Deputy Secretary for Agriculture at CalEPA, Val Dolcini was also recently named Acting Director of the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). Acknowledging that the agency can sometimes be at odds with the agricultural industry, Dolcini hopes to improve collaboration between varying interests and increase agency transparency.
“I think more often than not people appreciate the fact that we’re telling it like it is and I’m going to share with you the good, bad, and the ugly,” said Dolcini. “Being open and transparent about our process and about the things that we’re working on are really critically important…to be able to establish the sort of trust that we need to accomplish the bigger and more complicated things.”
While still relatively early on, Dolcini believes that Governor Gavin Newsom and his administration has a sincere interest in the needs and concerns of California’s agricultural industry. Governor Newsom appointed several individuals with agriculture backgrounds to multiple positions, which Doclini hopes will help foster understanding between various groups that often have differing viewpoints and priorities.
“California has a $55 billion agricultural industry and its essential that farmers have the right tools to use,” said Dolcini. “At the same time, there is certainly more and more these days, interested communities, and community members, and organizations and NGOs and the like, who are interested in those issues as well. So, we walk a real tight rope around here at times but it’s good work and important work for the state.”
Dolcini has an extensive history working with the state’s farmers and ranchers, having served as the State Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in California for more than a decade. With an understanding of California’s agricultural concerns, Dolcini appreciates the value that government agency transparency holds with the farming community and how it impacts cooperation.
“I’ve always been a big believer that when people of goodwill come together towards a common purpose, great things can happen and that’s as true in the public policy realm as it is in any other,” said Dolcini. “There’s a lot of really good science that happens here every day and I just want to be able to share that with more Californians.”
Listen to Dolcini’s interview below.