In an era of rampant wildfires, California farms are often deemed too risky to insure.
The challenges faced by farmers in California are daunting. Water is only one of the resources that is in short supply. Soil erosion, antiquated equipment and irrigation systems, and hazardous working conditions impair quality of life as well as productivity. Integrated, science-based agriculture and economies of scale are difficult to achieve for individual family-owned farms as well as for larger producers.
Government can and should give more support to cooperation and collaboration that enable small and mid-sized California farms to flourish. Our state currently hosts about 200 agricultural cooperatives, some of them involving only a few households, while others are more substantial in size. By making large-scale purchases of seed, fertilizers, fuel, and other inputs, cooperative members are able to keep costs down. Cooperatives also help farmers with marketing, provide financial services, and offer horticultural advice.
For more information on the growing cooperative movement in California agriculture, visit this website: Cooperative Farming.