Governor Schwarzenegger appointed A.G. Kawamura as secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture in November 2003. Since then, Secretary Kawamura has represented California agriculture on numerous national committees. He chairs the Specialty Crop Task Force of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and he is a member of the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. Secretary Kawamura is an active steering committee member for both the national 25x’25 renewable energy initiative and the Native Pollinator Initiative. He is the immediate past president of the Western Association of State Departments of Agriculture. In that capacity, he was also a member of the board for NASDA.
Prior to his appointment, Secretary Kawamura was active as a produce grower and shipper from Orange County, where his third-generation farming family still grows strawberries, green beans and other specialty crops. As an urban agriculturist, he has a lifetime of experience working along and within the expanding urban boundaries of Southern California.
Secretary Kawamura has a long history of public service to his community and to agriculture. At the time of his appointment, he was a member of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture, where he had served since 1998. In addition, he served as chairman of the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Fruits and Vegetables, a USDA advisory position for international trade; president of the Orange County Farm Bureau; and chairman of Western Growers Association. He has also served as a director on the boards of the California Strawberry Commission and California Celery Research Advisory Board. He was a founding trustee of Sage Hill High School in Orange County.
Secretary Kawamura is widely known for his passion for education and his commitment to the issues of hunger and nutrition. As president of Orange County Harvest, a nonprofit promoting agricultural partnerships with organizations combating hunger, he arranged for thousands of volunteers to harvest and glean over a million pounds of produce for area food banks. His urban community garden projects are nationally recognized.
Secretary Kawamura has received numerous awards and recognition for his work in and outside the agricultural community. Secretary Kawamura has a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from U.C. Berkeley.
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