San Diego Agricultural Planning Program
We hosted our Strategic Planning Meeting on Tuesday, September 6th. Thank you to all the stakeholders, producers, decision makers, and supporting agencies that attended to provide their input and became members of each working group. Through Fall of 2022 and into Spring of 2023, each working group will meet monthly to begin working towards their individual project goals. The projects that each working group will focus on are:
- Land Access: Creation and management of a central database for matchmaking agricultural producers with public and private lands available for lease or sale
- Water Availability & Efficiency: Design and identify funding sources for a small-scale pilot project of Rancho California’s CropSWAP program which incentivizes the replacement of mature orchard trees with low demand crops or root stock
- Agricultural Workforce Development: Streamline development of farmworker housing by preparing farmworker housing templates that are pre-approved by the County and municipalities, noting ADU exemptions, vulnerable populations and VMT benefits
Throughout the new few months, our team will be compiling a report documenting the process and results from the Outreach, Mapping and Policy phases. It will also include detailed policy analysis and suggestions for additional actions that can be taken to support agriculture in our region. We aim to create a comprehensive document for future reference, as well as a short and informative pamphlet that can be distributed to policy makers.
How Can We Help our Agricultural Community and Producers Thrive?
The San Diego region has the highest number of small and certified organic farms of any county in the nation, yet according to the 2015 California Farmland Conversion Report, our region has consistently ranked in the top 10 counties in California with the largest net loss of irrigated farmland since 1994. From 2019 to 2020, land dedicated to commercial agriculture decreased by almost 10,000 acres.
The San Diego Agricultural Planning Program will identify, monitor, and assess the ownership of active agricultural lands within the San Diego region to determine effective methods to strengthen agricultural production and the growing agricultural economy.
This two-year planning grant is funded by the California Department of Conservation with Cap-and-Trade proceeds through the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC). The project is managed by the San Diego Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) and coordinated by the Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County (RCDGSDC).
- Mapping of historical, current and potential agricultural lands in San Diego County
- Estimation of carbon sequestration potentials on San Diego County agricultural lands
- Producer needs assessment with more than 100 agricultural producers targeting under-represented operations
- Two listening sessions with a variety of producers and demographics in different regions of the county
- Watch this overview of the Outreach Phase from UC Cooperative Extension’s 2022 Climate Symposium
- Inventory of policies at local, regional and state level affecting priority policies identified in Outreach process
- See here for a list of local policies affecting the primary agricultural regions of San Diego
- Host (3) policy meetings to discuss priority issues for each topic
- Land Access
- Water Availability and Efficiency
- Agricultural Workforce Development
- Host (1) strategic planning meeting to identify 1 project per policy topic, and form the working groups responsible for each project. You can view the working group project sheets below. If you are interested in joining a working group, please reach out to our Ag Outreach Assistant to be included – email@example.com.
Please reach out to our RCD Agricultural Team, Joel Kramer and Codi Hale, at: firstname.lastname@example.org | 619-562-0096