Class 50 hit the ground running on day two, meeting with the Director of the Department of Pesticide Regulations, Val Dolcini. We candidly discussed the issues his office hears and handles, and he left us with a foreshadowing and load handle of the day, GET INVOLVED. We had the opportunity to remain in the committee room as we saw Nancy Vogel, Director of the Governors Water Portfolio Program. She spoke of the Governor’s long-term vision for California water and her constant need for exposure to everything water in California agriculture. From there we walked up to the office of Senator James Nielson, CALP Fellow Class 5. His passion and inspiration for the CALP and California Ag were heart felt. He showed us through his office and down to the senate floor where we took our seats at the senate desks on the carpet. He spoke of his various leadership rolls always resonating his willingness listen.
We moved on to lunch in the board room of Kahn, Soares, and Conway L.L.P. As we ate, Mr. Soares of CALP Class 4 indulged us with his many years of experience and thoughts on how and why to continue to move California agriculture forward. After lunch we found our way back to Hearing Room 127 where Senator Archuleta met us. His story left us amazed at what is possible to accomplish if you put your mind to it. Assembly Member Jim Cooper burst in the door, larger than life, with an equally grand message. He spoke of his law enforcement past, and the foundation it built in him to work toward making a difference.
Chief Consultant of Water, Parks, and Wildlife for Assemblyman Garcia, Catherine Freeman made her way in. She explained her information gathering strategies relied heavily on a boots on the ground attitude. Class 50 closed the day out with an incredibly informative discussion with the Vice Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board Dorene D’Adamo. Mrs. D’Adamo gave context to the how’s and why’s of her seat through the eyes of an individual who farms in the Central Valley. An unexpected treat tied together by Class 50 fellow Tyler Blackney was a visit to the office of The Gualco Group hosted by Jack Gualco, CALP Class 20. Mr. Gualco, along with his guest Eric Thornburg San Jose Water Company CEO both spoke passionately about servant leadership. It was a whirlwind of a day giving incredible perspective on what is possible when we get ourselves a seat at the table. The overall theme was made very clear: Get out there and do something. Next stop Atlanta, GA.