POLICY

We are the voice of sustainable agriculture in California. For over 40 years, we’ve been advocating for state and national policies that create more resilient family farms, communities and ecosystems.

Policies at all levels of government impact farms and ranches everywhere, shaping who has the opportunity to farm, the markets that farmers rely on, and the health of the ecosystems farmers work with. Advocating for policy change presents a unique opportunity to impact the lives of farmers and grow a more equitable and sustainable future for food and agriculture.

HOW IT WORKS:

CAFF collaborates with farmers to create and advance policies that are rooted in their needs, promote economic fairness, strengthen local communities, center justice and equity, and advance environmental sustainability. We work to give voice to family farmers across California, listening to their needs, concerns and aspirations, and speaking up for those often too busy in the field growing our food to do so on their own.

With over four decades of experience in the halls of Sacramento and Washington D.C., together we advocate for policies ranging from food safety regulations to immigration reform, ecosystem protections to the local markets on which our small businesses depend. Local, state and federal policies have the power to help farms thrive, steward our lands and produce healthy food.

STATE: Every year, we weigh in on California legislation, lending our support to bills that promote our mission and our members, opposing those that threaten them, and sponsoring bills of our own to give family farmers a better chance at success. CAFF provides backbone support and is a member of the California Food & Farming Network, which is building a movement centered on racial equity to transform the food and farming system through state policies.

 

NATIONAL: CAFF is an active member of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, working with partners from across the country to advocate for  forward-thinking reform in the halls of D.C., from the Farm Bill to Immigration, giving California communities and farmers a voice in the national debate.

CAFF’s Statewide Policy Committee

CAFF’s Statewide Policy Committee

Steve Sprikel

Farmer, Farmer & The Cook

Ojai, CA
CAFF’s Statewide Policy Committee

Steve Kroes

Policy Consultant & Realtor

Sacramento, CA
CAFF’s Statewide Policy Committee

Rasheed Hislop

Farm to Market Specialist, Central Valley

Fresno, CA
CAFF’s Statewide Policy Committee

Randy Stannard

Farmer, Root 64

Sacramento, CA
CAFF’s Statewide Policy Committee

Nelson Hawkins

Farmer, We Grow Urban Farm

Sacramento, CA
CAFF’s Statewide Policy Committee

Ken Kimes

Farmer, New Natives

Santa Cruz, CA
CAFF’s Statewide Policy Committee

Judith Redmond

Farmer, Full Belly Farm

Guinda, CA
CAFF’s Statewide Policy Committee

Josefina Lara Chavez

Farm to Market Specialist

Monterey County, CA
CAFF’s Statewide Policy Committee

Gowan Batist

Farmer, Fortunate Farm

Capsar, CA
CAFF’s Statewide Policy Committee

George Davis

Farmer, Porter Creek Vineyard

Healdsburg, CA
CAFF’s Statewide Policy Committee

Emma Torbert

Farmer, UC Davis Student Farm

Davis, CA
CAFF’s Statewide Policy Committee

Dawnie Andrak

CAFF Board Chair

Sacramento, CA
CAFF’s Statewide Policy Committee

Cindy Lashbrook

Farmer, Riverdance Farms

Livingston, CA
CAFF’s Statewide Policy Committee

Cheyenne Stone

Big Pine Paiute Tribe

Big Pine, CA
CAFF’s Statewide Policy Committee

Chanowk Yisrael

Farmer, Yisrael Family Farm

Sacramento, CA

Steve Sprikel

Farmer, Farmer & The Cook

Ojai, CA

Steve Kroes

Policy Consultant & Realtor

Steve has spent 30+ years in nonprofit management, public policy research and advocacy, and management consulting. He's also a real estate agent, with a special interest in the Sierra foothills near Sacramento (where he hopes to have his own small farm someday!)
Sacramento, CA

Rasheed Hislop

Farm to Market Specialist, Central Valley

Rasheed is from Brooklyn, NY and found his way to farming as a college student in Oberlin, OH and Ithaca, NY. Rasheed has spent the better part of the past 12 years working in roles within the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, supporting urban farmers and community gardeners. Rasheed holds an MS in International Agricultural Development from UC Davis. Rasheed’s volunteer work centers on uprooting racism in the food system and building power within Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) communities. Rasheed loves bringing people together through food, stewardship, and cultural practices.
Fresno, CA

