Cultivate California, a public education campaign on farm water use, is reaching out to more Californians this year. The campaign, launched amid the last drought in 2014, is managed by the California Farm Water Coalition. Executive Director Mike Wade said that getting the message out early this year has served as an essential counterweight.

“Californians continue to get inundated with negative messages about farming,” said Wade. “The Cultivate California program was designed to help bolster the natural support people have for agriculture and farms and to continue providing them with facts and information about the connection between their food and the water supply.”

Several Farm Credit organizations support the campaign with $100,000 in annual contributions.

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“Cultivate California is one of the most successful groups we have to educate people about the impacts the drought has on our food supply, and the need to improve our water storage to protect all of us in future droughts,” said Curt Hudnutt, president and CEO of American AgCredit.

A critical touch point in the campaign this year has been the need for flexibility in water transfers to supply areas in greater need. For long-term response, the state should invest in facilities to capture and recharge groundwater, explained Wade.