Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

California provides Congress with 2023 Farm Bill recommendations

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross speaks to a crowd gathered for a Farm Bill listening session in Fresno in 2022 as CDFA Undersecretary Christine Birdsong (right), Cal-EPA Undersecretary Serena McIllwain and CDFA Deputy Secretary Arima Kozina (far left) look on.

California has submitted recommendations to Congress for the 2023 Farm Bill, to inform upcoming deliberations by members of the House and Senate Agricultural Committees and their colleagues in national leadership.

“California’s recommendations reflect the vital role that our state’s farmers and ranchers proudly play in our national economy and in the health of our citizens, as well as the importance of continued management of risks due to the volatility presented by climate change and other threats to our land, our food and our future,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “As Congress deliberates the reauthorization of this essential legislation, we urge full consideration of the tremendous efforts of farmers and ranchers to be responsible stewards of national food security and the truly unique natural and human resources that make California both a bounty and a beacon for our country.”

California’s Farm Bill recommendations represent the participation and input of more than 100 diverse stakeholder organizations, gathered through five statewide public listening sessions as well as various individual submissions and additional contributions from state government agencies. Without exception, we received strong support for keeping the nutrition title as part of the Farm Bill.

Other key investment areas identified priorities that support economic opportunities for agriculture and rural communities, as well as opportunities to improve the health of farmworkers, agricultural communities and the environment while supporting the nutrition of all Americans. The recommendations reflect the scope of California’s agricultural diversity and the themes shared by the organizations and individuals who participated in the process.

The full document includes detailed recommendations under these subjects:

  • Robust funding for food and nutrition programs
  • Expanding conservation programs and climate and ecosystem investments
  • Ensuring equity and accessibility
  • Managing risk, including disasters due to climate volatility, by ensuring access to the farm safety net
  • Safeguarding marketing and trade programs, including specialty crops
  • Strengthening national security through animal and plant health programs
  • Investing in research
  • Investing in sustainable pest management to better protect the health of farmworkers, agricultural communities, and the environment
  • Supporting organic agriculture
  • Maintaining forest health

The Farm Bill is an omnibus, multi-year legislation for major food and farm programs. The current Farm Bill, also known as “The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018,” was enacted in December 2018, authorizing $867 billion in spending over the next ten years.

California’s Farm Bill recommendations are available at

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