Dear Friends & Supporters,

On April 1st, Governor Jerry Brown ordered California's first-ever mandatory water cutback, imposing a 25% reduction for cities and towns. And, as anyone in California (and throughout the United States and perhaps even the world) knows, the criticism over why the Governor didn't impose the same 25% mandatory reduction to California agriculture began in earnest.

California Drought

In the last three weeks, there have been countless articles, pro and con, regarding agriculture's water use. There is debate ranging from the numbers (does agriculture really use 80% of California water? No. Once you take out environmental use - keeping our rivers flowing for endangered fish species, for example - the number is 41%) to how much water it takes to grow almonds and alfalfa, and whether the state should dictate what crops farmers are able to grow. What I appreciate more than anything about this defining moment in California's history is that the discussion has been raised, people are asking questions, and agriculture has the ability to talk about their reality on the ground. I was particularly impressed this week as the California rice industry proactively held a press conference to discuss the issues and their story.

I am very proud of the fact that the Center for Land-Based Learning has been leading critical thinking exercises about agriculture and natural resource issues since 1993. We long ago recognized the need to educate high school youth not only about where our food comes from, but about the entire food system, from production to processing to storage and transportation. This is our FARMS Leadership Program. Students hear from farmers and others whose livelihoods depend on agriculture. They hear first hand the specific impacts of issues such as water and air quality, land use, habitat restoration, species protection has on agriculture and the food available to us. Now more than ever, society needs education about agriculture production and the complex system that produces our food.

And what about the environment? Well, there are more than 395 students who have ideas for how to save water, improve habitat function, and educate others in the Sacramento region. The Caring for our Watersheds finals competition took place this past weekend, with the top ten student teams presenting their project ideas to a panel of community judges. The first place winner, Brian Shan, from Mira Loma High School in Sacramento, went home with $1,000 for his proposal to install faucet aerators on all the faucets at his school. Great idea! The contest, a partnership between Agrium and Land-Based Learning, asks students to submit a proposal that addresses an environmental issue with a realistic solution. Any student who submits a proposal is eligible to receive funds to implement that project.

I invite you to learn more about agriculture, conservation, and the programs of the Center for Land-Based Learning by coming to the Farm on Putah Creek for our Open House on May 3. Our staff and board will be on hand for farm tours, hayrides, education and games, and of course, we would love to hear your perspective on how the drought is impacting you.

With gratitude, 

Caring for Our Watershed 2015 finalists at the Crocker Art Museum
where they presented their winning project ideas on April 18th.
Center for Land-Based Learning would like to invite "kids" of all ages to come experience the Farm on Putah Creek. Join us for our Spring Open House & Picnic, Sunday, May 3rd from 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. Don't miss out on this fun event!

A few of the many activities offered the day of the event will include: 
  • Live Music
  • Food Trucks
  • Nature Walks
  • Hayrides
  • Educational Activities
  • Photo Booths
  • Farm Tours
  • Raffle
Admission to this event is free of charge. Food trucks will be on site with food to purchase. Some games have a suggested donation. Funding for this event provided by PG&E. 

Feel free to bring a picnic lunch, a blanket, chairs and lots of water. The Farm on Putah Creek is an easy driving distance from Sacramento and very close to Davis. For more information and driving directions visit the event page or call (530) 795-1520.

Show your support for the Center for Land-Based Learning on the Big Day of Giving.  Here's how:

DONATE online between Midnight to 6 a.m. on May 5th to help us win the Night Owl Challenge by being the nonprofit to raise the most $$$ before 6 a.m. Donate between 5-6 a.m. to help us win the power hour challenge.

JOIN US for the West Sacramento Urban Farm Takeover on May 5th from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the West Sacramento Urban Farmstand site (5th & F).  There will be a food truck, live music, giveaways, fresh veggies and more!

Want to stay in touch?     Sign up for our newsletter 
Stay Connected:
5265 Putah Creek Rd., Winters, CA 95694