Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

National Hispanic Heritage Month – Panel of Hispanic Leaders at CDFA

CDFA Undersecretary Christine Birdsong (center) moderates a panel including CDFA Marketing Services Director Kathy Diaz-Cretu (right) and Dr. Everardo Mendes (left), a veterinarian with CDFA’s Animal Health Branch. Dr. Ricardo Gaitan (not pictured) also joined the panel virtually.

National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15) continued this week with CDFA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee hosting a panel of Hispanic leaders working at the California Department of Food and Agriculture. CDFA Undersecretary Christine Birdsong moderated the panel, which included CDFA Marketing Services Director Kathy Diaz-Cretu and two veterinarians with CDFA’s Animal Health Branch, Dr. Everardo Mendes and Dr. Ricardo Gaitan.

They shared stories about their unique paths to CDFA from families originally from Ecuador, Brazil and Mexico, and they spoke about how their public service includes protecting and preserving the varied cultures and backgrounds of California licensees and consumers through their work. They recounted fulfilling assignments like emergency response at California’s fairgrounds, and the inspection of custom slaughterhouses that serve the state’s diverse population by observing and safeguarding religious and cultural practices relating to the preparation of meat and other animal products.

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