importance of energy and agriculture to the community. Highlights: SAGE has posted several recent wins locally. SAGE’s ballot initiative ordinance was approved in Monterey County and San Luis Obispo County creating a new fiscal analysis and economic impact report for all municipal ballot measures. Additionally, SAGE successfully advocated against the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District’s buyout attempt of California American Water’s assets. SAGE is also facilitating the inclusion of rural voices and industry input into the Monterey County Climate Action Plan. SANTA BARBARA COUNTY Organization: EconAlliance About: EconAlliance is a cross- industry nonprofit organization that builds awareness, advocacy, support and appreciation for Northern Santa Barbara County key industries and communities. It manages cross-industry initiatives like (e.g., infrastructure, workforce development) and champions the key industry sectors like agriculture that fuel regional economic vitality. Highlights: EconAlliance routinely facilitates forums, webinars and other activities to advance industry and policymaker understanding of key challenges and opportunities facing Santa Barbara County businesses, including an annual “Growing Possibilities” Ag Forum. The most recent Ag Forum was dedicated to technology and innovation. EconAlliance is also bringing a cross-industry and economic perspective to the ongoing Santa Barbara County Regional Climate Collaborative.

“As a cross-industry organization with agriculture as one of its key industry initiatives, EconAlliance can bring advocacy support to Northern Santa Barbara County issues that impact more than just the ag sector. Its Ag Forums celebrate agriculture, educate policymakers and inspire the public to support local agriculture.” — Philip Adam , Vice President, EconAlliance Board of Directors

IMPERIAL COUNTY Organization: COLAB Imperial (The Coalition of Labor, Agriculture & Business) About: COLAB Imperial, which calls attention to key labor, agriculture and business issues in Imperial County, was formed as an advocacy group to lead the reform of local government. COLAB Imperial supports the protection of property rights; promotes business and job creation; advocates for a fiscally responsible local government; and lobbies for environmental legislation based on sound science. Highlights: Each spring, COLAB Imperial hosts a breakfast for the community to learn about the status of the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) and the County of Imperial. The President of the IID Board and the Chairman of the County of Imperial Supervisors are invited to give presentations to the COLAB board and membership.

By their very definition, trade associations and other industry alliances are based on the philosophy that there is strength in numbers. This is certainly true when referring to the collective voice of members within an individual organization. But it is equally true in the context of the interconnected web of local, state and national groups dedicated to defending family farmers. In an era where consumers and policymakers are increasingly disconnected from the source of their food supply, we cannot afford to be solitary in our work as advocates. Instead, as Mr. Wooden might have coached his players, while we may all have different roles to play, we are teammates in a common endeavor. And winning is the only acceptable outcome.

Shelby Trimm, Executive Director, COLAB



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