Fall News from CFF

Introducing our New Manager, Temra Costa: Temra joined CFF this past summer and is in charge of advancing CFF's collective goals. She is a nationally recognized sustainable food and farming advocate and award-winning author of Farmer Jane: Women Changing the Way We Eat. Temra has been a leader in the California sustainable food systems movement since 2003. You can learn more about her experience and connect with her via LinkedIn.

2017 Focus on Power Imbalance / Regenerative Ag: Each year CFF members gather for deep dives on what's happening in the field. In 2017, members focused on the topics of power, and the culture of agriculture through two-day learning retreats curated by our members. They looked like this:

  • This past February, CFF members met at TomKat Ranch to discuss power in our food system with speakers Janaki Jagannath, formerly with Community Alliance for Agroecology, Ildi Carlisle Cummins, California Institute for Rural Studies, journalist Barry Lynn, and Kevin Hall, a consultant focused on power relationships in Central Valley agriculture.
  • This past September CFF convened at Paicines Ranch to learn more about the impact, barriers, and opportunities we are experiencing with our "culture of agriculture." Speakers Steve Swaffar from No-till on the Plains, Kelly Mulvaney of Paicines Ranch, and Rich Collins, President of the board of CAFF, all brought important and unique perspectives to the table. 

In addition to these learning retreats, members share grant-making strategies and hear the latest perspectives from the field during our monthly calls and grant-docket reviews. Our members work to engage grantees and field experts to ensure that we're working from the latest paradigm shifting resources and knowledge available. This makes the content and impact of our calls and meetings as dynamic as these times.

Join California Foodshed Funders in 2018
The science is clear: we need to make major shifts in agricultural production in California to make a change, both for our health and the health of the ecological systems upon which we depend. Towards this end, we're committed to bringing grantmakers together for fellowship and opportunities so that we can make more informed grantmaking decisions. As a fellowship, we're committed to creating the following experiences for our members and extended grantmaker community:

  • Regional networking opportunities (see below).
  • Publication and sharing of our learnings through our soon-to-be-launched website.
  • More informed grantmaking in the California agriculture and food system space.
  • Regular updates and information via this newsletter.



The following events are open to CFF's extended network of grantmakers. Attendees do not need to be CFF members to attend.

Regenerative Agriculture Initiative Informational Session, November 8, 2017

San Francisco, CA: Join California Foodshed Funders and Chico State University (CSU) for a listening session on CSU's Regenerative Agriculture Initiative (RAI). This unique, multi-disciplinary effort at Chico provides a much-needed home for independent research that seeks to address some of our most pressing agricultural, environmental and climate challenges.

Independent research on the benefits and potential of regenerative agriculture is severely lacking in higher education. CSU received a grant from veteran organic farmers Rosie and Ward Burroughs to start RAI, which has been in the planning stage for the past two years. However, no program within a university can truly gain a foothold without the right resources. Come learn more about RAI, its partners, its process and its goals.

This event is for grantmakers only. RSVP is required as seating is limited. When you RSVP, please let us know if you have any dietary preferences as lunch will be provided.

Remote attendance is also possible. Click on "Register" and select "Video Conference / Remote RSVP" and we will send you details for joining remotely.


Join us at EcoFarm for an Informal Lunchtime Mixer

Pacific Grove, CA: Join CFF and friends for an informal lunchtime mixer at EcoFarm on Friday, January 26 from 12:00 - 2:00 PM. Participants will pick up their lunch to go before heading to our reserved meeting room in Hearth.

For details, please RSVP by emailing Temra Costa at temra@cafoodshedfunders.org.



Northern California Fire Relief Funds
Our thoughts and hearts go out to all those affected by the recent Northern California fires.

There are many relief funds out there to consider supporting, but in keeping with the theme of agriculture and food we wanted to point you in the direction of two funds that are working in this sector: 1) CAFF's fire relief fund has been set up to support farmers affected by the fires, and 2) Undocufund, a fund that is working to support undocumented workers that lack access to traditional forms of assistance. Many of these workers and their families were employed by food and farming businesses prior to the fires, and many are now without work. In Sonoma County alone there are an estimated 28,000 undocumented workers.


California Small Farm Conference, October 29 - 30, 2017

Stockton, CA: The annual California Small Farm Conference is this weekend. Visit their website for more details on how to attend.


Food System 6, November 10, 2017

Sausalito, CA: A showcase of entrepreneurs and exploration of greater supply chain sustainability, this afternoon conference will feature speaker/author David Montgomery among other guests. Registration can be found here.


SAFSF 4th Annual Policy Briefing, December 4 - 6, 2017

Washington D.C.: Join SAFSF for their annual policy briefing. This December you can connect in powerful ways with your representatives and fellow SAFSF members. View their website for more details.

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