Media Contacts: Steve Lyle (CDFA), 916-654-0462 , email@example.com
SACRAMENTO, August 9, 2023 -- The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Farmer Equity Office announced appointments to the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Producer and Small-Scale Producer Advisory Committees.
These committees will help inform and advise CDFA on matters pertaining to the implementation of AB 1348, the Farmer Equity Act, and recommendations contained within the 2020 Farmer Equity Report, including but not limited to all efforts to ensure Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (SDFRs) and small-scale producers are better served through CDFA’s programs, resources and technical assistance, policies, and communications.
“It is crucial for CDFA to hear directly from historically underserved and small-scale farmers to ensure that our programs and services reach all California farmers and ranchers” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “By establishing these committees, we are continuing a commitment to equity and inclusion within California agriculture as we work together to navigate the challenges faced by underserved and small-scale producers.”
The BIPOC Producer Advisory Committee consists of six BIPOC agricultural producers, two members of non-profit organization representing primarily BIPOC producers, two members of a university or community college focused on research related to small-scale BIPOC producers, one member representing a California Native American tribe or tribal serving organization, and one member of an organization providing Technical Assistance to BIPOC producers.
BIPOC Producer Advisory Committee Members*
1. Donald Sherman- Former Ad-hoc member, Central Valley
2. Dennis Hutson- Former Ad-hoc member, Central Valley, Hollister
3. Javier Cruz- Former Ad-hoc member, Central Coast
4. Arshdeep Singh- Punjabi American Growers Association, Central Valley
5. Kenneth Sparks II- Urban agriculture producer, Los Angeles
6. Hung Kim Doan- UC Small Farm Advisor, Riverside County
7. Tania Zuniga Moreno- Kitchen Table Advisors, Central Coast
8. Qi Zhou- California Association of Resource Conservation Districts- Equity Lead, Sacramento Valley
9. Minkah Taharkah- California Farmer Justice Collaborative, Central Valley
10. Natalie Solares- Intertribal Ag Council West Coast Technical Assistance Lead, Southern California
11. Mireya Gomez Contreras- Esperanza Community Farms, Central Coast
* Pending confirmation from one additional committee member
The Small-Scale Producer Committee consists of five small-scale agricultural producers, one member representing a California Native American tribe or tribal serving organization, one member representing urban agriculture, one member of a non-profit organization representing small-scale producers, one academic member, and one technical assistance provider serving small-scale producers. There was an overwhelming interest from a highly competitive pool of applicants to both committees.
Small Scale Producer Advisory Committee Members
1. Sylvia Lucassians- Producer, Los Angeles
2. Veronica Mazariegos-Anastassiou- Producer, Central Coast
3. Anna Nakamura-Knight- Producer, San Bernadino
4. Beverly McKinney- Producer, Fresno
5. Wendy Kornberg- Producer, Humboldt County
6. Justin Miller- Producer, Placer County
7. Kerry McGrath- UCCE, Sonoma County
8. Lovepreet Kapur- Urban Agriculture producer, Santa Clara County
9. Josefina Lara Chavez- Community Alliance with Family Farmers, Central Coast
10. Patrick Mitchell- Five Keys Schools & Programs, Riverside County
The BIPOC Producer and Small-Scale Producer Advisory Committees will meet on a quarterly basis, four times per calendar year. Meetings will be held in January, April, August, and October. Appointments to both committees are for four-year terms, and initial appointments will be staggered. Members on the committees receive no compensation but are entitled to reimbursement for actual expenses incurred while attending committee meetings.
The list of BIPOC Producer and Small-Scale Producer Advisory Committee members can also be found on CDFA’s Boards and Commissions webpage: CDFA - Boards & Commissions (ca.gov)
Questions concerning the BIPOC and Small-Scale Producer Advisory Committees can be directed to Thea.Rittenhouse@cdfa.ca.gov