Media Coverage

The following recent media have covered the work of CalCAN and its advisors and partners.

California’s Healthy Soils Program Is Mainstreaming Climate-Smart Farming
Civil Eats, November 2022

The number of farms interested in participating in [CA’s Healthy Soils Program] HSP consistently outpaces the funding… “If we reflect back on that first year or two, “says Brian Shobe, deputy policy director at California Climate and Agriculture Network, “we weren’t sure if there would be enough demand. And every year, that funding has increased, and now we’re over 10 times as much funding and we’re seeing growing demand from producers. I think that’s a success in itself.”

Santa Cruz organization helps farms transition to green farming systems
KSBW 8, November 28, 2022

The California Climate and Agriculture Network awarded Sacha Lozano, the program manager for the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County, a climate and agriculture leadership award. The honor comes after the group helped local farms transition to more climate-resilient farming systems.

Expansion of a Lucrative Dairy Digester Market is owing Environmental Worries in the U.S.
Inside Climate News, September 22, 2022

Jeanne Merrill, senior policy adviser at the California Climate and Agriculture Network, an advocacy group, said that the  prospect that other states will increase herd sizes to capture funding from the state could result in “a perversion of California’s climate programs.” Merrill sat on a working group that California’s state government and regulators convened in 2017 to scrutinize greenhouse gas emissions from livestock and dairy operations and propose solutions.

AB 2649 – NWL Climate Target bill
Agri-Pulse, August 8, 2022

The Legislature could soon approve a measure that would expand on California’s climate plan by adding a more aggressive carbon sequestration goal for natural and working lands. The legislation has gained the backing of more than 80 environmental groups, along with American Farmland Trust, the California Climate and Agriculture Network and the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts.

National Grid’s pivot to ‘renewable’ natural gas would require more pipelines, keep producing carbon
Gothamist, May 6, 2022

“The California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN), a network of sustainable agriculture advocates, reports that upping the production of manure and decaying food waste could also increase the impacts on the local environment because methane is more potent at warming the atmosphere than carbon.”

Newsom’s climate plans raise concerns over pesticides and organic farming
Agri-Pulse, January 26, 2022

Jeanne Merrill, policy director for the California Climate and Agriculture Network, was glad to see organic agriculture within the scenarios but was worried about the ongoing loss of farmland to development in California. Staff assured Merrill the Scoping Plan update will take into account land use changes, likely by incorporating research from California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment.

Is a State Program to Foster Sustainable Farming Leaving Out Small-Scale Growers and Farmers of Color?
Inside Climate News, January 4, 2022

“A first-come, first-serve award system may be partly to blame, as larger operations with office staff or money to hire a grant writer have been able to secure money more quickly. ‘Those farmers who have fewer resources, and often those were farmers of color, got in their applications later. But the money was already gone,’ said CalCAN’s Merrill.”

California studies what a carbon-neutral future means for its lands
FERN, November 15, 2021.

“If we don’t change how we’re managing California’s vast natural and working lands, we’re in big trouble when it comes to climate change,” said Jeanne Merrill, the Policy Director at the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN), a coalition of sustainable and organic agriculture organizations.

Q&A: Sustainable Farming Expert Weighs in on California’s Historic Investments in ‘Climate Smart’ Agriculture
Inside Climate News, October 7, 2021.

Inside Climate News spoke to Merrill about what the state’s groundbreaking investments in sustainable agriculture can accomplish and what still needs to be done.

Intervention needed on ag carbon markets
Farm Progress, September 30, 2021.

Jeanne Merrill, policy director for the California Climate and Agriculture Network, detailed in her testimony how since 2003, carbon markets have proved themselves an inadequate tool to reach the diversity of farmers and ranchers.

House Ag Committee Hears Needs for Voluntary Carbon Market Expansion
Brownfield, September 23, 2021.

Jeanne Merrill, Policy Director for the California Climate and Agriculture Network, shared 20 years of history in attempts to create carbon markets, their failures, called for importance to be placed on proven conservation work in the farm bill.

Reconciliation and Climate-Smart: Ag House Budget Plan Offers Big Injection of Funds in USDA Conservation Programs
Progressive Farmer DTN, September 23, 2021.

Jeanne Merrill, policy director for the California Climate and Agriculture Network, pointed to the failed Chicago Climate Exchange, which had more than 3 million acres before it shut down more than a decade ago. “We have tried for 20 years to make carbon markets work for farmers and failed,” Merrill said.

Fresno health officer says climate change is ‘global poisoning,’ calls for federal action
The Fresno Bee, September 17, 2021.

