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Grower-Shipper Foundation Announces AgKnowledge Program 2024 Class XVI Fellows

Salinas, CA (February 2024) The Grower-Shipper Foundation and their co-sponsoring partner, the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner is pleased to announce the 2024 AgKnowledge Program Class XVI Fellows. These 23 community members have been accepted into the program and will participate in a nine-month executive educational program. AgKnowledge provides participating fellows a deeper understanding about the heritage, diversity, stewardship and complexity of Monterey County agriculture and the interdependencies of agriculture, local government and the community.

2024 AgKnowledge Class XVI – Fellows

  • Alena Anousinh, Water Quality Program Associate, California Marine Sanctuary Foundation
  • Mindy Carpenter, Head of Field Operations & Farm Implementation, FarmWise
  • Michael Castro, Director of Community Initiatives & Partnerships, Community Foundation for Monterey County
  • Sam Eastman, Vice President, Brent Eastman Insurance Services
  • Seth Gustafson, Assistant Professor, Applied Environmental Sciences, California State University Monterey Bay
  • Piret Harmon, General Manager, Salinas Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency
  • Thomas Horvath, Interim Dean, College of Science, California State University Monterey Bay
  • Christianna Kearns, Associate Chief Operating Officer, Salinas Valley Health
  • Taven Kinison Brown, Community Development Director, City of Gonzales
  • Xiaotong Liu, Assistant Professor, College of Business, California State University Monterey Bay
  • Kendall Mills, Senior Auditor, Clifton Larson Allen
  • Manny Morales, Owner, Gerd Schneider Nursery
  • Geoffrey Morgan, President/CEO, CHISPA
  • Debbie Paolinelli, Assistant County Administrative Officer, Monterey County
  • Camille Polson, Director of Finance & Property Management, Ag Land Trust
  • Dora Ramirez, Union Representative, UFCW Local 5
  • Luis Ricardo Rodriquez, Hydrologist, County of Monterey Housing & Community Development
  • Kimberly Rivera-Zamora, Sales Representative, Driscoll’s
  • Larry Samuels, Special Advisor to the Chancellor, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Jake Stroud, Assistant Treasurer-Tax Collector, Monterey County
  • Ram Subramaniam, Vice President, Academic Affairs, Hartnell College
  • Karla Tinajero, Finance Manager II, Monterey County Health Department
  • Ezequiel Vega Rios, Assistant County Administrative Officer, Monterey County

   

AgKnowledge 2024 Class XVI Calendar

Friday March 22, 2024 – Opening Day – Ag Overview

Friday April 26, 2024 – Heritage in Ag

Friday May 17, 2024 – Agricultural Workforce

Friday June 14, 2024 – North County

Friday July 26, 2024 – Water

Friay August 23, 2024 – Food Safety, Pesticides & Plant Protection

Friday September 20, 2024 – Science & Technology

Friday October 25, 2024 – South County

Friday November 15, 2024 – Graduation & Closing Reception

AgKnowledge Class XV – 2023

Salinas, CA (March 2023) – The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation and their co-sponsoring partners, the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner and the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California is pleased to announce the 2023 AgKnowledge Program Class XV Fellows. These 23 community members have been accepted into the program and will participate in a nine-month executive educational program. AgKnowledge provides participating fellows a deeper understanding about the heritage, diversity, stewardship and complexity of Monterey County agriculture and the interdependencies of agriculture, local government and the community.

     

  • Antonio Camacho, Business Agent, Teamsters 890
  • Jennifer Dacquisto, President, Bank of America, Monterey Bay
  • Julianna De La Paz, Administrative Secretary, Monterey County Ag Commissioners Office
  • Henry Esler, Finance Manager, Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office
  • Carmen Gil, Director of Community Engagement, City of Gonzales
  • Kim Harley, Associate Professor & Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, UC Berkeley School of Health
  • Miguel Gomez, Internal Quality Assurance Auditor, Driscoll’s of the Americas           
  • Michael Gutierrez, President, Hartnell College
  • Marisa Hernandez, Field Representative, State Senator Anna Caballero’s Office
  • Arun Jani, Assistant Professor of Crop Management, CSUMB – College of Science
  • Jasmine Mejia, Executive Assistant, Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo’s office
  • Jazmine Mejia-Muñoz, Water Quality Program Coordinator, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
  • Clement Miller, Chief Operating Officer, Salinas Valley Memorial Health Care System (SVMH)          
  • Kayla Nelson, Associate Planner, Monterey County Housing & Community Development
  • Kirsten Pearsons, Farm Advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE)       
  • Alejandro Ramos, Grower/Production, Gerd Schneider Nursery                
  • Joel Ryman, Associate Professor of Management/Capstone Director, CSUMB College of Business
  • Mark Silberstein, Executive Director, Elkhorn Slough Foundation
  • Andrea Tinajero, Programs Coordinator/Reports Manager, Center for Community Advocacy (CCA)
  • Leeset Torres, Senior Equal Opportunity Analyst, Monterey County Civil Rights Office
  • Paul Tran, Senior Project Manager, Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association (CHISPA)
  • Yu-Chen Wang, Plant Pathology Advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE)
  • Donald Wilcox, Public Works Director/City Engineer, City of Soledad

