“California is at the cutting edge of innovation within the agriculture sector from water use efficiency to research advancements and product development,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “The careers of the future can be found in the agricultural sector and our universities and businesses are leading the way in supporting a vibrant, high-skilled jobs market.”
On average, California agriculture supports approximately 400,000 on-farm jobs related to crop production, harvesting and overall farming. This does not include the non-farm jobs directly related to agriculture such as transportation, marketing and sales. Nationally it is estimated that more than 16 million jobs are supported through farm and agricultural related activities. As global consumer preferences, food manufacturing and agricultural production continue to evolve, the employment needs of businesses and employee skill-sets will need to change as well.
Invited speakers include: Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, University of California, Davis; Roger Beachy and Josette Lewis, UC Davis World Food Center; Lance Donny, OnFarm; Helene Dillard, Dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis; Chuck Nichols, Nichols Farms; Dave Dever, Sun World; Dr. Tim Conner, Monsanto; Shane MacKenzie, Superior Farms; Jacob Gomez, UC Davis Aggie Ambassadors; Vanessa Alexander, CalPoly Agricultural Ambassadors; and Katie Fyhrie, California Farm Academy participant.
“Technology is making rapid on-farm advances that benefit farmers and farm workers,” said Craig McNamara, president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. “We need to encourage more individuals to see that all facets of agricultural production support highly skilled and technical career paths.”
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.