“Farmers across the state are struggling right now under the weight of water scarcity, wildfires, extreme heat and of course the challenges of the pandemic on top of the climate impacts that we’re seeing,” said Renata Brillinger, executive director of the California Climate and Agriculture Network.

Farming Without a Net
Inside Climate News, September 7, 2021.

“For a long time we were seeing an increase in both large and small farms, but in the last ag census we saw a decline in small farms,” said Jeanne Merrill, policy director at California Climate and Agriculture Network, or CalCAN, a coalition of sustainable and organic farming organizations.

Hundreds of organizations support investment in food systems
MorningAg Clips, June 1, 2021.

As UN calls for cutting methane emissions, California trims back funding
Agri-Pulse, May 19, 2021.

Should ranchers have a pass to rescue animals behind fire lines?
Agri-Pulse, April 19, 2021.

Proposed bond legislation clears Assembly Ag Committee
Davis Enterprise, April 18, 2021.

“‘This bill will provide the resources that farmers and ranchers need to cut climate pollution and maintain a viable and sustainable agriculture in California,’ Jeanne Merrill, policy director with CalCAN, said in the statement. ‘It’s time to invest in our food and farming infrastructure of the future.'”

Lawmakers Asked for More Support for Conservation Programs
AgNet West, April 9, 2021.

 “The letter states…’Technical assistance is essential for the delivery of conservation support for farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners across the country by providing capacity and conservation planning to support conservation practice implementation.’ Signatories of the letter include American Farmland Trust, the National Association of Conservation Districts, the California Climate and Agriculture Network, American Society of Agronomy.”

Proposed bond measure seeks to improve state’s food system
The Morgan Hill Times, March 16, 2021.

“‘California is home to some of the most innovative farmers in the country, and they are very well positioned to help reduce climate-related pollution and Assembly Bill 125 will do just that,’ said Jeanne Merrill, policy director of the California Climate and Agriculture Network.”

Webinar Looks at Ways to Finance ‘Sustainable Ag’
Lancaster Farming, March 2, 2021.

“At the state level, “climate smart” programs in California have pulled climate-related issues like these to the forefront. CalCAN was founded in 2009 and focuses on legislative policy shifts and on building healthy models for healthy soils and other farmland conservation methods. [Jeanne] Merrill also said that lucrative finance programs need to be more relevant to diverse farmers, offer technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers and offer incentives, if work on climate mitigation is to be viable.”

How Bay Area farms could give Biden a blueprint for fighting climate change
SF Chronicle, February 12, 2021.

“The California government has had several grant programs for climate-smart agriculture, which generated a lot more interest in switching over to these practices, said Renata Brillinger, executive director of advocacy group California Climate and Agriculture Network. In her ideal world, there would be even more grant programs to keep that momentum going.”

Carbon sequestration bill returns to Legislature
Agri-Pulse, January 25, 2021.

“Assemblymember Robert Rivas of Hollister has revived a bill aimed at sequestering carbon and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in natural and working lands. The Nature Conservancy and the California Climate and Agriculture Network are cosponsors of the bill.”

Assemblyman Rivas introduces legislation to help set climate goal, capture carbon on natural and working lands
Benito Link, January 21, 2021.

“State Assemblyman Robert Rivas introduced Assembly Bill 284…sponsored by…California Climate & Agriculture Network, would require the California Air Resources Board to work in collaboration with relevant state agencies to set an overall climate goal for the state’s natural and working lands to capture carbon, while identifying best practices and policy incentives to achieve that goal.”

Newsom’s budget offers a few carrots. But farm groups fear the stick will be next
Agri-Pulse, January 20, 2021.

“Many in agriculture were skeptical when lawmakers were developing a legislative mechanism for the fund last year. ‘Farmers are unlikely to take on additional debt, particularly small, diversified and socially disadvantaged farmers, as well as the state’s dairy farmers, who have been operating in a deficient state for several years,’ said Jeanne Merrill of the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN).”

Gov. Newsom’s draft budget funds sustainable ag
Capital Press, January 19, 20, 2021.

“‘It’s a really nice surprise,’ said Renata Brillinger, executive director of the California Climate and Agriculture Network, or CalCAN. ‘We didn’t think there would be any funding for these programs, so this is a pretty rosy financial picture compared to what was projected.'”

