Following the heels of the 5th CalCAN Climate & Agriculture Summit, CalCAN hosted a legislator visit day. Twenty farmers, ranchers, sustainable agriculture advocates and allies joined CalCAN staff for a day of meetings with state legislative leaders in Sacramento.
Altogether, we met with 18 offices representing both valley and coastal regions of the state, including member-level meetings with Senators Bill Dodd and Mike McGuire and Assemblymembers Heath Flora and Jim Frazier.
Agriculture has real climate solutions to offer, but investments are needed to reach California’s diverse farming community and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Members and staff heard directly from farmers and ranchers in their districts how compost, cover crops and other soil management practices, along with irrigation and dairy management strategies can improve the bottomline of the farm or ranch while providing significant climate change and other benefits.
We discussed the suite of climate smart ag programs: the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement, Healthy Soils, Dairy Methane and Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program. Click here for the one-page factsheet we shared with members.
Overall, members and their staff responded to our message with enthusiasm and desire for more information about program impacts.
We also met with staff leading the new Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation (OEFI) at the California Department of Food & Agriculture. OEFI staff carry out implementation of the climate smart agriculture programs. Among the issues we discussed were the need for technical assistance in developing and implementing climate smart ag programs, ensuring farmers and ranchers of all scales can access the programs and more. It was a productive and informative discussion.
These issues will next be discussed at the March 16th meeting of the Environmental Farming Science Advisory Panel at CDFA. Join us there! For more on that meeting, click here.
If you would like to join a future CalCAN Legislator Visit Day, please drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org