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  • 07/25/17--10:29: Office Support Assistant
  • 55 acre organic farm in Santa Cruz is seeking an experienced office support person. Looking for an organized and motivated person with good communication skills to assist with various office functions. Ideal candidate will work well independently and/or with a team.

    Familiarity with diverse farming operations and Spanish language skills a plus.

    Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel with additional experience in QuickBooks, a plus.

    The office is located on the Westside of Santa Cruz. Hours are typically Monday-Friday, 8-4.

     

    Duties will include but not limited to: 

    • Record keeping 
    • Weekly payroll 
    • Human resource management 
    • Oversee food safety program 
    • General phone and email customer service 
    • Maintaining office supplies and forms 
    • Excellent multi-tasking skills

     

    Please email a cover letter and resume to route1farms@yahoo.com.

    Name: 
    Jeff Larkey
    Phone: 
    (831) 426-1075
    City: 
    Santa Cruz
    State/Province: 
    California

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    Job Description: Farmer: Vegetable Production and Orchard Assistant 
    Program: Food Production and Farming Education – American River Ranch 
    Reports To: Ranch Manager, Co- Director
     
    Visit our website for full job posting: https://soilborn.org/our-story/employment/
     
    Organizational Background: 
    Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture & Education Project is a non-profit educational farm in Sacramento, California. Our programs focus on promoting health and providing experiential learning opportunities for youth and adults, producing healthy food, improving access to healthy food for all and modeling land and environmental stewardship. Beyond producing healthy, certified organic produce for our CSA members and local stores, restaurants, and a weekly farm stand and farmers’ markets, Soil Born Farms has also developed several innovative education and food access programs in partnership with area schools and non-profit agencies.
     
    The American River Ranch, a 55-acre historic ranch located within the American River Parkway, is the permanent home of Soil Born Farms. It provides a wonderfully diverse landscape to engage both youth and adults in hands-on activities that educate and connect them with the natural world, healthy food, healthy eating, job and life skills, hard work, and service opportunities. The American River Ranch also provides the opportunity to expand the production of vegetables and fruit to meet the needs of more Sacramento residents, particularly those in underserved neighborhoods with little or no access to fresh, nutritious food.
     
    Job Summary 
    This farm assistant position is a farmer with a passion for educating young farmers and growing high-quality organic fruit and vegetables. The employee must be able to manage their time well and provide assistance on a variety of farm duties. Main duties focus vegetable production and orchard operations including pruning, irrigation, planting, harvesting, crew supervision, propagation, integrated pest management, tractor operation and farm equipment care and maintenance.
     
    Key Responsibilities 
    Orchard Care: Pruning, harvesting, irrigation, new orchard planting and pest and disease management. 
    Vegetable Production: Support farm manager in vegetable field operations including planting, irrigation, tractor work, pest management, harvest, sales and apprentice education. 
    Supporting Farm staff on a daily basis with irrigation, deliveries, greenhouse propagation, fencing, and equipment operation (small engine equipment and tractor operation).
     
    Required Qualifications: 
    • 4 to 5 years experience working on a diversified organic vegetable operation 
    • Orchard management 
    • Knowledge of sustainable agricultural systems 
    • Ability to work quickly, multi-task, self-motivate, collaborate and be flexible on a daily basis 
    • Ability to relate, interact and empower people of all ages from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds 
    • Excellent communication skills and a “can do” attitude 
    • Ability to lift 50# 
    • Ability to work in all weather conditions and especially heat 
    • Interest in learning and growing as a leader, both in farming and in educating apprentices
     
    Preferred Qualifications: 
    • Tractor and small engine equipment operation 
    • Experience managing interns, apprentices, staff and volunteers 
    • Small engine mechanical knowledge and skill 
    • Ability to make a long-term employment commitment (5+ years) 
    • Experience working with farm animals 
    • Fluent in Spanish
     
    Hours and Compensation 
    40-50 hours per week. Tuesday through Saturday schedule w/ some Sundays and evenings required. 
    Wage: $14 to $17 based on experience/qualifications/commitment/ 
    Medical, dental and vision after 90 days 
    PTO (paid time off) accrual begins after 90 days (5 days per year) 
    Opportunities for advancement
     
    Please email cover letter, resume, and two references to Shawn Harrison, Co-Director, at sharrison@soilborn.org. Position open until filled.
    City: 
    Cordova
    State/Province: 
    California

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  • 07/27/17--15:51: Co-manager
  • ANANDA VALLEY FARM: Chicken Keeper
     
    We are looking to fill the position of Chicken Keeper at Ananda Valley Farm here in beautiful Half Moon Bay, CA. Come enjoy the chickens, the food we grow and the place we live and the people we share it with at this beautiful farm. 
     
