One of the perks of my job as Secretary of Agriculture is my annual visit to several of our department’s offices in the Sacramento area. The holidays are a traditional time of giving and my staff at the California Department of Food and Agriculture fully embrace that spirit throughout the season by dreaming up and fulfilling charitable campaigns, “adopting” local non-profit organizations, and showing their support for the annual State Employees Food Drive.
As I made the rounds today and enjoyed holiday snacks with the staff at each of our local facilities, I saw boxes of socks collected for local homeless shelters, bags of pet food for the SPCA, and stockings stuffed with hats, gloves and toothbrushes for a local “Stuff a Stocking, Warm a Heart” campaign. I was also part of a panel judging the staff’s “Can Creations” built with canned goods and other food items donated by the employees. Of course, they all won – perhaps we forgot to mention that there were multiple categories… (Photos of the creations are included in the clickable gallery, below.)
Incorporating Your Work Into Your “Can Creation”: CDFA’s Division of Measurement Standards, who built a working scale from their donated canned goods and other items.
Creativity: the Plant Pest Diagnostics Center’s “California Grown”-themed tree featured an amazing choo-choo train emerging from a tunnel, delivering food to families in need.
Agricultural Pride: a tie between Inspection Services with their “Can You Dig It?” wheelbarrow creation, and Pest Detection and Emergency Projects with their scale model farm entitled “Protecting Farms of All Shapes and Sizes.”
Capturing the Spirit of the Season: Our Animal Health office’s “Peace on Earth” display included a heartfelt presentation filled with warm wishes and an inspiring global message.
Best Use of Farm Animal: “CDFA Gives Back” is our Administrative Services Division’s canned goods creation, which they had to adapt to incorporate “Daisy’s Dream,” a cow sculpture that is part of the Got Milk? campaign’s upcoming Cow Parade art installation around the state.
Best Use of BBQ Baked Beans in a Can Creation: “Canstruction: Keeping Local Families Fed” was the nutrient-packed work of our Office of Information Technology Services and our County Liaison Office.
Thanks to all of you who support charitable organizations during the holiday season and throughout the year. Enjoy these photos of the day’s events, and happy holidays to you and yours!