Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzales

VENTURA, Calif. - Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzales has been honored with the sixth annual Ventura County Excellence in Agricultural Leadership award. The annual award is given by the Resource Conservation District of Ventura County in collaboration with the county food bank, FOOD Share, to recognize outstanding efforts to preserve natural resources for Ventura County's 290,000 acres of working agricultural landscape.

About 180 people attended the award ceremony, including area growers as well as leaders in the county's agricultural community. The presentation included a documentary featuring Mr. Gonzales was. Mr. Gonzales is the son of migrant workers. He began working the fields with his grandfather at age 13 and has spent his entire career working in agriculture.

"At the Agricultural Commissioner's office, we help the farmers steward the land by conducting outreach and education for the farmers so that they know what the laws and regulations are in regards to some of their practices that impact the environment," said Mr. Gonzales.

Agriculture in Ventura County generates about $3.3 billion each year for the local economy, provides 43,000 jobs, and feeds people around the world.

In reference to the richness of Ventura County's agricultural landscape, Mr. Gonzales said, "This is the only Mediterranean climate in the nation, and one of only five in the world. It's a great place to grow. We need to protect this resource. We need to conserve this resource for future generations."