    The ideal person would have experience but is not necessary as we would train the right person. This person has a strong work ethic, positive outlook, happy, and energetic and a desire to learn and serve. We are a spiritual community based on the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. Daily meditation and yoga are highly encouraged though not necessary.
     
    Caring for our lively flock of free range, pasture fed chickens includes daily feeding, watering, egg collection and processing the eggs at the end of the day. Other activities can include light farm chores involved in processing our organic veggies for weekly CSA delivery. There is free time during the day to explore this beautiful coastal community or your own personal interests. Half Moon Bay is minutes away, and San Francisco is 45 minutes away.
     
    Ananda Valley Farm provides basic housing with a furnished private room, shared kitchen, bathroom, and shower. Food and eggs produced at the farm are free for consumption and a $400/month stipend is offered in return for 20 hours of service per week. 
    No drinking or drugs are allowed. Please ask us about other positions available for singles or a couple.
     
    Thank you! 
    Contact 
    Ken Hettman 
    415-987-6194 
    Name: 
    Ken Hettman
    Phone: 
    (650) 987-6194
    City: 
    Half Moon Bay
    State/Province: 
    California

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  • 07/31/17--10:18: Organic Grass Hay $50/bale
  • Organic Grass Hay for sale. Large round bales of fescue, timothy, clover. Aproximately 80 bales available. Pickup in field, will load. 

     

    Name: 
    Roger
    Phone: 
    (417) 309-1330
    City: 
    Collins
    State/Province: 
    Missouri

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  • 08/07/17--10:41: Farm Crew
  • Say Hay Farms produces certified organic mixed vegetables and pastured eggs on 50 acres in Esparto, CA. In our seventh year of production, we seeking motivated farmers to join our talented crew. 
     
    Job Title: Farm Crew 
    Works as a team under the supervision of the Harvest Manager. 
     
    Duties
    1) Performs all harvest and post-harvest duties of vegetable crops in year-round conditions. 
    2) Assists in daily operations of chicken care, egg washing, and packing. 
    3) Observes and communicates crop and field conditions. 
    4) Operates with a sense of urgency and efficiency during busy times. 
    5) Assists is recording data about yield and time. 
     
    Qualifications
    1) One full year of experience on a for-profit diversified vegetable operation. 
    2) Basic knowledge of vegetable crops, seasonality, and growing techniques. 
    4) Good communication skills. 
    5) Ability to work early, long, and hard. Weeks averaging 50 hours, but will vary with season’s demands and weather conditions. 
     
    Compensation
    Starting wage: $12/hour. Quarterly evaluations. 
    Accrued Paid Time-Off of two weeks per year for FTE. Good food & eggs. Regular Schedule: Four or five 10-hour days with two days off in a row.
     
    Background
    Say Hay Farms started in 2010 with just two acres and 100 hens. Having farmed 20 acres for the past few years, we are completing the transition to our new packing facility and infrastructure in Esparto, CA. We farm two properties totaling about 45 acres of vegetable ground, 5 acres of almonds in need of rehabilitation, and a half-acre of oranges. With the time needed to properly rotate and fertilize our grounds with chickens and cover crops, we usually don’t have more than 25 acres in vegetable production at a time. 
    Our goal is to meet much of our fertilization needs through pastured hens and cover crops, supplemented with compost and imported manure fertilizer when necessary. Our current laying flocks total 1600 laying hens, with plans for additional flocks. 
     
    Having grown for a small 60-member CSA, restaurants, farmers’ markets, independent grocers, co-ops, and wholesale distributors, we are currently on a trajectory towards focusing on the latter. 
    Our farm business strategy is to have the equipment and systems necessary to operate efficiently with a small team, the data to make informed planning decisions, and the skill and attention to detail needed to execute those plans successfully. 
    We are a young, evolving farm and looking for the right people to help support our growth as we help you grow into a seasoned farmer, and, hopefully find a longer-term role in our farm’s success. 
     
