When Liya Schwartzman is not providing technical assistance to farmers, she’s advancing California FarmLink’s solutions to support farmers with their land tenure. As FarmLink’s most senior regional staff member, Liya’s leadership and enthusiasm is vital for training new staff and helping colleagues stay up-to-date on resources for land lease and purchase agreements.
While Liya is based at the FarmLink office on Capitol Mall in Sacramento, her impact reaches well beyond California’s version of the “Beltway.” Now she’s truly experiencing the DC Beltway with an appointment to serve on the USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers, where she represents beginning farmer and rancher assistance organizations on the behalf of FarmLink. The committee’s purpose is to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on strategies, policies, and programs that enhance opportunities for new farmers and ranchers.
Reflecting on what she plans to share with the committee, Liya said, “During this important intergenerational transition in American agriculture, I hope to shed light on the challenges facing next generation farmers and ranchers, share solutions to improve our systems of support, and ensure a successful future for food producers and food security for our communities.”
Liya appreciates the opportunity to build bridges among a wide variety of federal, state, private sector, and nonprofit stakeholders working to support beginning farmers and ranchers. Liya is also part of a group of land access trainers from across the country who helped American Farmland Trust create its Farmland Information Center, which is one result of AFT’s Farmland for the Next Generation project.
By serving on the committee, she’s leading not only with her experience in the field, but also FarmLink’s values and principles, starting with equitable access to opportunity in California food and agriculture. “I look forward to supporting the farmers and ranchers we serve and sharing FarmLink values with the Secretary during this two year appointment,” she said when her appointment was confirmed earlier this fall.
If you have questions or suggestions for California FarmLink’s representation on the committee, reach out to share your thoughts and priorities.
[Photos: Liya Schwartzman]