Farm Equity Homepage

The Farm Equity Office (FEO) was created in 2018 and it is within the Executive Office at the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The FEO focuses on implementation of the Farmer Equity Act. Beginning with the passage of AB 1348, the Farm Equity office has worked steadily across all of CDFA's programs and in partnership and collaboration with historically underserved producers, organizations and communities, to make steady progress towards achieving the agencies' goals of ensuring all Californian's have access to programs, benefit from programs and funding and have a voice in policies, regulations and programs that impact the most underserved agricultural communities statewide.

The CDFA acknowledges that the history of California's agricultural industry was shaped by discrimination and racism and remnants and iterations of that history persist. The Farmer Equity Act, passed in 2017, acknowledged this history and the need to change programs and policies that are still creating barriers for socially disadvantaged producers who would like to enter or stay in agriculture. CDFA, which has a mission to protect and promote California agriculture, has taken the tenets of this legislation and begun the long-term process of addressing systemic racism at the roots.

This page serves as the centralized location to find information on how CDFA is working to implement and address equity throughout programs, policies, regulations and advisory bodies. This page contains internal and external facing initiatives, our racial equity action plan, technical assistance programs, grant programs, program data and boards and committee information. It also serves as a place for to tell the stories and demonstrate the impact of this legislation.

New Ujamaa Farmer Collective Highlights Impact of Farmer Equity Act

As we conclude the celebration of Black History Month (Feb 1 – Mar 1), CDFA recognizes the Ujamaa Farmer Collective of Yolo County, which recently acquired 22 acres in Woodland. CDFA Secretary Karen Ross toured the property and visited with key members of the collective. The Secretary highlighted the hard work happening to support and uplift Black farmers, recognizing their invaluable role in shaping agriculture, as well as acknowledge and continue working towards healing and addressing the historical injustices facing Black farmers. For reference, and mentioned in the video - BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

CDFA Racial Equity Action Plan

The Racial Equity Action Plan (REAP) is a plan for action to guide long-term efforts to embed equity throughout CDFA programs, policies and practices.

BIPOC Producer Advisory Committee

The California BIPOC Producer Advisory Committee shall advise the Secretary on matters pertaining to the implementation of the Farmer Equity Act, and recommendations contained within the Farmer Equity Report, including but not limited to all efforts to ensure socially disadvantaged roducers and ranchers are better served through CDFA's programs, policies and communications.

Small-Scale Producer Advisory Committee

The California Small-Scale Producer Advisory Committee shall advise the Secretary and State Board on matters pertaining to small-scale and medium scale producers in California and programs, research, technology, workforce development practices and equity issues that will ensure a platform for small-scale producers to advise on CDFA programs, resources, technical assistance, and communication.

Building Partnerships with California Native American Tribes

CDFA is committed to building partnerships with California Native American Tribes and ensuring CDFA programs and policies are reflective of tribal priorities. In 2023, CDFA has partnered with the Intertribal Ag Council to conduct four listening sessions statewide to understand priorities and barriers to accessing CDFA grant funds and technical assistance programs. A report will be published by December 2023 on the findings of these sessions. The CDFA Tribal liaison has also convened a CDFA Tribal outreach and engagement work group since 2021 to work on strategies to improve engagement statewide with tribes.

  • CDFA Tribal Consultation Policy — 2023 update coming soon
  • CDFA Grant programs eligible for tribal applicants — coming soon
  • CDFA Tribal Liaison: Thea Rittenhouse  •  •  916-202-9415

CDFA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) strives to create an environment free from discrimination and harassment while fostering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in all aspects of CDFA's culture. The OCR is the advisor for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and the Disability Advisory Committee (DAC). Both committees are instrumental in advancing and embedding DEI principles throughout CDFA and creating a space where CDFA employees can make a difference within the Department and for the Agriculture industry.

For information about the OCR, DEI Committee, and DAC, please follow the links below to their respective webpages.

Celebrating Pride Month 2023 at CDFA

California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross celebrates Pride Month, June 2023

Embedding Equity in Grant Programs

CDFA is committed to embedding equity in grant programs. Currently CDFA has technical assistance embedded in over 80% of all grant programs. Providing technical assistance ensures socially disadvantaged, small-scale producers and organizations and disadvantaged communities have access to grant programs and the ability to apply for and successfully implement CDFA grant programs. Technical assistance in CDFA programs includes individual application assistance for farmers and ranchers and organizations as well as project implementation support. Often times, CDFA funds local, trusted organizations to provide technical assistance. Find out more about individual technical assistance programs and initiatives below:



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Thea Rittenhouse - Farmer Equity Advisor
(916) 202-9415

Carmen Carrasco- Small Farm Business Liaison
(909) 219-2991

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