Sunday Courses

Sunday Courses

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Always popular for conference attendees, the Sunday field courses and short courses provide valuable onsite education and take attendees out to local farms, production facilities, and farmers markets. Your field course ticket includes round-trip transportation (for off-site courses) departing from the Robert Cabral Agricultural Center in Stockton, lunch, light snacks and water. For field courses, please dress in layers and wear comfortable walking shoes or boots. Field courses will take place rain or shine. Field courses and short courses typically sell out and onsite sales ($75 – $90) are very limited.


Short Course: Starting a Cottage Foods Business to Enhance Your Profitability

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

On-site at Robert Cabral Ag Center, Stockton

Cost: $75, includes lunch and snack

This hands-on workshop is designed especially for farmers interested in making value-added products in home kitchens as Cottage Food Operations (CFOs). The California Homemade Food Act (AB1616) allows individuals to prepare and package certain non-potentially hazardous foods in private-home kitchens referred to as “Cottage Food Operations” (CFOs). Processed meat, dairy, fermented foods, canned vegetables, pickles, and juices are NOT legally acceptable cottage foods. In this short course, you will learn about:

  • The Cottage Food Law
  • Food science and sanitation
  • Hands-on demo of jam making and fruit drying
  • Packaging and storage
  • Marketing your cottage foods and managing your cottage food business

For more information: Shermain Hardesty, 530-752-0467, or
Erin DiCaprio, 530-752-6594,

Field Course: Conservation That Works

8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Meet at Robert Cabral Ag Center, Stockton

Cost: $75, includes lunch and snack

This Field course will visit three locations over the course of the day to talk with farmers about their conservation activities, including use of cover crops, beneficial habitat, use of predators, and soil management strategies. The farmers will explain why they chose to invest in their farm’s ecology. Our first stop will be Golden Bear Ranch (GBR), run by 6th generation farmer John L. Gibson, who farms with a strong environmental ethic of “giving back” to the environment which allows his farm to flourish. GBR grows 5 varieties of sweet cherries and over 50 varieties of heirloom tomatoes at its three Lodi area ranches. The 2nd stop will be at 600 acre Locke Ranch, hosted by Chris Locke who has been farming since 1976 at this location. In 1998, Locke Ranch participated in CAFF’s Biologically Integrated Orchard Systems (BIOS) project, and embraced no till, cover cropping, carbon sequestration, fish emulsion fertilizer, brush chipping, mating disruption, owl boxes, bat houses, river fish screen, dairy manure spreading, beneficial producing hedgerows/ insectaries’, and several other sustainable practices. The last stop will be a Hannah Nicole vineyard, hosted by Julian Erggelet, winemaker, who implements many conservation practices that support the vineyard’s ecology, while at the same time, providing high quality grapes. Limited to 45 (bus capacity).

For more information: Rex Dufour, NCAT, 530-792-7338,

Field Course: Urban Farming

8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Meet at Robert Cabral Ag Center, Stockton

Cost: $75, Includes lunch and snack

This field course will provide a snapshot of the burgeoning community of small urban farming businesses that have developed in San Joaquin County, and inspire attendees to rethink how they view vacant or blighted urban lots in their own cities throughout California. Attendees will tour three small farming operations located in the County. The farmers hosting the tours will offer insight about their operations and how they fit in to providing healthy food, jobs, and training opportunities in our region.

Attendees will arrive at PUENTES Boggs Tract Community Farm, enjoy coffee and pastries, and participate in an interactive tour of the facility by PUENTES Executive Director and Founder Jeremy Terhune. Attendees will then travel to In-Season Marketplace and Nursery and receive a tour of their greenhouse, tree nursery, and market garden by business owner and farmer Eric Firpo. Participants will enjoy a deli style lunch and Q/A session with Eric and his team. Participants will end the day traveling to French Camp for a tour of the Black Urban Farmer Association (BUFA) market garden, hosted by Inez and Al Aldridge and the BUFA team. Participants will learn about BUFA’s vision for urban ag in the valley.

Limited to 45 (bus capacity).

For more information: Jeremy Terhune, 209-922-8215,

Short Course/Field Course: Farmers’ Market Manager Training Program

9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Meet at Robert Cabral Ag Center, Stockton

Cost: $75, includes lunch and snack

This one-of-a-kind program is a comprehensive full-day training, specifically by and for Farmers’ Market Operators. The training will include site visits to local farmers’ markets, as well as classroom time to build on the Market Manager Training Manual, originally developed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Participants will:

  • Develop skills necessary to run a successful farmers’ market;
  • Network and exchange best practices with other markets in your region and the state;
  • Receive a copy of the Certified Farmers’ Market Program: Manager’s Manual, a comprehensive resource of essential regulatory information, flyer templates, vendor guidelines, and other direct marketing tools and tips created to give you more time to focus on operating your farmers’ market (bonus disc included for an electronic copy of all resources!)

All participants will have an opportunity to become a member of the Alliance and the Farmer’s Market Coalition for free!

Limited to 45 (bus capacity).

For more information: Carle Brinkman, 510-548-1005, or Jackie Rivera-Krouse, 323-463-3171,