Campus: CSU Fresno and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- February 27, 2002

Former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture to Head Four-Campus Partnership

Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Richard E. Rominger has agreed to lead a four-campus partnership to serve the needs of California's $27 billion agriculture industry.

In a collaborative effort, California State University, Fresno, UC Davis, UC Riverside and Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo will work with Rominger to address the expressed needs of production agriculture in the state. His work on behalf of the partnership began Feb. 1.

"I'm excited to be working to help make the best possible connections between California's agriculture and its great universities. In this global economy, our goal is to do everything we can to preserve California's leadership role in world agriculture," said Rominger. "I believe the industry will be pleased that the universities are adding this effort to the already extensive efforts of the Cooperative Extension Service."

As a consultant, Rominger will act as a liaison between the universities and the voices of production agriculture. His role will be to serve as an expert in agricultural issues and to share information about the agricultural programs conducted by each campus. Rominger will also make recommendations to the universities for meeting the needs of those in farming and ranching.

The universities will work together to strengthen their programs and policies that contribute to the long-term stability of production agriculture in California. New initiatives, where specific needs have been determined, may be developed as a result of this collaboration.

Rominger served as California's secretary of agriculture during Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr.'s administration. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed him as the deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He served in that position until 2001.

Rominger farms alfalfa, beans, corn, rice, safflower, sunflowers, tomatoes, wheat and other crops near Winters, Calif., with his brother, sons and nephews. He received a bachelor of science degree in plant science summa cum laude from the University of California, Davis. He and his wife, Evelyne, have four children, Rick, Charlie, Ruth and Bruce.

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