Episode #640 – A Salute to Farmers and Farmworkers With Secretary of California Department of Food and Agriculture, Karen Ross

This week’s show takes listeners beyond the grape as David welcomes a real heavyweight to the program, California’s  Secretary of California Department of Food and Agriculture, Karen Ross.

Before moving to California, Secretary Ross worked for a United States Senator, a presidential candidate, and in government relations for rural electric cooperatives and public power districts. After settling in California, she served as President of the California Association of Winegrape Growers from 1996-2009 and also as Vice-President of the Agricultural Council of California.

Before joining CDFA, Secretary Ross was chief of staff for U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a position she accepted in 2009.  She was initially appointed Secretary of the Dept. of Food and Agriculture by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2011.  She was again appointed Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture in 2019 by Governor Gavin Newsom. 

Secretary Ross’ love of food and agriculture began as a 4-H kind growing up in Nebraska.  Today, she is passionate about fostering the reconnection of consumers to the land and the people who produce their food, and improving the access of all California citizens to healthy, nutritious California-grown agricultural products, celebrated for their diversity and abundance in serving local, national and global markets.  The scope of the California Agriculture market is truly mind-boggling and you’re going to get a crash course on today’s episode of Grape Encounters!

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