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News Release

California Department of Food and Agriculture

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

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Release #11-038
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SACRAMENTO, July 18, 2011– The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will address farm animal welfare at its meeting on Wednesday, July 27, 2011. The meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street – Main Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 95814.

“Farm animal welfare is a priority for farmers and plays an important and visible role on the farm,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross.  “Consumers should be aware that farmers and ranchers care about their animals and promote practices that ensure good animal management.”

Consumer interest and awareness on animal welfare issues continues to rise. The state board’s focus on farm animal welfare will allow California’s agricultural organizations and other stakeholders’ viewpoints to be heard, providing a better understanding of the initiatives, protocols and partnerships that have been developed to address the topic.

Scheduled speakers for the meeting include:  Dr. Annette Whiteford, California State Veterinarian; Margaret Wittenberg, Whole Foods Markets; Melvin Coleman, Jr., Niman Ranch;  Jennifer Fearing , the Humane Society of the United States; and Robert Shipley, California Poultry Federation. Additional invited speakers include representatives from the California Farm Bureau Federation, Center for Food Integrity, California Cattlemen’s Association, Association of California Egg Farmers, and the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program.

“Consumers have a great interest in knowing where our food comes from, how it is produced, and how it is delivered to our table,” said Craig McNamara, president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture.  “As farmers, we need to tell our story and demonstrate the great care and dedication we not only place in animal welfare, but in all of production agriculture.”
The California State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the Governor and CDFA Secretary.  The state 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.

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