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


Thursday, August 28th, 2014     

Vote yes on Measure Q

This November, Greenbelt Alliance urges you to vote yes on Measure Q in Santa Clara County. This measure would fund natural and agricultural land preservation, increased public access to open spaces, and protection of county water supplies. Continue reading

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Wednesday, August 27th, 2014     

Money Talks: The value of Santa Clara County open space

How do you put a value on the benefits that our natural and agricultural lands provide? For the first time ever, Santa Clara County has calculated the economic value of its natural capital. Spoiler alert: it’s worth a lot. Continue reading

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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014     

The Bay Area’s Priority Conservation Areas

On July 17, the Bay Area made its strongest regional commitment yet to protecting our natural and agricultural lands. The Association of Bay Area Governments unanimously approved the new and improved Priority Conversation Area Program. Continue reading

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