2023 Bills Sponsored & Supported by CalCAN
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SB 675 defines prescribed grazing in statute, better integrates it alongside other vegetation management tools in existing state wildfire mitigation programs and planning processes, and addresses specific barriers identified by land managers and graziers to scaling up the practice. Read our blog post about SB 675 here.
AB 552 would create a new program at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to fund equipment sharing programs that allow farmers to borrow or lease high-value equipment from regional agricultural centers that purchase and maintain equipment for health soil practices, on-farm conservation practices, storage, and processing.
Furthermore, the program would support training for farmers on new and innovative small-farm equipment, equipment maintenance, as well as cooperative development on how to participate and design farmer cooperatives. Read our blog post about AB 552 here.
AB 408 proposes a $3.7 billion bond for the November 2024 ballot to invest in creating a more equitable and climate resilient food and farming system. CalCAN is one of the co-sponsors of the bond bill along with 17 other organizations in the Food and Farm Resilience Coalition, a diverse group of organizations working across a number of sectors including food access, environmental justice, sustainable agriculture, labor, and public health.
The COWS Act would establish a new USDA manure management conservation program and fund it at $1.5 billion over 5 years. The voluntary program will provide resources to help the dairy and other livestock operations install manure handling systems that achieve these goals:
- Reduce methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas
- Improve air and water quality
- Boost profitability by modernizing technologies for manure management
The program is modeled on California’s successful and very popular AMMP program. Grants cover the costs of various types of equipment to scrape manure from barns and into compost piles instead of flushing it into lagoons, separate and dry out or compost manure solids, build compost pack barns or other infrastructure to aerate manure, and increase the amount of time cows spend on pasture—all of which reduce methane emissions.
To add your organization or farm name to a support letter and receive updates on the COWS Act, please sign on here.
Represents a comprehensive approach to addressing climate change in agriculture. The act addresses climate change throughout much of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) programming–not only that which affects farmers, but elements that shape the larger food system, as well. With its focus on incentives for best practices throughout agricultural programs, the ARA represents exactly what the public, researchers, and advocates have been calling for to move agriculture toward climate resilient systems. Learn more here.
Over the past year, CalCAN has been working in partnership with ten other California members of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to outline our collective 2023 Farm Bill Platform of the CA Caucus. The goal of this document is to elevate California’s unique agricultural context into the national conversation and to center climate resilience and racial equity as key pillars of the next farm bill. For an extremely comprehensive list of recommendations across farm bill programs and policies, see NSAC’s 2023 Farm Bill Platform.
The set of priorities outlined in the CA Caucus Platform call for:
- Improvements to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program;
- A national program modeled on California’s Alternative Manure Management Program,
- Increase investment in conservation-based research and extension;
- Increase organic certification cost share opportunities and streamline administration;
- Additional set-asides, loan forgiveness, and grants for underserved farmers and farmers of color;
- Increased funding for the Farming Opportunities, Training, and Outreach (FOTO) Program and the Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production grant program;
- Support for regional food system infrastructure including food hubs and meat processing facilities;
- Implement civil rights reform at USDA;
- Disaster relief for farmers and farmworkers.