    Time Frame
    Interviewing now. 
    Starting Time Frame: Positions available. We are seeking the right people and will do our best to meet your needs. 
    This position is year-round employment. 
     
    To Apply
    Please email a brief cover letter, resume, availability, and references to sayhayfarms@gmail.com with the subject title “Farm Crew.”
    Name: 
    Daniel
    City: 
    Esparto
    State/Province: 
    California

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    We offer: A GRADE POMEGRANATE, B Grade, and juice grade. 
    Call for pricing. Taking orders for 2017 harvest starts October 1. 
    We are located in Fresno, Ca.

    Name: 
    Mark & Sandra Rodriguez
    Phone: 
    (559) 761-8403
    City: 
    Fresno
    State/Province: 
    California

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  • 08/16/17--09:30: Organic Steers For Sale
  • 20 steers, 800-1000# raised entirely on coastal pastures in Humboldt County at the mouth of the Mattole River. Price is auction price plus organic premium - negotiable

    Name: 
    Michael Evenson
    Email: 
    Phone: 
    (702) 629-3506
    City: 
    Petrolia
    State/Province: 
    California

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  • 08/17/17--14:10: Farm and Market Assistant
  • Fruitilicious Farm is a small, certified organic, diversified 20 acre farm in the foothills of Watsonville. We are looking for someone to help with harvest and marketing of fruit (apple, quince, figs, lemons, tangerines, pears, peaches), and a small amount of vegetable crops. 20 to 40 hours per week, starting soon. Seasonal job runs through Christmas. There is opportunity for advancement into a year-round position. Saturday presence at a farmers market is expected but other schedule is flexible.
     
    Qualifications: 
    We are planning to train the right employee in all phases of the farm operation and are not requiring specific background as much as willingness to learn and work hard.
    • Excellent communication skills. English required, some Spanish is desirable. 
    • Good attitude and developed work ethic 
    • Valid drivers license and clean driving record 
    • Healthy physical condition and ability to lift 50 lbs. 
    • Ability to work as part of a team and take direction 
    • Good organization and attention to detail 
    • Experience with organic farming, harvest and post-harvest handling is desirable, but not required
     
    Responsibilities: 
    • Working closely with manager to coordinate harvest for weekly farmers markets and other orders 
    • Overseeing the post-harvest handling of crops while maintaining rigorous quality standards 
    • Working a minimum of one farmers’ market per week September - December 
    • Crop maintenance activities including trapping gophers, troubleshooting irrigation, weeding, foliar fertilizing
     
    How to apply: 
    Please send resume, including three references, and a cover letter to fruitiliciousfarm@gmail.com.
    Name: 
    Zea Sonnabend
    Phone: 
    (831) 761-3213
    City: 
    Watsonville
    State/Province: 
    California

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  • 07/07/17--15:16: Full-Time Farm Manager
  • Ranch and farm (one hour drive from Reno, Nevada) is looking for full-time Farm Manager for a unique opportunity growing an experimental crop utilizing organic methods. The experimental grow period is July through mid-October. Be part of a small team that includes a experienced senior farmer and other support staff.
     
    The farm manager duties include overseeing the installation and maintenance of an drip irrigation system, field preparation, soil composition/amendments, planting, ongoing crop monitoring and pest management, managing farm labor, crop harvest and drying, heavy equipment operation and light equipment repair. Organic methods and organic pest management experience required.
     
    Additional acreage not dedicated to the experimental crop also requires management (cattle, alfalfa, etc.) so an extension of the full-time position is possible based upon performance. The successful candidate can help expand current operations into other areas of expertise (e.g., crops and livestock). A positive attitude is a must! Candidate needs to be dependable, flexible, and hard-working. Summer hours are 5 or 6 days a week, 7 am to 5pm. Possible flexibility as to which days of the week to work.
     
    We ask for a 3.5 month commitment. This is limited period, full-time position at $3000 per month or higher per experience plus a harvest bonus based upon a profitable yield. Housing may be provided for the first month while getting settled. Requires own transportation. Prefer supervisory experience. Based upon performance and crop yield there is an ongoing opportunity to both manage future crop cycles (e.g., Feb-Nov) and continue managing other portions of the ranch.
     
