Farms make up the majority of the geography of District 7 and play a substantial role in its economy. We need to make sure that the people who run our agricultural sector are able to make a living running their farms. Farmers provide us with locally sourced food and are stewards of our environment. It is critical that we pass laws that honor their work to make it easier for them to continue farming. This can be done in three primary ways.

First, we can support the farm community in District 7 by making the permitting process for agricultural infrastructure simpler and quicker. This will give farmers what they need, when they need it and enable them to spend more time managing their farms. Second, we can continue to support the agritouism opportunities on farms. To offset the rising cost of running a farm, farmers can set up venues, bed and breakfasts and festivals – to name a few – but these use cases often come with red tape. We can relax some of these laws to enable farmers to support the industry and their families. Finally, we can better support farms with new and upcoming regulations. New environmental regulations are essential for protecting the earth in the longterm, but can often have negative impacts on our farmers right now. Farmers are on the front lines of our warming globe – both in how it is impacting their industry and how they have to deal with new regulations. Instead of simply mandating new rules, then telling farmers to figure it out, we need to develop plans that incentivize and prepare farmers for the changes over a period of time.

By supporting the farmers of district 7 we will have a healthier, happier and more prosperous community that puts the people living and working here first. We will empower farmers to continue to make a living farming and protect the lush environment that is necessary for their farms and everyone’s health. In addition, protecting our farmland will prevent it from being sold off to developers and ensure that we keep South County Rural.