CDFA has been asking farmers and ranchers for ideas on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing biodiversity. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order calls on California to join three dozen countries in committing to protecting 30 % of the planet by 2030.

In the first in a series of listening sessions, Amrith Gunasekara of CDFA’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation said past discussions led to investments such as the $87.5 million from the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) that’s gone into 828 projects.

“This discussion is really important to find out what else we need to put on our list,” Gunasekara said. Technology and research were two areas of discussion, with several dairy producers interested in more innovation in manure management. Others suggested that landowners who rent to farmers and ranchers need incentives to encourage their tenants to start new conservation practices.

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On that note, the Assembly Ag Committee will hold an informational hearing Wednesday afternoon on environmental farming. Chair Robert Rivas of Hollister will host three farmers ahead of the hearing in a webinar streamed on his Facebook page.