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Secretary Ross Announces First Historically Underserved and Small Farm Advisory Committees To Advise on Equity and Inclusion

by Guest Blogger |

Applications for Committee Membership Are Currently Available


CDFA Secretary Karen Ross has announced the Department’s first historically underserved and small farm advisory committees to support equity and inclusion throughout the organization’s programs, policies, and services. Application periods for both committees are open through June 30, 2023. 

“Since 1919, CDFA has served the public along with California’s farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers,” said Secretary Ross. “Today, our department takes a step forward in recognizing the importance of California’s minority and small-scale producer communities. By establishing these committees, we are continuing a commitment to equity and inclusion within California agriculture as we work together to navigate the challenges they face. Amid the very real impacts of weather whiplash we’re seeing in real time, it’s more important than ever to provide a voice for all our farming communities when it comes to CDFA’s programs and policies.” 

The Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Producer Advisory Committee will advise the CDFA secretary on the implementation of the Farmer Equity Act and efforts to ensure socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers are better served through CDFA’s programs, policies, and communications. Committee representation includes six BIPOC producers, one representative of a California Native American tribe, two nonprofit organizations that represent or serve BIPOC producers, two academic members, and one technical assistance provider. 

The Small-Scale Producer Advisory Committee will advise the CDFA secretary and California State Board of Food and Agriculture on to programs, research, technology, workforce development, technical assistance, and equity issues pertaining to small- and medium-scale producers. Committee representation incudes five small-scale producers, one member of a California Native American tribe, one urban agricultural organization, one nonprofit representing or serving small-scale producers, one academic member, and one technical assistance provider. 

Interested applicants can apply through the links below: 

BIPOC Producer Advisory Committee Application:         English                 Español

Small-Scale Producer Committee Application:               English                 Español

Committees will meet on a quarterly basis, four times per calendar year. Meetings will be held in January, April, August, and October. Appointments are for four-year terms; initial appointments will be staggered. Committee members receive no compensation but are entitled to reimbursement for actual expenses incurred while attending committee meetings. 

More information on the committees can be found at the following links: 

CDFA—BIPOC Producer Advisory Committee

CDFA—Small-Scale Producer Advisory Committee

Questions concerning the BIPOC and Small-Scale Producer Advisory Committees can be directed to


This blog was adapted from a news release issued by CDFA May 15, 2023.