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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Jay Van Rein, CDFA Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #12-025
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SACRAMENTO, July 5, 2012 – The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will discuss agricultural land preservation and the Williamson Act at its upcoming meeting on July 10, 2012. The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 'N' Street - Main Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 95814.

"Agricultural land is one of the most significant resources that we have within California,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “How we protect this precious resource and ensure that future generations have access to it is critical for the state and our urban and rural communities.”

On average, California loses approximately 55,000 acres of farmland per year or about one square mile every four days. Between 1984 and 2008, more than 1.3 million acres of farm and grazing lands were lost in California. This meeting will highlight programs and efforts to protect and preserve agricultural lands at the county and state level.

Scheduled speakers include: John Lowrie, California Department of Conservation; John Gamper, California Farm Bureau Federation; Edward Thompson, Jr., American Farmland Trust; Ethan Elkind, University of California Berkeley; Heather Fargo, Strategic Growth Council; Billy Gatlin, California Cattlemen’s Association; Karen Buhr, California Association of Resource Conservation Districts; William Chiat, California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions; and David Shabazian, Sacramento Area Council of Governments.

"Agriculture is truly one of the great landscapes of our state," said President Craig McNamara, California State Board of Food and Agriculture.  "Protecting farm land is not just the responsibility of farmers, ranchers and non-profit organizations.  It is also the responsibility of local communities, developers and consumers.”

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the governor and the CDFA secretary on agricultural issues and consumer needs.  The state board conducts forums that bring together local, state and federal government officials, agricultural representative and citizens to discuss current issues of concern to California agriculture.

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814