Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture
Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture
Karen Ross learned about sustainability at an early age, while growing up on a farm in Nebraska. The word “sustainability” was not known then, but her father felt that his job was not just the food he produced that day, but to also leave the resources he had in a better state for the future. “Sustainability is not fixed in time,” she states, “It is a value system of knowing how we do what we do affects a whole system. It includes treating the people who work for you well and connecting to the community.” Before her current position, Secretary Ross led a state-wide organization of wine grape growers in a large sustainability project, including documentation, self-assessment, and continual improvements in 214 practices. Now, as a high-ranking State official, she is challenged to apply sustainability to the public policy arena, especially around such difficult issues as water supplies and climate change.
Recorded: March 7, 2014