Ag Innovations

Working Lands

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Our focus in our Working Lands impact area is landscape-scale management of the critical resource managed by farms, ranches, and forests. We work with stakeholders and public agencies to identify and implement new strategies to keep working lands working, and working better, for all of us.

What We’re Working on Now

California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment

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The California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment (CRAE) is California’s preeminent forum for agricultural and environmental leaders to resolve conflict, find common ground, and work together to support agriculture and improve environmental outcomes.

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Sonoma County Incubator Farm

In partnership with University of California Cooperative Extension, the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District hired Ag Innovations to design and facilitate a large community meeting that introduced stakeholders to the proposal of creating a new incubator farm project.

What We’re Thinking


CRAE Writes Recommendations on US Farm Bill 2018

In 2017, the California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment took a systems-view approach to the Federal Farm Bill review of 2018.  CRAE started by focusing on the question, what are the pressures facing California agriculture, and why is it important to all of California to ensure agriculture's vitality?  With pressures such as climate change, urbanization, scarcity of water, and economic pressures, and the shared understanding that when agriculture erodes, so do the communities and ecosystems they are mutually dependent on, CRAE developed a comprehensive review of the Farm Bill.  The letter included four priority areas, recommendations on nine of the Farm Bill's titles, and was signed by fifteen of our member organizations across the spectrum of the environment and agriculture. 

From CRAE: "As members of the California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment (CRAE), we urge Congress to maintain funding for, and improve delivery of, key programs that facilitate innovation and collaboration to address economic and environmental challenges related to agricultural production and conservation on California’s working lands."

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Cultivating California’s Bioeconomy: Turning Ag Waste Into Profit

Cultivating California’s Bioeconomy: Turning Ag Waste Into Profit

Is waste wasted? Or is our thinking too limited? There is an emerging body of research and practical applications that suggests California is ready to create a genuine Bioeconomy – an economy where every byproduct is an input to another valuable product. This provocative one-day event is an invitation to peer over the horizon towards this emerging bioeconomy, to learn about what is driving the need to find new solutions to reducing and reusing woody biomass from farms and a wide range of other byproducts of the food system.

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Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan Released

Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan Released

On May 24, a coalition of Santa Barbara organizations announced the release of the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan. The plan represents a milestone for both Santa Barbara County in reflecting community consensus on how to build a more resilient food system and for the food change efforts more generally in its focus on a postive agenda that stands outside of traditional political divides.

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CRAE Summit: 4 Opportunities for Preserving and Enhancing California’s Working Lands

CRAE Summit: 4 Opportunities for Preserving and Enhancing California’s Working Lands

What needs to happen next to preserve and enhance working lands in California? This was the final question posed to leaders who participated in the 2015 CRAE Summit on the Future of Working Lands. The answers were as diverse as the state’s farms, ranches, and working forests, which have adapted to environments ranging from the deserts of the Imperial Valley, to the towering mountains of the Sierra Nevada region.

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What We’ve Done

Past Projects


California Food System Alliance Project

The Alliance project has been Ag Innovations' main project since the founding of the original county Alliance in Ventura County in 1999. At one time or another, as many as 12 different counties in California have had a local Alliance organized and facilitated by Ag Innovations.


National Wildlife Federation Cover Crop Summit

National Wildlife Federation hired Ag Innovations in 2012 to design and facilitate a two-day multi-stakeholder summit in Minnesota around the theme of cover cropping.


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Nonfumigant Strawberry Production Work Group

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation hired Ag Innovations in 2012 to convene and facilitate the Nonfumigant Strawberry Production Work Group.


Results


Image representing A Call to Action to Preserve California Agricultural Land

A Call to Action to Preserve California Agricultural Land

A Call to Action to Preserve California Agricultural Land describes a suite of policy recommendations for slowing the rate of farmland conversion.

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Image representing Regulating for Agricultural and Public Outcomes: Perspectives and Recommendations

Regulating for Agricultural and Public Outcomes: Perspectives and Recommendations

Regulating for Agricultural and Public Outcomes: Perspectives and Recommendations summarizes the perspectives conveyed by stakeholder groups, identifies areas of agreement among the groups, and presents recommendations for constructively addressing key regulatory challenges in both the short and long term.

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Image representing Policy Considerations for Managing Agricultural Nitrogen to Reduce Groundwater Contamination in California

Policy Considerations for Managing Agricultural Nitrogen to Reduce Groundwater Contamination in California

Policy Considerations for Managing Agricultural Nitrogen to Reduce Groundwater Contamination in California communicates both a set of key facts important to building policy regarding nitrate in the agricultural context, and a set of key considerations to support effective policy-making.

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