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Why We Need You



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Why We Need You


California Institute for Rural Studies (CIRS) is the only California non-profit with a mission to conduct public interest research that strengthens social justice and increases the sustainability of California's rural communities. 

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It's Not too Late to Donate! 

At California Institute for Rural Studies we believe:

•Farmers and farmworkers should be able to support their families in a healthy environment and with dignity.

•There is power in independent scientific research.

•Farming is essential to civilization.

•All members of our communities have valuable knowledge.

•Collaboration for the common good is essential.

For 38 years we have acted on these values by conducting sound independent research. Below you will see what we did in 2015 and what we plan to do in 2016. Visitor, We hope it motivates you to support our work today. Your donations keep us independent!

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"There is so much interest in food these days and much talk about sustainability in agriculture, but mostly from an environmental vantage. Sustainable agriculture is not possible without a sustainable pool of labor - one that is treated well and paid fairly. Too few of our policy makers seem to understand this but, thankfully, CIRS is working assiduously to change this. Social justice and food security go hand in hand. Thanks to CIRS, more and more influencers are realizing this. CIRS plays an absolutely critical role in linking the massive food supply chain to those on whose backs this system rests. If you eat, you should support CIRS." 

Sanjay Rawal, Director of “Food Chains” documentary film


We’ve been a thought leader on issues that impact our most marginalized rural residents.

"CIRS successfully brings the much-needed voice of disenfranchised men and women working in the food industry to the attention to those who would otherwise not hear about these stories. I appreciate Gail and Sarah's attention to including the various diverse missing narratives that make up the rural food movement.   As a new filmmaker working with African American farmers, CIRS invited me to participate in screening the film trailer of my upcoming documentary.  Since that initial screening two years ago at a CIRS program, the organization has continued to support my work and the work of farmers of color. Thank you and keep up this important work!”  

Dr. Gail Meyers, Co-Founder, Farms to Grow

Gail Myers cropped

We’ve joined in collaborations to improve conditions for low-wage workers in the food system.

We are proud to have CIRS as a member of the Food Chain Workers Alliance. CIRS' research in partnership with farmworkers organizations is a model for everyone everywhere - they conduct research with, not just about, farmworkers. That is so important in lifting up the challenges facing farmworkers and the solutions that they want.

Joann Lo, Co-Director, Food Chain Workers Alliance


We’ve started new projects to shine light on historical issues and how they impact current policy. And we are planning new projects!

“Historically, the California Institute for Rural Studies took on research questions that were too politically controversial for traditional universities in the state to even consider.  Today, CIRS continues this work through programs like the Cal Ag Roots project and as a location for critical studies of food and agriculture in California.”   

Daniel O’Connell, PhD, Co-Director of Food Commons Fresno


Check out our full year-end letter on the Rural California Report and join us today in making sure that rural voices are amplified.

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Thank You for Your Support,

Gail, Michael, Ildi, Sarah & Jaime

at California Institute for Rural Studies

 California Institute for Rural Studies
P.O. Box 1047, Davis, CA 95617


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