- Resources for Farmers
- Resources for Educators
- Resources for the Public
- GIM Workshops
- Grown in Marin Newsletter PDFs
- Grown in Marin Newsletter Articles
Archived Related News Items
- 5 Stops on a California Cheese Trail
- Double sofi Gold Awards For Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese
- Bay Area wheat makes a comeback
- Cowgirl Creamery's founders blend traits
- Where less product is better
- Go Ahead, Milk My Day
- Stanford study unlikely to slow momentum of Marin's organic food movement
- Work to keep cattle away from creeks seeks to improve water quality in West Marin
- Marin's Green Gulch, a pioneer in organic farming, celebrates 40 years
- FoodWorks Finds New Markets for Local Growers
- New generation of West Marin ranchers coming back to the family farm
- Cream of the Crop
- Surge in gopher population in Tam Valley
- Sowing organic seeds of success at College of Marin's Novato campus
- Local food: No elitist plot
- Rethinking the farm
- New canning company helps preserve Marin's farms
- He's Full of It
- UC Davis launches agricultural sustainability degree
- Working from the heart: The legacy of a Point Reyes farming family
- Meat Distribution Part 2: Technology on the Range
- Making a cheese statement
- College of Marin launches apprentice program for farmers
- The future of Gravenstein apples hangs on a thin stem
- Across the Bay Area, urban farming is in season
- Fresh from the farm
- New farmers find their footing
- Could farms survive without illegal labor?
- IVC's organic farm is Project of the Year
- The Unpaid Intern, Legal or Not
- Six Stories Above Queens, a Fine Spot for a Little Farming
- Marin's farmers hang on despite drop in milk prices
- Farm internships in Oregon
- Mature at last, Marin County's cheeses stand alone
- College of Marin leading the whey in cheese education
- Land trust has kept Marin's farms in business for 30 years
- Marin County farmers and ranchers plan for success
- Till life: Marin History Museum's latest exhibit shows why our county ag industry hasn't, er...bought the farm
- College of Marin launches organic farm at Indian Valley campus
- College of Marin's organic farming students get hands-on experience
- Point Reyes workshop aims to put a chicken in every backyard
- After 21 years, UC Extension director turns author
- Coastal meandering
- COM wins grant for farm program
- From the Farm to Your Table: A Consumer’s Guide to Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Publication
- Novato grocer connects with local farmers
- Sonoma County consumers buy locally produced meat
- Dairies feel pinch of climbing costs
- County Line Farm moves west
- You are invited to apply for funding for agricultural worker housing
- The grass isn't always greener
- Goat farm producing natural, sustainable meat
- Non profits help local farms
- A banner year for Marin farms with record revenues for 2007
- MALT closes $2.7 million deal to preserve farmland
- Supervisors commit $200,000 for farmworkers' housing
- Sonoma farm to table
- Take a haycation on a North Bay farm
- Cuisine scene: Marin's bounty ready for its close-up
- Cafeteria Crusaders: They're changing the way kids eat
- Versatile Spuds
- Growing Concern - Some Marin Farmers Market vendors say the economy is slowing business
- Organic Marin - Marin farmers find success with organic food
- It's all about the cheese
- If It’s Fresh and Local, Is It Always Greener?
- Food Conscious: Is Organic Better? It Depends.
- 2007 Census of Agriculture
- The faces behind the farmers
- Now that's natural gas
- Marin experiences an early but fruitful harvest
- UC Examines Cost of Producing Strawberries
- Farmers markets thrive in Marin
- Taste of Marin - 2007 style
- Farm Bill 2007: What it means for Marin - Part I
- Production beginning for UCCE’s Hidden Bounty of Marin documentary
- Toluma Goat Dairy in Tomales
- What will happen to our cattle when the slaughterhouse is gone?
- Pastured eggs catching on
- Marin Sun Farms Newsletter
- Farming on the Edge of Change
- UC researcher: farmers markets benefit local economies
- Family Farms in Peril
- The Farm Bill and California food and agriculture
- California cheeses: the next wave
- The new food crusade
- 847 sheep shorn in nine hours
- Bee news
- UCCE Marin Intern Program welcomes Anne Kehoe
- Farming on the edge . . . of change
- Marin Farmers Market awarded as environmental educator
- Milk cow blues
- W. Marin man hopes frozen sperm takes ranch to 'next level'
- A 'nobody' no more
- Rhapsody in Blue
- Drive-by shooter targets cattle in West Marin
- Cheese unplugged
- Green Giants
- The Faces of Organic/Clover Stornetta Farms
- New kids on the block
- Organic dairy certification workshop
- Demand for organic outruns supply
- Volunteers, with cows in tow, join war on thistle
- New Release Offering – Marin Wines
- Last slaughterhouse closing
- Organic evolution: farming a natural choice for Tomales woman
- Leslie Harlib's Cuisine Scene: Go West
- Leslie Harlib's Social Scene: Festive fund raising, organically
- New high quality feed discovered: Wooly Distaff Thistle
- Organic Dairy Workshop in Tomales
- This time, “grass fed” really means “grass fed.”
