All posts in Policy

Reflections on USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2.0

Reflections on USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2.0

Applications for the USDA’s CFAP-2 (Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2.0) closed last week on October 12th. CFAP-2 was the second round of federal funding for farmers who faced losses during the pandemic. A departure from the first iteration that focused

Read More »
CAFF Survey: 2021

CAFF Survey: 2021

CAFF’S ANNUAL SURVEY DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 15! Your voice matters! Please take a few moments (no more than 5-8 minutes) to complete CAFF’s annual survey. The feedback you provide here helps to guide CAFF’s work and advocacy to better serve and

Read More »
Gov. Signs Historic Budget: Success for Family Farmers in the Capitol!

Gov. Signs Historic Budget: Success for Family Farmers in the Capitol!

Today, Governor Newsom signed a $15 billion climate budget package passed earlier this month by the California State Legislature, the largest in California’s history aimed at investing in the needs of California’s communities.  These investments range from broadband infrastructure, to

Read More »
Debt Relief for Farmers of Color & White Allies

Debt Relief for Farmers of Color & White Allies

A few weeks ago, an odd request appeared on an online farmer discussion group to which I belong. A lawyer was soliciting white farmers to join a lawsuit fighting a new USDA loan forgiveness program aimed at helping minority farmers,

Read More »
Rescue Small Farms, California!

Rescue Small Farms, California!

Irrigation pipes beside a fallow field that last year overflowed with vegetables for a local CSA. Photo by Kelsey Joy Murphey Farming has always been a risky business, but here in California, 2021 is proving to be another beast altogether.

Read More »
Critical Investments for Our Small Family Farmers

Critical Investments for Our Small Family Farmers

The Community Alliance with Family Farmers is calling on legislative leaders to support critical investments in California’s small and underserved farmers. CAFF is seeking legislative support for approximately $60 million in one-time investments aimed at addressing the urgent need to

Read More »
Family Farmers Return from State Capitol with High Hopes

Family Farmers Return from State Capitol with High Hopes

Earlier this month, CAFF traveled (virtually) to the State Capitol in Sacramento to meet with legislators during CAFF’s Week of Action. Over three days, farmers and ranchers participated in meetings with 19 legislators to advocate for critical investments to support

Read More »
Revision to Co-Selling Regs at Farmers Markets

Revision to Co-Selling Regs at Farmers Markets

State of California Memorandum  To : Certified Producer’s, Market Operators  and other Interested Parties Date: May 18, 2021 Sacramento (916) 900-5030 From : Department of Food and Agriculture – Steve Patton, Branch Chief Inspection & Compliance Branch Subject : Interpretation

Read More »
Bold Climate & Agriculture Bill Introduced in Congress

Bold Climate & Agriculture Bill Introduced in Congress

Today, Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME-1) and Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the Agriculture Resilience Act (ARA) in Congress, outlining a farmer-focused, research-driven path to net zero agriculture. This Earth Day, CAFF is proud to endorse this bill on behalf of

Read More »
CAFF Week of Action 2021

CAFF Week of Action 2021

CALLING ALL FAMILY FARMERS: MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! Join us for CAFF’s (first ever!) Week of Action, May 17 – 19th, a series of virtual meetings with your state legislators! In order to make change in the California food & farming landscape–from fair

Read More »
California’s small farmers thank state leaders for critical pandemic relief support

California’s small farmers thank state leaders for critical pandemic relief support

CAFF-led effort helps deliver $3.35 million in state early action funds will help underserved farmers access relief and recovery dollars  Sacramento, CA  – Today California state leaders enacted budget legislation to provide critical support for small and historically underserved farmers

Read More »
Action Alert: Sign-on to Support Food Hubs!

Action Alert: Sign-on to Support Food Hubs!

🚨 ACTION ALERT! 🚨​ SIGN ON TO SUPPORT LOCAL FOOD HUBS! Calling on Farmers, Ranchers, and Organizations to sign on in support of a California Assembly Bill (AB1009 – Bloom) supporting the development of community-based food hubs, prioritizing direct sales

Read More »
California’s Chance for a Resilient and Equitable Food & Farming System

California’s Chance for a Resilient and Equitable Food & Farming System

The coronavirus pandemic has revealed weaknesses within our food and farming system and exacerbated long-standing inequities. This pandemic has disproportionately impacted California’s small-scale farmers and, in particular, historically underserved farmers of color, many of whom continue to struggle to keep

Read More »
Family Farmers for Early Action on CA State Budget

Family Farmers for Early Action on CA State Budget

The below letter was sent by CAFF and signed by dozens of family farmers across the state to members of the California state Senate and Assembly, expressing our support for a budget that includes significant and much-needed investments in climate

