The Mission RCD was organized on September 14, 1944 as the Middle San Luis Rey Soil Conservation District by landowners in North San Diego County, California. The District was created in response to a statewide movement to establish local agencies to advance soil conservation efforts and formation of the district was initiated by local farmers and ranchers. In the early years of the District, the main focus was on storing runoff water, preventing erosion on dry-farmed grain and bean land, and protecting level land along rivers and streams. In 1971, the District was renamed the Mission Resource Conservation District to reflect a broader focus on the conservation of soil, water, and other natural resources.
Originally, there were 15 RCDs in San Diego County. However, reduced tax revenue available to local agencies from the passage of Proposition 13, coupled with changes in land use and population growth beginning in the 1970s, led to a consolidation of 13 smaller RCDs representing specific communities (e.g., Borrego, Julian, Lakeside, Penasquitos, Valley Center, and others). Today, Mission RCD is one of three RCDs in San Diego County, and along with Upper San Luis Rey RCD, one of two remaining original RCDs in the County.
Over the past 78+ years, farming methods and land use patterns in the district have changed significantly with farming in North San Diego County shifting from non-irrigated crops to irrigated orchards, row crops, and horticultural and nursery crops. Today, our district includes the greatest number of farms in San Diego County, including many small and organic farms, and remains the heartbeat of San Diego County’s agricultural sector.