California Food Systems in a Time of Change: Budget Reductions, Drought, and Food Insecurity

Presentation by Karen Ross
Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture

Introduced and moderated by Glenda Humiston
Vice President of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources

Monday, November 9, 2015, 12 – 1:15pm
Sutardja Dai Hall, 310 Banatao Auditorium

This event is free and open to the public. Registration highly recommended. Register here.

Secretary Karen Ross will discuss the current state of food systems in California and the far-reaching impacts of today’s agricultural practices. Secretary Ross will highlight her unique insight into how recent budget cuts affect critical food systems, as well as state programs that address the agricultural impacts of California’s severe drought, plans to tackle food insecurity, and more.

Secretary Ross is passionate about fostering the reconnection of consumers to the land and the people who produce their food, and to improving the access of all California citizens to healthy, nutritious, California-grown agricultural products. As a leader in supporting sustainable practices in the agriculture sector, she will comment on her efforts to strengthen partnerships across government, academia, and the nonprofit sector in the drive to maintain and improve environmental stewardship and develop adaptation strategies for the specific impacts of climate change.

Karen Ross was appointed Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture in January 2011 by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. She has deep leadership experience in agricultural issues nationally, internationally, and in California. Prior to joining CDFA, Secretary Ross was chief of staff for U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Before that appointment she served as President of the California Association of Winegrape Growers from 1996-2009, and as Vice President of the Agricultural Council of California from 1989-1996. Before moving to California she served as Director of Government Relations for the Nebraska Rural Electric Association and as Field Representative for U.S. Senator Edward Zorinsky.

Dr. Glenda Humiston, moderator for the event, is the Vice President of the University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Dr. Humiston served President Clinton as deputy undersecretary for natural resources and environment at the USDA from 1998 to 2001. In 2009, she was appointed by President Obama to serve as the California State Director at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development. She earned her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management in 2009 with research focused on U.S. Farm Bill policy.

This event is cosponsored by the Berkeley Food Institute, School of Public Health, and Matsui Center at the Institute of Governmental Studies.