- Marin Farm Families- Stories & Recipes
- Organic education: Bolinas, Stinson students to get fresh lunches
- Obesity war's latest battlefront: the school cafeteria School nutrition is activists' passion
- Pampering pumpkins
- Buying Local
- Marin Sonoma Livestock Workgroup
- Taste of Marin - Celebrating Marin County Agriculture
- Renowned author Wendell Berry tours Bolinas farm, applauds agrarian efforts
- Organic Beef — Natural Meat Steaks Its Claim
- Dionisio Choperena -- in ad, life a shepherd
- Back to the ranch
- Going organic
- Ranchers and farmers meet in W. Marin to discuss future of agriculture
- Market growing for Marin olive oil producers, sellers
- Point Reyes Station dairy is losing its cows - and its reputation
- Marin dairy farmers face hard times as corn costs rise
- Is Organic Food Really a Better Buy?
- The Marin Center for Sustainable Agriculture is on its way here
- Farm Bureau lunch to honor our county government & supporters
- A Drop in the Bucket: reclaiming water for farming
- Successful first year at new Worsley Farms location in Point Reyes
- Study examines farms' vitality
- Cheese producers hailed as model for West Marin development
- AGRIBUSINESS - Organic Erosion
- Coming in from the cold
- Tiburon entrepreneur hopes to make cheese where the buffalo roam
- UC ANR Publications
- Photos of Marin Agriculture
Non profits help local farms
Marin IJ - 6/10/08
WHEN Annabelle Lenderink finishes up her day job at Star Route Farms, her workday isn't done.
She treks onto her leased 2.5 acres in Bolinas to work her own farm, a labor of love called La Tercera. She pulls weeds and checks the irrigation pipes that run along her rows of summer squash, fennel, escarole and seven kinds of radicchio.
Her operation, which includes another two acres in Petaluma, is known at some of the Bay Area's finest restaurants - such as Berkeley's Chez Panisse, Eccolo and Oakland's Pizzaiolo - for unusual produce, cultivated organically.
Lenderink's farm - which rarely comes close to turning a profit - might not have been able to afford its irrigation hose if not for the help of the Sebastopol-based nonprofit California FarmLink, which became a model for a national pilot program in the 2008 federal farm bill passed by Congress on May 15.
The nearly $10,000 Lenderink, 48, netted helped her buy tools such as a tiller, hoes and a ripper, which, she said, "has three shafts that you drag through the soil."
Without the savings and fund-matching program, purchasing the equipment for her small-scale farm "would have been very hard," she said. But nearly as valuable as the cash, said Lenderink, was learning how to get a financial handle on her farm.
"The best part about it is there's a lot of education that goes with it. Financial stuff - margins and figuring out how much cash flow you have, record-keeping."
The educational component of the savings program, called individual development accounts, or IDAs, is a crucial part of the competitive program targeting low-income and minority farmers, said Steve Schwartz, executive director of California FarmLink.
Cash-flow projections, a business plan, tax preparation, cleaning up credit - these requirements of the program help farmers do "all the things to put them on solid financial footing," Schwartz said.
And the stronger the footing, the better position farmers are in to invest in their farms - buying bits and pieces of equipment, like Lenderink did - or to make a down payment on land or a tractor. And this investment can have more than a purely economic effect.
"Once you have a home or a tractor or trees in the ground, you change the way you look at your future," Schwartz said.
The future of Jesse Kuhn's Petaluma-based Marin Roots farm is cooler, thanks to the IDA savings program that helped him buy a new refrigeration unit.
"It's way more efficient," said Kuhn, 33. After working with Lenderink at Star Route Farms, Kuhn went off on his own five years ago to grow lettuce, spinach, arugula, baby carrots, tomatoes and strawberries on 12 acres. His organic produce sells at Whole Foods, Mill Valley Market and Fairfax's Good Earth grocery.
Like many small farmers, Kuhn struggled to pay the bills for the first several years. But his farm is on more stable ground, in part because of the funds and skills he gained through California FarmLink's IDA.
"It's a really beneficial program," he said. "It's especially good for somebody who started to have a career in agriculture and started to get a business going - to help build a business from scratch."
California FarmLink, which has a primary focus of connecting beginning farmers with affordable land, has been around since 1998. Its IDA program has, for the past five years, helped 25 rookie farmers in 13 California counties buy equipment, supplies or land.
Lenderink is one of three Marin farmers to benefit from the program. Five others are in Sonoma County. Funding to match savings has come from banks including Wells Fargo and Westamerica.
As part of a network of farmer advocacy organizations, California FarmLink worked with lawmakers to bring its program to a national audience. Schwartz said he hopes the federal funding will expand FarmLink's program to help up to 250 California farmers in the next five years.
The farm bill's IDA program - the first to specifically target farmers - would spend $5 million a year and help about 400 farmers and ranchers across at least 15 states, said Carol Wayman, senior legislative director of Corporate Enterprise Development, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization specializing in IDA development.
The program, which supporters hope will receive federal funding, would provide a two-to-one matching program.
IDAs have been around - as both federally managed programs and nonprofit projects - for about 10 years, Wayman said. Nationwide, there are 540 nonprofit programs helping 73,000 savers to start or support small businesses like child-care services or property management, or to pay for college education or a home down-payment, Wayman said.
The program received support from Sen. Barbara Boxer, who said, through her press secretary, "The next generation of farmers is going to play a critical role in U.S. agriculture, especially in meeting the growing demand for organic and sustainable food. The (IDA) pilot program is designed to build on California's successful efforts to help beginning farmers build assets and manage their finances. It's a smart investment in the nation's rural communities."
Wayman added, "What we've found is you provide the carrot of matching people's savings and you provide the education, and you help build the local economy at the same time."
Contact Sierra Filucci via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org