Central Valley Farmland Trust

The mission of the Central Valley Farmland Trust is to preserve agricultural lands for future generations in California's Central Valley.

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Address: 8788 Elk Grove Blvd. Building 1, Suite I
Elk Grove, CA 95624
County or Parish: Sacramento
Primary NTEE: Food, Agriculture & Nutrition 
Sub NTEE: Farmland Preservation 
Executive Director: Charlotte Mitchell
Contact Email: shooper@valleyfarmland.org
Primary Phone: 916-687-3178
Fax: 916-685-1041
Website: http://www.valleyfarmland.org
The 1980s and 90s brought explosive growth to the Central Valley. Real estate was booming and land that had always been productive farmland was being purchased and developed into shopping centers and housing developments. Farmers and developers alike acknowledged that prime farmland, once developed, could never be converted back to farming. That awareness, and the recognition that California farmland is a precious natural resource that feeds the world led to collaborative meetings beginning in 2000 between farmers and agricultural business leaders in Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties. This resulted in the creation of the Central Valley Farmland Trust (CVFT) in 2004. Our board includes farmers and professionals with expertise and interest in protecting important farmlands in the Central Valley. In 2008, CVFT was one of 38 land trusts throughout the United States awarded accreditation status by The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. As an accredited land trust we adhere to the highest professional standards for protecting agricultural land and have the systems in place to ensure the long-term viability of CVFT. Since its inception, Central Valley Farmland Trust has evolved into the premier agricultural land trust in the Central Valley of California. In addition to conserving farmland, our work provides open space and wildlife habitat. It scrubs large amounts of greenhouse gasses from the air and greatly enhances the local quality of life. We will continue, in perpetuity, to protect the farms that feed your family.
The most productive natural resource in the world is threatened by over development. The Central Valley is the fruit basket of the world as well as providing open space, a haven for habitat, and a means for natural carbon sequestration that positively impacts climate change. Our efforts to provide public outreach and education to Valley constituents and garner funding for the completion of conservation easement acquisitions will cost an estimated $1,000,000 over the next five years.
Our top needs:
  1. Funding: Other - Collaboration with other land trusts to further land trust sustainability.
  2. Funding: Program - Funding for farmland protection; .92 of every donated dollar goes directly to land conservation.
  3. Board Members - Enhancing board governance by recruiting knowledgeable and passionate board members.
  4. Volunteers - Increasing capable volunteer base for protection and stewardship of our conservation easements.
  5. Technology - Expand our capabilities with the use of evolving technology.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: California's Central Valley is like nowhere else on earth. Due to its unique characteristics, we proudly produce an abundance of food and fiber that is truly "made in America". Our fresh food is the highest quality and most nutritious product ever produced in the world. The Central Valley of California has the most fertile and productive soils, the best crop growing climate in the world, and we're blessed with land stewards and farmers who grow an abundant amount of food on them. We grow and harvest more than 350 crops of which 15 - 20 are only grown in the Central Valley.

THE THREAT: If we pave over all of California's farmland we cannot recreate it somewhere else. Yet, every year, due to the impact of population growth and poor planning, more than 41,000 acres of the world's best farmland and 20,000 acres of rangeland are paved over never to produce "food for the family" again. By 2050, California's population is estimated to grow by 35% to 50.4 million resulting in more mouths to feed with fewer acres to support them. The continued loss of farmland will have devastating impacts on our ability to feed ourselves in the future. Simply stated, "No Farmland - No Food."

THE SOLUTION: Permanently protect the family farms that ensure the continued production of food and stewardship of our natural resources. We do this by assisting landowners in the sale of their developments rights. This sale eliminates any future possibility of development or conversion away from farming on the property. They maintain ownership and the ability to produce nutritious food, while continuing to be important stewards of the land. Family farms do their part to protect the environment through plant photosynthesis that manufactures and discharges oxygen into the air, ground water recharge, and by preserving open space surrounding the community in which you live.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Be a "cultivator" by demonstrating your personal commitment for preserving working farms and ranches through a contribution to Central Valley Farmland Trust. Our successes are your successes. We are considered one of the "premier" farmland trusts in California because others like you, who care about our ability to continue to produce our own food, have supported us. Together, we have protected more than 13,000 acres in our territory. Today our goal is 20,000 acres by 2020 - with your gift, we can reach our goal.

Ron Dolinsek, Board of Directors