Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

Visiting CDFA staff for the holidays to share stories, say “thanks”

By Karen Ross, Secretary
California Department of Food and Agriculture

Secretary Ross wishes CDFA’s Center for Analytical Chemistry staff a safe and happy holiday season. More photos below!

One thing I’ve learned in more than a decade as California Agriculture Secretary is that the work we do at CDFA is personal. So many tasks in the modern workplace focus on computer screens and mobile devices – but at CDFA, the core of our work is still person-to-person and often done in the field, or in a lab, a packing house, a border station, or even on the doorstep of a farmer or a resident whose farm or home is part of one of our programs. Many of our expert employees physically touch the plants, produce, animals, and even the insects and microscopic organisms that are central to our work: protecting and promoting agriculture. It takes people, with knowledge, experience and creativity to get it all done.

Our Executive Team tries to visit fields offices, labs and border stations as we travel to different parts of the state for meetings and events. And, at the end of each year, I love to visit our employees at several Sacramento-area worksites during the holidays. It is a good time to share some holiday camaraderie and more importantly a chance to let our stellar employees know how much I appreciate what they do every day, all year long. The talent and the professionalism of our employees continually impresses me. Over and over again, our CDFA staff rises to the challenge, never more evident than in emergency responses like large-scale invasive pest eradications; animal disease outbreaks; food safety incidents; or, natural disasters that require all hands on deck! 

To all CDFA employees throughout every corner of the state, THANK YOU for what you do!  I am so fortunate to work with you.  I wish you all the very best this holiday season and look forward to continuing our work together in 2024 for California’s agricultural community and the great state of California!

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