- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the California Department of Food and Agriculture hosted Ag Day at the Capitol in Sacramento on March 23.
“It was incredibly energizing to reconnect with so many legislators, partners, supporters and friends to share in the joy and promise of our work,” said Vice President Glenda Humiston. “Things almost felt ‘normal' again!”
Anne Megaro, government and community relations director, organized ANR's displays and representation, which included Humiston, UCCE farm advisors Sarah Light and Rachael Long, Sheldon 4-H youth and UC Master Gardeners of Sacramento County.
One booth displayed myriad citrus varieties grown at Lindcove Research and Extension Center and avocado varieties grown at South Coast Research and Extension Center.
Among the many legislators who visited the ANR booths was Senator John Laird, who championed the historic increase to ANR's budget.
“No other event that occurs here, of the hundreds every year, draws crowds like Ag Day, and a lot of the legislators who have no concept or association with agriculture come by, plus their staff,” said Senator Jim Nielsen. “It's really a special day because it affirms the importance of agriculture to California and the world.”
The day before Ag Day at the Capitol, ANR's Global Food Initiative Fellow Conor McCabe, Pam Kan-Rice of Strategic Communications, and Megaro visited legislators' offices to hand out Tango mandarins grown at Lindcove REC and personally invite legislators and their staff to Ag Day. Tango mandarins are a small, seedless, easy-to-peel fruit bred by UC Riverside genetics professor Mikeal Roose and often sold under the brand names Cutie or Halo.
The following are some photos of the Ag Day event. To see more photos, check out #AgDay2022 on Twitter.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Ag Day at the Capitol was held in Sacramento on March 20. This year's theme was “Climate-smart, California Grown,” honoring the environmental stewardship and innovation of the state's farmers.
Dozens of legislators attended Ag Day at the Capitol, stopping at UC ANR's booth to examine the various varieties of citrus from Lindcove Research and Extension Center and marveling at the different shapes and sizes of avocados grown at South Coast Research and Extension Center.
Senate Pro Tempore Toni Atkins of San Diego, who became the first woman to lead the California Senate on March 21, held Sheldon 4-H club member Bella Albiani's hen as she talked with her and VP Glenda Humiston.
Michelle Leinfelder-Miles, UC Cooperative Extension advisor for Delta crops in San Joaquin, Sacramento, Yolo, Solano and Contra Costa counties, answered visitors' questions about research and agronomy.
Sean Hogan, academic coordinator for Informatics and Geographic Information Systems (IGIS) Program, showed visitors some of the information drones can gather and how researchers and farmers can use the data.
On March 19, the day before the event, Anne Megaro, director of government and community relations; Tyler Ash, marketing and social media coordinator; Pam Kan-Rice, assistant director of news and information outreach; and Meredith Turner of UC State Government Relations, visited the offices of legislators to invite them to visit the UC ANR booth at Ag Day.
“Ag Day is one of the most highly attended events at the state capitol, and I am so pleased that UC ANR was there to show legislators and the public all the great research and public service that we have to offer California, ” said Megaro. “There is nothing like a hands-on experience and being able to see, touch and smell actual fruit grown by the University. The best part? When they realize the food they already enjoy at home came from our agricultural research. It's a great example of UC at work.”
To educate legislators and staffers about some of the benefits Californians receive from research made possible with state funding, they handed out bags of Tango mandarins – the seedless, easy-to-peel citrus variety developed by UC Riverside genetics professor Mikeal Roose and sold as Cuties and Halos – along with the 2017 UC ANR annual report.
The annual event is hosted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture in partnership with California Women for Agriculture and the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.
More photos and a video below. To see Twitter coverage of this year's Ag Day at the Capitol, look for the hashtag #AgDay2018.