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Meet the Experts

EcoFarm Presents “Meet the Experts”

Available to conference attendees free of charge, EcoFarm’s Meet with the Experts is an opportunity to garner personalized advice from highly knowledgeable industry professionals. During half-hour long, one-on-one sessions in living rooms across campus, these experts offer in depth consultations focused on your individual business needs.

Cooperatives (Grower and/or Employee owned Businesses)

Thursday 1:30pm–3:30pm

Luis Sierra is a cooperative development specialist at the California Center for Cooperative Development (CCCD). He works with groups of farmers and food producers to create cooperative businesses in the realms of marketing, processing, transportation, and food safety certification. He has started several food businesses, including farms, distributors, farmers’ markets, and a composting operation, and worked within many different organizational structures.

Topics of expertise: cooperative business formation and converting existing businesses to worker or grower ownership. If you’re a business owner looking to pass on your business to your employees or farmer vendors, Luis can get you oriented and connected.
Se puede consultar en español.

Sign up to meet with Luis Sierra

Farm Business Consulting

Thursday & Friday, 8:00am–10:00am

David Mancera grew up in a farmworker family in the Salinas Valley and has a wide breadth of small business and sustainable ag experience, as an entrepreneur, business broker, working in finance at Driscoll's, and teaching sustainable ag at Hartnell College. He now works with Kitchen Table Advisors, providing in-depth 1:1 business advising to sustainable small farms and ranches.
Topics of expertise include marketing, accounting, finance, and lending. David can help farmers put together cash flows and profitability statements, to name a few business tools. Bring your crop plan to this session!
Se puede consultar en español.
Sign up to meet with David Mancera

Farm Loans

Thursday 8:00am–10:00am & Friday 8:00am–10:00am

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) provides loans and assistance to family farmers and ranchers. FSA’s direct and guaranteed loans include operating loans to assist in paying normal operating expenses, opening new markets, and to assist with diversifying operations; Microloan programs to beginning farmers and ranchers that provide an important source of financial assistance during the start-up years; and Farm Ownership loans to help purchase a family-size farm, provide capital improvements and help with a down payment.
Senior loan officer Amy Davis and Farm Loan Specialist Kaley Grimland will be available for consultation at EcoFarm.
Se puede consultar en español.
Sign up here for a Thursday consultation with Amy Davis
Sign up here for a Friday consultation with Kaley Grimland

Irrigation Management

Thursday 8:00am–10:00am

Laura Murphy has a background in soil science and on-farm applied research in irrigation and nutrient management with UCCE in Monterey County. She currently works at the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County, supporting land managers to achieve balanced natural resource conservation and crop production goals.

Laura can discuss how to conduct your own irrigation monitoring program, including efficiency evaluations. We can also calculate or estimate your irrigation application rate, then consider system or scheduling design needs based on crop ET, soil type, water quality and other considerations. Bring details about your system if you want to discuss specifics!

Se puede consultar en español.

Sign up to meet with Laura Murphy

Land Access and Loans

Thursday, 10:00am–3:00pm & Friday 10:00am–noon

California FarmLink supports farmers and ranchers with access to land and capital to build a diverse and sustainable farming community. At EcoFarm 2019, FarmLink's Land Access and Loan Teams will offer individual office hours in 30-minute sessions. Farmers seeking support in finding land and lease negotiations, or financial management support and exploring financing options are encouraged to sign up. FarmLink staff Catherine Van Dyke, Kerry McGrath, Iris Nolasco and Brett Melone will be available for consultation.
Se puede consultar en español.
Sign up here if you are interested in support with land access
Sign up here if you are interested in support with loans

Livestock & Rangeland Ecology

Thursday 2:00pm–4:00pm

Bre Owens is the Rangeland Watershed Initiative Coordinator with Point Blue Conservation Science along with being owner/operator of Cobblestone Ranch, on which she raises beef cattle and dorper-cross sheep.  She also serves as the Chair of the CA Rangeland Conservation Coalition and the Program Director for Working Circle Proactive Stewardship, a community-based program that supports strategies for reduced risk to livestock with wolves on the landscape.  She is passionate about ecological and community stewardship through agriculture and other regenerative land uses, monitoring to tell a story, and collaboration.

