Foothill Farming
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Foothill Farming

Foothill Farming Blog

  • Continunity

    Added October 26, 2017
    Side Hill S-9

    Upon reading Dan Macon's blog, Preparing for the Unexpected, I was reminded of my own lack of preparedness. Recent losses in the agricultural community, of mentors, friends, and colleagues, have struck close to home. I have worked with some of the families in trying to secure the continuity of what had become, in a moment, their responsibility. A responsibility that they were unprepared for. In every case, those that were lost had the plans for running the operation in their heads. They knew...

  • Preparing for the Unexpected

    Added October 10, 2017

    The Placer County agricultural community has lost a number of key members in the last several years. Several, like my friends J.R. Smith and Jim Bachman, passed away after lengthy illnesses. Others, like Eric Hansen and Tony Aguilar, were taken from us unexpectedly. In each case, our community lost a leader and a good farmer. In each case, their farms and ranches have undergone significant and largely unanticipated transitions. And with each loss, I've realized that I need to do a better...

  • Workshop Follow-Up: Resources for a Food Safety Plan

    Added September 19, 2017
    Food Safety Action Planning

    We had a great "On-Farm Food Safety" workshop at the end of last month at Mandarin Hill Orchard in Penryn. Fourteen of our local fruit and vegetable growers were in attendance. The workshop included a discussion of strategies for improving food safety, a review of the new federal legislation, and several instructive activities. At the end of the workshop each grower was tasked with identifying three ways they were going to apply what they learned to their operations. We noticed that the...

  • Controlling Internal Parasites in Sheep and Goats

    Added September 11, 2017
    2016-06-20 18.27.04 HDR (2)

    If you've raised sheep or goats, you've doubtless seen symptoms of internal parasites. In our own sheep, these symptoms include diarrhea, general lethargy, anemia, and bottle jaw. If you've been in the business of raising sheep and goats for any length of time, you'll also know that dewormer resistance (that is, parasites that develop resistance to specific dewormers) is an increasingly difficult challenge. Thanks to a great webinar put on by the American Sheep Industry's Let's Grow...

  • 10 Practices That Will Reduce Your On-Farm Food Safety Risks

    Added August 18, 2017
    farmer and dog

    Everyone has a role in keeping food safe, starting with the farmer and ending with the consumer. As a farmer, you have many responsibilities, including making sure the food you produce is safe for your customers. The following is a top ten list of practices that will help you reduce your on-farm food safety risks.  1. Understand that food safety on your farm is your responsibility. Good food safety practices can protect you and your customers. It is a cost of doing...

  • Mandarin Growers Test New Practices

    Added June 20, 2017
    ND7 9613 web

    Mandarins are considered the signature crop of the foothills. Foothill growers are challenged by poor soils, limited water, increasing pest pressure, and production costs. Many of us are employing non-traditional techniques to counter these challenges. Two of these practices, pruning and mulching, are currently being studied by UCCE Placer/Nevada in collaboration with five local growers.  In the past, citrus growers were warned not to prune. We were told that pruning would harm the...

  • Perfecting Your Sales Pitch

    Added May 11, 2017
    Bob Elevator Speech

    When I started my first business, I knew that I had a great product and I expected everyone to automatically realize this and purchase it. In those initial months, sales were lackluster. I couldn't believe how few people were buying and that buyers were refusing to carry my product. What was wrong with my product? Did they not see how great it was? What was I doing wrong? During this angst, two successful businessmen, whom I knew and respected, explained that I was not understanding the art of...

  • Happy Irrigation Season!

    Added April 24, 2017
    water power

    Happy irrigation season for those of you who enjoy swimming more than farming. April 15 is the start of irrigation season! It may be raining and wet now but before you know it, you will need irrigation to keep your crops and pastures healthy. This is the time of the year to check your irrigation system. Does it need repairs, modifications, or improvements? Are there leaks? Does it need to be set up or cleaned out? Is it turned off when it's raining? Do you have the proper frequency and...

  • Start Smarter Part 2: Lessons I Learned Along the Way

    Added April 17, 2017
    tractor

    In my first Starting Smarter blog post, I talked about hands-on education, business planning, market research, and crop selection (Starting Smarter Part 1). I could write a book on what I didn't know when I started farming. In Part 2, I will summarize key considerations for a successful start-up and things I would do in the first years. If I had it all to do over again, what would I do differently in my vegetable operation?Equipment & Infrastructure: I would invest in BCS (walk-behind...

  • Start Smarter Part 1: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Farming

    Added March 21, 2017
    Sam & Xea with Potatoes

    When I started farming, I thought I was going to be a fantastic farmer due to my business background, personal savings, maturity, family support, and work ethic. I did benefit from those things and am farming successfully now. However, I was woefully unprepared for the expense, time, and challenges to my concept of what farm life would be. Those unexpected challenges caused it to take years to turn a profit. If I had it all to do over again, what would I do differently? Practice: To start,...

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Posted 4 days ago
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A new post in my Livestock Guardian Dog journal - an interesting weekend! http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=25587

Posted 14 days ago
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There's still time to sign up for our Electric Fencing Field Day on November 9: http://ucanr.edu/sites/Livestock/?calitem=385256&g=93567

Posted 16 days ago
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Who knew that Facebook could be put to productive use?! http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=25566

Posted 16 days ago
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A small group but a great day working on business planning! A great job on the operations planning exercise. #farmbiz

Posted 16 days ago
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Introducing farm business planning concepts to new farmers!

Posted 17 days ago
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