Assistance Corporation, based in West Sacramento. RCAC has water/wastewater, infrastructure, affordable housing and economic development projects around the American West; my job is to chronicle these, and also put a human face to the many communities that benefit from this work. I write a lot on rural poverty, as well. This conversation is of particular interest to me as I have been planning to write a story (or series of stories) on vets and rural living. I would be curious to know more about this grant application, and also, how the idea for it came about? Any other comments or insight into this topic are also very welcome.

11/18/14 2:21 PM

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