Farm-to-city programs earn national recognition
» November 22, 2005 «
Two projects aimed at cementing relations between rural and urban Californians have won national honors in a competition for innovative county Farm Bureau programs.
The Orange County Farm Bureau and the Tulare County Farm Bureau were selected as two of only 15 counties nationwide to participate in the County Activities of Excellence exhibition. The showcase will occur Jan. 8-9, during the American Farm Bureau Federation annual convention in Nashville, Tenn.
Judges honored the Orange County Farm Bureau for a program that turned an empty lot in Santa Ana into the "Field of Greens," a three-acre community farm created to produce fresh fruits and vegetables year-round. The local Farm Bureau donated time and materials to prepare the vacant lot for planting. The Orange County Register newspaper donated the land next to its building. Volunteers have planted, tended and harvested produce from the farm, which is donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County for distribution to needy local residents.
The Orange County Farm Bureau says the Field of Greens project educates urban residents about hunger problems in their community and about local agriculture, while providing an ongoing source of fresh produce for those who need it most.
In Tulare County, the Farm Bureau worked to educate city and county planners, whose actions have direct impacts on family farmers and their ability to farm. The county Farm Bureau conducted a tour for more than 30 city and county planners, plus local reporters, who visited a state-of-the-art dairy, two nut orchards and several locations where developments are planned. Participants learned how planning decisions can lead to conversion of prime agricultural land to non-farm uses.
The county Farm Bureau says it expects the tour to provide long-term benefits as agriculture and urban development try to co-exist more readily in one of the nation's top farming counties.
The American Farm Bureau, which hosts the Nashville showcase, is the nation's largest farming organization. The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of more than 88,000 members statewide.
Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item.Top