The California Agriculture Symposium slated for March 23-24 at the Arden Hilton in Sacramento will feature an in-depth look at challenges and opportunities looming for California agriculture.

Topics will cover economic forces, public policy, international trade, marketing, technology, and a host of other issues ranging from water, land and farm labor to biotechnology and its potential consequences.

Economic Forces for the Next Decade, Policy Overview for California Agriculture: Challenges and Opportunities, The Changing Marketplace for California Crops, Biotechnology for California, Meeting the Challenges of Food Safety on Fresh Produce, and Maximizing Opportunities for California Agriculture are just a few of the provocative topics that will be presented during the two-day event.

Featured speakers include California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura, former USDA Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, California Farm Bureau president Bill Pauli, and farmer Stuart Woolf, president of Woolf Enterprises, a family-owned farming business in Fresno County.

Other speakers include representatives from agribusiness, banking, government, and university researchers. Research and industry displays and an evening of tasking California Food and Wine will complement the formal presentations.

The symposium is designed to update a broad section of California's agricultural leadership on key issues facing their industry and to provide a forum for discussion of the challenges and opportunities these issues present.

Sponsors include the UC Agricultural Issues Center, UC Specialty Crops Research Program, The Center for Agricultural Business at CSU Fresno, and the California Institute for the Study of Specialty Crops at California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

Registration information and a detailed agenda are available at calagsymposium.org, or from the AIC at (530) 752-2320.