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California Revamps State Agriculture Committee

California Revamps State Agriculture Committee

As the nation’s number one agricultural producer and exporter, California’s agricultural policy has always influenced what goes on in the rest of the country. Recent changes to the old California Senate Agriculture Committee will see if this trend continues as the state works to become a leader in creating a sustainable farm system.

On January 13, 2009, the California Senate Agriculture Committee was renamed the Committee on Food and Agriculture. And its leaders announced that it will no longer focus solely on grower and food producer issues, but also on larger consumer-focused issues including sustainability, food safety and farm animal welfare.

The reorganized committee represents a new vision that recognizes the need to protect natural resources at the same time it has to feed a growing population. It also brings a new focus on agriculture’s role in developing sustainable communities that support healthy lives and healthy communities.

The biggest change that this committee brings is the recognition that consumers have thus far not been given a voice in Sacramento. For too long, only producers and those in the industry dominated the state’s agricultural policy.

The Committee is led by Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez who outlines the new committee’s agenda on its new web site. “It was my goal, when reorganizing the Food and Agriculture Committee, to create the first ever forum where consumers and policy makers can discuss the fundamental topics of food safety, sustainable farming, animal welfare, and food security,” he wrote.

One change addressing the food security issue will be the inclusion of urban legislators on the committee, which has historically been made up of rural members. This is in response to the recognition that most urban residents need increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

As part of the goal to include consumer input, over the next year, the Food and Agriculture Committee will be holding a series of public hearings across the state and are seeking public input as they prepare for these hearings.

That’s why they have created a new website http://www.californiasafefood.com/ that provides both information on the committee’s change but also encourages public input on policy issues ahead of the public hearings. Those interested can sign up for email newsletters and updates on upcoming hearings, or post on the message board.

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2 comments

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7:42AM PST on Feb 10, 2009

Another issue that MUST stop... Foreign countries buying public lands, or properties for sale? Now I only heard this this am, but I intend to investigate further. Bush & co already sold our freedoms and reaganomics and mandatory drug laws coincidently right when the federal alphabet decided they could NOT resist the millions, countless events have happened that main media does NOT inform us, like the CIA pilot crashing the plane with 40 tons of cocaine on it? Or the CIA agent's wife busted trying to sneak it in through customs? Then they sell it to our kids/people and the ones that LIVE? Get ALL their american rights stripped from them this way the christian coalition's tax free monies to officials ensures that the youth can never change any of the hypocrisies, never run for office, even get a decent job. I don't believe when our for-fathers and mothers put the word FELON into the rule of law in OUR country, a FREE country... I don't believe they meant for making INSTA-felons out of all of our youth/people, just like jefferson predicted that our children will be homeless in the country their fathers and mothers conquered if we ALLOWED banksters and corporate gangsters to control our currency and properties? Sure enough america's children are going to be homeless and starving if americans don't start changing careers, grow food, as ALL things u grow has monetary value, so grow and grow ! Best to all, never stop fighting for america's FREEDOM of religion! Teach ur kids trut

7:02AM PST on Jan 30, 2009

I'm sure this has something to do with the United Nations Agenda 21 sustainable development. It looks good on the outside but its not good.Check out Santa Cruz California.Eventually they'll put in stakeholders in and these people will not be voted into their positions.Then they'll tell you you can't cut shrubery brush and so on.They'll slime their way into your local community and lie if they have to. We need the UN out of the USA.

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