California farmers are coping with unrelenting challenges – the most experienced are retiring, and the regulatory environment is growing increasingly complex, and markets. Compounding this reality is the tremendous cost of land throughout the Golden State, and emerging farmers are finding it increasingly difficult to acquire the acreage and infrastructure necessary to succeed in today’s agricultural economy.
In response, communities across the nation are coming together to support local food and farming, collaborating to address our most pressing food system challenges, including access to capital and land availability. The Sonoma County Food System Alliance is a leader in this kind of collaborative local food movement, working to build a vibrant, sustainable, local food system through leadership and collective action.
Growing Our Farms brought together 150 diverse food and farming interests to share resources and forge working partnerships between landowners, land seekers, and support organizations working to improve land availability and affordability for local food production in Sonoma County. Throughout the day, participants explored creative land leasing and financing models, and expanded their relationships across the local ag and foodscape.
The Ag & Natural Resources Committee will explore key proposals from forum participants and determine next steps – stay tuned for updates.
Growing Our Farms was a part of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Action Plancommunity engagement effort, and was designed in partnership with the Sonoma County Food System Alliance (FSA).
Ag & Natural Resources Committee
Community Alliance with Family Farmers
The Farmers Guild
Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District
Sonoma County Ag Preservation & Open Space District
Sonoma County Ag Commissioner & Sealer
Sonoma County Department of Health Services
Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Events Center
Sonoma County Farm Bureau
Sonoma Land Trust
Sonoma Resource Conservation District
UC Cooperative Extension
To connect with the FSA, contact Lisa Badenfort at firstname.lastname@example.org.