Modestans hold key role at annual Ag Day

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, the author of a resolution urging residents to eat only California-grown foods on Sundays, celebrated the legislation at the annual Ag Day at the Capitol.

  ·  Bee Staff Reports

SACRAMENTO -- People from the Modesto area had prominent roles this week in a celebration of California farming.

The annual Ag Day at the Capitol featured young writers and artists, as well as food producers and state officials. The event on Wednesday celebrated the Legislature's passage last year of a resolution urging residents to eat only California-grown foods on Sundays.

The author, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, was joined by colleague Cathleen Galgiani, D-Livingston, who chairs the Assembly Agriculture Committee, and state Sen. Anthony Cannella, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Ira Brill, marketing director at Foster Farms in Livingston, spoke on behalf of the poultry industry.

The event coincided with the award ceremony for the "Imagine This … " story contest for children. Five of the seven statewide winners live in or near Stanislaus County — Morgan Gravatt and Matthew Reis of Gratton School in Denair, Grace Reyes of St. Anthony School in Atwater, Nick O'Brien of St. Stanislaus School in Modesto and Gina Brooks of Sacred Heart School in Patterson.

Also invited were high school art students who illustrated the book that collects the stories. They include 14 students from Central Catholic High School in Modesto — Rebecca Yates, Anna Kiesser, Chloe Menezes, Annie Connelly, Katherine Morrow, Josie Flores, Grace Whitten, Ana Fonseca, Karen Blandon, Jacqueline Cameron, Brianna Kelly, Joseph Costa, Madeline O'Brien and Alexia Rodriquez.

Ag Day was sponsored by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and California Women for Agriculture.