To deliver climate-smart conservation services to California's farmers, ranchers and non-industrial forestland owners in a more coordinated fashion, UC ANR has signed a memorandum of agreement with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts.
USDA NRCS State Conservationist Carlos Suarez, CDFA Secretary Karen Ross, CARCD President Don Butz and I have signed this formal commitment for our organizations to work together in very specific ways on basic research; applied research; extension, education, and engagement; technical assistance and outreach; and implementation evaluation, learning and impact. With this strategy, we will be able to streamline services and identify gaps. See the graphic below depicting the roles of each institution in developing climate-smart conservation practices and delivering technical assistance.
Hundreds of millions of dollars are invested annually into helping agriculture stewards address hundreds of conservation activities throughout the state. But that investment starts with the leg work of analyzing and strategizing the conservation activities on a property-by-property basis.
This agreement will not only enhance our delivery of technical assistance, it offers a greatly expanded feedback loop to help us prioritize UC ANR research to ensure continuous improvement of practices, technologies and solutions needed by California's specialty crops and diverse ecosystems. This will enable new knowledge from our research to be quickly incorporated into NRCS's Field Office Technical Guide, which will expedite its availability to our farmers and ranchers in the field.
The official Memorandum of Agreement is posted at https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/files/377732.pdf.