CalCAN’s ‘Tools for Transformation’ Leads Climate Policy Efforts for Advancing California Agriculture

Posted on Friday, October 27th, 2023 by Renata Brillinger

The CalCAN team is excited to announce the release of a new report called Tools for Transformation: Cultivating Climate Resilience In 2030 and Beyond. Grounded in our 15 years of experience working on climate and agriculture policy, and informed by dozens of partners, in the report we lay out the most important actions needed to achieve the state’s 2030 climate and biodiversity goals to set California agriculture on a path to climate resilience.  

Research increasingly points to tougher challenges ahead as climate change continues to impact California agriculture. Our farms and ranches have the potential to contribute powerful climate solutions but they are lacking the resources needed to rapidly scale up their efforts. Tools for Transformation lays out the investments needed for incentives, technical assistance, infrastructure and market development to curb climate change while also building a healthy, just and resilient food and farming system. 

Tools for Transformation is the second part of CalCAN’s A Climate Platform for California Agriculture and builds on a progress report released in September called State of the State: Taking stock of a decade of climate progress in California agriculture. State of the State summarizes the progress made by the state and federal government over the past decade to support California farmers and farmworkers in their efforts to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

A Call for Change

Although progress has been made in the last decade, the work is far from complete. 

Tools for Transformation includes over 50 policy recommendations centered around 4 key themes: whole-farm solutions, investment in people and knowledge, multi-stakeholder collaboration, and addressing systemic inequities. 

Significant Financial Investments are Needed

We call for significant financial investments of approximately $1 billion annually for a total of $7 billion between now and 2030 to strengthen California’s farmers and ranchers in their climate-resilient agriculture efforts. 

What principles guide our vision of climate-resilient agriculture?



  • Climate Health: Farms and ranches adapt to and recover from climate shocks and are net sinks for greenhouse gases (GHGs) rather than net sources
  • Ecological Health: Food is produced in balance with natural resources while maximizing biological diversity.
  • Economic Health: Farmers and ranchers are profitable and productive and the economies of rural communities are thriving.
  • Farmland Health: Productive agricultural land is permanently protected and there is abundant access to land for new and racially and culturally diverse farmers. 
  • Human Health: The people who grow our food have safe working and living conditions and adequate wages and affordable housing, and rural communities have clean air and water and healthy food.

This report is the culmination of a year’s worth of taking stock of the progress made over the past decade, interviews and consultation with over 60 partners and issue area experts, discussion and listening to farmers and ranchers, and information gleaned from dozens of scientific studies, policy briefs, and reports by thought leaders across the state. 

A Climate Platform for California Agriculture builds on the progress made in California over the past decade, and it will inform our priorities through 2030.  We are grateful for the partnerships with farmers and ranchers, other agricultural professionals, policymakers, scientists, advocates who have made it possible to make the progress to date, and we look forward to implementing many of the recommendations in Tools for Transformation in the coming years. 

Areas addressed in Tools for Transformation

On-Farm Tools

System-Wide Strategies


Platform Webinar Series 

We will be hosting a series of webinars to dive deeper into specific solutions in the report. Learn more and register to attend here.

Webinar Schedule

  • Catalyzing a Climate-Resilient Future for California Agriculture, November 2, 1:00 – 2:00 pm
  • Linking Agricultural Soil Health and Biodiversity, November 6, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
  • Dairy Manure Management: Moving From Waste Problem to Climate Solution, November 14, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
  • Incentivizing the Transition: Climate Bonds, Corporate Insetting, and State and Federal Budgets, November 28, 11:00 – 12:00 pm
  • Expanding Technical Assistance to Support On-Farm Climate Resilience, December 5, 11:00 – 12:00 pm



 Visit CaAgricultureClimatePlatform.Org for the latest Platform updates.


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