Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

Ag Day Spurs Innovative Outreach Ideas

World's largest school lunch tray on display during Ag DayToday is the annual California Ag Day at the State Capitol, a time to celebrate everything that farmers and ranchers bring to our state, and a time to reach out to people with our story of innovation and success.

It is our responsibility to tell that story with the understanding that it must motviate our younger generations to carry the torch forward with healthy eating habits and, hopefully, the exploration of careers in agriculture. If California is to embrace opportunities and continue to thrive in a future that will include dramatic growth in world food demand, our young people must be encouraged to enter the field.

We’re finding there are some innovative and fun ways to do that. At Ag Day, we will be introduced to the World’s Largest School Lunch Tray, measuring eight-feet by 10-feet and capable of feeding hundreds of children. Serving healthy lunches from the tray symbolizes that nutritious food and school meals are not mutually exclusive, and that’s an important message for our children to internalize.

Another innovative outreach program is happening outside the Ag Day umbrella but is something I’m following with interest. It’s called The Change Game, and it’s a project that encourages young people to work together to understand how our world works and then move as a group to initiate positive changes. The areas of focus include food, as outlined in a fascinating video presentation. This type of effort gives me hope that our next generations will flourish and thrive, and that the human condition will continue to improve for many years to come.

So happy Ag Day! If you’re in the Sacramento-area today, the grounds at the Capitol open to the public at 11:30 am, rain or shine – please stop by!

As we celebrate today, I wish to thank our great farmers and ranchers for making all this possible and express my gratitude to the people of California for helping to build this tremendous legacy of healthy food.

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