Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

Agricultural commissioners bring tremendous value in unique partnership with California

Secretary Ross and Department of Pesticide Regulation director Brian Leahy with retiring agricultural commissioners Jim Allan (L) and Tim Niswander.

California’s agricultural commissioners are holding their annual fall conference this week in Sacramento. I was honored to be able to spend some time with them and remind them yet again how much we appreciate the unique partnership we enjoy with them.

Ag commissioners are our secret weapon in a complex, vibrant food production system. They carry out CDFA programs at the local level, assisting with tasks like pest prevention and organic regulation as well as partnering with the state Department of Pesticide Regulation on pesticide enforcement issues. Commissioners also serve as sealers of weights and measures for their counties, adding other essential functions–consumer protections and the regulation of fair commerce–to their roster of duties.

This week’s conference is especially noteworthy for serving as a transition point for two retiring Ag commissioners, Jim Allan of Solano County and Tim Niswander of Kings County. Together they have nearly 25 years of experience leading their counties, and a great deal more time working in local agriculture. I wish to congratulate both men on their retirements. Although they will be missed greatly, I have confidence that their successors will do an excellent job, having come through the same system that has produced many fine Ag commissioners over the years.

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