June: "Docks to Delta" Crowdrise Campaign in the Final Push, Soil Erosion and Its Impact on Our Future + More

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 In this Newsletter

 Weekly Blog Round Up

"Docks to Delta" Campaign in the Final Push!

US Food Sovereingty Alliance Meeting Recap

Local Food Procurement Webinar

US Social Forum in San Jose

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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Rural California Report Blog Roundup

"Salinas Valley Project Helps Residents Access Clean Drinking Water" by Lynn Graebner, for the California Health Report, and in continued honor of the Year of Soil, a book review, "Dirt: the Ecstatic Skin of the Earth" Provides Poetic, Lyrical Appreciation of Soil" by Alix Blair as well as our feature, below, on "Soil Erosion and Its Impact on Our Future."

All articles are featured on our website in the Rural California Report Blog, and are available there as free downloadable files.
Soil Erosion and Its Impact on Our Future
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by Michael Singer

Humankind is faced with the continuing challenge of sustainably growing sufficient food to feed an ever-growing population. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization citing a United Nations World Population Prospects report predicts that the earth’s population will reach 9.1 billion by the middle of this century.

Much of this growth will be in nations whose populations now suffer from malnutrition or outright starvation. In addition to a growing population, the increase in people will demand more food, more meat, and higher quality food because it will be more urban and wealthier according to FAO. Their estimate is that increased demand will require current food production to rise by 60 percent.

The challenge becomes more acute when it is understood that the land area for growing food is not expanding. Indeed, urban growth onto farmland and loss of arable (farmable) soil by wind and water erosion are reducing the available land area most suitable for farming. More land can be brought into production, but with a potentially high environmental and monetary cost. Continue Reading 

 "Docks to Delta" Campaign in Final Push!


We are in the final days of our "Docks to Delta" Campaign and are so grateful to the more than 60 donors who have helped make this project a reality! We have just 8 days to meet our $10,000 goal-- Can you help us reveal the hidden history of California farming? Please visit our campaign site at: https://www.crowdrise.com/creatingfoodactivists to support the project and share it with friends and family!

As we chug along on this campaign, Ildi has been hard at work making this project come to life-- digging through archives, talking to storytellers from Fresno to Davis to Santa Cruz, figuring out logistics for our live event, honing in on some fascinating moments in California farming history with direct relevance to current debates. Things are coming together really nicely! 

And if you haven't already, you might want to mark your calendars for Saturday, September 26th, when we're hosting theLIVE Docks to Delta round-trip storytelling event on the Capitol Corridor train. Stay tuned-- tickets for the event will be released mid-June, with contributors to the Docks to Delta campaign getting the first crack at tickets. We only have one train car, so tickets are limited! Check out www.cirsinc.org/events for more details.

 US Food Sovereignty Alliance Meeting Recap


This past April CIRS co-executive directors Gail Wadsworth and Michael Courville participated in a meeting of The US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA), which works to end poverty, rebuild local food economies, and assert democratic control over the food system. The meeting took place in Berkeley, CA and was attended by grassroots farming, food, and community organizations from California and across the nation. Our participation in this meeting helped CIRS elevate the importance of fair farm labor and sustainable farming practices within our food system. CIRS will work alongside USFSA allies and partners to promote actions that raise awareness and help end hunger and poverty by building more just food and farm systems everywhere. See the actions and learn more here.

Local Food Procurement 101: Policies and Programs - Free Webinar June 17

Please join PolicyLink for a free webinar featuring key policy advocates and leaders in the field. Speakers will address how these efforts can be expanded and replicated. Food procurement– how and from whom food is purchased – matters when it comes to ensuring the health and well-being for millions of families, workers, and consumers. Local Food Procurement improves access to healthy food for low income families and communities of color and also creates good, quality jobs resulting in significant benefits to workers including increased wealth, quality of life, and purchasing power for food, shelter, and healthcare.

A movement for larger institutional and government buyers to purchase locally, fairly, and sustainably grown healthy food is beginning to build momentum – and these efforts are already helping families gain better access to healthy food, creating quality food system-related jobs, and supporting local entrepreneurship. Cities such as Los Angeles, Oakland, and Chicago and states such as Vermont are leading the way to enact equitable procurement policies that benefit low-income entrepreneurs of color, small family farmers, and sustainable agriculture, while providing consumers access to healthy food.

Hosted by PolicyLink, speakers will include: Allison Hagey, Associate Director, PolicyLink (moderator), Navina Khanna, Fellow, Movement Strategy Center, Alexa Delwiche, Managing Director, LA Food Policy Council and Joann Lo, Co-Director, Food Chain Workers Alliance. Register here.

US Social Forum in San Jose, June 24-28

Happening concurrently in three different locations across the country, The US Social Forum (USSF) is a movement building process. It is not a conference but it is a space to come up with the peoples’ solutions to the economic and ecological crisis. The USSF is the next most important step in the process of building a powerful inter-generational, diverse, inclusive, movement that transforms this country and changes history. The USSF provides spaces to learn from each other’s experiences and struggles, in assemblies and workshops, share our analysis of the problems our communities face, build relationships, and align with others to strategize how to reclaim our world. More information and to register here.

It's Already Getting Hot!

heat risk3


Thank you for your continued support!

Gail Wadsworth &Michael Courville

 Co-Executive Directors,

California Institute for Rural Studies

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


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