Helping the Farmers and Ranchers Affected by the California Wildfires

John Piotti

Over the past several days, many of us at American Farmland Trust have watched with sadness as over 150,000 acres across California have been ravaged by wind-driven wildfires. Currently, fires continue to grow in northern California wine country, as well as in communities to the north and east. Southern California is dealing with its own group of fires centered east of downtown Los Angeles.

These fires are hitting our farmer friends and neighbors particularly hard. Hundreds of farmers, ranchers and critical agricultural service businesses across the state have lost everything.

It will take weeks to truly understand the economic impact of the wildfires on California’s agriculture industry, but it will be substantive.

In Sonoma County alone, farms house 30,000 dairy cows and 35,000 sheep and goats. The value of the county’s agriculture is close to $900 million, with livestock and poultry accounting for $178 million and about $10 million from vegetable farms.

As crises often do, the wildfires are bringing out the best of what America has to offer. Many of you have reached out to us and asked how you can help those affected. Here’s a list of options that we’ll continue to update as new opportunities arise.  

Stay strong, California. We’re with you.