By Aubrey Bettencourt

When I joined the California Cattle Council and Western United  Dairies as Director of Sustainability it was with a full and excited heart to  join my California agricultural community in service. Our goal was to actively assist our farmers, dairy producers, and ranchers in receiving the resources, technical assistance, policy, and strategic partnerships needed to invest in water solutions and sustainability; furthering their economic viability to achieve environmental goals.

Though it was a difficult decision for me after a fruitful term establishing the sustainability services program at Western United Dairies which benefited all California dairy farmers statewide, I have been blessed by opportunity to continue to serve our agricultural community, and I have accepted a position as President & CEO of the Almond Alliance.

The sustainability services provided to producers removed barriers and increased access to essential state and federal technical and financial resources for disaster response and recovery, and drought resilience investment.

Technical assistance & subject matter  expertise provided critical insight for policy and budgeting; informing members, policy makers, and regulators at the local, state, and federal levels, allowing for efficient and effective policy development to provide resources and opportunities to producers on the ground as they face increased water challenges.

Through strategic partnerships within industry, the conservation community, rural and disadvantaged communities, private business, and the broader ag and urban water community, we have been moving from pilot to practice on various water use technologies, demonstrating the incredible need for on farm investment.

Establishing a presence and authoritative voice within the greater water community; proving our producers are not a part of the problem but are an innovative and essential partner in the state’s water solution.

In talking with those of you who utilized the sustainability services provided, we know these services are essential, and plans are in place to continue service going forward.

I would like to thank the WUD staff and Board of Directors for your continued vision and leadership. The objective of this position has always been putting the farmer first. This was my charge when coming on board; one I am proud to say we always delivered on.

It has been a professional and personally rewarding experience to work with you all, get to know you all, serve you all; my respect has only deepened for California dairy and ranching some of the most sophisticated leaders in Californias agricultural community.

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