John Lake, chairman of the board of the Agricultural Education Foundation, has announced the unification of the Agricultural Education Foundation and the Agricultural Leadership Alumni to create the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation. This unification culminates a nine-month effort by the two organizations to fulfill the mission of developing leaders to better serve California agriculture and the communities agriculture serves.

A new board of directors has been selected to lead the organization. The new board was to be seated on Jan. 23, the next regularly scheduled meeting of the foundation's board of directors.

Alumni activities will continue under the direction of the Fellows Council, a standing committee of the foundation.

The new directors for the Foundation will be:

Paul G. Bennett, President & CEO of Sakata Seed America, Inc., Morgan Hill, Calif.; Cynthia Carson Sr. management consultant, Nuffer, Smith, Tucker, Inc., San Diego, Calif.; Richard R. Engel, director of college relations, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis, Agricultural Education Foundation; Jasper Hempel, executive vice president/general counsel, Western Growers Association, Irvine, Calif.; Kevin Herglotz, vice president, government relations and legislative affairs, Safeway Inc., Pleasanton, Calif.

John W. Lake, president and CEO, Western Oilfields Supply Co., Rain for Rent, Bakersfield, Calif.; Randall W. Lange, co-owner/operator Lange Twins Inc., Acampo, Calif.; William “Bill” J. Lyons Jr., former secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Modesto, Calif.; Richard Pidduck, owner/operator, Santa Paula Creek Ranch, Santa Paula, Calif.; Pierre Y. Tada, senior management executive, Ventura, Calif., and Mary-Ann Warmerdam, government relations manager, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Sacramento, Calif.

The foundation's cornerstone program, the California Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP), is in its 35th year and has developed 1,000 agricultural leaders who serve their communities, businesses and industry organizations. Other core programs of the foundation include the Washington, D.C. Educational Fellowship, the California Educational Fellowship, and the Annual Conference.

For information about the programs of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation and for biographical sketches of the new board members, please visit www.agleaders.org.