Yolo Ag & Food Alliance, launched in 2013, is committed to building a healthy ‘farm to fork’ food system for Yolo County. Its membership is comprised of a balanced representation of interests focused on agriculture, food access, food security and food policy. This balanced membership is the result of the successful merger of two existing organizations, the Yolo Ag Futures Alliance and Yolo Food Connect.
The Yolo Ag Futures Alliance was founded in 2004 to bring together key Yolo County agricultural stakeholders to improve the viability and sustainability of Yolo County agriculture through collaborative problem solving and innovation. The representative stakeholders included rmembers from:
• Production agriculture
• Environmental organizations
• Civic organizations
• Support agencies
Yolo Food Connect was formed in early 2012 to develop coordinated strategic actions to address gaps in the Yolo County food system. Its objectives include:
• Build common understanding among the participants of our Yolo County food system
• Create awareness of Yolo County public food system issues
• Establish a shared sense of the gaps in the Yolo County food system from farm to fork
• Develop a vision and goals for a unified food system
• Develop specific actions to address the gaps
Independently from each other the Yolo Ag Futures Alliance and Yolo Food Connect were each engaged in a process of organizational self-assessment. Each group had come to the realization that gaps in the representation of their membership needed to be filled. The cross-pollination that occurred among members of both organizations inspired collaboration between the two organizations that ultimately resulted in a number of Yolo Food Connect members merging into the Yolo Ag Futures Alliance.
That organizational development afforded an ideal opportunity for the formal reorganization of the newly merged group in 2013. Now dubbed the Yolo Ag & Food Alliance, the partnership has resulted in a more powerful and focused body, able to accomplish broader and deeper goals around regional food policy from farm to fork.