The California State Board of Food and Agriculture is releasing a set of draft recommendations for public comment focusing on strategic policy options necessary to support a sustainable food production and delivery system in California.  The draft recommendations are a result of a continuing process to bring together a variety of agricultural stakeholders and create consensus on the diverse set of issues impacting California’s food system.

“The Ag Vision recommendations are the first steps towards a brighter future for California’s food system,” said CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura. “The state board should be applauded for their leadership and dedication in laying the foundation for continuing dialogue and policy development with a diverse set of stakeholders interested in how we grow, harvest and market our food.”

The Ag Vision recommendations consist of seven policy actions concerning regulatory administration, access to healthy food, invasive species, agricultural lands, stewardship, water security, and agricultural workforce. Public comments on the recommendations will be reviewed by an advisory committee assembled by American Farmland Trust and final list of recommendations will be presented to the state board in the fall of 2010.

The complete list of Ag Vision recommendations, and history of the process, are available at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/agvision.  To submit public comment, please visit the Ag Vision website and complete the online surveys related to specific recommendations. Public comments on the Ag Vision recommendations will be accepted until August 20, 2010.

California farms and ranches remain vital to this state and nation,” said Al Montna, President of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. “The Ag Vision process encourages policy alignments which will combine our efforts of growing food, protecting the environment, supporting a healthy population and strengthening local communities in a sustainable way.”

The California Ag Vision is made possible by grants administered by the Columbia Foundation, Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation, S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, California Agricultural Technology Institute and the California State University Agricultural Research Initiative. Additional support is provided by American Farmland Trust as a coordinator of the California Agricultural Vision.

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the governor and secretary of food and agriculture of findings as they impact agriculture and consumer needs.  The 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.

Source: California Department of Food and Agriculture