California Farmland Trust
Our mission is to work with farmers to protect the best farmland in the world. From our humble beginning at a farmhouse kitchen table in order protect one, solitary family farm, to now protecting over 50 family farms, our impact has grown every year. We are dedicated to protecting the farms that feed your family.
The Raley's Field Trips on the Farm program aims to educate youth about California agriculture, with a particular focus on the importance of conserving California's irreplaceable farmland. Many children do not understand where the food they eat comes from and have no knowledge of how unique and special California is; this program takes them to a farm and, through direct exposure, helps them understand and appreciate how farms feed their families. Then, the kids hop back on the bus and go to Raley's, where they learn about fresh, frozen, and canned foods and how to select the best fresh produce. The program also provides classroom materials for teachers to use both on the farm tour and in their class after the tour, plus take-home plants for students to experience a piece of farming at home.
- In its first year, the Raley's Field Trips on the Farm program took four classrooms of fourth graders onto a working farm and into the grocery store for a full-circle experience.
- In this school year, the program's second, we are taking ten classrooms on tours.
- Parents and teachers who experience the tours report that the kids are engaged and learning on the whole trip - even the adults learn a few things on the farm!
California is a state like no other, capable of growing amazing foods that no other state can grow. The goal of our farmland protection program is to ensure that Californians will be able to feed themselves, their nation, and even the world - forever. We accomplish this goal by protecting the one natural resource that cannot be moved, diverted, or replaced - prime farmland.
We work with farmers who are willing to legally lock down their land, putting restrictions (called easements) in place so that land must be farmed - it cannot be developed or otherwise taken out of farming. Each one of our family farmers works hard to feed us, and we work hard to protect their lands for future generations. The process to protect a farm is long, taking approximately two years from start to finish, and requiring an incredible amount of manpower. But the payoff, farmland forever, makes it worth our while.
Once a farm has been protected, we visit at least once a year to ensure it is still indeed a farm. Yearly visits are the heart of what we do, and the only way to enforce the legal restrictions in place on the land.
- Since our humble beginnings at the kitchen table, we have protected 50 family farms.
- Those farms span nearly 15,000 acres, and the families who work on them grow everything from almonds, to wine grapes, to peaches, to tomatoes.
- In other words, our protected farmland equates to a little over 7,000 football fields.
- If all of those acres were devoted to a single crop, they could grow enough tomatoes to fill 1,470,000,000 cans (enough tomatoes to supply 94 million people for a year), or enough grapes to make 86,400,000 bottles of wine (almost three bottles for every adult Californian).