CVCWA Encourages Valley Residents to Join Chapter

Written By: Monique Bienvenue; Cal Ag Today Communications Manager

With the California Women for Agriculture recently celebrating its 40th anniversary, it’s no surprise that the Central Valley Chapter (CVCWA) is taking initiative to recruit new members.

“The CWA has been an integral part of my life,” said Central Valley Co-President Jane Bedrosian. “I may not have been present at the last Statewide Meeting in San Luis Obispo, but I saw renewed excitement about the CWA on the faces of the ladies who did get to go. I want to help share that excitement about agriculture with our friends and neighbors here in the Central Valley.”

The CWA is a statewide organization dedicated to bringing women together to “speak on behalf of agriculture in an intelligent, informative, direct and truthful manner.” Beginning in 1975, the CWA has been an instrumental organization in shedding positive light on what the agriculture industry is all about. From planning community events, speaking to politicians in Sacramento and promoting agriculture education – CWA members are determined to bridge the gap between agriculturalists and those removed from the industry.

“There is power in numbers,” said Central Valley Co-Presdient Marlene Miyasaki. “I believe that the stronger our presence is in our community, the easier it will be for us to inform others of the hard work necessary to provide food for the world.”

With 18 CWA chapters located throughout the state, there are ample opportunities for women to become advocates for agriculture within their communities. And the kindred spirit doesn’t end there; various statewide meetings are held annually, bringing together hundreds of CWA members from all over California.

The CVCWA has approximately 30 active members, but is looking to expand its membership. With issues like the California Drought and Immigration Reform currently taking the Central Valley by storm, agriculture literacy has never been more crucial.

The CVCWA is planning to make an appearance at the World Ag Expo in Tulare and Farm and Nutrition Day in Fresno; they are also currently working with Fresno County 4-H for other community events.

For more information about the CWA and its many chapters, click here.


World Ag Expo Offers $3,000 Grand Prize for Video Contest

By: Monique Bienvenue; Cal Ag Today Social Media Manager/Reporter

World Ag Expo is calling for video submissions to tell the story of agriculture for a chance to win $3,000. The contest will focus on the theme, “Where Would We Be Without Farmers?”

Entrants are asked to tell the story of agriculture and the people who work to provide the products we enjoy. Entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges. The top videos will be posted at and the public will vote for their favorites beginning in December 2014.

“Farmers play an integral role in every part of our lives,” said Jerry Sinift, chief executive officer of the International Agri-Center. “We’re asking for talented individuals to portray the connection between farmers and the world they feed and clothe.”

The winner will be announced on January 30, 2015 and awarded the $3,000 cash prize. The top video will be posted on World Ag Expo’s website; will play during the show, February 10-12, 2015 in Tulare, California and the winner will be recognized at World Ag Expo.

To enter, upload your video to your own YouTube or Vimeo account and complete the online entry form on the World Ag Expo website. Videos must be at least 30 seconds long and may not exceed six minutes. Anyone of any age is eligible to enter. All videos must be submitted by December 1, 2014. Visit for full rules and online entry form.

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross talks with students at Chico State

Source: Excerpted from Heather Hacking, ChicoER News; posted by CDFA

California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross spoke to students at the California State University, Chico Farm on Tuesday.

Ross was in Chico as guest speaker at the Chico Rotary Club and she toured the University Farm before meeting with students and local ag leaders.

“We need to reconnect farmers with consumers and create an ag-literate populace,” said Ross.

One student asked about a recent proposal by the governor to eliminate grant funding for FFA agriculture education.

Ross said students can send a powerful message; those in the FFA blue jackets can and should stand up at school board meetings and talk about the importance of investing in youth.

“What about conflicting messages that come from various sectors of agriculture?” asked Dave Daley, an instructor at Chico State.

Ross said there is room for many different segments of the food industry — organic and conventional and all the variations in between.

“Consumers want assurance that they have a choice,” said Ross. “Having many different markets also provides opportunities for producers.”

For students wondering which direction to go with after college, Ross encouraged young people to consider careers with CDFA and USDA.

“Many people are at retirement age,” Ross said. “A fresh workforce is welcome.”

"CDFA Secretary Karen Ross talks with students at CSU Chico" -ChicoER News
“CDFA Secretary Karen Ross talks with students at CSU Chico” -ChicoER News

For any ag producers, it’s important to be able to communicate and to clearly express themselves through writing, she added.

The stories of the farm cannot be told in 140 characters, the length of one Twitter entry, and the ability to communicate science to non-farmers will become increasingly important.

Ross also noted that farming has always included adaptation; as the world population increases and open land decreases, improvements to farming will continue.