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Vibrant ag economy helps urban areas, planner says

If growers near cities work with local planners so land-use and transportation decisions will help maximize the farms’ profitability, the result will be an improved economy for the region, an official said during a conference. While working with government is “not an arena they normally like to play in unless they have to,” farmers can benefit from the relationships, said David Schabazian, a manager for the Sacramento Area Council of Governments.Schabazian is leading a project called the Rural-Urban Connections Strategy, a nearly decade-long effort to more explicitly include rural areas in the region’s land-use and transportation planning decisions.He said the project has demonstrated to regulators and others that agriculture outside town plays a key role in an urban area’s economy as well as providing environmental benefits such as wildlife habitat and flood control.

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Capital Press