Media Contacts: Steve Lyle (CDFA), 916-654-0462 , email@example.com
SACRAMENTO, November 24, 2021 - The California Department of Food and Agriculture held a series of six public stakeholder meetings in February 2021 to hear suggestions for farmer and rancher-led climate change solutions that sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs), ensure climate resilience, provide food security, and increase biodiversity. These meetings were held in accordance with Executive Order (EO) N-82-20, which calls for the development of innovative strategies for using California lands to address climate change and biodiversity, and for CDFA to work with agricultural stakeholders to identify solutions. The findings were compiled into a report which is now available here.
“Following COP 26, this report is very timely” said CDFA secretary Karen Ross. “We need to hear from farmers and ranchers on what is possible at the farm level to adapt to a changing climate and also mitigate greenhouse gases.”
The six virtual meetings were organized around three agricultural categories: livestock and dairy, perennial crops (trees and vines), and annual crops (row and field crops). Each meeting began with a background presentation about EO N-82-20, how prior stakeholder engagement efforts have been used to inform the state’s climate strategies and programs, and a summary of existing programs and management actions implemented by the CDFA Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation (OEFI). The Department of Conservation’s Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program was also discussed. Following the presentations, participants were invited to share their ideas about climate change solutions, including among others;
• Additional management practices that farmers and ranchers can use as climate change solutions
• Technologies that could facilitate farmer and rancher-led climate solutions
• Research gaps that are impeding potential farmer and rancher-led climate solutions
• How CDFA could gather economic information to show the benefits of existing (and new) farmer and rancher-led solutions, including incentives that would be required to have growers provide their data
• Barriers to implementing potential farmer and rancher-led climate solutions.
The report outlines common concerns and solutions, recommendations for the dairy and livestock, annual crops and perennial crop sectors, public comments on the draft report, next steps, and a consolidated list of recommendations and research requests. CDFA looks forward to further evaluating these recommendations and working closely with agricultural stakeholders and partners to further implement farmer-and rancher-led climate solutions in California.