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New Study Looks At Agricultural Resiliency in Ventura County In Face Of Issues Like Brush Fires, Drought, Climate Change

(KCLU photo)
Ventura County has a more than two billion dollar plus annual agricultural industry

Project looks at ways to improve planning, preparations to deal with crisis

Chris Sayer’s family has been in the ag industry in Ventura County since the 1880’s. They’ve had to deal with everything from bad crops, to drought, to brush fires. But, in recent years they’ve had add to add a major new concern to the list: The impacts of climate change.

Petty Ranch, near Saticoy, is 57 acres of lemons and avocados. Sayer says when you plant a lemon tree, you have to think past months and years to how it will fare during its 40-year lifespan. He says they’re doing okay, but are understandably concerned.

The sustainability of Ventura County’s two billion dollar a year ag industry is the focus of a new study and report.

Sharyn Main is the Climate Resilience Program Director with the Santa Barbara based Community Environmental Council, better known as the C-E-C. The CEC teamed up with University of California Cooperative extension in the county, as well as the County Ag Commissioner’s office to look at the issue.

The name of the report is a mouthful: Cultivating Resilience in Ventura County: Protecting Against Agricultural Vunerabilities And Bouncing Forward After Disaster. One of the key parts is looking at how recent brush fires have hit the ag industry, and what can be done to help with future blazes.

Main says they’ve also looked at the human impacts of disasters like fires on ag workers.

She says looking at the bigger, long term issue of climate change, they are developing pilot projects help Ventura County’s ag industry better deal with it.

Main says one of the big hopes coming from this report, and the pilot projects is to turn those efforts into practical, full scale programs.

CEC Report: