California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) strives to support the tradition of innovation and agricultural diversity by working with private industry, academia and public sector agencies. These partnerships allow the department to adapt public policy to a rapidly changing industry - California agriculture.

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture serves the interest of the state’s diverse agricultural community. As an advisory board to the Governor and the Secretary of CDFA, the board addresses key issues that are of importance to California’s farmers and ranchers, community stakeholders, and citizens.

Craig McNamara is the president of The California State Board of Food and Agriculture. The state board is comprised of fifteen-members, appointed by the Governor, and carefully selected to represent a broad range of agricultural commodities, a variety of geographic regions and both the University of California and California State University academic systems.

State Board Responsibilities

The State Board of Food and Agriculture often acts as a host to bring together local, state, and federal government officials, agricultural representatives and citizens to discuss current issues of concern to California agriculture.

  • Inquire into the needs of the agricultural industry of this state and the functions of the department in relation to such needs, and confer and advise with the Governor and the Secretary as to how the agricultural industry and the consumer of agricultural products may best be served by the department.
  • Make recommendations to the Secretary regarding project agreements to be funded.
  • Make investigations, conduct hearings, and prosecute actions concerning all matters and subjects which are under the jurisdiction of the department.

The term of office of the members of the board is four years. The terms expire on January 15 of each year in the rotation which is presently established. Vacancies shall be filled by appointment for the unexpired term. On February 1 of each year, the Governor shall designate one of the members of the board to serve as president.

Ag Vision 2030

Over the four years, the California State Board of Food and Agriculture has been working on the California Agricultural Vision (Ag Vision) — a process to result in a strategic plan for the future of the state's agriculture and food system. Its motivation was the rapidly growing list of challenges facing agriculture, from regulations and water supplies to urbanization and climate change.

Ag Vision addresses 12 key strategies for California's agriculture and food sector:

  • Improve Access to Safe, Healthy Food for All Californians
  • Ease the Burden of Regulation on Agriculture While Maintaining Health, Safety and Environmental Standards
  • Secure an Adequate Supply of Water for Agricultural Purposes
  • Assure a Strong Labor Force through Fairness to Agricultural Workers and Employers
  • Effectively Detect, Exclude and Control Invasive Species
  • Adopt a Policy of Conserving Agricultural Land and Water Resources
  • Expand Environmental Stewardship on Farms and Ranches
  • Promote Renewable Energy & Substitutes for Fossil-Based Inputs
  • Assure Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change
  • Promote Robust Regional Markets for All California Producers
  • Cultivate the Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers
  • Promote Agricultural Research that Anticipates 21st Century Challenges

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