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We are all familiar with the delicious and abundant produce available to us and tastefully presented in our grocery stores. Yet what do most of us outside the ag industry really know about the operations of today's ag industry? What actually goes into getting that fresh romaine or broccoli to our stores? What are the issues facing today's ag industry? What does the future hold?

AgKnowledge gives local community leaders a unique, hands-on experience to see the inner working of the agriculture industry. As Program Fellows, participants in the program commit to nine months encompassing nine day-long sessions. These intensive sessions provide Fellows with a broad understanding of the agriculture industry and its local, national and global impact.

AgKnowledge is an insightful educational experience that provides a rare look into the actual operations as seen from a variety of points of view. The Program Fellows gain a personal understanding of the hearts and minds of the people who have dedicated their lives to agriculture—ranchers, growers, processors, and the thousands of local employees.

Experts both within the agriculture industry and outside speak to a wide range of topics and issues. This broad spectrum approach ensures a balanced and informed educational experience so that participants may gain a solid foundation on the key issues facing the agriculture industry.

AgKnowledge Class VIII

The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation has accepted 23 fellows to the annual AgKnowledge leadership program based in Salinas, Calif.

They'll participate in a nine-month program on the heritage of Monterey County, Calif., agriculture and its ties with local government and the community.

Courses focus on issues including food safety, labor and immigration, technology, marketing, conservation and water. From March to November, the fellows will spend 10 Fridays attending forums; visiting farms and processing facilities; and meeting industry leaders, according to a news release.

It's sponsored by the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California and the Monterey County agricultural commissioner's office. This is the eighth class.

AgKnowledge Class VIII fellows include:

  • Joyce Aldrich, Executive Director, Workforce Investment Board, County of Monterey
  • Jesse Avila, Deputy County Counsel, County of Monterey
  • Katharine Ball, Digital Editor, Salinas Californian
  • Priscilla Barba, Board Aide, Supervisor Simon Salinas, County of Monterey
  • Janet Barnes, Board of Education, Trustee, District 4
  • Pete Delgado, President/CEO, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System
  • Mark Dias, Supervising Environmental Health Specialist, County of Monterey
  • Veronica Diaz, Political Coordinator, Teamsters Joint Council 7
  • Irma Gomez, Assistant Director of Customer Service, Markon Cooperative
  • Linda Gonzalez, District Director, Office of Assembly Member Luis A. Alejo
  • Grey Hayes, Director Coastal Training Program, Elkhorn Slough Foundation
  • Shimat Joseph, IPM Advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension
  • Shyam Kamath, Dean, School of Business, California State University, Monterey Bay
  • Philip Molnar, Reporter, Monterey Herald
  • Edward Moreno, Heath Officer, Health Department, County of Monterey
  • Martina Nino, Manager, Hayashi & Wayland
  • Ignacio Ornelas, Special Assistant, Stanford University
  • Susan Pheasant, Director, Ag, Business & Technology Institute, Hartnell College
  • Cammie Ramsey, Marketing Assistant, Mann Packing Company
  • Sierra Ryan, Researcher & Program Coordinator, Central Coast Wetlands Group
  • Karen Stahlman, Chief Deputy Agricultural Commissioner, County of Monterey
  • Brian Turlington, New Executive Director, Monterey County Business Council
  • Steve Wotherspoon, Senior Vice President Relationship Manager, Pinnacle Bank

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512 Pajaro Street • Salinas • CA 93901 • (831) 422-9007

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