Read More »
CAFF’s Farmer Survey Results 2021

CAFF’s Farmer Survey Results 2021

In 2020 we asked you to complete our annual survey, participate in one-on-one conversations, and listening sessions – this critical feedback from farmers helps guide CAFF’s work and advocacy to better serve and represent California family famers. The results are

Read More »
House Ag Committee Proposes Much-Needed Aid in Next COVID Relief Package

House Ag Committee Proposes Much-Needed Aid in Next COVID Relief Package

COVID-19 Funding Will Assist with Farm and Food System Response and Recovery February 9th, 2021, Washington, DC — Today, the House of Representatives released the Agriculture and Nutrition title of the FY2021 Budget Reconciliation bill, intended to address ongoing impacts

Read More »
CAFF on CA Assembly Ag Committee Hearing

CAFF on CA Assembly Ag Committee Hearing

CAFF’s public comment for the California Assembly Ag Committee Hearing, February 10, 2021:  Good Afternoon Chair Rivas and members. Jamie Fanous for the Community Alliance with Family Farmers. CAFF has represented small and mid-scale family farmers in California for over 40 years,

Read More »
Don’t Let FDA’s Unfair Rules Jeopardize Small Farms

Don’t Let FDA’s Unfair Rules Jeopardize Small Farms

When it comes to regulating American agriculture, one size does NOT fit all. That was the message that CAFF and thousands of family farmers brought to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ten years ago when they began hashing out

Read More »
Tell Our CA State Legislature that Backing Governor’s 2021 Budget Means Supporting Family Farms

Tell Our CA State Legislature that Backing Governor’s 2021 Budget Means Supporting Family Farms

Last week, Governor Newsom released his California state budget, which included funding for a number of incredibly important programs aimed at helping family farms during the pandemic, advancing social equity in agriculture, and promoting climate smart farming–programs that CAFF and

Read More »
Farmers’ Market Workers Should be Included in 1B Vaccine Group

Farmers’ Market Workers Should be Included in 1B Vaccine Group

January 15, 2021 To: Dr Erica Pan, CDPH; Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, OSG; Community Vaccine Advisory Committee Members CC: Honorable Governor Gavin Newsom, Secretary Karen Ross, Bobbie Wunsch Re: Ensure CA’s Certified Farmers’ Markets Industry Included in Phase 1b of

Read More »
Family farmers applaud Governor’s investments in underserved small farmers & ecological agriculture

Family farmers applaud Governor’s investments in underserved small farmers & ecological agriculture

Sacramento – Earlier today, Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed FY 21-22 budget, including targeted investments to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), an agricultural group that represents small and mid-sized farmers in California, applauded Governor

Read More »
Newest Round of Federal COVID-19 Aid for Farmers More Accessible

Newest Round of Federal COVID-19 Aid for Farmers More Accessible

The USDA is handing out $14 billion of CCC/CARES money as CFAP 2.0. The new program is a marked improvement on the last version with more eligible commodities and a payment option based on lost income rather than price decline. Applications opened September

Read More »
Seeking Farmers to Speak up on Groundwater Mgmt. Policy

Seeking Farmers to Speak up on Groundwater Mgmt. Policy

Concerned about the impacts of SGMA on your farm? Join CAFF’s farmer support network for resources, connections with other CA farmers, and the opportunity to influence State policy to serve family farmers’ needs The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF)

Read More »
More Funds for Farmers Impacted by COVID-19 & Economic Crisis

More Funds for Farmers Impacted by COVID-19 & Economic Crisis

For many family farmers reeling from the economic turmoil of COVID-19, sorely needed emergency relief never came because the government programs intended to serve them were targeted to the largest and wealthiest farms. To date, farm relief programs have proven

Read More »
2020 CAFF Survey

2020 CAFF Survey

CAFF’s ANNUAL SURVEY Your voice matters! By taking the time to complete this survey, you help guide CAFF’s work and advocacy to better serve and represent California family farmers, while promoting regenerative agriculture and local food systems. Deadline: Dec 1st,

Read More »
Why Family Farmers Say YES on Prop 15

Why Family Farmers Say YES on Prop 15

This November, California voters will have a chance to support small farms, small businesses and local communities, while ensuring big, wealthy corporations pay more of their fair share of property taxes. Prop 15 closes a corporate tax loophole that for

Read More »
ACTION ALERT! Tell Congress: Local Farms Need COVID-19 Relief

ACTION ALERT! Tell Congress: Local Farms Need COVID-19 Relief

 The majority of farmers selling local foods have suffered severe market disruptions due to COVID-19, yet the USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) has left them out. Now we have a chance to fix this dire situation!  U.S. Representative Alma

Read More »
Don’t Let Congress Ignore Small Farms Yet Again!