    If interested please e-mail a resume or description of job experience that shows you are qualified to JeffreyHernandez@me.com. Short e-mails like "I'm interested in this job." will not result in a response. You must supply more information about yourself before I will send questions and an application. Serious inquiries only. No drinking or drug problems.
    Name: 
    Jeffrey Hernandez
    City: 
    Fallon
    State/Province: 
    Nevada

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  • 08/22/17--13:16: Lead Roster
  • Alta Organic Coffee & Tea Company, located on the Westside of Santa Cruz, is looking for a Roaster to join our team. The ideal candidate is someone with a passion for coffee, the desire to expand their coffee knowledge and the ethical and sustainable production of it.
     
    Duties include small-batch roasting, packing, monthly cuppings and inventory management. Prior coffee experience and the ability to attend outside events where Alta Coffee is featured are helpful. Must have a good driving record for local deliveries. Part/Full Time 
    Please submit a resume to Info@altaorganiccoffee.com
    Name: 
    Patti Spooner or Patricia Poritzky
    Phone: 
    (831) 427-3373
    City: 
    Santa Cruz
    State/Province: 
    California

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    The Field Site Assistant Manager will aid in all aspects of education, production, and research in the Field Site, which currently covers ~11 acres of tractor cultivated grounds. The assistant manager will be heavily involved in facilitating the management of the fields to support the diverse programmatic offerings at CASFS including but not limited to: the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture, Mentoring advanced apprentices, UCSC undergraduate internships, faculty and graduate/undergraduate research trials, ENVS class trials and visits, and more.

    Daily actives will involve crew management, marketing management and support, irrigation management and support, tractor driving and implement use, purchasing, and various record keeping and reporting duties.

    The assistant manager will report directly to the Field Production Manager, Kirstin Yogg.

    For additional questions on the position and timelines please contact Kirstin Yogg.

    TO APPLY: Look for position #1707440 or follow this link: https://jobs.ucsc.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/frameset/Frameset.jsp?time=1504305542765 The initial review date for this position is 9/28/2017.

    Name: 
    Kirstin Yogg
    Email: 
    City: 
    Santa Cruz
    State/Province: 
    California

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    7th Heaven Organics is a central coast all organic farm established in 1996 and situated in the coastal canyons above Cayucos, California. We primarily grow Avocados, assorted berries, figs, citrus, and apples. Most of our sales are through local farmers markets. Our season generally begins in April and runs through October. (Often during drought periods with our mild winters we may be busy with irrigation and rodent management.) 
     
    Farm manager responsibilities include: 
    Avocado management, including pruning, harvesting, packing, and farmers market sales. 
    Weed and rodent management. 
    Irrigation and fertigation management. 
    Mechanical and carpentry skills a plus! 
    Farm experience a must! 
    Caretaker of all farm activities while owners are gone. 
    Salary commensurate with experience and education. 
    Potential for onsite housing.
     
    ***Resume required. Please include references.*** 
    Name: 
    Chuck or Jennifer Lenet
    City: 
    Cayucos
    State/Province: 
    California

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    Holland Ranch located in Palmdale CA in the Los Angeles County High Desert for sale. 2.5 acres with additional 3 acres of leased land. Certified since 2013. Includes 2488 square foot 3-bedroom 3 bath custom home built in 2005, 980 square foot garage, 26x96 high tunnel, walk in cooler. 
     
    We are an anchor vendor in a strong farmers market, 1.5 miles from our location, and operate a CSA. One of only a few local organic farms serving the Antelope Valley area of northern LA County.
     
    Please contact Eric Holland for more info and details at eholland@pilotpen.com or (661) 305-4190.
    Name: 
    Eric Holland
    Phone: 
    (661) 305-4190
    City: 
    Palmdale
    State/Province: 
    California

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  • 09/06/17--14:19: Farm Sales Coordinator
  • Company Description 
    Food Commons Fresno is the first prototype of a national model, that is structured to retain ownership, profits and governance of a vertically integrated food business within the local community. Once the model is refined and successful, other businesses will be launched within California. The business has been in existence since 2014 and operating since May 2015. The company is committed to working with small farmers, ranchers and producers of dairy products within the region. Food Commons Fresno has a goal of sourcing products within a 200-mile radius, aligning purchases with the California seasonality and supporting farmers and ranchers that use regenerative practices.
     