Randy Stannard

Farmer, Root 64

Sacramento, CA

Nelson Hawkins

Farmer, We Grow Urban Farm

Sacramento, CA

Ken Kimes

Farmer, New Natives

Santa Cruz, CA

Judith Redmond

Farmer, Full Belly Farm

Guinda, CA

Josefina Lara Chavez

Farm to Market Specialist

Josefina was raised in the Salad Bowl of the United States, the Salinas Valley. She has a graduate degree in Public Administration, from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Through her work and volunteerism, she has served communities locally and internationally with social justice, equity, and love being at the root of it all. She is passionate about creating stronger connections between people, and is currently working on getting her farm off the ground.
Monterey County, CA

Gowan Batist

Farmer, Fortunate Farm

Capsar, CA

George Davis

Farmer, Porter Creek Vineyard

Healdsburg, CA

Emma Torbert

Farmer, UC Davis Student Farm

Emma Torbert is the Market Garden manager for the Student Farm and started in September 2020. Before the Student Farm, Emma was one of the founding members of the Cloverleaf Farm, an organic fruit farm, and worked there for 10 years. She received her masters in Horticulture and Agronomy from UC Davis and worked for the Century Project at the Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility for seven years after graduating. She worked on organic farms throughout the US and South America, is committed to creating more equitable land access in the US and dreams of starting a co-housing farm one day.
Davis, CA

Dawnie Andrak

CAFF Board Chair

Sacramento, CA

Cindy Lashbrook

Farmer, Riverdance Farms

Livingston, CA

Cheyenne Stone

Big Pine Paiute Tribe

Big Pine, CA

Chanowk Yisrael

Farmer, Yisrael Family Farm

Sacramento, CA
Pete Price
Sacramento, CA

In Memoriam: In 2020, we lost a friend, devoted CAFF board member and tireless champion in Sacramento fighting for family farms across the state. Pete Price served as CAFF’s legislative representative from 1998 to 2010 and joined the board in 2000 where he chaired the Policy Committee. Working to reform our food and agricultural system, Pete volunteered countless hours, always guided by an unwavering commitment to fairness, justice and sustainability. Learn more about Pete’s Legacy here or, to help us carry on his work here at CAFF, consider making a contribution here in his memory.

TAKE ACTION!

Have you called your elected representative lately? The most useful action you can take on legislation is to call the main office of the legislator you are seeking to influence, in either Sacramento or Washington DC. They’ll be ready to hear your perspective and take notes. Even a handful of calls on a specific bill may influence their vote.

HOW DO I CONTACT MY REPRESENTATIVE?

It’s easy to find out who represents you. Simply click below and enter your street address to access your representative’s website, phone number and address.

When you call, identify yourself as a constituent if you live in the district. Politicians are most interested in the opinions of their own voters. You may be asked for your zip code. (You can still call legislators who are not your personal representative, particularly if you are trying to influence a committee vote.)

You can also send your legislator an e-mail, or you can e-mail the staffer who is responsible for your issue. One call or email per issue and be clear and succinct!

FIND YOUR CALIFORNIA STATE REPRESENTATIVE

FIND YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE

CAFF’s Policy Team

CAFF’s Policy Team

Paul Towers

Executive Director

Building a fair, responsive and democratic organization so California's family farmers can thrive.
CAFF’s Policy Team

Jamie Fanous

Policy Advocate

Working with farmers to create & advance policies rooted in farmer needs, social justice and equity
CAFF’s Policy Team

Dave Runsten

Policy Director

Endeavoring to keep small farmers farming through policy solutions in Sacramento and D.C.

Paul Towers

Executive Director

Paul provides overall organizational leadership at CAFF, including staff management, programmatic strategy, and administrative and financial oversight. He previously worked at Pesticide Action Network North America, is a founder of the California Farmer Justice Collaborative, a founder of the California Food & Farming Network, and has engaged in policymaking and community organizing with agricultural communities for over fifteen years. He is originally from Southern Arizona (Tohono O'odham territory) and rooted in botany and agriculture in Southwestern deserts. Paul studied Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning at University of California - Davis and is a graduate of the Green Corps field school for environmental organizing.
Sacramento, CA (Nisenan territory)

Jamie Fanous

Policy Advocate

Jamie works to advance policies rooted in farmer needs and engage farmers in developing those policies. Jamie has committed nearly 10 years to sustainable food and agriculture systems ranging from on-farm technical assistance, soil health and agriculture policy, to on-farm research and data management. She holds a MS in Agriculture, Food, and Environment, and a MA in Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University. Jamie is committed to developing sustainable agriculture policy rooted in social justice and equity.
Davis, CA

Dave Runsten

Policy Director

Dave directs all of CAFF’s policy work as well as the food safety and water stewardship outreach. Dave is an agricultural economist who conducted research on such topics as contract agriculture in Mexico, fair trade coffee in Oaxaca, regional competitiveness of the produce industry, living wages in Los Angeles, and farm labor in California.