News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contacts:
Steve Lyle, CDFA Public Affairs (916)654-0462
SOIL HEALTH TAKES MAIN STAGE AT CALIFORNIA STATE BOARD OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE MEETING ON OCTOBER 7, 2014
CDFA
Release #14-046
SACRAMENTO, October 1, 2014 – The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will give soil health the main stage at its meeting on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 in Sacramento. Soil health, the basis of agricultural production, has significant global implications as the world population continues to grow and food production must meet rising demand. The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 ‘N’ Street – Main Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 95814. The meeting will be followed by a brief tour of Dig It! The Secrets of Soil, an exhibit now on display at the California Museum.

"Continuous innovation and development in soil health practices is enhancing the strong legacy of environmental stewardship within the agricultural sector," said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. "Through carbon sequestration and other on-farm practices, farmers and ranchers are protecting the state’s natural resources and assisting in climate change mitigation.”

Soil health has taken a central role in global discussions on climate change, wildlife protection, and sustainable farming practices. The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently launched a new initiative, Unlock the Secrets in the Soil, which provides regional assistance to producers who want to improve soil health on their farms and spreads awareness through fact sheets, videos, farmer profiles, and other outreach efforts. Sustainable soil management builds the organic matter within soil, which helps maintain fertility while fostering drought resiliency through increased water retention. California has more than 25 million acres of farmland and soil health is critical to the long term viability of these agricultural lands.

"Finding new and existing ways to foster soil health is crucial to California’s future," said Craig McNamara, president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. "This is an important opportunity to examine current efforts to improve soil-based farming practices, the benefits of which will extend far beyond agriculture.”

Invited speakers include: Dr. Michael Singer, University of California, Davis; Paul Muller, Full Belly Farm; Jim Boyd, Clean Tech Advocates; Jeffrey Creque, Marin Carbon Project; Sheldon Jones, Farm Foundation; Kristin Ohlson, author – The Soil Will Save Us (via Skype); and Brian Leahy, California Department of Pesticide Regulation.

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 representatives and citizens to discuss current issues of concern to California agriculture.

This meeting will be streamed online at: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/LiveMediaStream.html

Follow the board on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/Cafood_agboard

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814
916-654-0462, www.cdfa.ca.gov