Land-Based Learning Announces Formation of Sacramento Valley Beginning Farmer Apprenticeship Program

Dear Friends,

The California Farm Academy training program, our 7-month, 250-hour, intensive training program for beginning farmers, has now graduated just under 80 farmers, and our current class of 20 got underway in mid-February. Coupled with six farm incubator locations (Farm on Putah Creek, Cannery Farm, 5th and C, Lake Washington, Cummins Way, and Food for Families Farm in West Sacramento), providing almost 12 acres of land for lease, our ability to provide technical support, mentoring, and networks for our growing beginning farmer cadre is quickly expanding.

70% of our graduates are farming, and we couldn't be more thrilled with these outcomes.

Nevertheless, we have realized a critical gap in our programming. We need to be able to work together, as a region, with other farms and organizations that train beginning farmers, so that we are unified in our approach. We also need to support our graduates for up to three years post training, to ensure their success with farming and employment goals. To that end, I am pleased to announce the formation of the Sacramento Valley Beginning Farmer Apprenticeship Program. 

Mary Kimball
Executive Director
Introducing The Sacramento Valley Beginning Farmer Apprenticeship Program
by Marisa Alcorta

The Sacramento Valley Beginning Farmer Apprenticeship Program is a new collaboration between the Center for Land-Based Learning and Soil Born Farms, funded through a grant from the California Department of Food & Agriculture and the Orchard Hill Family Fund in 2015/2016. The program builds off the existing farmer training programs within each organization, and is being designed to offer in-depth, multi-year education, and land access to beginning farmers in Yolo, Solano and Sacramento counties.

The team will be working with the state's Department of Apprenticeship Standards to make the Sacramento Valley Beginning Farmer Apprenticeship Program the only accredited agricultural apprenticeship program in California. The program will encompass the current training program of the California Farm Academy, and broaden it to offer multi-year apprenticeship stages, and more individualized focus. The program offers on-farm and field experience, classes on various agricultural topics, visits to a number of diverse farms in the region as well as management and decision-making skills. In the second and third year of the program, participants can choose to apprentice with a local farmer, lease land themselves and launch their own business in the California Farm Academy farm incubator, or continue focusing on coursework. Regardless of their path, networking and technical assistance with agricultural professionals and farmers, advanced workshops and mentorship will be part of the extended support available in the second and third years of the program.

The goal is to equip beginning farmers with sufficient training, work experience, and business management skills to obtain a secure management position with established farms, or be successful at starting and sustaining their own small farm businesses.

Marisa Alcorta

Land-Based Learning welcomes Marisa Alcorta as the new Sacramento Valley Beginning Farmer Apprenticeship Coordinator.

Big Day of Giving is Coming May 3!

BIG DOG is coming May 3! In 2015, 163 donors helped us raise $47,525, making the Big Day of Giving an important day for our programs and those we serve. We finished 13th out of 529 participating non-profits. Every dollar raised advances our efforts to train and support beginning farmers and educate youth about careers in agriculture and environmental science. Will join us in 2016? Here's how:

1) Help us win prize money! Donate between 5 a.m.-6 a.m. to help us get the most donations for that hour and win up to $3,000!
2) Join us after work from 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m.for a happy hour at Garden Park in West Sacramento and preview tours of the Barn. Help us win the hourly donor challenge ($1,000) from 5 p.m.-6 p.m.
3) Get the word out to friends and colleagues by sharing our Facebook and Twitter posts on May 3.  #agproud #landbasedlearning #wegrowfarmers #whatafarmerdoes #BIGDOG2016

Changing Season: A Screening on the Masumoto Family Farm
The Center for Land-Based Learning invites you to join us, along with the Masumoto's and the Center for Asian American Media at KVIE on April 25 for a preview screening of Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm. "How many harvests do you have in you?" is the perennial echo that reverberates across the Masumoto Family farm. Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm chronicles a transitional year-in-the-life of famed farmer, slow food advocate, and sansei, David "Mas" Masumoto, and his compelling relationship with daughter Nikiko, who returns to the family farm with the intention of stepping into her father's work boots.

Mas' hopes and hesitations for the future are shored up with his daughter's return, as the family must navigate the implications of Mas' 60th birthday and triple bypass surgery. The film is interspliced with moments of Nikiko's razor sharp meditations on her family's internment during WWII and her role as a queer, progressive farmer in the Central Valley. - Sierra Lee
Center for Land-Based Learning is now on Twitter!

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CENTER FOR LAND-BASED LEARNING, 5265 Putah Creek Road, Winters, CA 95694  ■  (530) 795-1520

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Center for Land-Based Learning | 5265 Putah Creek Road | Winters | CA | 95694