Agriculture is a crucial contributor to California’s economy, generating over $132 billion annually through the production of more than 400 commodities, some of which are only commercially produced here. It plays a major role in ensuring food security, promoting economic well-being, and maintaining environmental quality.
However, the number of farms and ranches is dwindling. Weather extremes, natural disasters, stringent regulations, and unjust criticism make it tough for farmers and ranchers to stay in business. When we lose our agricultural stewards, we lose our working lands too.
2,000 acres are lost to development and conversion every day, according to a study by the American Farmland Trust. On top of that, concerns are surfacing over foreign-ownership of agricultural land posing as a threat to national security.
All of this raises the question: Why are ranchers and farmers selling their land in the first place?
In this episode, Michael Delbar, Rangeland Trust CEO and host sits down with Senator Melissa Hurtado, Chair of the California Senate Agriculture Committee, to address and provide insight into these issues that are threatening California agriculture. Together, they discuss ways to address these growing problems, as well as other potential solutions.