WASHINGTON D.C. – A group of 20 federal agency representatives will get a comprehensive look at Southern California agriculture when they participate in the Washington, D.C. Educational Fellowship Program (D.C. Exchange), Sept. 14-21.
The goal of the annual program, organized and hosted by California Agricultural Leadership Program alumni, is to educate regulatory and policy decision makers about California agriculture and foster open communication between them and people in the agricultural industry. More than 650 fellows have participated in the program since it began in 1982.
â€œGovernment officials are making policies and decisions that have an impact on California agriculture, so it is important that they experience agriculture first-hand, see what weâ€™re doing, and really understand our diverse issues,â€ said Ag Leadership alumna Darlene Din.
â€œOur program has been very successful. We have exposed hundreds of fellows to many aspects of the industry, exchanged valuable information and established solid connections.â€
This year, fellows will travel through Imperial, Coachella, San Diego, and Ventura counties. They will visit nearly two dozen agricultural operations and participate in one-on-one talks, expert panels, small group discussions, and days with farm families.
- Sept. 14 (San Diego County): Farmers market; Bamboo Headquarters.
- Sept. 15 (San Diego County): Altmanâ€™s Nursery; Archiâ€™s Acres; Go Green Agriculture; Stehly Farms Organics; Vesper Vineyards.
- Sept. 16 (San Diego and Imperial counties): Egg ranches; Otay Mesa border crossing; Vessey & Company.
- Sept. 17 (Imperial County): Farm Credit Ag Center; Imperial Irrigation District; Imperial County Farm Bureau; Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association; El Toro Export; Ametza.
- Sept. 18 (Imperial County, Coachella Valley, Ventura County): Salton Sea; Hadley Date Gardens; Oasis Date Gardens; Limoneira.
- Sept. 19 (Ventura County): Solimar Farms; McGrath Family Farm; Driscollâ€™s/Reiter Affiliated Companies; Houwelingâ€™s Tomatoes; San Miguel Produce.
- Sept. 20 (Ventura County): Taylor Ranch; Associates Insectary; Agriculture Museum (finale dinner).