Farms and ranches cover 2.3 million acres of the Bay Area’s 3.6 million acre greenbelt. With our region’s abundance of farmers markets, u-pick farms, and restaurants specializing in local cuisine, the Bay Area’s agricultural bounty has never been more popular. Yet in a region where we encourage innovation and celebrate our local food, farmers and ranchers face a surprising number of barriers including:
To address these challenges, Greenbelt Alliance will work with elected officials, county staff, farmers and ranchers, and other community leaders to explore ways to protect and promote sustainable, local agriculture. Our vision is a thriving Bay Area agricultural community that is resilient to development pressures, and is a model for a sustainable local food system.
To realize this vision, we will improve public policies that influence what can happen on agricultural land and how farms and ranches operate. For example, in 2016 we secured a big win for farms, ranches, and open space when the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) in Contra Costa County adopted an Agricultural and Open Space Preservation Policy. This policy will make it much harder for sprawl to swallow up farmland, ranchland, and natural habitat outside of cities and towns. Greenbelt Alliance will use this policy win to inspire counties across the region to step up their support for local agriculture by adopting farm-friendly policies. In the coming years, we will carefully watchdog the policy and push for improvements to make it even more effective. Read more about this win here.
This work is dedicated to John Chapman, Greenbelt Alliance’s late Board President. For over 25 years, John volunteered his time to protect the Bay Area’s natural and agricultural landscapes and ensure that the right development happened in the right places. John had a particular passion for agriculture in his home county, Contra Costa County.
Early investors have already contributed over $40,000 of our $125,000 goal. Please join them in protecting the future of our Bay Area agricultural lands and in honoring John’s legacy. We are seeking leadership gifts at the following levels and would be honored to recognize you among our supporters. To make a gift contact us here.