Ag Innovations was approached by the leaders of the Biodynamics Association and the Demeter Association in early 2017 about a project to bring together the biodynamic agriculture community around a shared agenda for the future. Motivated by the upcoming 100th anniversary of Rudolf Steiner's first agriculture lectures in 1924 and the growing demand for biodynamic products, the time was ripe to strengthen their network and get to work supporting farmers, ranchers and the whole value chain dedicated to the biodynamic approach. The work on the project got underway in earnest in January of 2018 and represents the culmination of over a decade's worth of experience at At Innovations helping groups find, articulate, and act on their plans for a better future. The project has three main steps:
I remember clearly the day I stepped into the role of president at Ag Innovations almost 13 years ago. My good friend and mentor, Michael Dimock, had handed me the reins so he could move to create great things at Roots of Change. I knew one thing then that is still true today. The work of Ag Innovations mattered and was worth fighting for. In the more than a decade since, Ag Innovations has worked at the heart of food and agricultural issues from pesticides to land use, from farm bill to farm stands--always with same promise, we help unstick stuck problems. Today I have the honor of passing the reins to the next generation at Ag Innovations.
Tags: Joseph McIntyre
When asked how I feel about my new position at Ag Innovations my response has been, “Honored, daunted, excited!” Joseph has been a mentor, friend, and teammate for these last three years, and it is an honor to be taking up the plow in his stead, so he can - literally - move further afield.
Tags: Genevieve Taylor
Ag Innovations receives $100,000 grant from PG&E to conduct Innovation Labs around forests, fire in Lake Sonoma
On November 29, 2017, Ag Innovations was awarded the Better Together Resilient Communities grant through PG&E , providing $100,000 to examine new ways of managing forest and watershed land to prevent wildfires. We will partner with the Sonoma County Water Agency to bring together public agencies, private landowners, tribes, scientists, and forestry experts to develop collaborative solutions for managing vegetation in the Lake Sonoma Watershed, a critical source of water for more than 600,000 people. This project will develop solutions that improve erosion and wildfire management while protecting the local water supply and forest health.
We are excited to have an opportunity to work in our home county, and build our experience with rural communities, agricultural communities, and watershed resiliency. We wrote the grant in May 2017, and this became an even more poignant endeavor after the October 2017 firestorms in Sonoma County and beyond. We are grateful for an opportunity to support preventative action that will cultivate a resilient future for Sonoma County.
Read more to learn about the project.
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."
Tags: Farm Bill 2018
Science news: Designing for uncertainty with Theory U; California’s Delta-groundwater nexus; Missing the boat on freshwater fish conservation in California; Measuring drought in more than dollars and cents; and more …
Designing for uncertainty with Theory U: “As anyone who has ever tried to work with a group on a complex design challenge knows, uncertainty is one of the most predictable parts of the job. Whether the topic is groundwater management, farm-worker housing, or building a local food alliance, project leaders are faced with the same challenge: they must bring together diverse …
Blog round-up: Speaker Boehner blames CA drought on Obama, Public land management at a crossroads, Water wars from the top of the watershed, Groundwater crap detecting 101, and more …
Facilitating California's groundbreaking groundwater governance system: “The historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) was signed into law in the fall 2014, providing the first comprehensive framework for regulating groundwater in California. The timeline is tight for local agencies to implement the act, and the state has recognized the pressing need to connect water …
Blog round up: Temperature management on the Sacramento River, Economist advise how to manage drought, changing California’s water rights system, Arizona’s Colorado River zeitgeist and more …
A strategic, connected and adaptive California Water Action Plan? Lucas Patzek writes, “In California’s multiple responses to the drought, there is one key initiative that remains relatively unknown: the California Water Action Plan (Plan). The Plan calls for coordinated action to address the dynamic and interconnected challenges faced by the state’s water system. Thus …
Evan Wiig of The Farmers Guild, a fiscally sponsored project of Ag Innovations, was interviewed about the Growing Our Farms forum in Sonoma County. Ag Innovations' project, the Sonoma County Food System Alliance helped produce the event and President, Joseph McIntyre facilitated.