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Conservation Works Outreach Program

Supporting Small Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers  


Conservation Works will be partnering with the California Department of Food and Agriculture's California's Underserved and Small Producers program (CUSP) starting summer 2021 to provide direct technical assistance to individual small-scale and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, including urban farmers in Sonoma, Marin, Lake and Mendocino Counties. 

Systemic disadvantages have limited the ability of socially disadvantaged people to become agricultural producers and thrive sufficiently to help shape the local food system.  Past exclusion of socially disadvantaged people has prevented truly sustainable food systems from being established and created barriers for communities seeking to maintain or revive culturally appropriate foodways, help foster traditional conservation techniques, and help build a future replacement stream of diverse small family farmers to meet the challenge of rising age and declining numbers of farmers nationwide.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, socially disadvantaged community members were disproportionately adversely impacted.  From greater health impacts from the pandemic to greater income loss, disadvantaged communities have suffered, and those disparities affect agricultural producers similarly. Our outreach engages socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers - established and beginning - to provide education in value-added opportunities like agritourism, community-supported agriculture, online agricultural product sales, niche marketing techniques, and similar revenue growth opportunities for small scale farmers and ranchers.