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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Steve Lyle, CDFA Public Affairs (916) 654-0462,

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #15-017
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Meetings on March 31st and April 1st

SACRAMENTO, March 26, 2015 – The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will focus on agricultural trade and workforce immigration issues at its upcoming meetings in Tijuana (March 31st) and San Diego (April 1st).  California is the largest agricultural producer and exporter in the nation and these meetings will focus on agricultural trade as well as cross-border cooperation with Mexican counterparts on agricultural immigration issues.

The Board’s meeting on Tuesday, March 31st will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the World Trade Center in Tijuana. Invited speakers include representatives from the Mexican Secretariat of Agriculture (SAGARPA), the National Service for Agro-Alimentary Public Health and Safety (SENASICA), and the Baja California Secretariat of Agricultural Development (SEFOA). Other invited participants include representatives from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, agricultural farm worker organizations (CDM and ProDESC), as well as cross-border produce shippers.

“California and Mexico share a strong commitment to further cooperation on issues related to cross-border trade and farm worker issues,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Trade is vital not only for our national and state economies, but also for the livelihood of our shared agricultural workforce, farming communities and export related jobs in major cities.”

The meeting on Wednesday, April 1st will be held at the San Diego Regional Water Resource Control Board from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will continue the trade and workforce/immigration theme. Invited speakers for the April 1st agenda include: Ambassador Darci Vetter, Chief Agricultural Negotiator for Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (via teleconference); representatives from the Almond Board of California, the California Milk Advisory Board, Sunkist Growers, CCOF Certification Services, and the Wine Institute. Other invited speakers who will focus on workforce issues include representatives from Western Growers, Sierra Cascade Nursery, Scaroni Family Companies, Tanimura and Antle, and West Coast Tomato Growers.

“California agriculture would not be what it is today without the hard work and dedication of our farmers and farm workers,” said Craig McNamara, president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. “Improving an antiquated immigration system, that benefits farm workers as well employers is critical and well past its time.”

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.

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814