Contact: AnnMarie Cornejo
805-756-2427; ancornej@calpoly.edu

California's Top Agriculture Official to Hold Open Forum Oct. 29 at Cal Poly

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Climate change, water, long-term impacts of the drought, and innovative technologies in agriculture will be the key topics discussed by Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, from 11 a.m. to noon Thursday, Oct. 29, in Chumash Auditorium at Cal Poly.

Ross will talk about the issues facing California agriculture, including healthy soils and waste management. A question-and-answer-session will follow.

She is credited with strengthening partnerships across government, academia and the nonprofit sector in the drive to maintain and improve environmental stewardship and to develop adaptation strategies for the specific impacts of climate change.

Ross has initiated programs specifically to provide more opportunities for farmers and ranchers to engage in sustainable environmental stewardship practices including water conservation, energy efficiency, nutrient management and ecosystem services.

The public is invited to the free presentation, hosted by Cal Poly's College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences.

About Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture
Ross was appointed secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture on Jan. 12, 2011, by Gov. Jerry Brown. She has deep leadership experience in agricultural issues nationally, internationally and in California. Prior to joining CDFA, Ross was chief of staff for U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. She also previously served as president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers and as vice president of the Agricultural Council of California.

About Cal Poly's College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences
Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, comprehensive polytechnic university. The university's College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences is comprised of expert faculty members who take pride in their ability to transform academically motivated students into innovative professionals ready to solve the complex challenges associated with feeding the world in sustainable ways. Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories, including ranchland, orchards, vineyards and forests, all of which provide the basis for Cal Poly's Learn by Doing methodology.

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