California agriculture, like so many other things, is being disrupted.
A few years ago, when the state went from a “trendy” agricultural powerhouse to the worst state in the country for agriculture, some in the industry took a breath and wondered if it might not be time to start looking for new and different ways to help farmers and ranchers.
Today, however, many in the agricultural industry are looking to agriculture as a new frontier.
“Agra-tech is changing the landscape of agriculture,” said Richard Schmitt, president of the California Agribusiness Association, a trade group that represents farmers and farmers’ groups.
“What it’s doing is it’s disrupting the whole industry.
It’s reshaping the way we look at agriculture.”
And in California, that reshaping is starting to get the attention of those who might not normally be interested in agricultural policy.
It started when the federal government began issuing regulations for the state’s growing sector, which included the state of California.
The regulations were designed to help small-scale farmers who have been struggling to survive the drought and were struggling to get through the harsh winter.
The state, in particular, had been struggling for years with what it saw as a lack of oversight over its growing sector.
“It’s not a new problem,” said Andrew Stadler, a professor of agricultural and food policy at the University of California, Davis.
“We’ve been doing this for thousands of years, but it’s a new one.”
Stadl said he was stunned to learn that, when it came to regulations, California was one of only three states that had no such controls on farm production.
“If you want to know how to grow food, it’s not how you grow it.
It has to be how you manage it,” he said.
The regulation that the state put into effect in 2013 required that farms that produce less than 1,000 head of corn or soybeans a year be required to obtain at least 100 acres of certified organic land.
“There was no other way to get it done,” said Stadlers, who has worked with farmers on growing and processing food since his first job as a professor in the late 1970s.
That regulation also required the state to establish a food safety database, and the state began enforcing those regulations, including limiting the number of pesticides that could be used on the crops.
But as the state was facing the onslaught of drought, the USDA and others stepped in, creating the California Food Guide, which is designed to make sure California farmers follow the guidelines for food safety.
The guide was issued after the California Department of Agriculture and Industries, the state agency that regulates agriculture, learned that at least five of its own food inspection stations had tested positive for pesticide residues in 2015.
In 2017, the California State Drought Commission found that the agency had not conducted the necessary tests for pesticides in at least 90 percent of its facilities.
And the state eventually withdrew from the food guide.
But, despite that setback, some farmers and agronomists still believed that it would be in their best interest to comply with the rules.
That’s why they started creating their own guidelines.
“California has been on the brink of a collapse for decades,” said Chris Gentry, a researcher at the Institute for Food Technological Progress, a nonprofit that researches the food and agricultural industries.
“I think it’s time to look for ways to protect the health of the food supply, to create some kind of regulatory framework, and to try to stabilize the industry.”
And that’s exactly what happened, as the agriculture industry moved to become more open to the public and to public input.
Now, more than ever, farmers are seeking to engage with the public in order to create better regulations.
“The public is now starting to have more knowledge about agriculture, and they want to make informed decisions,” said Gentry.
“They want to hear from their neighbors, and it’s just been the opposite with the food industry.
People want to feel like they have some control over the food they consume, and that’s not the case anymore.”
The California Department for Food and Agriculture, in fact, started to see an uptick in the number, and some say that this was one factor in the spike in the amount of information being shared about agricultural practices.
“This is really something we’re seeing here,” said Kristin Perna, a food policy expert at the California Agricultural Experiment Station, which tests food on farms.
“People want to be able to ask questions, and this is a great place to do that.”
California is also seeing an uptick of online advocacy and activism from the agriculture community, including the creation of the “California Farm Stand” campaign, which started in 2014 and has grown into an effort to bring farmers together.
“A lot of these issues that are happening in