Santa Barbara County Ag Pass Program and Training Available
Santa Barbara County’s Ag Pass program provides firefighters, California Highway Patrol officers, Sheriff’s deputies and law enforcement officers with a means of identifying vetted commercial growers and their employees during wildfires or similar disasters.
Agriculturalists who possess an Ag Pass may potentially be given limited emergency access to their farm/ranch in order to protect or care for agricultural assets and/or to help provide emergency personnel with information such as identifying access roads or water points. The Ag Pass is not meant to give personnel access to the agricultural property to conduct normal agricultural operations during a wildfire or emergency. It is important to note that cardholders are not permitted to fight fires or act as a first responder during a disaster. It also does not necessarily mean a card holder will be able to pass through road closures to get to their farm unless emergency personnel determine there is no imminent risk.
No more than three individuals from an agricultural operation are eligible to obtain an Ag Pass. In order to be eligible, the following criteria must be met:
- Property must be located in the State Responsibility Area of Santa Barbara County. A map is available here.
- Operation must be a commercial agricultural enterprise or property used for conducting agricultural research or instruction by an educational institution.
- Property must be zoned agricultural and comprise a minimum of 40 acres.
- Applicants must be key personnel who have a working knowledge of the agricultural property (irrigation systems, farm equipment, essential infrastructure).
- Applicant and employer must sign a waiver and release
In order to obtain an Ag Pass, the interested party must complete a training session that focuses on emergency procedures and their role as an Ag Pass cardholder. The next Santa Barbara County Ag Pass training session will take place on July 7 from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the SBC Office of Emergency Management located at 4408 Cathedral Oaks Road, Santa Barbara.