AgKnowledge Class XIV – 2022

Salinas, CA (April 2022) – The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation and their co-sponsoring partners, the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner and the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California is pleased to announce the 2022 AgKnowledge Program Class XIV Fellows. These 20 community members have been accepted into the program and will participate in a nine-month executive educational program. AgKnowledge provides participating fellows a deeper understanding about the heritage, diversity, stewardship and complexity of Monterey County agriculture and the interdependencies of agriculture, local government and the community.

     

  • Melanie Beretti, Principal Planner-Advanced Planning, County of Monterey Housing & Community Development
  • Dan Brumbaugh, Director, Coastal Training Program, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • Susie Brusa, U.S. House of Representatives, District Director, Congressman Jimmy Panetta
  • Jose Chang, Assistant Agricultural Commissioner, Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office
  • Susan Courtney, Senior Audit Manager, Hayashi Wayland
  • Cheryl DeMars, Director of Conservation, Ag Land Trust Monterey County
  • Nadia Garcia, Ag Resource and Policy Manager, Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office
  • Dr. Babita Gupta, Professor of Information Systems, California State University Monterey Bay
  • Monica S. Hale, Policy Analyst, Office of Supervisor Chris Lopez
  • Natalie Herendeen, Executive Director Center for Community Advocacy (CCA)
  • Ana Ibarra-Castro, Project Manager, Hartnell College Foundation
  • Celia Jimenez, Staff Writer, Monterey County Weekly        
  • Robin Kimball, Management Analyst II, Monterey County Environmental Health Bureau
  • Andrew Lawson, Dean-College of Science, California State University Monterey Bay
  • Danny Little, Attorney, Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss              
  • Jagjinder Sahota, Worker Health & Safety Branch Chief, California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR)
  • Karen Smith, Public Information Officer, Monterey County Health Department
  • Deidre Sullivan, Educational Consultant Monterey Peninsula College & Monterey County Water Resource Agency/Board of Directors/Chair of Planning         
  • Hillary Theyer, Library Director, Monterey County Free Libraries

AgKnowledge 2023
Class XV Calendar

Friday March 24, 2023
Opening Day – Ag Overview

Friday April 28, 2023
Heritage

Friday May 19, 2023
Agricultural Workforce

Friday June 16, 2023
North County

Friday July 28, 2023
Water

Friday August 25, 2023
Food Safety, Pesticides and Plant Protection

Friday September 22, 2023
Science & Technology

Friday October 27, 2023
South County

Friday November 17, 2023
Graduation and Closing Reception @ Tanimura & Antle

“Boots on the Ground Day” is pre-planned between you, another class member, and a grower, shipper or rancher.


AgKnowledge Class XIII 2019

Thank you for a great year!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Lisa Dobbins, Executive Director
Grower-Shipper Association Foundation
512 Pajaro Street
Salinas, CA 93901
Lisa@GrowerShipperFoundation.org
Cell # 831-588-4505

Grower-Shipper Association Foundation Announces AgKnowledge Program Class XIII 2019

Salinas, CA (February 2019) The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation and their co-sponsoring partners, the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner and the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California is pleased to announce the 2019 AgKnowledge Program Class XIII Fellows. These 22 community members have been accepted into the program and will participate in a nine-month executive educational program. AgKnowledge provides participating fellows a deeper understanding about the heritage, diversity, stewardship and complexity of Monterey County agriculture and the interdependencies of agriculture, local government and the community.

