Tag Archives: David Valadao

The Kern Ag Summit: Celebrating Agriculture in the first annual summit

Me and California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross!

Selfie with California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross!

Bakersfield was built on agriculture, and it is important that we always remember how much of the area’s economy is reliant on the fertile fields surrounding our city. Last month, Bakersfield College led the effort (thank you Lindsey Ono, Chris McCraw, Leah Carter, and Mary Jo Pasek) to bring additional focus to agriculture, and to have a broad conversation on the issues and opportunities facing the southern San Joaquin Valley.  This was part of the Learn@BC! series for 2014-2015.

Thank you, on behalf of Bakersfield College, to Congressman Kevin McCarthy, our honorary chair and keynote speaker, for his time. Thank you, Senator Jean Fuller, for taking the time to talk about water issues and legislation.  Thank you, Congressman David Valadao, for helping our attendees understand more about the issues and trends affecting agriculture in the valley. Thank you to California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, for your time speaking to the group about upcoming needs of agriculture on a statewide basis.

gardenfest13 with lindsay ono

Prof. Lindsay Ono with Mayor Harvey Hall and President Sonya Christian at Gardenfest 2013


Lindsay Ono has done a nice brief on the Ag Summit in his newsletter the Renegade Ranch roundup.

Here are a few excerpts from his writing:

When Congressman Kevin McCarthy made his opening remarks at the first-ever Kern Agriculture Summit on October 14, he spoke sharply about how amazing it was that agriculture – arguably the top industry in the valley – had never come together to discuss the matters that affect the valley, state, and nation………

The hard topics, such as water and immigration, were not ignored, as
both Congressman Kevin McCarthy and Senator Jean Fuller tackled the water
bond which is up for vote on November 6, and local farmer Greg Wegis told
an impassioned story of the personal side of immigration and farm labor.
We were honored to have Karen Ross, Secretary of Agriculture for the
California Department of Food & Agriculture, join us for the day. Secretary
Ross spoke about the 400 commodities produced in Kern County and
California, which is a $33 billion industry. Paul Wegner, president of the
California Farm Bureau echoed Secretary Ross’ numbers – California is the #1
state in agriculture production.  Statistics like these are the reason why
Bakersfield College took on the challenge of presenting the Kern Agriculture Summit.

Check out the entire quarterly newsletter at

Click to access ag-newsletter-10-14-front.pdf

Kevin McCarthy

Congressman Kevin McCarthy at the Bakersfield College Ag Summit, Oct 14, 2014


If you couldn’t join us this year, plan to be here next year, because Bakersfield College will do this again! Until then, our Agriculture Summit website has great information, video, and photos from the day! We’ve submitted a “Community Voices” article to The Bakersfield Californian about the event and hope it will be published soon.

Legislative Forum at BC. Sep 25, 2014.


Michele Bresso

Michele Bresso


Cindy Pollard

Thanks to

Cindy Pollard, CEO of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce and Michele Bresso, Associate Dean of Instruction, Bakersfield College hosted the second legislative forum on September 26, 2014.  We hosted the very first legislative forum last year.  I hope the Chamber will continue to bring this event to BC.


Legislative Forum at Bakersfield College Sep 26 2014

David Valadao, Jean Fuller, Andy Vidak, Rudy Salas

Congressman David Valadao, Assemblyman Rudy Salas, and Senators Jean Fuller and Andy Vidak spoke to a jam-packed Fireside Room (we planned for 75 attendees and over 100 showed up.  yes!)  about numerous issues and their personal involvement in addressing them. Water, of course, was a major subject of discussion. However, they also talked about education, immigration, energy billing, loan programs, and more.

Legislative Forum Sep 26 2014

Jam-packed room on Sep 26 2014 for the Legislative Forum at BC

The legislators offered advice and inspirational words for students, and personally answered audience member’s questions after the event.

Thanks to Salvadore Cruz, you can find a photo gallery at http://imgur.com/a/fsZMh

and a short video 5:30 at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2ZJ0KyX9Oo