The following was written by California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross…
Positive. Productive. Creative, collaborative, cooperative … CDFA staff, from scientists and veterinarians to inspectors and technicians, embody these characteristics as they undertake a variety of projects and programs on behalf of the agriculture industry and the people of the Golden State. A new report, Agriculture Emerging: Balanced Budgets, Big Decisions, Bright Future, is our opportunity to share our recent successes and provide updates on many ongoing efforts.
Agriculture has its share of challenges, starting with the drought. Looking ahead, though, global demand for California’s commodities is on the rise, and food and nutrition are front-and-center in the media and on the minds of consumers. Whether their crops, livestock and other products are headed for the produce aisle, the commodity exchange, international export or the local farmers’ market, California’s farmers are well-positioned to take advantage of these conditions.
Among the most significant changes at CDFA is the department’s addition this year to the governor’s Strategic Growth Council, which also includes agencies and departments within Business, Consumer Services and Housing, Transportation, Natural Resources, Health and Human Services, and Environmental Protection, along with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.
This core group provides local assistance grants and coordinates activities that support sustainable communities by emphasizing strong economies, social equity and environmental stewardship. When diverse agencies embrace these fundamental values and goals, the results are powerful. The inclusion of agriculture in this process is an important step as we embrace the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century.
With Governor Brown’s leadership, the State of California is again on the rise. The budget is balanced. Businesses are getting back on track. Slowly but steadily, confidence is being restored. Throughout this recovery, agriculture has been a steady fixture in the state’s economy.
This report is by no means a full account of the department’s activities, but it does take stock of many of our efforts and achievements over the past few years. Like the farmers we support, CDFA has earned a reputation for innovation and effectiveness. I am proud of the people here who make that possible.