Entries by Ag Innovations

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California’s Drought: We’re All in This Together

As California endures its fourth straight year of severe drought, anxiety about our water supply intensifies. The members of the California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment (CRAE) – a forum for dialogue among agricultural, environmental, and governmental leaders—ask our fellow Californians to adopt a fresh perspective. Media coverage about the current California drought has been extensive. Unfortunately, […]

Supporting Visionary Collaboration

We are in an age of worthy challenges, interdependent and complex, that demand a new kind of leadership. Visionaries have realized that the only way they can really make effective change on these important issues is that they must collaborate. And these days, the human race needs us to be effective. Desperately. In 2010, I began to […]

Taking A More Holistic Approach to Food Hub Feasibility: Reducing Risk Through Collaborative Process

In this 3-part series, Ag Innovations is examining food hub feasibility in a non-traditional way. This series weaves together insights from a growing body of food systems research and experience in food hub development. In our first post Efficacy of Food Hubs, we shared the USDA’s current definition of a food hub, and then we called for […]

A Window into Upper Watershed Collaboration in the Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada region of California is famed for its extraordinary natural features, but less so for its central role in the state’s water system. The area includes the tallest peak in the contiguous U.S. states (Mount Whitney), the first territory ever set aside by Congress for public use and preservation (Yosemite Valley and the […]

Noted Ag and Natural Resource Leaders Join Ag Innovations Board of Directors

We are elated to announce the addition of three highly respected leaders in the field of natural resource management to the Ag Innovations Board of Directors. Joining the Board are climate scientist Juliet Christian-Smith, PhD from the Union of Concerned Scientists, retired USEPA water expert Jovita Pajarillo, and natural resources management consultant Mark Rentz. Juliet Christian-Smith, PhD […]

Moving the Dial on Regulations

In the year and half since Ag Innovations’ last word on the topic of regulations, progress has been made toward the recommendations advanced in our two reports on the subject: Permitting Restoration (2010) and Regulating for Agricultural and Public Outcomes (2014). Last September, the Habitat Restoration and Enhancement Act was passed, simplifying the permitting process for small-scale, voluntary habitat […]

Tips for Successful Collaboration Kick-off Events

I recently had the pleasure of facilitating one of my favorite kinds of meetings – a kick-off for a new collective action project. The topic was habitat conservation for monarch butterflies and pollinators in the state of Missouri and the mission was to bring key players together to co-create a first-ever collaborative statewide conservation strategy. These […]

Facilitating California’s Groundbreaking Groundwater Governance System

The historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) was signed into law in the fall 2014, providing the first comprehensive framework for regulating groundwater in California. SGMA requires local agencies that lay atop the state’s at-risk groundwater basins to form Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and to adopt Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSP) tailored to their region’s priorities and […]