As a farmer, the investments by Governor Newsom in the proposed budget to our rural communities, the food and agricultural sector and for climate resilience is a strong step forward for a “California for All.” This is especially true for our great Central Valley – where a Fresno-Merced Innovation Corridor will advance not only food innovation but do so by furthering high quality jobs in some of our most disadvantaged communities impacted by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
I’m especially proud of the commitment that the Governor is providing to CDFA’s ongoing Climate Smart Agricultural Programs – water use efficiency, healthy soils and methane reduction – while also assisting in the retrofit of diesel farm equipment (FARMER). I’m also excited about the potential of the Climate Catalyst Revolving Loan Fund to help in advancing food manufacturing innovations and establishing dairy digesters across the state. These actions further innovation and deployment of new technologies and practices that assist in producing the food we all enjoy.
The $10 million for staffing and grants through the CDFA Farm to Fork Office combined with the $70 million Prop 98 General Fund to increase funding for school nutrition and provide training for school food service workers will promote healthier and more nutritious meals based on CA Grown food. It’s a win for farmers, local communities and most importantly our children.
Lastly, the commitment to infrastructure is greatly appreciated and long overdue – especially the need to expand broadband to rural areas, provide safe drinking water and to support our local fairgrounds as community resilience centers in response to wildfires and floods. Investment in the Water Resilience Portfolio and our community infrastructure is essential and most welcomed.
The Governor’s Proposed Budget is good for agriculture, good for rural communities and is truly representative of a “California for All.”