Don’t Let Congress Ignore Small Farms Yet Again!

In the last COVID aid package, congress approved $16 billion to support U.S. agriculture. But how much of that money found its way to the small family farmers who need it most? …Crumbs. Of the 93 farmers that CAFF supported

Read More »
Weak State Ag Report Highlights Need for Farmer Justice

Weak State Ag Report Highlights Need for Farmer Justice

Last month, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) released a much-anticipated report highlighting inequities in California agriculture and recommending steps the state agency can take to address historic and lasting racism. While the report identified some key areas

Read More »
USDA’s COVID-19 Farmer Relief Will Leave Out Farmers Most Impacted by Crisis

USDA’s COVID-19 Farmer Relief Will Leave Out Farmers Most Impacted by Crisis

Thousands of Farmers and Ranchers Working to Feed their Communities Will Not be Fairly Compensated for Losses

Read More »
Urging Congress to Protect Organic Food & Ag During Pandemic

Urging Congress to Protect Organic Food & Ag During Pandemic

As a member of the Organic Farmers Alliance in D.C., CAFF joined in urging congress to include provisions in the next coronavirus relief package to help organic farmers, farmworkers, retailers, certifiers, and other businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Like all

Read More »
State Program Puts Food Industry Back to Work, Sources from Local Farms to Feed Seniors in Need

State Program Puts Food Industry Back to Work, Sources from Local Farms to Feed Seniors in Need

Last week, Governor Newsom announced the launch of a first-in-the-nation “Great Plates Delivered” program, a state-funded meal delivery service with two goals: 1) help seniors and other adults at high risk from COVID-19 stay home and stay healthy by delivering

Read More »
Don’t Let the USDA Leave You Out

Don’t Let the USDA Leave You Out

ACTION ALERT! As farmers and ranchers across the country are feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, USDA is preparing to distribute $16 billion in direct aid to producers who have experienced financial losses.Applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will

Read More »
Farmers Now Eligible for Federal Funds

Farmers Now Eligible for Federal Funds

This week the Senate passed the latest aid package, which is now on its way to the House for a likely vote and the President has indicated he will sign it. This means that the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) as

Read More »
$3 billion Available to Food Hubs Distributors to Feed Those in Need

$3 billion Available to Food Hubs Distributors to Feed Those in Need

Local and regional distributors funded to procure and provide boxes of fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to food banks and other non-profits serving Americans in need.

Read More »
CAFF Participating in Survey of Farm Workers During COVID-19

CAFF Participating in Survey of Farm Workers During COVID-19

Farmworkers are considered essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis and continue to work on California farms and ranches. In order to ensure that these workers’ voices are shaping responses to COVID-19, a broad coalition of researchers and farmworker advocates are

Read More »
COVID-19 USDA Farm Stimulus Packages

COVID-19 USDA Farm Stimulus Packages

On Friday, the White House announced that it will direct $19 billion in funds to aid farmers and ranchers during the coronavirus crisis. CAFF and our allies in D.C. are currently awaiting more details in order to explain exactly what

Read More »
New Legislation, Crucial Support to Family Farmers & Ranchers

New Legislation, Crucial Support to Family Farmers & Ranchers

On April 13, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced landmark legislation to provide debt relief to small farmers across the country. The Relief for America’s Small Farmers Act issues one-time debt relief of up to $250,000 for all farms with under $300,000 in gross income who

Read More »
Urge Congress to help get Covid-19 money out the door to farmers

Urge Congress to help get Covid-19 money out the door to farmers

ACTION ALERT! The U.S. Department of Agriculture is weighing how to spend $9.5 billion in relief for farmers, ranchers and local food systems, already allocated by Congress under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Many California family

Read More »
State Water Resources Control Board Limits Regulation of On-Farm Composting

State Water Resources Control Board Limits Regulation of On-Farm Composting

(Updated 4/15/20) The State Water Resources Control Board’s Compost General Order that passed in 2015 presented a regulatory obstacle for on-farm composting, despite the state’s efforts to reduce waste and provide for more ecological farming practices. The Order limited farmers

Read More »
CAFF Policy Update: COVID-19

CAFF Policy Update: COVID-19

Updated 4/10/20 (we will continue to update this document as new developments unfold and as new information is released) CARES Federal programs In the face of our public health crisis due to the coronavirus, Congress passed a stimulus package on

Read More »
California Okays On-Farm Compost, Key to Sustainable Agriculture

California Okays On-Farm Compost, Key to Sustainable Agriculture

Sacramento, CA – After more than five years of negotiations, the State Water Resources Control Board issued a historic decision to allow for much-needed composting on California farms.  “Farmers can now compost more, build healthy soils, and reduce and mitigate

Read More »
Congress Steps Up to Support Family Farmers

Congress Steps Up to Support Family Farmers

Washington, DC – Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), a nonprofit organization that serves small- and mid-scale farmers in California, issued the following statement from Policy Director Dave Runsten in response to the $9.5 billion in emergency funding meant to

Read More »
Tell Congress: Support Family Farms & Local Food During COVID-19 Crisis!

