KRCB North Bay Public Media brings you the stories that are unique to our region, including environmentalism, alternative energy, water conservation, land preservation and agriculture. Here you'll learn about our food system, and our way of life: stories about our rich legacy of family farming and the new methods that are emerging for growing and distributing food; stories about the people who make the most of what this area has to offer, contributing to our economy, arts, and culture; and stories about the very real concerns that threaten the quality and sustainability of what we hold dear.
The Sonoma County Food System Alliance (FSA) is a county-based coalition of diverse stakeholders working collaboratively to envision, advocate for and create a vibrant local food system. We envision a system in which local growers and processors are economically viable, the physical environment is maintained, and consumers have access to healthy, affordable food.
Convened in partnership by Ag Innovations Network and the County of Sonoma in 2009, the FSA is a powerful forum to confront and resolve local food system issues by identifying and implementing key strategies and effective action.
Building upon existing work of the FSA, the Food Action Plan (FAP) provides a shared community vision and goals for our local food system. Strategies in the FAP incorporate the findings from the Community Food Assessment and Sonoma County Food Forum Report. The FAP invites local governments businesses, community organizations and individuals into dialogue and action to improve our food system.
As a road map, the FAP serves as a framework to guide collaboration and integrate the efforts of diverse food system stakeholders. As a guide, it serves to catalyze policy change, encourage investment and raise awareness and support from our community and policymakers. The FAP groups opportunities and concerns into 4 action areas (Pillars). Within each area, key goals are articulated and details of policies and recommendations are enumerated into sub-goals. In total, the FAP incorporates 11 broad food system goals and 42 sub-goals across the 4 Pillars.
We are the newest wave of farmers, ranchers, chefs, artisans and sustainable food system advocates. With a passion for feeding our local communities, we come together to share skills, knowledge and a meal after a long day in the field, pasture and milking barn. Founded by farmers for farmers, our community helps to support every scale of healthy food production by collectively striving toward the economic viability of agriculture as well as the social networks necessary to attract, cultivate and sustain a new generation ready to work the land.
Ag Innovations Network brings people together to build a food system that works for all. We are facilitators of crucial conversations, conveners of meetings that matter, and enablers of change.
Our role is unique. We care deeply about creating a more economically viable, socially just, and environmentally sound way to grow and distribute food. We believe the best way to accomplish that goal is to create opportunities for individuals, farmers, businesses, and communities to better understand the changes that are needed and discover solutions that make sense. Our work is about bringing more democracy to decision-making about the future of food and farming.
We have three central programs:
The Alliance Project: A growing network of California county-based alliances of food system stakeholders that meet monthly to work together to strengthen farms, improve access to good foods, and improve the infrastructure to support regional food distribution. These groups make policy recommendations and create local projects.
The Roundtable Project: We convene and facilitate two California-based coalitions of statewide agriculture, environmental, and community organizations that are focused on finding shared policy solutions for the food system. The California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment focuses on issues that are of common concern to agriculture and environmental organizations including Farm Bill reform, climate change, land use, and food safety. The California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply focuses on the critical challenge of water use and availability for farms, cities, and the environment.
Facilitation/Consulting Services: We offer facilitation and consulting services globally for organizations and government entities that are seeking to engage stakeholders, run more effective conferences, and understand the challenges facing the food system. Our core competency is cutting-edge facilitation and meeting design.
Straus Family Creamery is a Northern California, certified organic creamery offering milk, cream, yogurt, butter, sour cream, ice cream, and a variety of wholesale and specialty dairy products distributed throughout the Western United States. Based in Marshall, CA, the Creamery makes minimally-processed dairy products from organic milk supplied by family farms in Marin and Sonoma Counties, including the Straus Dairy. Straus Family Creamery sustains collaborative relationships with the family farms that supply it milk, offering stable prices and predictability in what otherwise can be a volatile marketplace.