April 18 & 19, 2013
Opening Keynote Speaker:
Karen Ross, Secretary of California Department of Food and Agriculture
The California Water Policy is excited to announce that our opening keynote speaker will be Karen Ross, Secretary of California Department of Food and Agriculture. Prior to her appointment, Secretary Ross was the chief of staff for U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack where she gained both national and international leadership experience. More locally, Secretary Ross served more than thirteen years as President of the California Association of Winegrape Growers, (CAWG). Among her many achievements while at CAWG was the creation of the nationally-recognized Sustainable Winegrowing Program, which assists wine grape growers in maintaining the long-term viability of agricultural lands and encourages them to provide leadership in protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, and enhancing their local communities.
From 2001 to 2009 Secretary Ross served on the California State Board of Food and Agriculture where she was the chair of the Ag Vision Subcommittee which initiated the California Ag Vision process that resulted in a proposed strategic plan for the future of the State's agriculture and food system. Secretary Ross also has on the ground agriculture experience as the owner of 800 acres of a family farm in Nebraska that grows dry-land wheat, sunflowers, feed grains and cattle.
The conference planning committee is very happy to welcome Secretary Ross to the program.
Thursday Lunch Speaker:
Malcolm Margolin, Author, Publisher and Founder of Heyday Books
Not your usual water wonk. Malcolm Margolin is an author and founder of Heyday Books, an independent publisher that focuses on publishing books that celebrate and preserve knowledge of a California that might not otherwise be known. Mr. Margolin was recently awarded the Chairman's Commendation by the National Endowment for the Humanities for his extraordinary contributions to his community by telling the story of California's people and its resources with vision, commitment and passion. He is only the second American to receive this honor.
Mr. Margolin has lectured at dozens of universities and colleges throughout California and at other venues including the David Brower Center. After nearly 40 years of publishing books focused on California's history, natural history, poetry, ethnic studies, art and social justice, Mr. Margolin will bring his accumulated experience together for his presentation, Different Ways of Looking at Water. We are honored to have Mr. Margolin on the conference agenda.