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North State Voices: Farmers, state must build upon common ground
Almond Board |

By Rory Crowley - - Two characteristics of California agriculture worry me: regulatory power and the farmer’s reluctance to change. I recently attended the Healthy Soils Summit, the kickoff event for the initiative. It was standing room only. Prior, I read everything CDFA had published on the topic and everything since. If there were 300 people in attendance, there were just as many definitions of what constitutes healthy soil. I was encouraged when Gabriele Ludwig, one of the panelists, made this point multiple times. She serves as director of sustainability and environmental affairs for the Almond Board of California. She nailed it: We need to define “soil health” specifically for California’s unique climate, soils, irrigation methods and diverse cropping systems. Forty percent of program funding will be for “demonstration projects.” From a farmer’s perspective, what is crucial for adoption is an economically led approach that demonstrates the benefits of optimal soil health.

About the Almond Board

Almonds from California are a natural, wholesome and quality food. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 6,000 almond growers and processors in California, many of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit or check out California Almonds on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and the California Almonds blog.