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Serving: West

Big boost for ag in revised California budget

Tim Hearden WFP-hearden-budget21.JPG
CDFA to get $926 million over two years for strategic investments to support California’s agriculture industry.

The $267.8 billion budget that California Gov. Gavin Newsom submitted on Friday, May 14 would include a big boost for state programs related to agriculture.

Newsom's "California Comeback Plan" builds on the $285 million set for the state Department of Food and Agriculture in his initial budget in January, proposing an additional $641 million over two years for a total $926 million, according to the CDFA.

The upgrade will support "strategic investments" in the Golden State's agriculture industry as it addresses continued challenges while also producing food and advancing the state’s climate resilience objectives, the agency reported in its Planting Seeds blog.

The increase is courtesy of a $100 billion surplus fueled by surging tax revenue from a pandemic-enriched tech industry and federal coronavirus aid, according to media reports

“Every Californian has been impacted by this pandemic, and the sacrifices we’ve all made this past year have resulted in a historic surplus – I’m here to announce that we’re investing it in you,” Newsom said as he unveiled his "May revise."

According to CDFA, the plan includes:

  • $67.5 million to develop a healthier, more resilient and more equitable food system.
  • $532 million to advance climate smart agriculture, improve drought resiliency, fund alternatives to agricultural burning, increase pollinator habitat on working lands and support conservation planning to build resilience.
  • $42 million for such economic-recovery initiatives as investing in innovation, assistance to underserved farmers, and farmer training and manager apprenticeships.

The budget must be approved by the Democrat-dominated Legislature. To view details of the proposal, click here and here.

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