California’s current budgetary situation poses challenges for the state’s farmland protection programs and its 2030 climate goals - American Farmland Trust

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July 16th, 2020

California’s current budgetary situation poses challenges for the state’s farmland protection programs and its 2030 climate goals

Protecting the farmland and ranchland that sustains us has never been more important than now. In these historic times, many Americans have witnessed empty food store shelves during the coronavirus pandemic for the first time in their lives. We recognize California’s food producers and farmworkers provide essential services for our public health and food security. Their ability to adapt quickly to this new reality has allowed them to continue providing a healthy food source for the nation during a very difficult situation. In many ways, they have been real heroes. 

Yet, California’s current budgetary situation has posed a number of challenges not only to the state’s farmland protection programs such as the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation program, but also to its 2030 climate goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate changeThe state’s Cap and Trade system, which funds SALC and climate smart agriculture programs, has experienced considerably less auction revenues. Early indications are that the revenue to fund these programs is significantly off track, which is detrimental to these important programs. 

Here is how you can help: 

  • Learn more about the benefits of California’s climate smart agriculture programs in this InsideClimate News article that includes American Farmland Trust, farmers, and others. 
  • Read about how the SALC program has become a national model for farmland preservation, which must absolutely be maintained for our food supply and climate goals. 
  • Familiarize yourself with AFT’s Farms Under Threat report in California or listen to the webinar. 

We all have a vested interest in maintaining critical funding for farmland protection, soil health, and climate infrastructure. In doing so, we ensure the nation’s food system can be resiliento sustain our state, country, and world in times of economic and global stress. Now is not the time to go backwards. Please join us in our fight to ensure farmland protection and climate smart agriculture continue to be funded in California. Together we are stronger.