Sign up to meet with Bre Owens

Mediating & Resolving Ag Credit & Debt Challenges

Thursday 10:30am–1:00pm

Having trouble meeting your monthly farm expenses? Julia Rose Golomb is a mediator with the California Agricultural Mediation Program (CALAMP), a statewide program that provides free mediation to farmers on a range of issues, including farm credit and debt challenges. Come to Julia with (i) any farm credit or debt challenges that you may need help addressing or (ii) your questions about how to resolve conflicts and communicate effectively with your family, business partners, or neighbors. CALAMP is certified by CDFA and is the official USDA ag mediation program for California.

Sign up to meet with Julia Rose Golomb

Monarch Conservation

Friday, 1:00pm–3:00pm

Angela Laws is a monarch and pollinator ecologist with The Xerces Society. Based in Sacramento, Angela's job is to work with a variety of partners to increase pollinator and monarch habitat in the Central Valley. If you are interested in learning more about monarch conservation and about creating monarch habitat on your land, Angela can help you. She can provide ideas, plant lists, tips for getting milkweed to establish and other technical assistance.

Sign up to meet with Angela Laws

On-farm nitrogen budgeting

Thursday 10:30am–2:30pm

University of California crop nutrition researchers Richard Smith, Joji Muramoto, Patricia Lazicki and Margaret Lloyd will all be available for one-on-one consultations. Sign up to meet with one of us to discuss nitrogen fertilization of vegetable crops and strawberries. We can discuss nitrogen and other nutrient needs of these crops and can discuss the contribution of soil organic matter, compost, fertilizers (dry and liquid), cover crops, prior crops, irrigation water and other inputs. Bring any nutrient analyses you have—for your soil, the compost or other amendments.

Sign up to meet with Richard Smith, Joji Muramoto, Patricia Lazicki or Margaret Lloyd

Pollinator and Beneficial Insect Habitat

Friday 10:00am–noon

As Senior Pollinator Conservationist at The Xerces Society, Jessa Kay Cruz manages and coordinates the pollinator program in California and the Intermountain West. She works in agricultural and natural lands throughout the Western United States, providing education and technical support to a range of individuals and agencies, including farmers and ranchers, agricultural professionals, and land managers.
Do you want to create habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects? Jessa can provide you with ideas, step by step instructions and plant lists, and teach you about practices that support pollinators and other beneficial insects. Please bring a satellite image of your property and any other relevant info.

Sign up to meet with Jessa Kay Cruz

Poultry Production

Thursday 3:00pm–5:00pm

Ann Baier is a former poultry producer, and an Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). She has also been an organic inspector since 2000, so is well-acquainted with USDA regulations, as well as organic and animal welfare certification programs.

Ann can address all aspects of poultry production, including pasture based systems, egg handling/meat processing and marketing topics.
Se puede consultar en español.
Sign up to meet with Ann Baier

Vegetable Production

Thursday, 10:30am–noon & 12:30pm–2:00pm

Friday, 10:30am–noon & 12:30pm–2:00pm

Jim Leap has over 40 years of “hands on” experience in diverse vegetable production systems including 21 years as manager of the CASFS farm (UC Santa Cruz). Throughout his career Jim has been directly engaged in on-farm production and field research, and has been actively involved in teaching, advising and mentoring beginning and experienced farmers.

Topics of expertise include farm implement “systems” selection and design for improved production and labor efficiencies, weed management, soil management, irrigation systems design, cover cropping, reduced tillage, dry farming, nutrient management, reading and interpreting soil tests, small-scale grain and bean production, and farmland assessment.

Sign up to meet with Jim Leap

---NEW ---

Drop-in Open House in Pirate’s Den: Meet Advisors for Help with Submitting CDFA Healthy Soils Program Grant Applications 

Thursday 8:30am–10am & 3:30pm–-5pm, Friday 1:30pm–3pm & 3:30pm–5pm, Saturday 8am–10:30am

Are you a farmer or rancher who wants to apply for a 3-year Healthy Soils Program (HSP) grant? CDFA will be allocating $15 million through cost-share grants of up to $75,000 per farm/ranch to farmers and ranchers to implement HSP practices on fields where they have not

been used previously. Sam Earnshaw, Shelly Connor, Ellen Farmer or others will help with your grant application, including selection of HSP practices such as cover crops, compost, mulching, conservation tillage and/or hedgerows. You can get help with project design, timeline, and

estimation of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reductions, carbon sequestration, improvements to soil health, water-holding capacity and other co-benefits. HSP application deadline is March 8, 2019.
No need to sign up, just come on by!




Thank you to our EcoFarm 2020 sponsors!