Proven programs, not false hops — engaging farmers in climate solutions 
The Hill, January 4, 2021.
Op-ed written by CalCAN Policy Director Jeanne Merrill and NSAC member Oregon Tilth Executive Director Chris Schreiner

“The climate crisis requires urgent action and farmers can be part of the solution. We cannot waste time or resources on approaches that have not worked. It is time for bold, decisive action, building on existing, successful efforts, to ensure U.S. agriculture not only survives in the face of climate change but thrives.”

Urban sprawl threatens more farmland, warns climate group
Agri-Pulse, December 18, 2020.

“In a new report, the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) reviewed two incentives programs aimed at developing affordable housing and conserving ag lands. Funding for the programs has been drying up this year as cap-and-trade revenues continue to decline.”

Report: Covid-19 could slow climate-investment progress
Daily Republic, December 18, 2020.

[Jeanne] Merrill said in a phone interview Wednesday that there are Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program opportunities in Solano County. In fact, the focus of the program fits closely with efforts by the Solano County Transportation Authority, as well as the city projects.

Burroughs family earns statewide award for its sustainable farming east of Denair
The Modesto Bee, December 11, 2020.

“Burroughs Family Farms, a diverse organic venture in the hills east of Denair, has won a statewide honor for its efforts…’Everything is about regeneration, rebuilding and resilience,’ Rosie said…”

Rosie and Ward Burroughs are CalCAN Advisors

California Conservation Programs Serves as Example of What Works, Or Not
Capital Press, December 4, 2020.

“Farmers are pragmatic people. If they see a benefit to their business, they jump on it regardless of the state’s motives,” said Renata Brillinger, executive director of the California Climate and Agriculture Network, or CalCAN. “The state’s primary motive is to reduce greenhouse gases, but farmers may be motivated by agronomics.”

Daybreak: CalCAN issues progress report on Healthy Soils
Agri-Pulse, December 3, 2020.

“In recognition of Healthy Soils Week, the California Climate and Agriculture Network, or CalCAN, issued its progress report on CDFA’s Healthy Soils Program. The advocacy group noted a few places for improvement, such as prioritizing farmers of color, women farmers, smaller farmers and those leasing land, and adding incentives for transitioning to organic.”

Agri-Pulse, December 2, 2020.

“‘I have no doubt we will leave behind richer soils, greener pastures and bluer skies for the next generation.’ — Brian Shobe, associate policy director for the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN), in presenting a progress report on CDFA’s Healthy Soils Program.”

Newsom Wants Farmers to Help Fight Climate Change But Provides No New Funding for the Effort
Peninsula Press, November 19, 2020.

These are the kind of sustainable practices that farmers can reasonably accomplish, Renata Brillinger, executive director of California Climate and Agriculture Network, an advocacy group known by its acronym CalCAN, said. Improving soil health continually actually helps farms themselves in a number of ways, she said, including making more fertile conditions and improving yields and water availability.

California Wine Country Struggle to Rebound Amid Devastating Fire Season
Cheddar, October 8, 2020.
Renata Brillinger discusses how California’s wine country can rebound after this year’s wildfires.

Climate Smart Agriculture Funding at Risk
California Ag Today, October 9, 2020.

“SWEEP is a really popular program. It’s one of the first that started, when it comes to the, the suite of climate smart agriculture programs that California has launched. These are programs that don’t exist as comprehensively anywhere else in the world. We’ve really blazed a trail here.” – Renata Brillinger

Op-ed: “Kiss the Ground” Misses the Complexity of Climate Solutions in the Soil”
Civil Eats, October 8, 2020.

“It’s not only awareness and individual choice that will help solve the climate crisis: it takes all the players, big and small, to engage in organized advocacy to influence policy. Systemic change is possible only if there are public investments in agriculture’s climate solutions that are accessible, just, multi-beneficial, and support the business of farming.” – Becca Lucas

Are Carbon Markets for Farmers Worth the Hype?

Civil Eats, September 24, 2020.

“…Jeanne Merrill, policy director at the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN), weighed in on the difference between private carbon markets and Healthy Soils program. It wasn’t clear how much farmers would benefit, she said…Merrill pointed to public policy as a more promising solution, provided there’s enough funding to go with it.”

A Most ‘Sustainable’ Vineyard in a ‘Completely Unsustainable’ Year
Inside Climate News, September 16, 2020.

States are Doing What Big Government Won’t to Stop Climate Change, and Want Stimulus Funds to Help
Inside Climate News, September 9, 2020.

Farmers and ranchers across the US deliver letter to House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis
Global Ag Media, September 1, 2020.

The 2020 wildfires and Bay Area’s food and wine supply: what you need to know
San Francisco Chronicle, August 27, 2020.

