Community Alliance with Family Farmers - January 2016                      
CAFF's e-newsletter for farmers and community members
CAFF Policy Work in 2016
by Pete Price
CAFF's major policy efforts this past year were to improve the ability of farmers to implement climate-friendly farming practices.  We did that mainly by co-sponsoring SB 367, by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis), which expands and reforms the Environmental Farming Program at CDFA and seeks $25 million from the state's climate change cap and trade revenues to help farmers adopt climate-friendly framing practices. 
SB 367 passed the Senate in 2015 and is now before the Assembly.  Working with our co-sponsor CalCAN (California Climate and Agriculture Network), CAFF is confident the Legislature and Governor will act in 2016 to pass SB 367 and dedicate funds to a climate-friendly farming program.  Governor Brown also has proposed a Healthy Soils Initiative, which we believe is very compatible with SB 367. Please continue reading to find out the other policy areas that CAFF will be focusing on in the new year. Continue Reading...
courtesy of Tablas Creek
Tablas Creek Vineyard
By Sayla Kraft

An Interview with Jason Haas

As a CAFF member and supporter, Tablas Creek Vineyard has been involved with CAFF in various ways, including hosting seminars, and pouring wine at panel discussions. We looking forward to having them speak again on this year's panel for our second annual How Green is Your Wine? wine tasting and discussion event at the San Francisco Ferry Building. We hope you join us to learn more from Jason Haas and other experts about using sustainable growing methods in the vineyard. CAFF recently interviewed Jason Haas to find out more about their wine and growing practices. Continue Reading... 
Please Join Us for a Wine Tasting and Panel Discussion!
You may eat at farm-to-table restaurants and buy local, organic produce at farmers' markets, but what about the wine you drink? Come hear California vintners and wine grape growers discuss organic and biodynamic vineyard practices, dry farming techniques, and what actually goes into their wine bottles. Dry farming was common in California until the 1970s, when drip irrigation enabled growers to irrigate hillsides. In this era of drought and climate change, will dry farming make a comeback? Discover how wineries are producing top-quality wines by reintroducing dry farming and practicing environmental stewardship. Tasting is believing: after the panel, mingle with growers and winemakers while tasting some of the best wines in California and sampling local foods from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Monday, February 22, 6-8:30pm
San Francisco Ferry Building, Port Commission Room (2nd Floor)
Embarcadero at Market St.
San Francisco, 94111
Please contact [email protected] with any questions.
This event is co-hosted with CUESA

CAFF at EcoFarm
With this year's theme of "Regenerating our Lands and Water", the EcoFarm Conference will celebrate 36 years of inspiring, connecting and promoting sustainable farmers in Asilomar, CA.  CAFF staff from multiple regions will be attending the conference; you can find us at the CAFF booth in the Exhibitor Marketplace. CAFF is also organizing two workshops for the conference:  "CSA: Thinking Outside the Box" on Friday, January 22 at 10:30 am and "On Farm Food Safety Workshop for New Producers," also taking place Friday at 10:30 am. See you there!

Farming is an unpredictable business and farmers routinely face financial challenges. Narrow financial margins can result in temporary or long-term cash flow problems and unpredictable weather can result in significant losses. The California Agricultural Mediation Program (CALAMP) is a new resource to help farmers deal with financial and other problems.

Mediation is an informal way to resolve problems by utilizing an impartial person to assist the parties negotiate their differences. The mediator helps the parties by facilitating the discussion, identifying and clarifying the issues, and exploring options to resolve the problem. Mediations are confidential. CALAMP is certified by CDFA and receives a grant from the USDA that enables it to provide free mediation services to the agricultural community on many issues. Continue Reading...
In This Issue
News and Events

Upcoming CAFF CSA workshop in Camarillo

CAFF is helping school districts move toward healthier menus

CAFF can be found in the 2015 Good Food Org Guide

CAFF ED, Diane Del Signore, is speaking at the Sustainable Foods Summit coming up January 20-22

Growers in the Bay Area can apply for a small grant from the Fruit Guys to improve on-farm sustainability

PCFMA has launched a small California farms and drought campaign

RMA announces the first universally available crop insurance policy

A recent study was published showing the loss of crop diversity over the last three decades.