SACRAMENTO, September 23, 2019- The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is pleased to announce the availability of the new Farmer Resource Portal designed to assist farmers and ranchers by increasing access to information to help farming operations. The portal is available here: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/farmerresources/
This webpage is a “one-stop shop” for farmers and ranchers to find information about available grants and loans including programs that prioritize funding for socially disadvantaged farmers, beginning farmers, female farmers, veteran farmers, and urban farmers. Additionally, there is a list of quick links to information to help farmers and ranchers better understand CDFA regulations and policies.
“It is my hope that this site will be utilized by farmers, ranchers and the groups that work with them,” said CDFA secretary Karen Ross. “Most of the information was already available, but this portal makes it simple and easy to navigate, and it keeps all of the key information in one place.”
The Farmer Resource portal was developed under the tenets of Assembly Bill 1348 (Aguilar-Curry), the Farmer Equity Act of 2017. This law requires CDFA to ensure the inclusion of socially-disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in the development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement of food and agriculture laws, regulations, policies, and programs.
The Farmer Equity Act defines a socially-disadvantaged group as one composed of individuals that have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities.
There are a growing number of socially-disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in rural and urban areas, and CDFA’s Farmer Equity Advisor is working to ensure that these farmers have a voice in policies and programs that affect their livelihoods, as well as increased access to information and resources for their farm operations.
The webpage includes links to new Spanish-language CDFA social media handles, press releases in English and Spanish, and in the future will also have an interactive California map of technical assistance providers who can assist farmers, including assistance in various languages. This will be a valuable resource for farmers who need assistance in languages other than English.
This webpage is just one way that the Farmer Equity Act is being implemented at CDFA. In January 2020, CDFA will submit a report to the Governor and Legislature on efforts to serve socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and female farmers and ranchers in California.