The World Ag Expo will feature a seminar session with one of the nation’s top agricultural leaders. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden is a featured panelist during the women’s seminar series. Harden will join California Secretary of Agriculture, Karen Ross, and Tulare County Agriculture Commissioner Marilyn Kinoshita on the Future of Agriculture panel, moderated by AgNet West News Director Sabrina Hill.
Krysta Harden was sworn in as the Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on August 12, 2013 after unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Deputy Secretary Harden helps lead the department, working to strengthen the American agricultural economy and revitalize our nation’s rural communities.
Raised in Camilla, Ga., Harden comes from three generations of southwest Georgia farmers with a proud farming heritage that dates back to the 1800s. As a daughter of farmers, she understands the changing face of agriculture over time, and the need for commonsense policies and programs that create and expand opportunities in rural America. In her role as Deputy Secretary, Harden builds on Secretary Vilsack’s leadership to support a diverse and abundant agriculture sector, expand new markets for agriculture at home and abroad, further strengthen conservation of our nation’s resources, and promote a thriving biobased economy. Harden’s highest priority is to ensure that beginning farmers and the growing ranks of agriculture – women, young people, immigrants, socially disadvantaged producers, returning veterans and retirees – have access to the programs and support they need.
Karen Ross was appointed Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture on January 12, 2011, by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Secretary Ross has deep leadership experience in agricultural issues nationally, internationally, and here in California. Prior to joining CDFA, Secretary Ross was chief of staff for U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a position she accepted in 2009. Prior to that appointment, she served as President of the California Association of Winegrape Growers from 1996-2009, and as Vice-President of the Agricultural Council of California from 1989-1996. Before moving to California, Secretary Ross served as Director of Government Relations for the Nebraska Rural Electric Association and as Field Representative for U.S. Senator Edward Zorinsky.
Marilyn Kinoshita joined the Tulare County Agricultural Commissioner’s department as an inspector in 1993, and has since worked in most of the divisions within the department. She began her Tulare County career working in pesticide use enforcement, and then served as a standards and quarantine inspector before becoming the department’s Dinuba District Inspector in 1999.
Now Tulare County Agriculture Commissioner, Kinoshita was first promoted to Deputy Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights and Measures in February 2004, a position responsible for the direct supervision of 29 ag inspectors and 16 agricultural aides. Kinoshita was promoted again in October 2009 to the position of Assistant Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer, the second highest ranked position in the department. She was appointed as Tulare County Agriculture Commissioner in 2010, then reappointed for the position in 2014. Prior to coming to work in Tulare County, Kinoshita worked six years for the Merced County Agricultural Commissioner’s office as a pest detection trapper. She earned her B.S. in Agronomy from the Arkansas State University in 1985, but says she first became interested in agriculture while growing up on her family’s farm in Nebraska, where they raised cattle and grew alfalfa, soybeans and wheat.
Sabrina Hill is the Farm News Director for AgNet West Radio Network and host of its Farm City Newsday. An award-winning journalist, Hill has a background of more than 20 years as a news professional. She has worked in print and television news as well as radio. She is an active member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting, and was elected by her peers as the 2016-17 Western Region Vice President. In addition, she is the chairperson for the NAFB’s news service committee.
The Future of Agriculture panel session is scheduled for Wednesday, February 10, at 2:00 p.m. in Seminar Room 3. Admission to the seminar is free with paid admission to the expo. This is the first year for the women’s seminar series, which is sponsored by Women in Ag for Mentoring and Empowerment (WAME) and co-organized by Hill and California WAME leader, Pamela Sweeten.
Other seminar topics and titles include: Reaching a New Level of Consumer Understanding; Varying Careers for Women in Agriculture; Effective Lobbying for Agriculture; Networking and several others. For a full list of seminars, click here.