Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

Secretary Ross joins panel discussion on conservation, climate resiliency and equity

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross participated this week at the California Association of Resource Conservation District’s (CARCD) 76th Annual Conference, joining USDA-NRCS state conservationist Carlos Suarez and Dr. Glenda Humiston, vice president of the University of California’s Agriculture and Natural Resources division. The virtual panel discussion was moderated by Karen Buhr, executive director of CARCD.

The discussion focused on the ongoing collaboration, partnership, and commitment to continue building climate resiliency and assisting farmers and ranchers in this significant goal.

Secretary Ross stressed the importance of funding for technical assistance to ensure that Climate Smart Agriculture programs and resources may be sustained. Resource conservation districts throughout California have received approximately 50 percent of technical assistance funds from CDFA.

The panel also covered the importance of equity at the center of agricultural best practices and funding opportunities. Secretary Ross noted CDFA is committed to carrying out the Governor’s goal for addressing climate change in a way that builds a more equitable economy. Additionally, a number of employees have completed the agency’s first training sessions as part of the Cohort of the Capitol Collaborative on Race and Equity, and CDFA has established the agency’s first Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee.  The secretary has also convened two ad-hoc advisory groups — one for historically underserved farmers and the other for small farmers.  

“We will continue bringing an equity lens to all aspects of our work and the people and stakeholders we serve. Our commitment to equity includes working to provide all California farmers with access to the agency’s many programs,” Secretary Ross said.

Secretary Ross also thanked Governor Newson and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom for their commitment to healthy soils, conservation, farm-to-school programs, and a sustainable and resilient agricultural system for California.

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