One of the best things about the California Department of Food and Agriculture is the talented group of people who work here. We have dedicated public servants with deep expertise in their chosen fields and a passion for making our state a better place. We are fortunate that many of our senior employees are placed in positions of national leadership. The latest is our State Veterinarian, Dr. Annette Whiteford, Director of Animal Health and Food Safety, who was recently elected Chairman of the Board for the National Institute of Animal Agriculture (NIAA), the first woman ever to serve in that post. Dr. Whiteford will now coordinate efforts with veterinarians and other animal agriculturalists from across the nation, in the public and private sectors, to keep our food supply safe and our animals healthy.
Dr. Whiteford also puts her leadership skills to good use in California, working diligently on the challenging issues that confront our farmers and ranchers. Her position at NIAA not only benefits our state, but also inspires others to reach out to our industry partners to gain valuable knowledge and resources. I congratulate Dr. Whiteford for her achievements, and am grateful that she is a role model for many, including young women considering careers in agriculture or veterinary medicine.