Ecosystem Services: Qualitative Assessment Model

California growers and ranchers use many innovative methods to balance food and fiber production with environmental stewardship. A Qualitative Assessment Model (QAM) was developed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel to illustrate the net environmental benefits from management practices, implemented by growers and ranchers, to enhance the environment. The QAM is a tool used by CDFA to inform and educate a wide audience about the net social, economic, and environmental benefits, including tradeoffs, of implemented management practices. Download a detailed report of the QAM . Several case studies evaluated by the QAM are provided below. Additional case studies will be added to this page.

For questions and comments, please contact Dr. Amrith Gunasekara, Science Advisor to the Secretary and Science Panel Liaison at

  • Qualitative Assessment Model - San Joaquin River Project
  • Qualitative Assessment Model - Pajaro Valley RCD Project
  • Qualitative Assessment Model - Wildlife Habitats Audubon
  • Qualitative Assessment Model - Xerces Society

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