The Napa Agriculture (Ag) Preserve turns 50 years old in 2018 thanks to the farmers, vintners and residents who saw the value of an agrarian future for their valley.
The 1968 view of Napa County was that of farmland supporting beef, prunes, walnuts and “a few grapes,” according to Ginny Sims who served as Napa County Supervisor from 1973-1976. Residents had seen the disappearance of orchards and agriculture in favor of homes and businesses in nearby communities. Many citizens of Napa County traveled to work at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, the area’s largest employer at the time. Population projections showed the need for increased housing and infrastructure upgrades for this bedroom community environment.
A group of farmers and vintners had other ideas for Napa County in the form of a proposal for an agricultural preserve, limiting the use of land in the Napa Valley.