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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Nancy Lungren, Deputy Secretary of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0433,, Steve Lyle, Director of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #07-047
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Panelists to include agriculture industry representatives, congressional staff and legal experts

SACRAMENTO – California’s State Board of Food and Agriculture will host a number of distinguished panelists to discuss immigration issues and their impacts on agriculture in the Golden State.  The event will take place on Wednesday, May 23, 2007, 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., at the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s headquarters auditorium, located at 1220 N Street in Sacramento.

“Immigration is a perennial, complicating factor in so many of the daily decisions that farmers and farm workers make,” said CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura.  “This discussion gives us an opportunity to ensure that California agriculture’s unique issues are considered in the national debate on immigration.”

“Agriculture is not just a business, it is a community,” said Al Montna, president of the State Board of Food and Agriculture. “California’s farmers have a responsibility to act in the best interests of our workers and their families, and we intend to participate fully as our legislators and leaders debate substantive changes in immigration policy.”

The May 23 event will include presentations by Monte Lake, Partner, McGuiness Norris & Williams, LLP; Jim Rietkerk, Vice-Chair, CA Farm Bureau Labor Committee; Dave Puglia, Vice President of State Government Affairs, Western Growers; Ken Ramirez, Executive Director, Vineyard Worker Services; Chris Westlake, Deputy Director, Department of Housing and Community Development; Ellen Brokaw, Chair, Farm Worker Housing Task Force, Ag Futures Alliance; and Rex Stults, Industry Relations Director, Napa Valley Vintners Association.

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the governor and secretary of food and agriculture of findings as they impact agriculture and consumer needs.  The board conducts forums that bring together local, state, and federal government officials, agricultural representatives, and citizens to discuss current issues of concern to California agriculture.

All California State Board of Food and Agriculture meetings are open to the media and general public.


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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814