Bay Area Agricultural Cooperative

Project Overview

FW03-105
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2003: $13,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Region: Western
State: California
Principal Investigator:
John Lagier
Lagier Ranches

Commodities

Not commodity specific

Practices

  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, cooperatives, budgets/cost and returns, marketing management, market study
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, sustainability measures

    Summary:

    The Bay Area Farmers Association, or BAFA, was created by farmers for farmers to
    develop cooperative ways of working together. BAFA brings the benefits of expanded

    market ability, shared resources and improved communication t o each other and to
    their farms. After our original Western SARE award, BAFA will continue to be
    supported by farmerlmarket producer, business and individual memberships.
    <br><br>
    After a steering committee met several times, BAFA was organized as an
    unincorporated association. We are a membership based, grower group currently with
    17 farmer members and one supporting member. We appointed a Board of Directors
    and have held two Board meetings. We have produced a website and an informational
    brochure. We are now actively looking f o r new members and exploring potential
    locations for a common distribution dock. Our first Annual Membership Meet in is
    scheduled for April 2005, during which we will present other opportunities for this
    organization. That may include proposals for re-organization as a farmer cooperative or
    educational non-profit organization, discussion about collaborating with other
    sustainable agriculture groups and expansion of marketing opportunities for members.
    <br><br>
    Since we hired our Project Administrator, developed our materials and began outreach
    to other producers, the Bay Area farmers' market and restaurant community has
    expressed growing interest and enthusiasm to support us. We anticipate that with
    increased membership, our influence will expand along with ou ability to serve the
    needs of our members and the community.
    <br><br>
    BAFA's fulfillment of its mission will be an ongoing work in progress for the immediate
    future and with the of commitment of its members, its goal to increase the viability,
    productivity and time spent farming for Bay Area farmers is sure to be achieved.

    Introduction

    See Summary

    Project objectives:

    Originally proposed as the Bay Area Agricultural Cooperative as a collaboration
    between CUESA (the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) and
    the producers and cooperators of the original grant, The Bay Area Farmers Association emerged after the CUESA Board of Directors decided not to endorse the collaboration.
    With approval from the Western Region SARE Program, the Bay Area Farmers
    Association adopted many of the same goals as originally proposed for the cooperative.
    <br><br>
    The objectives that were re-approved include: establishing a method of communication
    between farmers, and farmers and markets; encouraging direct farmer to restaurant
    sales by working with existing organizations; encouraging the sharing of resources
    such as labor, transportation and cold storage; and helping facilitate the connection
    between farmers and customers.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.