Agricultural Resources

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) conducts an annual competitive solicitation process to award Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funds to projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of California specialty crops. Specialty crops are fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture). For a list of eligible and ineligible commodities, visit the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service website.
For a description of projects awarded, visit the 2017 Grant Awards page. Please email if you would like to be notified of future SCBGP funding opportunities.

Do You Use Heavy Equipment?

Stay safe and fine free: Cal/OSHA’s Pocket Guide for the Construction Industry, which includes specific sections on forklifts and other heavy equipment safety:

and Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch, which provides free and voluntary assistance to employers to improve their safety and health programs:

CA Agricultural Mediation Program (CALAMP)
Free Help for Farmers and Ranchers Dealing with credit, debt or other issues

The California Agricultural Mediation Program ( is here to help. CALAMP provides FREE mediation for farm credit issues; farm loans; federal farm and conservation programs; wetlands determinations; grazing permits on national forest system lands; and rural housing loans.

Mediation is a voluntary process where an impartial person, called a mediator, brings parties together to resolve a challenge and identify a path forward. Mediation is voluntary, confidential, and the outcome remains fully in the parties’ control. While the mediator can help parties identify options, the mediator does not tell the participants what to do or issue a “ruling.” The final decision always belongs to the participants. Approximately 75% of mediations end in a mutually agreed-upon settlement.

Watch this short video ( to see the ag credit mediation process in action.

Requesting mediation is easy!
Go to and click on “request mediation,”
or CALL (916) 330-4500 and dial ext. 101,
or EMAIL:,, or

Regenerating Oak Woodlands

Do you own land with oak woodland habitat? Was your property impacted by the October fires? The Sonoma RCD is looking for landowners interested in planting acorns, oak seedlings and oak woodland plants this fall. Please let us know if you have a site that might be good for planting and/or collecting acorns.

To notify us of your site or learn more about this emerging program, contact Keith Abeles from the Sonoma RCD at (707) 569-1448 ext. 112 or email

Applications for 2019 Nuffield International Farming Scholarships

Nuffield International Farming Scholars applications for 2019 scholarships are now open, and farmers and agricultural professionals are strongly encouraged to apply. Prospective Nuffield Scholars are men and women in agriculture with a desire to explore the global industry and find new best practices and insight they can bring back home with them. Scholars are typically between the ages of 25 and 45 with direct engagement in the agriculture industry.

Applications for the 2019 program are due by 30 September 2018

$2 billion For Farmers & Ranchers Affected by 2017 Wildfires (2017 WHIP)

Agricultural producers affected by hurricanes and wildfires in 2017 now may apply for assistance to help recover and rebuild their farming operations. Sign-ups began July 16, 2018 and will continue through November 16, 2018. “We are making immediate, initial payments of up to 50 percent of the calculated assistance so producers can pay their bills.” Said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. Additional payments will be issued, if funds remain available, later in the year.

For more information on FSA disaster assistance programs, please contact your local USDA service center or visit


Sonoma Valley High School Foundation of Agriculture Annual Fundraiser

WHEN: Saturday, September 15, 4 pm Dinner | 8 pm Live Music

WHERE: Denmark Street Vineyards
Sonoma Valley High School Foundation of Agriculture invites you to the 10th Annual Sonoma Agriculture Dinner & Auction to be held on Saturday, September 15th, 2018. 
All fundraising money earned will be used towards supporting our growing agriculture program at Sonoma Valley High! In addition to providing hands on classes we have a school farm that provides learning experiences for students participating in agriculture projects which is a great asset to the program. 
With your support, we will be able to continue the high quality, educational experience that is offered through the Sonoma Valley High School Ag Program and FFA.

