Preserve Agricultural Land

Enough! I read today that Ventura County wishes to build a jail on 157 acres of agricultural land near Santa Paula. I also recently read that the city of Oxnard hopes to condemn a large parcel of agricultural property for a new school. And, of course, builders constantly hunger for other wonderfully flat, ready-to-build-on pieces of agricultural land in this area. When are our community leaders going to wake up and smell the coffee?

Parts of California are blessed with soil and climate conditions unmatched anywhere else in the country. As a result, California is able to supply the lion’s share of the vegetables and fruit consumed by the rest of the country. Ask any farmer. The Oxnard Plain contains some of the richest, most productive land in California.

Yet, year after year, we continue to pour slabs of cement over this extraordinary topsoil to achieve short-term benefits instead of making greater efforts to build on land that is less productive and, hence, less essential to the long-term well-being of this area, this state and this country.

To the extent that our community leaders make agricultural land the primary target for building projects, they abdicate their responsibilities to us, our children and future generations.