You are here

March E-News: The latest on Farmer Fellows, the Farmers' Association and EcoFarm Conference

EcoFarm wants to express its gratitude for the commitment and generosity of the individuals and businesses who made it possible for us to meet our goal of raising $35,000 for our Scholarship & Fellowship Fund. THANK YOU!!! With additional funding from a USDA Beginning Farmer & Rancher grant, a record 394 attendees were provided with financial support to participate in the 2015 EcoFarm Conference!

These funds made it possible to award 37 farmer Fellows full attendance at the conference, who are now members of the newly formed EcoFarm Farmers' Association, taking up the task of developing farmer-led programs. Following the conference, the Farmers' Association Summit brought together the FEllows to collaborate on existing projects and create action plans for the coming year. Check out the video short to hear from some of our Fellows.

Farmers' Association Initiatives Report-Out

Central Coast Meat Producers Co-op has been busy exploring the creation of Collaborative services for Central Coast meat producers. The Central Coast LIVestock Producer Summit took place as an EcoFarm Pre-Conference in partnership with the California Center for Cooperative Development. Current goals include remedying transportation barriers, finding new arrangements with existing processors and producers, and exploring the feasibility of building a cooperative processing facility.

Central California Seed Growers Co-op helped to organize the Cultivating Organic Seed Stewardship Pre-Conference at EcoFarm 2015 and is focusing on the production, processing, storage and distribution of locally-adapted, public domain seed varieties for commercial use with the goal of establishing a regional hub in the SF Bay Area, in collaboration with Seed Revolution Now and the Organic Seed Alliance.

Food Safety Clearinghouse is an online resource for farmers looking to navigate food safety requirements. A user-friendly resource map has recently been added to EcoFarm's website in collaboration with Cathy Carlson of Carlson Consulting. Other Information Clearinghouse topics soon to come!

The mission of the Farmers' Association is to further the success of Triple Bototm Line ecological farmers and ranchers through member-led, collaborative programs. Projects include information resources; business development, financial management, and legal services; access to affordable inputs; equipment sharing; work for viable farm-gate proces; liability and health insurance; and policy advocacy, among other possibilities.

Interested in getting involved with the Farmers' Association? Please contact us at

Photo Highlights from the 2015 EcoFarm Conference

Click the album for a mashup of photos by Broken Banjo Photography. Enjoy!

Congratulations to the Winner of the EcoFarm Conference Evaluation drawing!

This year we received 367 evaluations of the 2015 EcoFarm Conference. Wow. Thank you to EVERYONE who took the time to share valuable feedback as we plan for next year's conference. One random drawing winner receives a full 2015 EcoFarm Conference pass with meals. This year's winner is...(drum roll please)...Dustin Dougherty! Congratulations to Dustin, who is the field manager at Say Hay Farms, a 15 acre diversified farm specializing in organic vegetables, melons and eggs in Yolo County.