California farmers are coping with unrelenting challenges - a retiring leadership, unprecedented drought, and complex regulatory environment. 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. 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 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.
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 Plan community engagement effort, and was designed in partnership with the Sonoma County Food System Alliance (FSA).
Project: Sonoma County Food System Alliance
“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.”