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Sustainable Ag News and Information

California Dept. of Food and Ag Secretary Karen Ross to Keynote Grow Local OC Conference

November 1, 2016 |
California Dept. of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross will Keynote 'Future of Urban Food Systems Conference' on November 10-11, 2016 at Cal State Fullerton. Photo courtesy of CDFA.

California Dept. of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross will Keynote ‘Future of Urban Food Systems Conference’ on November 10-11, 2016 at Cal State Fullerton. Photo courtesy of CDFA.

The organizers of the upcoming Grow Local OC: Future of Urban Food Systems Conference are incredibly excited to have Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Dept. and Food Agriculture deliver the conference’s keynote address, which will explore the importance of agriculture and the development of robust local food systems in cities.

Secretary Ross, whom Politico recently reported is at the top of presidential candidate Hilary Clinton’s USDA Ag Secretary list, will discuss how cities and urban oriented counties across California, and beyond, can develop greater capacity for urban ag and innovative growing endeavors, work more effectively with regional growers, increase food security and access, create an equitable food system in Orange County and SoCal, and more! Read More

The New Mandatory GMO Labeling Law – What Does it Mean for Farmers and Consumers?

September 8, 2016 |
snack-bag

A Frito-Lay package with a voluntary GMO label. Photo Credit: Will C. Fry/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The campaign for mandatory GMO labeling laws has been going on for years. On July 29, President Obama signed a bill requiring labeling of foods that contain GMO.

As a result, over the next few years food producers will have to provide more information to consumers about the genetically engineered contents of their products. The Mandatory Labeling Bill places the onus on the USDA to develop not only the criteria for labeling, but also what the labels will look like.

Opponents of mandatory labeling argue that labeling genetically engineered foods will imply that those products are unsafe, which they say would be misleading since the FDA and other organizations have determined that genetically engineered foods are safe for human consumption. Those in favor of mandatory labeling, on the other hand, say that consumers have a right to know and to choose whether or not the food that they consume contains genetically modified ingredients. Read More

Only One County in the Country has Voter-based Protections for Ag Land; But for How Long?

August 2, 2016 |

In the mid 90s, people in Ventura, California were growing concerned about a growing trend of large tracts of farmland and open space being rezoned for development by the City Council. In response, locals formed Save Open Space & Agricultural Resources (SOAR), a grassroots organization that drafted a ballot initiative requiring voters’ approval on the rezoning of open space, agricultural land, and rural land. After the measure passed by a slim margin, neighboring towns and cities approved similar provisions, and Ventura became the only county in the country with voter-based protections for ag land.

Two decades later, support for the landmark initiative is still contentious. With the original SOAR restrictions getting ready to expire in 2020, Ventura residents, farmers, and officials are putting together competing ballot initiatives for this November’s election cycle to decide the future direction of the program. Read More

Precisely Sustainable: 5 Big Ideas Transforming Agriculture

November 6, 2014 |
Chicago Botanic Garden’s McCormick Place West Rooftop Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden’s McCormick Place West Rooftop Garden

New research and technological developments are allowing farmers to discover some very precise ways to grow food in the most efficient way possible.

We’ve rounded up 5 precision ideas that have emerged in a big way in the past several years, and are poised to change food production as we know it. Read More

Seedstock 3rd Annual Sustainable Ag Innovation Conference Packs Punch with Stellar Slate of Expert Speakers

September 16, 2014 |
speakers seedstock conference

Top Row (left to right): Clare Fox, Los Angeles Food Policy Council; A.G. Kawamura, former Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture; Nurit Katz, UCLA Sustainability. Bottom row (left to right): Michel Algazi, Freshology and Food Centricity; Sasha Kanno, Long Beach Local and Farm Lot 59; Rickey Smith, Urban Green.

Local food policy, urban agriculture strategy, and business model innovation are just a sample of the informative fare to be served up at the 3rd Annual Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Conference – “Reintegrating Ag: Local Food Systems and the Future of Cities.”

The comprehensive, expert-rich program, to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, November 11-12, at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, will focus on the economic, environmental and community benefits that result from the development of a robust local food infrastructure. Participants from local food policy experts and urban agriculture entrepreneurs to investors and thought leaders in the sustainable agriculture industry will explore new approaches to strengthen the marketplace for local food and foster the revitalization of urban areas by embracing innovation in sustainable agriculture. Read More