On September 3rd, UCCE Sonoma County, in collaboration with county Supervisors Shirlee Zane and James Gore, brought together multiple agencies to discuss ways to move its incubator farm project forward. Given the challenges on the District-owned Rohnert Park site, the agencies invited were UCCE, Sonoma County Ag Preservation & Open Space District, Fish & Wildlife, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Sonoma County Water Agency, land consultants, county counsel, and a Rohnert Park City councilman to visit the site and then meet to propose solutions for moving forward.
This county-owned property is in the California tiger salamander (CTS) habitat and has had a history of seasonal wetlands, the group believes that this incubator farm project can be a model for other farmers and ranchers in our county who's land is also in CTS habitat.
Supervisor Zane and Supervisor Gore at the incubator farm site.
Land in Sonoma County is expensive, and getting this incubator farm up and running, is critical for aspiring farmers and ranchers to support them until they are ready to be on their own. Those selected (through a thorough screening process) will have reduced costs by sharing land, infrastructure, equipment and mentoring; all critical components that will give them a much better chance of being successful.
UCCE's Technical Advisory committee will meet this month, and following that, a meeting to discuss next steps with the District.
Learn more at Sonoma County Bounty - Farm Business Incubator