    Position Description 
    Coordinate farm product sales and crop planning-production for 75-acre organic farm. The position will coordinate sale of produce and crop planning with guidance from the Farm Manager. The position facilitates the sale of farm produce through the Food Commons Fresno Wholesale and Ooooby value chains. The position will sell farm produce directly to wholesale, institutional and retail buyers, with emphasis on creating seasonal sales programs. The position will work with the Farm Manager and administrative staff to maintain and update records, reports and training needed to maintain the farm’s organic certification and food safety compliance.
     
    The ideal candidate will have 3-5 years experience in the produce industry, working with farmers on crop plans and sales forecasting. The candidate will also have contacts within the produce industry that have potential to become new customers of the company. This position reports to the Farm Manager of the Company.
     
    Position Responsibilities: 
    1. Crop planning with Food Commons Farm Manager and other farm suppliers 
    2. Coordinating harvest and pack out schedule with lead farm supervisor 
    3. Scheduling deliveries through Food Commons, customer or 3rd party carriers 
    4. Setting up and maintaining a Quality Assurance Program 
    5. Overseeing all recordkeeping related to organic certification and food safety 
    6. Conducting regular inspections of equipment and maintaining inventory related to harvest and pack out of farm produce 
    7. Maintaining and expanding relationships with wholesale, retail and institutional buyers 
    8. Working with the Ooooby, and Wholesale buyers to sell farm produce through the Food Commons value chain. 
    9. Maintaining pricing and margins for farm produce sales within established guidelines. 
    10. Reporting and monitoring of farm revenues by crop
     
    Position Requirements: 
    • Minimum 3 years produce purchasing and sales experience 
    • Experience in crop or farm planning 
    • Supervisory experience 
    • Experience with accounting and inventory software such as Xero.com or QuickBooks 
    • Proven record of performance and meeting goals 
    • B.A. or B.S. in Agribusiness, Economics or Accounting, or equivalent experience 
    • Experience and familiarity with accounting and financial reporting software 
    • Vehicle and valid driver's license
     
    Position Compensation 
    Salary and other benefits negotiable depending on experience and qualifications. This is currently a part-time position of 25 to 30 weekly. It is expected to be full-time in the next 6-9 months.
    Name: 
    David Silveira
    Phone: 
    (209) 380-9104
    City: 
    Madera
    State/Province: 
    California

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    CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division is recruiting to fill one Senior Environmental Scientist (Supervisory) position in Sacramento County.
     
    Under the general direction of the Environmental Program Manager I, the incumbent serves as the supervisor of environmental scientific staff for the program which will establish a comparable organic designation and certification within the Licensing Branch. This program will be designed to be comparable to the National Organic Program (NOP) and the California Organic Food and Farming Act (COFFA). The incumbent is responsible for developing the California comparable standards and regulations, in close coordination with stakeholders, and program protocols regarding application evaluation compliance requirements, with consideration for environmental protection measures
     
    Duties include, but are not limited to: 
    • Supervise, coordinate, and direct scientific staff in the performance of their duties concerning the development and implementation of program standards.
    • Review, assign, prioritize, and delegate assignments to ensure work performed is done in accordance to program procedures, policies, and standards; interview, hire, and direct staff according to State personnel laws, rules, and regulations.
    • Provide direction and oversight to scientific staff regarding the development and implementation of a program that is comparable to the Federal NOP and COFFA.
    • Develop technical training for scientific staff regarding review of required cannabis cultivator's operational plans for standard compliance.
    • Provide input on developing regulations regarding comparable standards and regulations, including policy development, application evaluation systems, and certification requirements.
     
    More details about the position can be found on CalCareers website at the link below. Electronic applications will be accepted until 9/15/2017.
     
