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SB-466 Agriculture: environmental farming program.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/21/2019 09:00 PM
SB466:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 466


Introduced by Senator Wilk

February 21, 2019


An act to amend Section 561 of the Food and Agricultural Code, relating to agriculture.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 466, as introduced, Wilk. Agriculture: environmental farming program.
Existing law, the Cannella Environmental Farming Act of 1995, requires the Department of Food and Agriculture to establish and oversee an environmental farming program to provide incentives to farmers whose practices promote the well-being of ecosystems, air quality, and wildlife and their habitat. The act states the intent of the Legislature, among other things, that environmental laws should be based on the best scientific evidence gathered from public and private sources and that the best scientific evidence should include the net environmental impact provided by agriculture.
This bill would make a nonsubstantive change to these provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 561 of the Food and Agricultural Code is amended to read:

561.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) California agriculture helps to feed the world and fuel our economy. Agriculture provides one out of every 10 jobs in California, and our state has led the nation in total farm production every year since 1948. During 1993, California’s 76,000 farms generated nearly $20 billion in cash receipts and another $70 billion in economic activity.
(b) Many farmers engage in practices that contribute to the well-being of ecosystems, air quality, and wildlife and their habitat. Agriculture plays a pivotal role in preserving open space that is vital to the environment. Seventy-five percent of the nation’s wildlife live on farms and ranches. Freshwater streams and stockponds on farms and ranches provide habitat to millions of fish. Corn, wheat, rice, and other field crops provide bountiful food and habitat for deer, antelope, ducks, geese, and other wildlife.
(c) Environmental laws should be based on the best scientific evidence gathered from public and private sources.
(d) Best scientific evidence should include the net environmental impact provided by agriculture.
(e) Additional research is necessary to adequately inventory the impact that agriculture has on the environment. Recognition should be afforded to agricultural activities that produce a net benefit for the environment, which is consistent with the growing trend of providing incentives for the private sector to undertake economic activities that benefit the environment.