Ag Innovations

Sonoma County Food System Alliance

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The Sonoma County Food System Alliance (SCFSA) is one of the most dynamic collaborations for food system change in California. Since 2009 the group has developed a roadmap for how communities can come together to change the dialogue and the policy choices driving food and farming in our region. 

Some of the group’s accomplishments include:

  • Creation of a citizen-science based community-food assessment that is a model for how stakeholders and community members can learn about and evaluate their local food system.
  • Sponsoring the county’s single largest gathering (more than 250 participants) of food system stakeholders to create a shared vision and agenda for the future.
  • Holding multiple community forums to create solutions to problems as diverse and challenging as increasing land availability for farmers to assuring everyone in the county has access to healthy food.

The group’s signature accomplishment is the publication of the Sonoma County Healthy and Sustainable Food Action Plan, or simply the “Food Action Plan.” Released in 2012, the plan is unique as one of the few local food blueprints in the country with buy-in from government, nonprofit organizations, and food and farming interests. By grouping food system opportunities and concerns into four action areas, the plan is a useful tool for any group, in any county or bioregion, wishing to create systemic change in their local food system. The plan has been adopted by the County of Sonoma, most of its cities, and endorsed by hundreds of local leaders. Dozens of projects in the County now implement recommendations in the report.

Ag Innovations founded the SCFSA and has provided ongoing funding, facilitation, and staff support for its success. Working in partnership with local agencies, particularly the County of Sonoma Department of Health Services, our team has enabled the group to do its profound work. We continue to convene and support the group today.

“In the world of food and farming systems, the problems are always complex and the players and interests are diverse. Making change in such an environment requires patience and skilled facilitation to bring groups together for collaborative action. Ag Innovations has been doing just that for many years and they do it very effectively.”
Karen Ross, California Department of Food and Agriculture


Sonoma County Food System Alliance: Growing Our Farms Forum Youtube Presentation

Sonoma County Food System Alliance: Growing Our Farms Forum

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 availibility and affordability for local food production in Sonoma County. Throughout the day, participants explored creative land leasing and innovative financing models, and expanded their relationships throughout the local ag and foodscape.


2014 Salon Series: Food Action Plans Youtube Presentation

2014 Salon Series: Food Action Plans

Is your community or organization working to create a unified vision for your county's food system? Join Ag Innovations as we divulge the details of our Sonoma County Food Action Plan, a product of the Sonoma County Food System Alliance. The plan is one of few of its kind in the country, providing a roadmap for a more sustainable food system across sectors. 


Creating a Sustainable Food System Youtube Presentation

Creating a Sustainable Food System

We need to grow more food than ever, but how can we do so within the confines of nature?

Join Joseph McIntyre, Ag Innovations' President, and other local leaders as they talk about what is needed to make a more sustainable food system possible.


Food Access: Challenges and Solutions Youtube Presentation

Food Access: Challenges and Solutions

Join Ag Innovation's President, Joseph McIntyre, and other local food system stakeholders, as they explore the challenges associated with a lack of access to healthy food in Sonoma County, CA and the community-based solutions being created to address them. This video is part of KRCB's "Health Connections" series.


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