Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

Climate Week highlight — CDFA’s recent trip to Mexico shows benefits of climate collaboration

The CDFA team and friends in Mexico City. From left, Michael Wolff, Carolyn Cook, Tawny Mata, Cristina Lazcano of UC Davis, Kevi Mace, CDFA Undersecretary Christine Birdsong, and Josue Medellin-Azuara of UC Merced

The annual Climate Week NYC is occurring this week in New York

Earlier this month several members of CDFA’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation (OEFI) traveled to Mexico City for meetings and informational exchanges on strategies to adapt to a changing climate.

Scientists Tawny Mata, Kevi Mace, Carolyn Cook and Michael Wolff each participated and helped show the many ways OEFI and CDFA are helping farmers and ranchers adapt.

The subjects included irrigation, drought, and CDFA’s SWEEP program; incentives for farmers and ranchers to embrace the agency’s Healthy Soils Program; sustainable pest management and biodiversity, including California’s Sustainable Pest Management Roadmap; the increasing importance of natural and working lands, a discussion that included greenhouse gas reductions guided by the California Air Resources Board’s Scoping Plan; and the continuing development of technical assistance programs as a key resource.

“Technical assistance is essential for agriculture to effectively adapt to our changing climate,” said Tawny Mata, chief of OEFI. “I was very impressed with how Mexico’s Soil Doctors program trains local farmers in soil health practices and soil health testing so they can share information in their communities and become local resources. I hope we can take this example to heart as we evaluate what we do in California.”

A climate-smart ag workshop brought together researchers, government representatives and academia to focus on opportunities related to water-use efficiency, healthy soils and sustainable pest management. The CDFA team was joined by representatives from UC Merced and UC Davis. The workshop was a follow-up to a Memorandum of Agreement CDFA signed with SADER, Mexico’s agriculture agency, in 2019.

CDFA continues international collaboration and engagement on climate smart agricultural policies and practices to strengthen connections between academia, government and farmers on climate resilience. Partnerships such as the one with SADER strengthen research collaboration and ag tech innovations while furthering the adoption of on-farm practices to advance sustainability and soil health.

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