Through a quarter-cent sales tax approved by voters, the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District raises $17 million annually, protecting more than 40,000 acres for agricultural production. The district buys conservation easements from existing farmers and ranchers. It also works with farm buyers to conduct “simultaneous transactions” where an easement is purchased at closing, reducing the purchase price for the farmer. The district even offers lease-to-purchase arrangements of easement-protected properties. We’ll hear from a representative of this public agency and from California farmers who have purchased or leased conserved farmland. We’ll discuss how these partnerships are addressing the challenge of maintaining and developing infrastructure to create viable new farms.
G | 8:30 am