    JC-79670 Senior Environmental Scientist (Supervisory) - Sacramento County
     
    If you have questions regarding this position please contact Misty McDaniel at (916) 263-2091 or misty.mcdaniel@cdfa.ca.gov
     
    This message is approved by Amber Morris, Chief of CalCannabis Licensing Branch
     
     
    Name: 
    Misty McDaniel
    Phone: 
    (916) 263-2091
    City: 
    Sacramento
    State/Province: 
    California

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    About 500 pounds of organic blackberries frozen in approximately 3-pound Ziploc bags are for sale. The berries are stored in a certified kitchen walk in freezer. For sale, all or part at $3 per pound.

    Name: 
    Mary Margaret Perez
    Phone: 
    (831) 345-8866
    City: 
    Watsonville
    State/Province: 
    California

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  • 09/13/17--16:34: Farm Crew-Say Hay Farms
  • Say Hay Farms produces certified organic mixed vegetables and pastured eggs on 50 acres in Esparto, CA. In our seventh year of production, we're seeking motivated farmers to join our talented crew.

    Job Title: Farm Crew

    Works as a team under the supervision of the Harvest Manager.

    Duties

    1. Performs all harvest and post-harvest duties of vegetable crops in year-round conditions. 
    2. Assists in daily operations of chicken care, egg washing, and packing.
    3. Observes and communicates crop and field conditions.
    4. Operates with a sense of urgency and efficiency during busy times.
    5. Assists is recording data about yield and time. 

    Qualifications

    1. One full year of experience on a for-profit diversified vegetable operation.
    2. Basic knowledge of vegetable crops, seasonality, and growing techniques.
    3. Good communication skills
    4. Ability to work early, long, and hard. Weeks averaging 50 hours, but will vary with season’s demands and weather conditions.

    Compensation
    Starting wage: $12/hour. Quarterly evaluations. Accrued Paid Time-Off of two weeks per year for FTE. Good food & eggs. Regular Schedule: Four or five 10-hour days with two days off in a row.

    Background 
    Say Hay Farms started in 2010 with just two acres and 100 hens. Having farmed 20 acres for the past few years, we are completing the transition to our new packing facility and infrastructure in Esparto, CA. We farm two properties totaling about 45 acres of vegetable ground, 5 acres of almonds in need of rehabilitation, and a half-acre of oranges. With the time needed to properly rotate and fertilize our grounds with chickens and cover crops, we usually don’t have more than 25 acres in vegetable production at a time.

    Our goal is to meet much of our fertilization needs through pastured hens and cover crops, supplemented with compost and imported manure fertilizer when necessary. Our current laying flocks total 1600 laying hens, with plans for additional flocks.

    Having grown for a small 60-member CSA, restaurants, farmers’ markets, independent grocers, co-ops, and wholesale distributors, we are currently on a trajectory towards focusing on the latter.

    Our farm business strategy is to have the equipment and systems necessary to operate efficiently with a small team, the data to make informed planning decisions, and the skill and attention to detail needed to execute those plans successfully.

    We are a young, evolving farm and looking for the right people to help support our growth as we help you grow into a seasoned farmer, and, hopefully find a longer-term role in our farm’s success. 

    Time Frame
    Interviewing now. Starting Time Frame: Positions available. We are seeking the right people and will do our best to meet your needs. This position is year-round employment.

    To Apply: Please email a brief cover letter, resume, availability, and references to sayhayfarms@gmail.com with the subject title “Farm Crew.”

    Name: 
    Chris Hay
    Phone: 
    (530) 507-8107
    City: 
    Esparto
    State/Province: 
    California

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  • 09/18/17--12:21: Certified Organic Grass Hay
  • Over 1000 bales of Certified Organic Hay for sale. Baled in July this year. The bales are approximately 75 lbs. The hay is native meadowgrass. We have fed this hay to our cattle, sheep and horses. The price is $9.00/bale. Possible discount with quantity. Call Greg Harris at 541-783-2787 0or email at mcreadyranch1915@gmail.com

    Name: 
    Greg Harris
    Phone: 
    (541) 783-2787
    City: 
    Chiloquin
    State/Province: 
    Oregon

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  • 09/20/17--11:33: Organic Alfalfa
  • For sale Organic Alfalfa in 3x4 bales. Please contact Vern. 

