California to shut its Food and Ag Department?

Now really doesn't seem like a good time: Amidst California’s scramble to close its $20 billion deficit, California Senator Dean Florez, chair of the California Senate’s Food and Agriculture Committee, is suggesting perhaps the state should shutter its Department of Food and Agriculture. On June 16, the  committee will meet to consider whether or not agriculture should remain the only California industry with its own $100 million general fund-backed agency, “when most of its functions could be performed by other departments,” Mr. Florez’ office said. In the run-up to his race for lieutenant governor in 2010, Florez has come head-to-head with agribiz interests over the use of non-therapeutic antibiotics in lifestock and California’s milk pricing pool. (Central Valley Business Times)

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