Thursday, March 7, 2013

Workshop counsels small farmers



One of the cool things about being the Capital Press' Northern California field reporter is that it occasionally takes me back to Colusa, where I more or less got my start more than 20 years ago as a full-time staff reporter for newspapers. That Colusa County Sun-Herald job in the winter, spring and summer of '91 was sort of a lifeline and a fresh start after some previous professional disappointments. (So, too, was the Capital Press, albeit for different reasons.) Colusa was also my first real exposure to small-town America, which I've loved and admired ever since.

Anyway, I went back there this morning for a Colusa County Resource Conservation District-sponsored workshop that provided marketing and other tips for new and beginning small farmers and ranchers, which is not to be confused with the now-controversial California Small Farm Conference next week in Fresno. The upshot of the experts' advice: Diversify (but not too much), and make sure you have all your operational ducks in a row.

In the photos, from the top: Penny Leff of UC-Davis' Small Farm Program stands outside the meeting hall in the Colusa Industrial Park; Mary Fahey of the CCRCD (left) helps county health official Suzie Dawley prepare a presentation; and UC Cooperative Extension advisor Cindy Fake lectures on the "Top 10 Things to Know to Run a Viable Business."

As always, for my complete coverage of events that I attend, check CapitalPress.com regularly.

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