Local Farms and Ranches Initiative

Access to fresh, locally grown food not only pleases the palate and nourishes the body, it also feeds the local economy. Yet, farmers and ranchers face pressures to pave over their land; farms and ranches make up 60% of the Bay Area open space currently at risk of development as farmers and ranchers struggle to keep their businesses afloat due to the high cost of land, distribution challenges, and more. Even as people flock to the Bay Area’s farmers markets, restaurants, and u-pick farms to enjoy our region’s world-class wines, delicious strawberries, and more, Greenbelt Alliance is protecting farms and ranches from sprawl and support efforts to conserve and steward farmland.

Greenbelt Alliance preserves and protects agricultural lands at risk of development, and works to ensure that our region can sustain and support our growers, ranches, and farms. We support policies that increase the economic viability of farms and ranches while challenging rules that can inadvertently make it difficult for farmers or ranchers to make a living. Greenbelt Alliance helps farmers and ranchers overcome economic barriers such as high cost of land and financial pressures to develop farms into suburban housing.

We’ll achieve it by:

  • Working with key partners to create, establish, and implement an economic development strategy for Bay Area agriculture;
  • Identifying and supporting land-use policy changes that enhance the economic vitality of agriculture in the Bay Area;
  • Continuing to play a leadership role in protecting agricultural land from poorly planned development threats.

We’ll know we’ve achieved it when:

  • Significantly more acreage of farmland and ranches is permanently protected from development;
  • All agricultural lands designated as at risk of development by Greenbelt Alliance are protected by policy for at least 10 years;
  • More farmers, ranchers, and growers provide ecosystem services to enhance water quality, wildlife habitat, soil health, and other elements of the environment;
  • Investment in Bay Area agriculture provides the infrastructure needed for economic success.

Local Farms and Ranches Initiative News

Friday, October 17th, 2014     

Bolstering the Food System in Sonoma County

The economic value of Sonoma County agricultural goods in 2013 amounted to nearly $850 million. So why are many farmers still struggling? Continue reading

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Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014     

Her Rural Majesty: Julie’s Story

Julie and her husband fell in love with Sonoma County, so they found a place to call home in Asti. When neighboring Cloverdale was looking to sprawl out beyond its urban growth boundary, Julie teamed up with Greenbelt Alliance and our local partners to fight the expansion. Continue reading

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Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014     

Dublin Draws the Line

In the early ’90s, Dublin chose to greatly expand through sprawl. Dan is committed to making sure the City doesn’t make the same mistake again—this past spring, he was a driving force behind the grassroots campaign for an urban limit line to protect Doolan Canyon. Continue reading

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