SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the California State Board of Food and Agriculture are announcing a bold plan for the future: Ag Vision for the Next Decade.
Ag Vision centers on growing opportunity — for farmers and ranchers, farmworkers, individuals and communities — and demonstrating leadership on climate action. The plan – which will guide areas of focus for CDFA and serve as a catalyst for action with farmers and ranchers, and other California agencies and partners – is being hailed as not just a plan for agriculture, but a plan to benefit every Californian.
The plan was developed using a robust and inclusive process and focuses on five key priority areas:
- Fostering climate-smart, resilient, and regenerative food systems — Support efforts that improve agriculture’s effect on the environment, encourage wise stewardship of water and natural resources, eliminate waste, and are regenerative, e.g., practices that enhance ecosystems and improve the land.
- Building healthy, local communities — Invest in local and socially disadvantaged communities — with emphasis on the diverse populations who often work at and with, and live adjacent to California farms — while supporting equity and the California economy through nutritious, California-grown farm products.
- Driving next-generation talent and tools — Support workforce development programs aimed at attracting, supporting and providing high-quality jobs and leadership opportunities for a diverse agricultural workforce, while also driving research and real-time feedback from farmers and ranchers to stimulate and accelerate innovation to solve problems and build opportunities.
- Enhancing understanding of agriculture — Serve as the voice for California farmers and ranchers within the administration and with other agencies, and support the engagement of urban and rural audiences.
- Collaborating on smarter regulations — Work with other state agencies, stakeholders and the administration to explore and support smarter regulations that rethink ways to both meet public obligations and support farmers with simplified, less expensive regulatory compliance, reporting and implementation.
“Ag Vision is a plan for every Californian, from those who care about the land and landscape and making it better for the future, to those who work with or live around farming communities,” says Karen Ross, secretary for CDFA. “It’s a plan for those curious about their food and health and those who care about climate action to foster more climate smart, resilient and restorative food systems. While the plan is intended to guide the actions of CDFA, we can’t do it alone. To bring Ag Vision to life we need private and public entities, community leaders and diverse stakeholders to come together to advance the vision through collaboration, partnerships and action.”
Ag Vision was created with multiple inputs from a diverse set of agricultural stakeholders. One-on-one interviews were held with members of an Ag Vision task force representing the diversity of geographic regions and crops grown in California, and members of the State Board of Food and Agriculture. Seven virtual roundtable discussions occurred with various segments of California agriculture – from dairy and livestock farmers to berry growers and tree nut producers – along with processors and supply chain partners and historically underserved farmers.
“California is the fifth largest agricultural economy in the world and with that comes the responsibility to enable a framework where farmers, ranchers, farmworkers and communities can thrive,” said Jenet DeCosta, state board member and Ag Vision committee chair. “Through Ag Vision, the farming community will further its positive impact to make an even bigger difference to people in our communities, state and around the globe.”
To learn more about Ag Vision and the future of California agriculture, please visit https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/
–California Department of Food and Agriculture
California State Board of Food and Agriculture