California State Board Of Food And Agriculture To Discuss Farm Labor, Rural Job Development And Workforce Training Needs

Sacramento, Calif., (March 31, 2017) – The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will discuss agricultural labor issues, rural job development and opportunities for career technical education at its upcoming meeting on April 4th in Sacramento.  Over the next 5-10 years on-farm automation and research will impact the agricultural sector – creating a need for rural job development and technical training for farm workers in communities across the state. The meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street – Main Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 95814.

“Immigration policy, labor shortages and higher costs are drivers of change on farms, dairies and processing plants,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Beyond the acute labor shortages of today, the innovation of farmers, ranchers and rural communities requires investment in automation and research to meet the workforce training and skills development needs of the next decade and sustain the vitality of the agricultural economy.”

Invited speakers include: Dan Torres, Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.; Dr. Phil Martin, University of California, Davis; Dr. Glenda Humiston, University of California; Dr. Sandra Witte, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology; Rick Tomlinson, California Strawberry Commission; Hank Giclas, Western Growers; Jennifer Hernandez, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency; Tim Rainey, California Workforce Development Board; and Marco Lizarraga, La Cooperativa Campesina.

“Automation is a trend we cannot ignore,” said President Craig McNamara, California State Board of Food and Agriculture. “We need to ensure that the proper measures and opportunities, including retraining, are in place so that our agricultural communities can continue thriving.”

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the governor and the CDFA secretary on agricultural issues and consumer needs. The state board conducts forums that bring together local, state and federal government officials, agricultural representatives and citizens to discuss current issues of concern to California agriculture.

All meetings are open to the public and attendance is welcome.

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