We should not forget that our region’s agricultural activities came long before today’s bedroom community mentality. Placer County residents need to understand the rights and economic realities of our farmers. Agricultural zoning provides legal rights to farming, whether to raise livestock for meat or milk, alpacas for wool, grapes for wine, vegetables or flowers. These efforts are all farming, and like any business, farming needs to be profitable. However, small farms are struggling to compete with corporate agribusiness. Thus, small farms are rightfully diversifying their business plan. Activities such as farm dinners, classes, weddings, and farm stays are a proven way for small farms to survive. If managed properly, these activities can provide economic success to local farms and this county.
Profitable farms are the only way to retain what is left of our rural and agricultural character. Farmland comprises less than 15% of Placer County, and it is quickly disappearing to suburban development. Successful farms combat suburban sprawl because they are less likely to sell out to developers. So take your pick, some farm events and visitors or Walmart and a sea of homes with hundreds of residents and cars 365 days a year.
Ramona Brockman, Loomis