The Community Alliance with Family Farmers is a statewide nonprofit that started in Davis in 1978 as a result of student and community action against the University of California. Then known as CAAP, the group filed a landmark suit against the UC for using taxpayer dollars in the creation of technologies that benefit large farms, and hurt small farms and farm workers.1 One outcome of the suit was the creation of the Small farm center
For more than 30 years, CAFF has worked to "build a movement of rural and urban people to foster family-scale agriculture that cares for the land, sustains local economies and promotes social justice." Strong partnerships exist between family farmers and their communities. CAFF strives to build on shared values around food and agriculture, and work together in practical, on-the-ground programs. These partnerships create locally based economic vitality, improved human and environmental health, and long-term sustainability of family farms.
|36355 Russell Blvd, near County Road 96 at Glide Ranch|
|Statewide organization started in Davis|
|Field offices in:|
|• Firebaugh (near Fresno)|
Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign
The Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign encourages Davis consumers to think locally when purchasing their food. By buying directly from local farms whenever you can, you can have a real impact on preserving farmland and keeping farmers on their land.
Five reasons to Buy Local
Local produce tastes better and it’s better for you. — A recent study showed that fresh produce loses nutrients quickly. Food grown in your own community was probably picked within the past day or two. It is crisp, sweet and loaded with flavor.
Local food supports local farm families. — Local farmers who sell directly to consumers cut out the many middlemen and get full retail price for their food - which means farm families can afford to stay on the farm, doing the work they love.
Local food protects genetic diversity. — In the modern industrial agriculture system, shippers demand produce that can survive packing, transport, and a long shelf life in the store. In contrast, local farmers that sell direct to you grow a huge number of varieties selected because they have the best flavors, provide a long harvest season, and come in an array of eyecatching colors.
Local food preserves open space, and supports a clean environment. — As the value of direct-marketed fruits and vegetables increases, selling farmland for development becomes less likely. When you buy locally grown food, you are doing something proactive about preserving the agricultural landscape.
Local food is about the future. — By supporting local farmers today, you can help ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow, and that future generations will have access to nourishing, flavorful and abundant food.
How to buy Locally
- Subscribe to a CSA to get a fresh basket of local produce each week.
- Call up a local farm and find out how to buy what they grow. More local farms are listed on the Local Food Guide.
- Shop at a farmers market in Davis, Esparto, or elsewhere.
- Look for the Buy Fresh, Buy Local labels when you shop at the Davis Food Co-op and local restaurants and use them to help make your food choices.
- Search for local produce Here
The Farm-to-School program brings fresh, locally-grown, and unprocessed fruits and vegetables into school cafeterias across California, including the Crunch Lunch program at Davis Elementary Schools and in nearby Esparto.
CAFF also works to bring fresh food to Hospitals. Recently, CAFF helped introduce local food into 19 Northern California Kaiser hospitals.
Sustainable Cotton Project
Getting the chemicals out of cotton Cotton is one of the most pesticide-intensive crops in the world. CAFF works with cotton farmers in the San Joaquin Valley to reduce their pesticide use in their cotton production. The Sustainable Cotton Project has also worked the develop a market for organic and pesticide-reduced cotton in the apparel industry.
Hedgerows and wildlife habitat
Wildlife habitat on Farms is important to a whole-farm system. Habitat plantings, such as hedgerows, are also important in reducing erosion and water pollution. The Farmscaping project works with farmers to install hedgerows and other wildlife habitat on farms.
Biologically Integrated Orchard Systems, or BIOS, is a revolutionary technical assistance program launched by CAFF that demonstrates farms can reduce their pesticide use and remain viable. Since the founding of BIOS in 1993, similar initiatives have begun through the University of California in grapes, cotton, row crops, prunes, and citrus.
CAFF also works in state-level and local policy advocacy on issues of food & farming, including food safety, GMOs, Farm-to-School, global warming, and farm labor. CAFF is also a coalition partner of the Cool Davis Initiative, for promoting the sustainable reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in local communities.
Check the website for events CAFF supports and is giving!
Local Farms & CSAs
Hungry for local food? One of the most useful tools that CAFF has for Davisites is their online Local Food Guide. Find farm-fresh lettuce, juicy oranges or locally made bread from the Sacramento Valley- brought to you by the Buy Fresh, Buy Local Campaign.
Volunteer opportunites/ Jobs
CAFF has volunteer and internship opportunities for students and others. Interested in interviewing local farmers? Putting together a local food guide? It's a good way to get off campus and learn about the world of food & farming around you.Wanna stay in Davis after you graduate? Check out CAFF's Employment listings.
Love the grounds CAFF sits on? Check out T.S. Glide Ranch: Venue Rental (coming soon)
1. Known as the Research Priorities (or "Tomato Harvester" or "Mechanization") Lawsuit