Supporting Local Food Systems and Producers through our Growing Local Program
Learn more about our new Urban Farms Conservation Mini-Grants!
At the Conservation Partnership, we recognize that well-managed farm and ranch lands are essential to healthy ecosystems, robust rural communities and ample foodsheds. Research shows that agricultural lands generate 70x fewer greenhouse gasses than developed lands and have the potential to actively sequester carbon.
However, successful, ecologically-oriented farms and ranches are not the only component of a vibrant agricultural economy. Crops require harvesting, packing, distribution and marketing. Livestock require finishing, slaughter, and often a sophisticated process of aging, cutting and preparation for sale. Most agricultural products rely on a dizzying set of transportation logistics, even if the product is to be sold locally. Click here to view the Local and Niche Meat Slaughter and Processing webpage.
Questions of labor, land availability, natural resources, and regulations arise, as well as challenges and opportunities associated with producing food at the edge of a dynamic and growing urban.
For all these reasons, the Conservation Partnership supports sustainable agriculture and the critical infrastructure and systems needed to help it remain viable. Not only do we work closely with producers, but also farm advisors, marketers and other stakeholders, allowing us to understand the larger picture of how agriculture works in the community, and how we can play a meaningful role.
This work, under the heading of our Growing Local Program, includes:
- Continued support of on-farm/ranch conservation improvements with production co-benefits
- Working with UC Cooperative Extension and other strategic partners to assess food system needs and work for collaborative solutions, (e.g. local meat slaughter and processing). Click here to view our new Local and Niche Meat Slaughter and Processing webpage
- Providing educational and technical assistance opportunities on issues relevant to food system issues
- Support of local marketing opportunities that stand to benefit the diverse range of producers in Alameda County
- Facilitation of communication and sharing of best management practices between and amongst producers, consumers and other food systems stakeholders
- Engagement and support of urban farming projects that seek to enhance food security, access and cultural literacy about the importance of food production. Click here to learn about our new Mini-Grant program.
Please contact Susan Ellsworth, Food Systems Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, thoughts or opportunities for collaboration.