Over the past seven years, former farmworker Aldo Gonzalez has expanded his farm business from five to 44 acres, helped by annual operating loans from California FarmLink, an Aptos-based nonprofit that since 2013 has also operated as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
The wine industry is a huge part of California agriculture. According to the Wine Institute, there are 5,900 wine grape growers in the Golden State, cultivating the crop on 635,000 acres. The growers harvest almost 4 million tons of grapes a year, generating over $3 billion in farmgate revenue. In total, the wine industry has an economic impact of $57 billion a year and employs 325,000 Californians.
In 1975, a group of women concerned about challenges to California agriculture got together to “speak on behalf of the busy farmer” and educate consumers and legislators about farming issues. Today, the CWA has become one of the largest all-volunteer advocacy groups in the nation, consisting of a diverse group of bankers, lawyers, accountants, marketing professionals and consumers – along with farmers and ranchers.
After leaving the Air Force in 2012 with a service-connected disability, Robert Barnett was looking for a new career when he fell into farming by accident by gardening at his family’s home in Ventura, even though “it was years before I could grow something,” he recalled.
Agribusiness students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo will have additional funding for student projects in the years to come after Farm Credit donated nearly $255,000 this year to create an endowment fund for the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.
In an effort to provide food to California families in need, Farm Credit, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc., are partnering to assist the expansion of the state’s Farm to Family Program, as recognized last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
For more than a quarter-century, the Center for Land-Based Learning has operated its successful FARMS Leadership Program, educating thousands of high school students about career opportunities in agriculture. And up through March of this year, the nonprofit had planned and implemented dozens of Field Day hands-on experiences throughout the state to get kids out of the classroom and onto working farms to learn more.
The 40th EcoFarm Conference – the oldest and largest organic farming conference in the West – went off without a hitch in late January, providing some 1,600 attendees with a wide range of information about how to grow food sustainably.
Farm Credit understands the vital connection between farmers and their land, as well as the importance of preserving our natural resources. These beliefs have motivated Farm Credit to be a long-standing sponsor of the Leopold Conservation Award.
Latinos have been the largest ethnic group in California since 2014 and make up an even larger portion of the population in many of California’s farming regions. In fact, the fastest growing population of farmers throughout the state are Latinos transitioning from farmworkers to farmers.