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San Joaquin Valley Economic Summit Places High Priority on Farmland Preservation

San Joaquin Valley Economic Forum Top PrioritiesA group of more than 200 leaders from business, agriculture, government and nonprofit organizations who gathered in Fresno on March 29 to discuss strategies for improving the economy of the San Joaquin Valley, ranked farmland preservation among the highest priorities for state action. The “summit” meeting, co-sponsored by the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley and other leading institutions, focused on “Building Prosperity for the Valley’s Ag Value Chain.”

Expert panelists made the case for a wide variety of actions, which were then voted on by the participants. Only regulatory and California Environmental Quality Act reform and a comprehensive water plan received more votes than preserving the land on which agriculture depends. The results are published in a report on “Issues, Opportunities and Recommendations.” The recommendations of the San Joaquin Valley summit will be presented at a statewide forum on restoring California’s economic prosperity in San Jose on May 11.

Our California Director Edward Thompson, Jr., who participated in the summit meeting, said, “This is further evidence that the San Joaquin Valley is beginning to recognize that its agricultural land is not unlimited and that affirmative steps must be taken to conserve it. The most important thing that can be done is to promote more compact, efficient urban development that minimizes the loss of this irreplaceable resource.”

American Farmland Trust