New state legislation proposed by Senator Lois Wolk, Senate Bill 1350, would create the Healthy Soils program at the CA Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The bill would also modernize the Environmental Farming Act by expanding the program’s Science Advisory Panel to include experts in climate change and agriculture.
SB 1350 builds upon past efforts—including last year’s SB 367, legislation sponsored by CalCAN and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF)—to create a climate change and agriculture program at CDFA. The goals of the Healthy Soils program are to work with California’s farmers and ranchers through outreach, education, demonstration and incentives to implement a host of farming practices that increase carbon sequestration in agricultural soils, reduce potent greenhouse gas emissions and improve agriculture’s resilience to a changing climate.
SB 1350 will have its first hearing on April 6th in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. CalCAN and CAFF have been in conversation with CDFA and Senator Wolk’s office to discuss amendments to the bill that would strengthen and clarify provisions dealing with the make up of the Environmental Farming Act’s advisory council, which will provide input into the development of the Healthy Soils program. We are also in conversation regarding amendments that address goals and parameters for the Healthy Soils program. We are optimistic that we can come to agreement and fully support the bill moving forward.
We will provide regular updates on SB 1350, including how you can voice your support for sustainable agricultural solutions to climate change!