SACRAMENTO – California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr. and the Buy California Marketing Agreement have named veteran marketing executive Ralph A. Watts as Chief Executive Officer of Buy California. The marketing agreement, which is a partnership between government and industry, is intended to promote consumption of California’s agricultural products.
Watts has extensive experience in advertising and marketing, including 14 years at the helm of the California Milk Advisory Board, where he oversaw the rollout of the widely known Milk: It Does A Body Good campaign.
“Buy California will expand the market for California’s agricultural commodities,” said Secretary Lyons. “Ralph Watts possesses an ideal blend of experience, creativity and team-building that will be necessary to guide this program that evolved out of Governor Davis’ efforts to bolster California’s agricultural economy.”
According to Kathleen Nave, president of the California Table Grape Commission and Chair of the Buy California Marketing Agreement, the industry groups that have signed on as participants in the new program are looking forward to working with Mr. Watts. “With Ralph as CEO of Buy California, we expect to create a world class marketing campaign, one that ties retail and foodservice promotion to consumer education in a way that sets new standards for effectiveness and creativity,” she said.
“The Buy California effort already has the backing of Governor Davis, Secretary Lyons and the growers of this state,” said Watts. “With that kind of support, this project will succeed. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to build awareness of the great bounty produced by California agriculture.”
Governor Davis sponsored legislation and provided funding to create the program, which will now work to create a cross-commodity marketing campaign to highlight the quality and diversity of California’s agricultural products.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814