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Sonoma County Land for Food Production


Sonoma County Land for Food Production

The “County Land for Food Production” report approved on March 10, 2015 by Sonoma County Board of Supervisors

On March 10, 2015, Sonoma County UCCE (UCCE) and Sonoma County Ag Preservation and Open Space District (SCAPOSD) presented the results from Phase 2 and 3 (farming and grazing lands) of the “County Land for Food Production” report, to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, who unanimously approved it.

The Final Report “Assessment of County Land for Food Production Phase 2” conducted by Lisa Bush contained 18 county owned properties.

The report’s Executive Summary states: “The primary reason that few of the vacant lands owned by County departments are suitable for farming or grazing is that most of the appropriate County properties already support such uses. Over 4,500 acres owned by Regional Parks, SCAPOSD and General Services are currently leased to local farmers and ranchers and are an important part of Sonoma County’s local food system. Almost all of these properties had water and fencing existing when County departments purchased them. In one case, the SCAPOSD paid to have a water well drilled, and several other cases the land is leased to an adjacent farmer or rancher who provides water from his or her own property.

As outlined in the Assessment of County Land for Food Production Report, Phase 2, it’s recommended that, when possible, future County land acquisitions have the necessary infrastructure and other attributes compatible with agricultural uses. These include considering the following features: water, fencing, access, power, minimal parcel size for agriculture, and biotic issues.”

UCCE County Director, Dr. Stephanie Larson explained, “One constraint for existing or beginning farmers and ranchers is access to land.  The County Land for Food Production (CLFP) was a directive from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to review county owned lands for their viability to become community gardens, farming or ranching lands that would increase local food production.”

Any interested farmers or ranchers would contact the specific county agency for details regarding a property listed in the report.

Related to this report - UCCE, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, Sonoma County Farm Bureau, Gold Ridge RCD, Sonoma RCD, Sonoma Land Trust, Greenbelt Alliance, California FarmLink, CAFF, Farmers Guild, Department of Health Services, Ag Innovations Network, and Sonoma County Fair Events Center will host a “Growing our Farms” event on April 23, 2015 at Showcase Café at Fairgrounds from 1pm-5:30pm; to share resources for accessing land; connect landowners with land seekers; broaden opportunities, and learn what hurdles are facing aspiring and retiring farmers and ranchers.

The County Land for Food Production report Phase 2 is now on-line at:

For more information, contact: Linda Peterson at 707-565-2621 or