Petaluma Youth Ag Day

WHEN: Friday, September 28th 

WHERE: Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds

This FREE event at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds is open to students in grades K-4. It provides students with a morning of exploration of different aspects of the agriculture industry. Students will observe sheep shearing, enjoy a milking demonstration, and visit with a variety of agricultural partners. Students may also enter one of the many contests to showcase dairy and ag: bookmark decorating, shopping bag decorating, poetry, and photography. Class competitions include Trash to Treasure, quilt, and mural design.

Interested teachers and exhibitors can find out more by emailing

Santa Rosa’s Zero Waste Plan

The City of Santa Rosa needs input from the community to help shape Santa Rosa’s Zero Waste Plan. Zero Waste is an approach to managing resources more efficiently, from the design of products, their use, and handling at end-of-life.

Please answer questions in this brief survey to let us know what you think the priorities should be for Santa Rosa’s zero waste plan:

Please join us at our upcoming workshops to learn more about the Santa Rosa Zero Waste Plan and share your thoughts!

WHEN: September 18, 2018 6-8pm – Potential Strategies for Zero Waste
WHEN: October 22, 2018 6-8pm – Draft Zero Waste Plan

WHERE: Finley Community Center, Cypress Room A&B – 2060 West College Avenue, Santa Rosa


Voice your Opposition to Immigration Legislation that Hurts California

The U.S. House of Representatives could soon take up legislation that would establish a deeply flawed new agricultural guest worker program with the mandatory use of E-Verify. The bill is H.R. 6417, or the Ag and Legal Workforce Act (ALWA). Reform of the nation’s immigration laws is a top priority for CFBF and our members. We support an expanded guest worker program and a path to legal status for individuals currently working in agriculture. Unfortunately, ALWA falls far short of a solution for our farmers and employees. We are calling upon our congressional delegation to oppose bringing this bill to the floor for a vote.

Your message to Congress will encourage them to oppose this bill that hurts California! ACT TODAY!

USDA seeking comments on rural broadband initiative

USDA is inviting comments on the implementation of the e-Connectivity Pilot Program established in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 on March 23, 2018.USDA is developing this pilot program to catalyze private investment and bring broadband to unserved rural areas of the country. The new program provides a unique opportunity to develop modern methods to leverage federal funds to increase private investment in broadband services for as many rural American homes, businesses, farms, schools and health care facilities as possible.

Comments are due on or before 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018 and can be submitted by either of the following methods:

1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to and, in the lower “Search Regulations and Federal Actions” box, select “Rural Utilities Service” from the agency drop-down menu, then click “Submit.” In the Docket ID column, select RUS-18-TELECOM-0004 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.
2. Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send your comments to Michele Brooks, Rural Development Innovation Center, Regulations Team Lead, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Stop 1522, Room 1562, Washington, DC 20250. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. RUS-18-TELECOM-0004.

For more information visit:


The 2017 Sonoma County Crop Report

The Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner’s office presented the 2017 Crop Report at the Board of Supervisors Meeting on Tuesday August 14. The Crop Report features Sonoma County Farm Trails—an organization pioneering agritourism while advocating for farmers and sustainable agriculture.

The 2017 Sonoma County Crop Report can be found online at:

The Southern Sonoma Storm-Water Resource Plan (SWRP)

The Southern Sonoma Storm-Water Resource Plan (SWRP) draft is available for public review. The Plan identifies and prioritizes projects that capture, treat, or reuse storm-water runoff. It applies to the Petaluma and Sonoma Creek watersheds. Information on the planning process and plan can be found here:

Sonoma RCD: California Native Plant Society Fire Recovery Guide
What should you do with your land after a wildfire? The CNPS Fire Recovery Guide addresses that question in an easy-to-use booklet, a collaborative effort between CNPS, North Bay partner organizations, and some of the best fire experts in the state.

Sonoma RCD: Slow It, Spread It, Sink It, Store It
Guide to Beneficial Stormwater Management and Water Conservation Strategies is now available in Spanish and English.

Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations and Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life
By David R. Montgomery AND The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health. Co-authored by David R. Montgomry. Connect with him at or on Twitter (@Dig2Grow)

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