What Does Calaveras County Offer Farmers and Ranchers?


Ironstone Vineyards, Murphys.

Calaveras County offers many advantages to those who are interested in farming and ranching in the County. One important advantage is that land is available and reasonably priced. Other advantages include varied soil, abundant water, great growing climates and a locally supportive community.

 

The environment is excellent for organic farming. This is because the County does not have a long history of intensive agriculture; therefore, much of the soil is pristine.

Varied Soil and Abundant Water

The County is fortunate to have varied soil strata. This allows for a wide variety of crops to be grown.

Abundant and clean water is highly desirable for various types of agriculture. As one of the twenty-seven original California counties, Calaveras has plenty of water rights held in reserve by the State Water Resources Control Board. These rights include the Mokelumne and Stanislaus Rivers, both of which define the northern and southern borders of the county.

Great Growing Climate

Most of the County basks under a Continental Mediterranean climate. Other than the cooler high elevation regions, the County experiences mild winters and warm springs with plenty of rain, and transitions to hot summer days with cool nights. This climate offers a magnificent environment for growing wine grapes, fruit trees, vegetables, grains, olives and a wide variety of other commercial and residential crops.

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Supportive Local Government

The County Board of Supervisors is protective of agricultural land and openly encourages a robust agricultural base. This is evident by the inclusion of an agriculture/forestry element in the general plan. Additionally, the County government is zoning-friendly to agriculture. As further evidence of public sector support, the County actively enforces the Right to Farm Ordinance.

The Agricultural Commissioner is also very active in the community. The Commissioner’s office works closely with the agriculture community, the Farm Advisor and other agencies. The Commissioner was also instrumental in forming an Agriculture Coalition. This highly respected group, which often speaks in one voice, is composed of representatives from the four major agricultural organizations. They meet frequently to discuss common concerns and to successfully problem-solve issues facing them and their industry.

Supportive Local Community

The local residents are proud of their agricultural businesses and appreciate the importance of the industry to the County’s identity and economy. The residents, businesses and tourists support the industry by buying locally. They also encourage active and vibrant agricultural tourism.

Visitors from all over the globe enjoy wine-tasting at the more than 20 wineries scattered throughout the foothills. Additionally, several of the local communities offer seasonal, certified farmer’s markets; no limit on the number of farmer’s markets was placed by County ordinances at the time of publication, and no farmer’s market administrative use permit fees were assessed.

Alpacas