March 21 was Ag Day at the Capitol, an annual event showcasing the wide variety of foods and crops produced in our state and the farmers who grow them. The theme of this year’s event was "Know Your California Farmer.” Staff at the Almond Board of California booth gave away over 2,000 snack packs and 1,000 Activity Books. Several Capitol staffers told ABC staff that you can always find a bowl of almonds in the offices of both Secretary Ross and Governor Brown.
The Almond Leadership Program participants traveled to the Capitol on March 22 for a Technical and Regulatory Affairs Committee (TRAC) seminar. The day began with a tour of the Capitol before meeting with regulatory and legislative staff members to discuss issues affecting almonds as well as California agriculture in general. Tom Bohigian, state director for Senator Barbara Boxer, encouraged the participants to make their voices heard by their elected representatives, stressing the importance of building relationships with members and their staffs.
Craig McNamara, president of the California Board of Food and Agriculture, spoke to the leadership participants about the California Agricultural Vision: Strategies for Sustainability program and the importance of compromise when working together to resolve issues. McNamara also encouraged the participants to become active in local boards and organizations to provide leadership to their communities.
The TRAC seminar provided participants with a better understanding of regulatory issues facing the almond industry as well as opportunities for resolving those issues by working within the legislative framework.