California Democrats divided over carbon sequestration goals for agriculture
Agri-pulse, August 18, 2020.

“In her testimony supporting the bill, Jeanne Merrill, the policy director for the California Climate and Agriculture Network, countered that the measure preserves a farmers flexibility and diversity in determining agricultural practices.’ Nothing in AB 2954 would require the state to impose regulations on agriculture to limit or change the types of crops grown in California,’ she said, adding the bill would instead scale up CDFAs successful efforts with the Healthy Soils Program.”

California Initiative to Fight Plastic Pollutions Submits Petitions to Qualify for Statewide Ballot
Waste360, August 12, 2020.

California plastics vote headed to 2020 ballot
Plastic News, August 11, 2020.

Helping Farmers Manage Risk
California Ag Today, August 6, 2020.

Sustainable Farming Practices Must Have Buyer Support
California Ag Today, July 31, 2020.

For Some California Farmers, a Virus-Driven Drop in Emissions Could Set Back Their Climate Efforts
Inside Climate News, June 26, 2020.

New surprises in the evolving budget bills
Agri-pulse, June 24, 2020.

A Proud California Dairy Farmer Battles for Survival in Wildly Uncertain Times
Inside Climate News, June 22, 2020.

Assessing the cost of climate impacts before they ‘collapse’ ag
Agri-Pulse, May 28, 2020.

Assembly advances proposal for cutting ag’s climate footprint
Agri-Pulse, May 14, 2020.

Are Dairy Digesters the Renewable Energy Answer or a ‘False Solution’ to Climate Change?
Civil Eats, April 24, 2020.

Alternative Manure Management Program
California Ag Today, April 2, 2020

Grants Available for Soil Health
California Ag Today, March 30, 2020

4 Strategies for slashing dairy methane emissions
The Daily Churn, January 24, 20202

Making farms more climate resilient might protect California from wildfire damage
Sacramento Bee, Dec. 5, 2019

Farming in the Age of Climate Change
Valley Public Radio, Nov. 22, 2019

Way out past Denair, a family farms in a way that could help save the planet
Modesto Bee, Oct. 7, 2019

Can Big Ag Be Part of the Climate Solution?
Civil Eats, Sept. 25, 2019

Farmers are living the facts of climate change. By focusing on soil, they can lead the way on climate adaptation.
Fresno Bee, Sept. 20, 2019

The Greenhouse Gas No One’s Talking About: Nitrous Oxide on Farms, Explained
Civil Eats, Sept. 19, 2019

U.S. farmers plant crops you won’t eat in climate change fight
Bloomberg, August 15, 2019

Programs, funding help mitigate climate impacts
Western Farm Press, July 31, 2019

Climate change may decimate California’s avocado industry, July 26, 2019

Will Indigo Ag’s New Private Carbon Market Pay Off for Farmers?
Written by CalCAN Policy Director Jeanne Merrill.
Civil Eats, July 11, 2019

‘Centers of Insurrection’: Central Valley Farmers Reckon With Climate Change
KQED, June 23, 2019

A Time of Reckoning in the Central Valley: Climate change is upending agriculture and land use in California’s Central Valley
Bay Nature, June 23, 2019

California falls short on climate smart farming investments
Morning Ag Clips, June 16, 2019

Win-loss budget outcomes for ag climate programs
Daily Republic, June 14, 2019

Letter to the Editor: Farming and Carbon
CalCAN partner Joseph Brinkley of Fetzer Vineyards writes about their recent study to quantify climate benefits of soil management and land conservation, as well as the need for investments in California’s Climate Smart Agriculture Programs.
Press Democrat, June 2, 2019

Climate Change is Intensifying Food Shocks
Civil Eats, May 30, 2019

Letter to the Editor: Reducing Our Carbon Mouthprint
CalCAN Executive Director writes about California’s Climate Smart Agriculture programs and an upwelling of related state policy activities across the nation.
New York Times, May 15, 2019

California is making a weak effort to turn agriculture into a climate change fix
Los Angeles Times, May 13, 2019

Climate change transforms how California farmers grow crops
KCRW, May 2, 2019

Climate change tax for dining out? California restaurants add 1% fee to the bill
USA Today, May 1, 2019

California Farmers Try New Strategy to Cut Carbon
NPR Environment, Apr. 27, 2019

Letter to the Editor: Farmers reacting to a changing climate, Apr. 18, 2019
CalCAN partner Nate Siemens of Fat Uncle Farms weighs in on agricultural climate adaptation.

