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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Media Contacts: Steve Lyle, CDFA Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462 or,

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #09-004
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SACRAMENTO – California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura is announcing the formation of the Equine Advisory Task Force. The task force will act as liaison between the industry and the department in matters relating to equine health and economic data.

“California’s equine industry touches every part of this state – from companion and competition horses to working equines and rodeos,” said CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura. “This task force will assist the department in addressing important issues impacting the equine industry.”

The Equine Advisory Task Force is a 12 member committee established by the secretary following a recommendation from the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. The task force is intended to increase the collaboration between the industry and department on equine issues.  Members receive no compensation.

“We look forward to hearing from the task force as it works with the department in addressing some of the key issues facing the equine industry,” said Al Montna, President of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. “The social and economic value of this industry is an important component of California agriculture.”

Members of the Equine Advisory Task Force:
Sandy Arledge, Sandy Arledge Quarter Horses, Inc.
Dr. Jerry Black, Pioneer Equine Hospital, Inc.
Mike Boitano, California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association
Don Burt, Equestrian Consultants, Inc.
Dr. Greg Ferraro, University of California, Davis, Center for Equine Health
Bob Fox, Industry Consultant
Vince Genco, Pacific Airlift, Inc.
Ruth Gerson, Recreation and Equestrian Coalition
Ross Jenkins, California Cattlemen’s Association
Christopher Korby, California Authority of Racing Fairs
Frank Vessels, Vessels Stallion Farm, LLC
Johnny Zamrzla, Showdown Rodeo, Inc.

CDFA’s Animal Health and Food Safety Services Division provides services to protect public health and protect the health of California’s livestock and poultry. The department’s equine programs regulate the interstate movement of horses into California; establish controls for domestic and foreign disease concerns; and deter the misuse of drugs in show and sale horses.


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