Educational Exchange

Exchange Programs

The exchange programs listed below were created for the express purpose of educating public officials about the industry and its challenges, and to provide agriculturalists with the opportunity to understand public policy implementation and the decision-making process inherent to that. This is done in an effort to raise awareness through education, and to create at least a once-annual dialog for better communication between the regulating community and the regulated community.

California Exchange Fellows Program

The California Exchange Fellows Program is an experiential learning and leadership development opportunity that brings together representatives from California regulatory organizations and California agriculturalists, administered by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation. This educational program adheres to the requirements of the California Fair Political Practice Act and receives state certification.

The program provides fellows with an enhanced ability to understand how public policy affects agricultural systems that are complex and diverse with the unintended consequences of regulatory actions. Generally, these fellows have policy implementation or interpretation responsibilities. The program also provides California agricultural producers with an equally important opportunity to better understand the perspectives of regulatory agency managers and the unique constraints, pressures and concerns influencing their decision-making process. The program also provides the fellows and the California agricultural industry with opportunities to enhance their personal development and leadership skills to benefit long-term public policy solutions for California.

Washington, D.C. Educational Fellowship Program

The Washington, D.C. Educational Fellowship Program (also known as D.C. Exchange) is organized and hosted by the Ag Leadership Alumni Council. It brings together government representatives – from congressional staff to federal agency employees – for an in-depth and significant learning opportunity.

The goal is to educate D.C.-based decision makers about current issues and complex challenges facing California’s agriculturalists, and to foster open communication between those producing our agricultural products with federal entities. More than 400 individuals have participated since the D.C. Exchange began in 1982.

Leave the Beltway behind and explore California agriculture up close and personal.

As a participant in this program, fellows will join up to 20 people to travel for one week to a designated region of California and take part in issues-based activities and hands-on agricultural experiences. One-on-one talks, small group discussions, expert panels and site visits will enhance understanding of priority topics that might include water, crop protection, trade, environment, inspection and surveillance, farm worker housing, food safety, immigration, imports/exports and transportation. In addition, participants will get a valuable personal view of agriculture by staying with agricultural families.