Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

12 Days of Gratitude with Secretary Ross – Day #12, gratitude for scientific advancements

A term we like to use around CDFA is ‘evidence-based science.’  While its meaning is self-explanatory, we see it as something that checks the boxes of the scientific method and provides advancements to agriculture.

Scientists are a linchpin of our agency, working in a number of capacities across our many programs, including our excellent laboratories.  Scientists have the ability to examine microscopic insect DNA in CDFA’s ongoing invasive species program, and they maintain extensive exotic bug collections. We also have scientists working in a chemistry lab to evaluate pesticide residues, pesticide products, and fertilizing materials to make sure that produce in the marketplace complies with EPA tolerance standards for safety, and that consumers have confidence in products they purchase and apply. 

When alternative fuels and electric vehicles arrived in California, scientists from CDFA’s Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) worked to make sure that changing units of measurement were equitable to consumers; and when Uber and Lyft brought their ride-sharing services to California, DMS scientists worked with them to make sure that their technology for fares was equitable.

Our scientists in the Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation are dedicated to helping farmers and ranchers reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as conserving energy and water. They work closely with our sister agencies on GHG reduction programs funded by California Climate Investments and other mechanisms, including matching funds from grant recipients.

Many of the scientists in our Division of Animal Health and Food Safety Services are veterinarians, and they do all they can to prevent foreign animal diseases from becoming established in our state – for example, Virulent Newcastle Disease from one of our earlier segments in this series.

And scientists in our Division of Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services have brought cutting edge solutions to the science of pest prevention, with examples being sterile insect programs for the Mediterranean and Mexican fruit flies, and biological control of the Asian Citrus Psyllid.

I am grateful for everything our scientists do at CDFA, and I appreciate your interest in our 12 Days of Gratitude. Happy holidays and all the best in 2021!

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