On Tuesday, July 29, the White House and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) honored 15 local Champions of Change, leaders from across the country who are doing extraordinary things to build the bench for the next generation of farming and ranching. These champions are leading in their industries and communities, inspiring others who want to find careers and a life on the land, and providing food, fiber, fuel, and flora around the world.
The program featured USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden, who discussed efforts to ensure that beginning farmers and the growing ranks of agriculture – women, young people, immigrants, socially disadvantaged producers, returning veterans and retirees – have access to the programs and support they need. The event also included a discussion about how to continue growing and supporting the next generation of America’s farmers and ranchers.
Pierre Sleiman, founder and CEO of Go Green Agriculture, Encinitas, Calif., was honored as one of the 15 Champions of Change. Go Green Agriculture is an innovative company that grows produce inside climate-controlled greenhouses using hydroponics, a method of growing plants without soil. Sleiman holds a Master’s degree in Business from University of California, San Diego and a Computer Science/Business bachelor’s degree from University of California, Riverside. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the San Diego County Farm Bureau and will graduate this year from the California Leadership Farm Bureau program. Learn more about Sleiman and Go Green Agriculture by reading Meeting The Demand For Edibles: Go Green Agriculture Inc., which was published in Greenhouse Grower‘s July 2014 issue.
The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals, businesses, and organizations doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. Learn more about the White House Champions of Change program and nominate a Champion.
Visit the USDA website for more information on opportunities to support new and beginning farmers.