Jan 6, 2022
California ag secretary: Emphasis of technology-heavy careers is key

In the most recent episode of Voices of the Valley, the podcast hosted by Dennis Donohue, the director of Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology, and Candace Wilson, CEO of GreenVenus, California Department of Food & Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross discusses the meaningful opportunities 2022 offers for the agriculture industry in the state.

First and foremost, she said, is not accepting the notion that legislators “just don’t understand” or that we inevitably have to ask the question: “What are those people thinking?”

Karen Ross

“We need to change the narrative,” she said. “We should be honored and valued and respected even more than Silicon Valley because people like to eat and drink.”

One of the ways to do that, she said, is to emphasize the technology-heavy careers that are available in ag. Ross previewed the Jan. 26, 2022 AgTechX Ed Summit at Imperial Valley College, where she will speak alongside industry leaders on the creation of a tech-savvy agriculture workforce. The event is the second in a yearlong series led by Ross and Western Growers to highlight the skills required to master emerging on-farm technology.

“The best part of my day is when I get to meet with students,” she said. “I get so excited about what they bring to the table – at younger ages they have a much more global perspective, they are so advanced. They inspire me and I want them to all fall in love with the opportunities agriculture can present to them.”

Voices of the Valley is produced by Western Growers and its Center for Innovation & Technology.

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