Since the election of Joe Biden for president, CDFA Secretary Karen Ross has noticed national commodity organizations and farm groups following California’s lead on carbon sequestration goals for working lands.

During a meeting of the Strategic Growth Council on Tuesday, Ross called it a “tremendous opportunity to really partner with farmers and ranchers” on the governor’s executive order to conserve 30% of the state’s land by 2030. She said the Healthy Soils Program, her “passion project,” will be at the center of the initiative. The Natural Resources Agency is set to begin stakeholder engagement on the order at the start of 2021.

Ross also mentioned that California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard is allowing for renewable natural gas generated by dairy digesters to be considered a replacement for fossil fuels. She called it building a “cow-powered highway.”