2019 AgKnowledge Class XIII – Fellows

  • Leslie Boni, Associate Professor of Finance, CSUMB
  • Alejandro Del-Pozo, Integrated Pest Management Advisor Entomology, University of California Cooperative Extension
  • Priscilla Du, Agricultural Biologist/Inspector III, Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office
  • Dash Dunkell, Stewardship Director, Elkhorn Slough Foundation
  • Brenda Eskenazi, Professor of Epidemiology, University of California Berkeley
  • Luis Flores, Business Agent, Teamsters Union Local 890
  • David Frisbey, Planning & Air Monitoring Manager, Monterey Air Resources District
  • Mostafa Ghous, Dean of Academic Affairs, South County Education Services, Hartnell College
  • Daniel Gonzalez, Executive Director, Center for Community Advocacy
  • Ariana Green, Associate Transportation Planner, Transportation Agency of Monterey County (TAMC)
  • Randy Ishii, Chief of Public Works, Monterey County Resource Management Agency (RMA)
  • Joann Iwamoto, Cannabis Program Manager, Monterey County CAO-IGLA Cannabis Program
  • Amanda Krasa, Water Quality Specialist, Monterey County Health Department Laboratory
  • Genevieve LeBlanc, Food Environment Lead, Blue Zones Project
  • Sonja Lolland, Vice President Academic Affairs, Hartnell College
  • Karen Morrison, Science & Policy Advisor/Environmental Program Manager, California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR)
  • Eric Mueller, CPA, Chang, Nguyen, Van Ruler LLP
  • Elyse Rivas, Associate Equal Opportunity Analyst, Monterey County Civil Rights Office
  • Enid Ryce, Director, CSUMB Salinas Center for Arts & Culture, CSUMB
  • Brandon Swanson, Interim Chief of Planning, Monterey County Resource Management Agency (RMA)
  • Roger Van Horn, Supervisor Environmental Health Specialist, Monterey County Environmental Health Bureau

The AgKnowledge Program focuses on issues and public policies affecting and influencing the local Monterey County agricultural industry. The issues include but are not limited to food safety, food security, labor, immigration, technology, agri-marketing, conservation and the environment, urban-agriculture interface, air, and water.

The Fellows will spend nine (9) Fridays between March and November attending scientific and policy forums, visiting farms and processing facilities along with meeting key leaders and innovators within the fresh produce industry. One of the program’s most popular facets is the “Boots on the Ground Day,” spending time with a local grower becoming immersed in agriculture from a hands-on perspective.

The AgKnowledge Program is co-sponsored by the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s office
and the Grower-Shipper Association.

The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote and educate about the health, social and cultural benefits of agriculture to the community and society as a whole.


AgKnowledge Class XII 2018

The mission of AgKnowledge is to educate and enlighten the Class Fellows about the heritage, diversity, stewardship, complexity and interdependencies of Monterey County Agriculture.

Program Goals

The purpose of AgKnowledge is to provide policy makers and community leaders the opportunity to “walk in the shoes of a farmer”, to see Monterey County through the eyes of those directly involved in the many facets of agriculture, to be a more informed consumer and to encourage AgKnowledge graduates to extend to others the knowledge and awareness they have gained through participation in the program. It is the hope and expectation that the Class Members will better understand the heart of those that work the land and/or otherwise contribute to the production and distribution of agricultural commodities.

Over the next nine months your seminars and your “Boots on the Ground Day” will take you throughout the diverse geography of Monterey County with farm and agribusiness tours as well as “hands on” experiences covering topics such as; diversity of crops commodities, field and food safety, marketing, technology, politics, regulations, labor, immigration, cultural diversity and a history of the industry and some of the families that make up Monterey County Agriculture.

The intent of the program is to provide you with a context for Monterey County Agriculture:

Historical beginnings and/or current overviewGeography and land stewardshipCrops, technology and economicsGenerational families, cultural issues, workforceComplex Issues – providing different points of viewImpact on the communities – developing common threads among each of the seminars

Program Topics:

  • Food Safety
  • Regulations affecting agriculture, including competing regulatory interests
  • Water
  • Supply, quality, regulations and politics
  • Groundwater protection, salt water intrusion, overdraft
  • Immigration, labor issues, cultural influence of the workforce (past, present, projected)
  • Pest prevention, detection, eradication, integrated pest management, pesticide use (synthetic & natural), conventional and organic farming methods.
  • Technology, research, opportunities
  • Global markets, world competition and trade issues
  • Marketing
  • Trends in the marketplace
  • Value-added
  • Industry consolidation
  • Sustainability
  • Public Relations
  • Consumer attitudes
  • Health and nutrition programs
  • Air Resource Regulations
  • Urban/Ag Interfacing, Ag Buffers, Conservation Easements, Williamson Act

