Kawamura expects to leave post

California Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura.

State agriculture secretary plans to build education center on farm

By WES SANDER

Capital Press

SACRAMENTO -- Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura said he does not expect to remain in his post for the administration of Gov.-elect Jerry Brown.

Kawamura said he intends to return to full-time management of his Southern California farm once Brown takes office in early January. The Brown administration will appoint a new leader of the state's Department of Food and Agriculture, Kawamura said.

A Brown spokesman said on Dec. 17 that the governor-elect was not yet ready to announce any appointments.

Kawamura said he will turn his energy to developing an educational facility for youth on his Orange County farm, which produces a variety of specialty crops for a range of markets.

"That project has always kind of been Plan A," Kawamura told Capital Press.

Kawamura has spent his tenure promoting a balance between easing regulatory pressure on farmers and advancing environmental protections, including measures to address climate change.

On Dec. 16, Kawamura punctuated his tenure by releasing a document meant to guide agricultural policy in those directions for the next two decades. The document, California Agricultural Vision, was two years in the making.

The report fits the stated policies of Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has resisted new regulatory and tax burdens while also promoting climate-change rules that farmers say will burden them with new costs.

Schwarzenegger appointed Kawamura in 2003.

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