McNamara to Head State Food and Ag

Craig McNamara is named President of State Board of Food and Agriculture.

Published on: Feb 7, 2011

Craig McNamara has been appointment by Governor Brown as the next President of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. The State Board advises the Governor and the Secretary of Agriculture on agriculture and consumer policy issues for the state.

Craig McNamara is president and owner of Sierra Orchards, a diversified farming operation that includes field, processing and marketing operations, producing primarily walnuts. He also serves as founder and president of the Center for Land-Based Learning. McNamara is a founding trustee of UC Merced, a member of the UC Davis Dean's Advisory Council, a board member of American Farmland Trust and a member of the CalCAN farmer advisory council.  

Craig McNamara the new president of the State Board of Food and Agriculture was the subject of a February 2008 California Farmer Cover story.
Craig McNamara the new president of the State Board of Food and Agriculture was the subject of a February 2008 California Farmer Cover story.

"Governor Brown has chosen an agricultural leader who has a strong conservation ethic to lead the State Board of Food and Agriculture," says Rich Rominger, CDFA Secretary under then-Governor Brown from 1977 to 1982 and Deputy Secretary of USDA from 1993 to 2001. "Craig McNamara will bring an innovative and thoughtful leadership to help the industry and the state come together to address some of our most pressing issues."  

"Governor Brown has chosen a strong consensus builder to lead the State Board of Food and Agriculture," adds Jeanne Merrill, Policy Director of the California Climate and Agriculture Network. "Craig McNamara understands the opportunities and challenges facing California agriculture, including climate change."

California agriculture is $35 billion industry, covering a quarter of the state's land mass and providing nearly half of the country's fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables. Climate change scenarios suggest that in the coming years the industry will struggle with climate-related impacts such as water scarcity, more intense and frequent floods and droughts and rising temperatures. Resources, such as research, technical assistance for growers and financial incentives for on-farm conservation practices, are needed to support California agriculture in coping with a changing climate.