In response to a request from the California State Board of Food and Agriculture, Ag Innovations began an initiative early in 2013 to bring together leaders from agriculture, labor, housing, and transportation to examine the local and state policy barriers and community issues that make it difficult to house and transport the workers needed by specialty crop growers. The outcome of this effort is a set of concrete recommendations outlined in our Shelter + Mobility report to local and state governments, the specialty crop industry, nongovernmental organizations, and communities on how they can increase housing and transportation resources for specialty crop workers, increase their access to jobs in the sector, and sustain the specialty crop industry.
Ag Innovations employed a traditional and robust methodology in three process phases of the project. This allowed all stakeholders to have input in identifying the issues, shaping the agenda, and generating solutions and recommendations.
- Data gathering and synthesis. A group of 50 leaders representing agriculture, labor, labor contracting, affordable housing developers, housing and transportation service providers, supply chain partners, government agencies, etc., were recruited to participate. They were individually interviewed to collect their various perspectives on the housing and transportation issues, challenges, and barriers faced by workers and the industry. The interview data was synthesized and reported back to the group at a statewide summit of the stakeholders, during which they discussed the findings and decided on a course of action for phase two outlined in item three below.
- Solution exploration and refinement. The group self-organized into two working groups and continued its development of solution recommendations via virtual meetings (webinars and teleconferences) during the course of the following four to six months. This phase culminated with a consensus agreement from the group on the final set of recommendations to be published.
- Dissemination and outreach. The group devised a strategy for disseminating the recommendations to desired and appropriate target audiences. Additionally, individual members assisted in the outreach and presentation to these audiences. The project wrapped up with the publication of a final report.
“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.”
SHELTER + MOBILITY: Recommendations for California’s Specialty Crop Ag Workforce offers a set of concrete recommendations to stakeholders on how they can act to increase housing and transportation resources for specialty crop workers, increase their access to jobs in the sector, and sustain the industry.More
- General Information
- Data on Housing Stock Cost and Farmworker Wages
- Regional Studies
- Examples of Regional/Statewide Affordable Housing and Transportation Councils
- Local Housing Elements
- Rural CA Information and Studies
- Insurance Information
- Related Legislation
Data on Housing Stock Cost and Farmworker Wages
California Department of Housing and Community Development
Examples of Regional/Statewide Affordable Housing and Transportation Councils
Local Housing Elements
Rural CA Information and Studies
"Smart Growth in Rural California" was presented by the Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability, and is a working paper that outlines a land use and investment plan for all of California.