    Name: 
    Vern Jensen
    Phone: 
    (541) 891-5803
    City: 
    Merrill
    State/Province: 
    Oregon

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    Wine Country Cuisine wants to team up with several quality oriented, CCOF certified or certifiable Sonoma County vegetable and fruit growers because I cannot keep up with Oliver’s Markets sales growth and demand. Wine Country Cuisine is one of a handful of Sonoma County farmers who can reliably produce and deliver washed, pre-packed, labeled and barcoded, retail ready fresh produce year-round in most years. Oliver’s does not place orders for my products nor do they check in my deliveries. Instead, I have dedicated shelf space, like a mini farm stand, in all four Oliver’s Markets. I can walk in to the produce department every Tuesday and Friday, move other produce over and restock my space with as many different products as available, often around 20 leafy greens and culinary herbs. I set the retail price, most at $2.49 per package, and their cost, $1.50, to give a 40% margin and buy back unsold product after 7 to 10 days to guarantee the sale. I leave extra stock in the back cooler if needed as the shelf is not to go empty and print them an invoice with my portable computer and printer at delivery that deducts any buy backs. This is how the bread bakeries and many prepared food makers sell to grocery stores. Oliver’s then prints and mails me a check combining all stores for each delivery day, two checks each week, within 11 days and lately 7 days after delivery. This works because of 25 years of trust and integrity plus having distinctive tasting produce that customers talk about and ask for when not available. I own a manufacturer’s UPC number series so Oliver’s can audit my sales by barcode number and compare to their purchases. They also include those sales in the Sonoma County products subtotal on every customer’s cash register receipt.
     
    Oliver’s Markets’ four stores broke the combined $500,000 week in produce department sales this June. They would buy around $300,000 to support those sales given what they have to throw away. Their August produce sales are so far running an unreal 25% above 2016. Oliver’s had all Sonoma County grown produce at 20% off for the week of August 23 but ate the discount and paid farmers full price. Now that Oliver’s is employee owned, the long-term relationships that I have built with the next generation of produce managers will provide Sonoma County farmers the long term sales and income security they need to plant an olive orchard. Quality is essential, however, as retail customers will not buy overgrown or insect damaged produce. Visit any Oliver’s Market, but Windsor is the showcase, check out my products and everybody else’s and talk to the produce managers and buyers. Given the numerous micro-climates in Sonoma County along with greenhouse production, is entirely possible for Sonoma County farmers to be Oliver’s house brand of every day produce, supplying them year-round and be 25% of annual produce sales, a potential $4,000,000 in purchases for 2017. This is serious money and serious business for serious farmers only.
     
    The best way to pull this off and work together is to form an Agricultural Marking Cooperative to take over the washing, packing and delivery business of Wine Country Cuisine and those similar operations of any other Farmer/Owner. Cooperatives are non-profit companies owned by the farmers who provide the products for sale. Sunkist Growers, Blue Diamond Almonds and Ocean Spray Cranberries are long time grocery store staples. Cooperative have anti-trust exemption so they can coordinate and allocate product production and varieties, standardize production methods, set prices, pool buy inputs, provide special labor services and do anything else the farmer/owners want. Any profit the Cooperative makes on a farmer’s produce is accounted for and paid as a patronage dividend. I have written software for Macintosh computers that can manage the Cooperative’s entire business and that of farmer/owners also.
     
    Washing and bagging for retail is expensive to do but it takes care of most food safety issues that farmers must now address. Farmers could be paid 60% of the Cooperative invoiced sales for their produce within 14 days of delivery, adjusted if needed to reflect actual operating costs. Present prices mean farmers get $0.90 per retail package. These products are harvested bulk by the pound at mixed sizes so 20 pounds of chard would equal $36 to the farmer compared to a 20-pound case of 24 ct. bunched chard or $14.40 per pound for oregano and mint equal to a dozen bunches. Products with lower packing house costs would pay Farmers a higher percentage of invoice. Since products are sourced to several Farmers, each Farmer could then grow fewer products than needed for a CSA or farm market booth and harvest greens only once a week. This gives Farmers more time for crop protection efforts and following GAP’s.
     
    Email Greg at WineCountryCuisine@me.com or call (707) 585-9434 for more information and discussion.
     
    Name: 
    Greg Nilsen
    Phone: 
    (707) 585-9434
    City: 
    Santa Rosa
    State/Province: 
    California

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