“Pollinators are a critical environmental component of our farming system and contribute greatly to the diversity of products that California produces,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Issues that impact the pollinator community also impact agriculture and we need to be responsive to these issues for the benefit of both sectors.”
In 2006, in widely publicized report by the National Academy of Science, it was concluded that direct evidence exists to show the decline of some pollinator species in North America. Since that time a variety of partnerships have come together to research, educate and promote beneficial pollinator practices among farmers and ranchers. The board meeting on April 1st will bring together academics, agricultural representatives, and environmental stakeholders to discuss the current status of pollinator issues within California.
Invited speakers include: Bill Lewis, California State Beekeepers Association; Dr. Claire Kremen, Berkeley Food Institute, UC Berkeley; John Miller, Miller Honey Farms; Gordon Wardell, Project Apis m.; Gabriele Ludwig, Almond Board of California; Renee Pinel, Western Plant Health Association; Richard Bireley, California Department of Pesticide Regulation; Dr. Amrith Gunasekara, California Department of Food and Agriculture; and Duane Schnabel, California Department of Food and Agriculture. Other invited speakers include representatives from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Pollinator Partnership, and the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr., Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis.
“As a farmer I know firsthand the importance of pollinators to the environment and our farm,” said Craig McNamara, president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. “Farming is a beneficial activity for native and managed pollinators and underscores the importance of agriculture in our landscapes.”
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 representative and citizens to discuss current issues of concern to California agriculture.