VENTURA, Calif. – By a unanimous vote on July 17, the Board of Supervisors concurred with the recommendation of County Executive Officer Mike Powers and appointed Edmund (Ed) Williams to a four-year term as Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner. The appointment follows a nationwide recruitment that produced nearly 40 qualified applicants.
“Agriculture is a critical component of our county’s economic vitality and having the right person in the position is crucial to keeping the industry strong,” said Mike Powers, County Executive Officer. “Ed will build strong relationships with our local agricultural community and balance necessary enforcement with support of the industry’s needs.”
Williams most recently worked for the Los Angeles County Department of Agricultural Commissioner-Weights and Measures where he coordinated the work of 72 staff members. His duties there included preparing and managing a budget of $8.3 million, personnel, inspection and regulatory programs, administration of two laboratories and 11 regulatory programs.
He has a bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in botany from California State University, Stanislaus and he has maintained professional licenses for County Agricultural Commissioner and County Sealer of Weights and Measures since November 2013.
As the Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner, Williams and his staff will oversee a $2 billion local agricultural economy. The office is responsible for pesticide use enforcement; pest detection, exclusion, eradication and management; fruit, vegetable, egg and nut standardization; nursery and seed inspection; and crop statistics.
The office is currently focused on local farmworker issues, increasing the monitoring of pesticide use, particularly near schools and developments, and keeping Ventura County free from three new pests threatening both the agricultural industry and natural vegetation.
Williams, 57, is a resident of La Habra and will be relocating to Ventura County. He will start his duties in the next few weeks at an annual salary of $165,644. His office is located in Camarillo and there is an additional location in Santa Paula.