Laura Tourte, Farm Management Advisor for Santa Cruz, Monterey & San Benito Counties has launched a fabulous new website extending business and marketing plans and ideas to farm owners and managers. The site is designed as a “one-stop-website” for questions related to the business side of farming operations.
In addition to the strategic plans and ideas, the site also has links to government programs including County, State and Federal agencies. The information provided through the government links are varied and cover a wide variety of necessities such as permits, licensing, land use, and other regulation type services to programs designed to further assist with the business and marketing side of farming operations.
Links to research studies, and trade organizations can be found under the Explore Other Links button.
This new site can be found at, http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/farmbusinessandmarketplace.
The USDA has just launched a website, “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food”. The main goal of the site is to create new economic opportunities by connecting local food producers and consumers. In addition the USDA wants to help people be more connected and aware of the importance of understanding where our food comes from and how it gets onto our plates.
How does the USDA hope to accomplish these goals?
- By building the infrastructure to support the growth and viability of small and mid-sized farms and ranches new opportunities will in turn strengthen local and regional food systems and the communities they serve.
- They want people to make smart decisions about what they eat. Communities filled with people making healthy decisions will further support and strengthen local communities.
- The USDA will work with interested food producers to lower their energy costs and improve their resource management as well as assisting to preserve farm and ranch lands.
- These goals will be met using programs and people to support this effort. An assortment of programs and grant funds are available to help make this vision a reality.
To find out more, please visit www.usda.gov/knowyourfarmer.
Preliminary results from the first statewide survey of California agritourism operators show revenue is generated by participating farmers and ranchers.
Agricultural tourism allows visitors (tourists) to experience a taste of agricultural lifestyles. According to the survey, California farmers and ranchers hosted more than 2.4 million agricultural tourists in 2008. Tourism offerings are varied throughout the state. Local, Ventura County agritourism ventures offer: farm and nursery tours; farm stands; petting zoos; picnic and play areas; u-pick produce; lectures and presentations; agriculture-related gifts and crafts; value-added food products; horseback riding and trail rides; camping; nature walks; special events; plants; and cut flowers.
Please see UC Small Farm Program's California Agritourism Database for places to visit. Farmers and ranchers offering agritourism venues can add themselves to the data base. Clicking on “Agritorism resources for operators” on the left-hand side of the screen will take you to a site to view the survey results and much more.
UC’s Small Farm Program offers a great deal of science-based information for small farmers. Much can be found on their website.
Once at the UC Small Farm Program page, you will find a lot of information to help your small farm operation. The topics include: specialty crops, food safety, marketing, agritourism and farm management.
In addition to the basic topics the site provides farm operators a quick way to keep track of upcoming events, related news, and more.
It would be difficult to find someone who is not feeling the strain of the current economic changes and uncertainty. While we are lucky to live in an era of easy access to information, another difficulty most of us share is finding a reliable source for financial advice.
The nation-wide Cooperative Extension System has put together a great collection of sound, practical and easy-to-digest financial advice. It can be found at http://www.extension.org/Financial%20Crisis.
The site is nicely broken down in the following way:
- Business related financial information
- Family related financial information
- Farm and Ranch related financial information
- Individual related financial information
- Youth related financial information
In the articles you will find many ways to save money, encouragement, suggestions for planning, and many other things to think about. The youth related financial information reminds those with children that financial worries affect them too, as well as ways for children to be involved in helping the family pull through.
On the same page you will find an “Ask the Experts” section. Here you can read previous sets of questions and answers as well as an opportunity to ask your own question. In addition to learning on a wide variety of financial subjects, the volume and topics in the “Ask the Experts” section will assuredly help remind you that you are not alone if you are currently experiencing financial challenges.