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CA Farmers: Sustainable Agriculture "Growing" In Popularity

November 14, 2008

Sustainable agriculture is catching on in California. No longer an unfamiliar phrase to many people, sustainable farming practices are becoming more mainstream.

Growers from all over the state are meeting at the Monterey County Fairgrounds for the fourth annual "Sustainable Ag Expo." Kris O'Connor, executive director of the Central Coast Vineyard Team, believes the idea has come a long way in the last decade.

"Sustainability is no longer this kind-of extreme sense of how to be looking at agriculture, but rather a holistic approach that respects both the human and the natural resources."

In addition to the statewide drought, O'Connor says, the energy crisis is also a big issue for sustainable farming.

"How far we have to travel to get our food, or how far our food has to travel to get to us; everybody is really aware of the fuel prices, both on the consumer and the producer end."

The Central Coast Vineyard Team has started the first-of-its-kind "Sustainability in Practice" program. California winegrape growers who participate in the program must submit documentation to prove their crops are sustainably grown -- and then, face an independent auditor.

Some of the other exposition topics include energy conservation, human resources and trends in the marketplace.
California produces a greater diversity of food products than anywhere else in the country.

More information on the "Sustainable Ag Expo" and the Central Coast Vineyard Team is available online, at

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA