The California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) advances policies that support California agriculture in the face of climate change. Through these policy changes, the organization aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the food system.
Farmers are on the frontlines of the changing climate. CalCAN seeks to ensure that their voices and needs are front and center. In the spring of 2015, CalCAN organized a Climate and Agriculture Summit, where area farmers participated on panels telling their stories and perspectives of working during California’s record-breaking drought. The drought, now in its third year, has had widespread implications for the viability of family farmers, farm labor, food prices and ever-worsening tensions between competing urban, rural and environmental uses for water. With Farm Aid’s support, CalCAN has developed relationships with farmers and ranchers who are willing to serve as spokespeople and advisors for the organization, including seeking to secure resources for growers coping with the drought.
CalCAN says, “Farm Aid recognizes the importance of investing in education and outreach as a strategy for changing the system through policy campaigns. Farm Aid has been a loyal funder for our efforts in serving as the voice of sustainable agriculture on climate change for several years, understanding that it takes time to build political power and win meaningful victories in the policy arena, especially in such a large state as California.”