CDFA Internship Program – Apply Now!

Now is the time to consider an internship at CDFA, and with it an opportunity to be part of an agency that supports one of the greatest food production systems in the world.

With 80,500 farms and ranches, California agriculture is a $50 billion dollar industry that generates at least $100 billion in related economic activity. CDFA’s mission is, “To serve the citizens of California by promoting and protecting a safe, healthy food supply; and enhancing local and global agricultural trade through efficient management, innovation, and sound science; with a commitment to environmental stewardship.”

CDFA strives to support innovation and agricultural diversity. One way to support these efforts is through working with future generations of agriculturalists. The CDFA Internship Program is designed for college students of all majors and backgrounds who have an interest in agriculture, California government, and public service. Internships are for students looking to gain a better understanding of California agriculture, as well as the role CDFA has among the state’s agricultural systems. Internships are available in a variety of divisions within CDFA.

Internships are available to students year-round and generally last 10-16 weeks. Students should be available for at least 8 — 10 hours per week, up to 30 hours per week, depending on the internship offered.

Prerequisites may include:

Read more here

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Virulent Newcastle Disease update – USDA Shifts Emergency Funds to Address Disease in California

USDA secretary Sonny Perdue is making available an additional $45 million to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and its partners to address the ongoing virulent Newcastle disease (VND) outbreak in Southern California.  This funding will allow APHIS and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to strengthen their joint efforts to stop the spread of this disease and prevent it from affecting additional commercial flocks. 

“Virulent Newcastle disease is a serious concern for our nation’s poultry industry and we need to step up our response in order to keep this disease out of additional commercial flocks,” said Greg Ibach, USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.  “At this point, the trade impacts of this outbreak are minimal because APHIS has negotiated agreements with many countries to promote the principle of regionalization, or limiting trade restrictions to areas affected by outbreaks rather than entire States or the entire country.  However, if VND were to spread into additional commercial flocks – in California or other states – the impacts could increase substantially.”

“I want to thank Secretary Perdue and USDA for making additional resources available to fight this highly-contagious poultry disease,” said Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.  “The strong partnership between USDA and CDFA, local government, industry and homeowners is the united stand we need.   With everyone’s full effort we can eradicate this disease, just like we did in 2003.”

It is vital that USDA and CDFA put more responders on the ground to increase surveillance and detection in backyard flocks; ensure rapid euthanasia of likely-exposed birds; implement wider mandatory surveillance on commercial farms and help ensure that they are enhancing biosecurity in light of the increased threat; and increase outreach to backyard flock owners. 

USDA will also work with CDFA on several steps to strengthen the response and prevent additional disease spread.  These include:

  • Ensuring any poultry, poultry products and poultry materials that move out of affected areas will be done with a permit;
  • Enforcing the quarantines and mandatory fallow periods for backyard locations to ensure the disease is eliminated before new birds are allowed onsite; and
  • Rapid euthanasia of likely-exposed birds.

The $45 million USDA will use for these efforts is being reallocated from emergency funds transferred to USDA, but not used during the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak response in 2014-2015.  USDA will routinely reassess this plan and readjust tactics as needed. The goal remains to rid Southern California of VND, while protecting the rest of the country’s poultry from the disease. 

Link to CDFA’s VND information page

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Sacramento Farm Day puts kids in touch with Agriculture

California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross (background) takes part in a presentation at the “California Food on My Plate” booth.

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross joined in the “Sacramento Farm Day” festivities today, hosted by the California Farm Bureau Federation. The event,  presented by the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, brings in about 1,000 students and teachers who rotate through several stations to learn about agricultural subjects ranging from pollinators and nutrition to raising livestock and maintaining the health of our soils.

Raley’s partners with the event, providing lunch for the students through the company’s Food for Families program. The Dave Joerger Foundation (coach of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings) also supports Farm Day, and Coach Dave came out to make the rounds with Secretary Ross and Farm Bureau Administrator Jim Houston.

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Video – a look back at Ag Day 2019

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Student authors of Ag stories honored in Sacramento

CDFA undersecretary Jenny Lester Moffitt (back row, second from left) appears at an event honoring student authors with Ag stories published in this year’s edition of “Imagine This,” which was released this week. The annual publication is presented by the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (CFAITC). Joining Undersecretary Moffitt are CFAITC board member and Sacramento restauratuer Bobbin Mulvaney (far left), CFAITC executive director Judy Culbertson, and board member Rick Phillips of JR Simplot. More information about the students and their stories is available here.
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California Agriculture Day at the Capitol: photo highlights

Happy Ag Day! The California Department of Food and Agriculture hosts Agriculture Day at the Capitol each Spring in partnership with California Women for Agriculture and the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.

This year’s theme was “Centennial Celebration: 100 Years of Agriculture Leadership” commemorating the 100th anniversary of the creation of CDFA by the California Legislature, as well as the centennials of many other agricultural organizations.

Ag Day is an annual celebration recognizing California’s agricultural community by showcasing the bounty of crops and commodities produced in our state. It is also a day for farmers and ranchers to show their appreciation by bringing together state legislators, government leaders and the public for agricultural education.

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Bring Your Child to Work Day adds to Ag Day festivities

In addition to Ag Day 2019, today is also Bring Your Child to Work Day at CDFA. Secretary Ross greeted the children of agency employees and read from the book, “You Stole My Name,” about living things that share names but are quite different otherwise. The pages shown are called ‘ChickenHawk.’

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Ag Day today – Rain or Shine!

Join us today on the west side of the State Capitol, rain or shine, for Ag Day 2019! The grounds are open to the public from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.
CDFA Secretary Karen Ross was at the Capitol this morning for set-up and was interviewed by Sacramento’s own “Produce Man,” Michael Marks, for Channel 31’s Good Day Sacramento program. Marks is serving as emcee for today’s event.

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Secretary Ross meets young farmers and ranchers group visiting for Ag Day

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross today at agency headquarters with the Allen Hancock College Young Farmers and Ranchers Club, from Santa Barbara County. The group is in town for Ag Day festivities tomorrow at the State Capitol and has scheduled a series of meetings with state leaders. Secretary Ross: “It was great to meet so many enthusiastic young people and hear about their aspirations in agriculture. My congratulations to them, to Allen Hancock College, and to the Farm Bureau for organizing the first college-level young farmers and ranchers club in California!”

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Ag Day 2019 tomorrow!

Please join us on the west side of the State Capitol tomorrow for Ag Day 2019, rain or shine! The grounds are open to the public from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. Here’s a look back at Ag Day last year!

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