Tell Congress: Support Family Farms & Local Food During COVID-19 Crisis!

The global COVID-19 pandemic is touching every part of our lives, including food and agriculture. Necessary measures to contain the spread of the virus have resulted in the immediate loss of key markets for growers, as ongoing uncertainty threatens farmers’

Read More »
California Food & Farming Network Releases Annual Scorecard

California Food & Farming Network Releases Annual Scorecard

Over half of state legislators receive “A” grades. More ambitious policy proposals face challenges Sacramento, CA – The California Food and Farming Network (CFFN) released the 2020 scorecard, revealing policy votes of California’s 120 elected state legislators, with a majority

Read More »
Community Alliance with Family Farmers’ Statement on Governor Newsom’s Proposed Budget

Community Alliance with Family Farmers’ Statement on Governor Newsom’s Proposed Budget

Sacramento, CA – It’s a new year in Sacramento and that means the Governor is proposing his budget. Over the next five months the Legislature will work his proposal over, adding and subtracting, and there is a revision in May

Read More »
Farm Workforce Modernization Act Fails Small Farms, Farmworkers

Farm Workforce Modernization Act Fails Small Farms, Farmworkers

A newly proposed bipartisan congressional bill aims to grant legal status to farmworkers currently in the country illegally. But while it may seem a boon to growers and farmworkers alike, we CAFF, having worked on these issues for over four

Read More »
CAFF Ag Policy Update: Fall 2019

CAFF Ag Policy Update: Fall 2019

(In order of importance as ranked by our 2018 Policy survey) Immigration reform and farm labor CAFF spearheaded the creation of an immigration reform policy position at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition in 2013, which we then used to influence

Read More »
YouTube video

Immigration Reforms Effects on Organic Farming

Immigrants are central to California’s farm community and critical to meeting the agricultural labor demand. In this webinar, CAFF’s Policy Director, David Runsten gives updates on immigration reforms, such as the H2A temporary agricultural program for guest workers, and the

Read More »
“Public Charge” Immigration Rule Disaster for Agriculture & Farm Workers

“Public Charge” Immigration Rule Disaster for Agriculture & Farm Workers

Earlier this month, CAFF & The Farmers Guild joined hundreds of thousands of other organizations and individuals across America to ask the Trump administration not to implement their changes to the “public charge” rule used to screen immigrant applicants for legal permanent

Read More »
Farmers Praise Newsom’s Investments in Sustainable Pest Management

Farmers Praise Newsom’s Investments in Sustainable Pest Management

Sacramento, CA – Earlier today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a plan to prohibit use of the contentious pesticide chlorpyrifos and make significant investments in more sustainable pest management alternatives. The one-time $5.7 million investment will accelerate the state’s investment in green pest

Read More »
3 CA Bills Supporting Family Farms Head to Sacramento

3 CA Bills Supporting Family Farms Head to Sacramento

This year, we at CAFF & The Farmers Guild are co-sponsoring and supporting three bills that, if passed, would help family farmers thrive, ensure healthy local food and promote sustainable agriculture. Will you join us in telling your state representatives

Read More »
Bill Would Bring Local, Organic Food to Schools

Bill Would Bring Local, Organic Food to Schools

Last month, Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) introduced Assembly Bill 958, to provide local, organic food to children in schools. Co-sponsored by CAFF & The Farmers Guild, together with the Natural Resources Defense Council, this bill recognizes that school meals with

Read More »
Immigration Reform Principles 2018

Immigration Reform Principles 2018

Immigration Reform Principles Community Alliance with Family Farmers & National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition June 2018 A socially just farm labor policy is a basic element of agricultural sustainability, along with environmental stewardship and economic viability. We start from a recognition

Read More »
California Farmers Climate Pledge

California Farmers Climate Pledge

As California farmers and ranchers, our livelihoods as well as the ability to feed America entirely depends on the climate. Working close to Nature, we are the first to notice shifts in weather. On our land and in our harvests,

Read More »