Land use issues affecting agriculture:

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) or Genetically Engineered Organism (GEO)Ag TourismEducation (certificates, degrees, extension, life-long learning)

The goal of AgKnowledge is to assist policy-makers and community leaders in developing an informed appreciation of the broad spectrum of issues affecting agriculture. Fellows will better understand the people, the families, the history and the interdependencies of the agricultural industry. AgKnowledge will bring Class Members a face to the agricultural family; they will see common values with their own families and understanding the overall economic backbone – the “us” factor: All of Monterey County will enjoy a better quality of life with a healthy and sustainable agricultural industry.

The program will provide the Class Fellows with educational presentations, tours, hands-on experiences and panel discussions with speakers from diverse backgrounds and different views regarding the complex issues that affect and comprise the agricultural industry.

The long term goal is that AgKnowledge will develop and sustain community understanding and support for growers, ranchers and all those involved in agriculture in Monterey County.


AgKnowledge Class XI 2017

Grower-Shipper Association Foundation Announces AgKnowledge Program Class XI 2017

The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation and their co-sponsoring partners, the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner and the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California is pleased to announce the 2017 AgKnowledge Program Class XI Fellows. These 22 community members have been accepted into the program and will participate in a nine-month executive leadership program. AgKnowledge educates participating fellows about the heritage, diversity, stewardship and complexity of Monterey County agriculture and the interdependencies of agriculture, local government and the community.

2017 AgKnowledge Class XI- Fellows

  • Sean Capistrano – Manager, Hayashi Wayland
  • Amy Clymo – Engineering and Compliance Manager, Monterey Bay Air Resources District
  • Jay Donato – Internal Organizer, SEIU Local 521
  • Shawne Ellerbee – Deputy Director of Administrative Services, RMA, County of Monterey
  • Paul Farmer – CEO, Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Scott Fausti – Associate Professor of Ag Business, CSUMB-College of Business
  • Ben Figueroa – Vice President of Administrative Services, Hartnell Community College
  • Krista Hanni – Planning, Evaluation, and Program Manager, Monterey County Health Department
  • Hannah Wallis – Agricultural Programs Biologist, Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office
  • Pamela Krone-Davis – Agricultural Water Quality Coordinator, CA Marine Sanctuary Foundation, NOAA
  • Khaled Mabrouk – Owner/Operational Engineering Leader, Sustainable Productivity Solutions
  • Clementina Macias – Director of Farmworker Education & Advancement Program, Hartnell Community College
  • Jacob Martinez – Founder, Executive Director, Digital Nest
  • Amanda McEldowney – Relationship Manager, Wells Fargo Bank
  • Andy Myrick – Economic Development Manager, City of Salinas
  • Kate Roberts – President, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership
  • Roger Royse – Owner, Royse Law Firm – AgTech
  • Enrique Saavedra – Acting Chief of Roads & Bridges, RMA, County of Monterey
  • Rosemary Soto – Office of Community Engagement and Strategic Advocacy/Manager of Gang Violence Prevention Initiative, Monterey County Administrative Office
  • Sandra Tauriac – Hazardous Materials Management Service Supervisor, Monterey County Department of Environmental Health
  • April Theis, Administrative Assistant, Monterey County Farm Bureau
  • Jill Townzen – California Department of Pesticide Regulation, Chief Legislative Analyst

# # #

The AgKnowledge Program focuses on issues and public policies affecting and influencing the local Monterey County agricultural industry. The issues include but are not limited to food safety, food security, labor, immigration, technology, agri-marketing, conservation and the environment, urban-agriculture interface, air, and water.

The Fellows will spend nine (9) Fridays between March and November attending scientific and policy forums, visiting farms and processing facilities along with meeting key leaders and innovators within the fresh produce industry. One of the program’s most popular facets is the “Boots on the Ground Day,” spending time with a local grower becoming immersed in agriculture from a hands-on perspective.

The AgKnowledge Program is supported by the CalAgPlate Grant Program.

www.growershipperfoundation.org

The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to Raise community awareness of the positive impact Agriculture makes in our lives.