Growing Awareness: Climate Change and California’s Crops
Capital & Main, Apr. 22, 2019

California Has Farmers Growing Weeds. Why? To Capture Carbon
KQED, Apr. 22, 2019

Food at the Heart of a Green New Deal
Earth Island Journal, Mar. 12, 2019

Forget the past, carbon-rich soil may be the ticket to sustainable agriculture
East Bay Times, Mar. 3, 2019

Organic farm east of Denair does its part on climate change
Modesto Bee, Mar. 2, 2019

Wet weather worries almond growers. CVP water allocations. Rominger Brothers Farms.
Interview with CalCAN Farmer Advisor Bruce Rominger. Mention of CalCAN around 20:45.

KSTE Farm Hour, Feb. 27, 2019

As Awareness Grows About Food’s Role In Climate Change, What Solutions Exist?
Civil Eats, Feb. 19, 2019

Legislation would provide grants to aid ag’s reaction to climate change
Daily Republic, Feb. 10, 2019

Climate Change and the Food We Eat
KPFA radio, Nov. 9, 2018

Climate and agriculture: Recommendations for California’s next governor
Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy, Oct. 31, 2018

Climate change requires quick action by San Diego farmers
Civil Eats, Oct. 24, 2018

How Will California’s Climate Ambitions Reshape Food and Agriculture?
Civil Eats, Oct. 9, 2018

Growers try carbon farming to help combat climate change
Press Democrat, Sept. 11, 2018

10 Ways Farmers Can Fight Climate Change
KQED, Sept. 7, 2018

Climate Smart Agriculture in Yolo County
Davis Enterprise, June 9, 2018

Plate to Planet: Interviews with Anna Lappé & Mark Kurlansky
CalCAN’s work is mentioned at 45:10.
Climate One Podcast, May 16, 2018

Grants help farming operations, cut back on greenhouse gasses
Daily Republic, May 5, 2018

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia and Other Legislators Request Reinstatement of GGRF Funding for Critical Natural Resources Programs
Imperial Valley News, March 14, 2018

How California farmers can conserve water and combat climate change
Sacramento Bee, Dec. 9, 2017

Bond measure a bright spot
Morning Ag Clips, Oct. 16, 2017

Methane Be Gone
Made Local Magazine, Sept/Oct 2017

State to hand out nearly $7 million in grants for soil health
Capital Press, Aug. 17, 2017

Close to Home: Cap-and-trade funds need to support creative rural solutions, like those on the North Coast
Press Democrat, Aug. 13, 2017

Climate Change Drives New Healthy Soils Program
Growing Produce, Aug. 10, 2017

Dairy Farm Manages Water and Manure with Simple Techniques
KRCB, Aug. 2, 2017

Farm tour showcases alternative manure management practices at local dairy
Sonoma West Times & News, Aug. 1, 2017

Sebastopol Farm Adopts Sustainable Practices, Grapples with Climate Change
KRCB, July 31, 2017

Keep Your Eye on These Food Policy Bills
Comstock’s Magazine, July 7, 2017

As California leads the way in climate change, farmers are key players
Op ed on the need for investments in agricultural climate solutions by CalCAN partners Greg Rawlings (Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo) and Sherwood Darington (Ag Land Trust).
Monterey County Weekly, June 8, 2017

California Climate Smart Ag Initiative Launched
BioCycle magazine, March/April issue 2017

A Climate Solution: Local farmers sowing seeds of carbon farming
North Bay Bohemian, March 29, 2017

Carbon & Compost
Includes interview with CalCAN’s Renata Brillinger on California’s agriculture and climate programs. North Bay Bountiful, KRCB TV, March 27, 2017

California is a Leader in Climate Smart Agriculture
Bioneers, March 16, 2017

Secretary Ross on climate change and agriculture’s partnership with CalCAN
CDFA blog, March 1, 2017

Ag an important part of state’s climate effort
Opinion piece by CalCAN’s Renata Brillinger. Daily Democrat, Jan. 12, 2017

The most important stories of the year in organically grown wine
Organic Wines Uncorked, Jan. 2, 2017

California Farmers Say Healthier Soil May Improve Air Quality, Grow Tastier Produce
Valley Public Radio, NPR Central California, Dec. 13, 2016

How California Plans to Make Conservation a Way of Life
Water Deeply, Dec. 9, 2016

Climate Change & Agriculture Policy
Sustainable Growing radio show interview on KSVY with CalCAN’s Renata Brillinger, Dec. 2, 2016

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