Local/Regional Focus for AFA

The Ventura County Ag Futures Alliance will be exploring the local and regional food systems as their next topic. In a series of posts over the next few days, I’ll try to layout some ground work for this effort. Of course, the opinions here are mine, and may or may not be completely reflected in the group’s work.

First off, I’ll acknowledge the obvious: There is a lot of attenton to this issue right now. Michael Pollan is now seen as a celebrity (and in some circle’s a prophet) for his writing on food issues. What role is there for regional models in the context of Ventura County and California’s central coast? Would a shift toward more regional (and presumably “sustainable”) food production make a big difference here? What would that look like? How would it transform the agricultural economy of this area?

I’ll look at a couple of subtopics:

How “mainstream” is “mainstream Ventura County agriculture”? 

How relevant to Ventura County are the common critiques of the “industrial food system?”

How much food “should” be local?

Can the success of a handful of small farms make a meaningful differrence to our $1.5 B farm economy, or will the whole system need to be recreated?

I may regroup, rephrase  or add to these questions as I go… this blog is a working draft.

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