Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Val Dolcini announced that June Van Wingerden has been appointed to the agency’s State Committee in California. The FSA is within the Department of Agriculture and works closely with farmers and ranchers to provide disaster assistance, farm and ranch loans, support for major commodities and farmland conservation programs.
State committee members in FSA oversee the administration of Farm Bill programs and act in an advisory capacity to the State Executive Director. “Our State Committee is gratified that June Van Wingerden will be filling the fifth seat on the committee,” said Dolcini. “Secretary Vilsack has chosen a well-respected ag community leader active in a variety of producer groups and possessing a depth of knowledge about the challenges that California growers face.”
FSA State Committee members are appointed by the USDA Secretary of Agriculture for their experience in the industry, knowledge of farm programs and to reflect the various types of agriculture and diversity of producers in the State. Van Wingerden is currently president of the Carpinteria Valley Water district board, president of the Santa Barbara County Flower and Nursery Grower’s Association, treasurer of the California Cut Flower Commission and serves on the 19th District Agricultural Board. June and her husband Rene grow cut flowers and avocados in Carpinteria and Nipomo under the Ocean Breeze International label.
As a modern farmer from a long-time farming family, Van Wingerden knows California agriculture first-hand. She was born into a Tulare cotton and corn growing family that recently celebrated 100 years of farming. Van Wingerden is also an active member of California Women for Agriculture and many other local organizations.
Other members of the FSA State Committee in California are Chairperson Ron Kelley of Sacramento County, Reis Soares from Madera County, Michael Honig of Napa County and Pete Navarro of Monterey County. USDA's Farm Service Agency works to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural Americans. Some of the agency's efforts include facilitating income support, disaster assistance and conservation programs, providing operating loans for the procurement of farm equipment, seed and fertilizer, as well as offering ownership loans to help new and veteran producers purchase a farm.