Agriculture is a major industry for the Golden State. With 80,500 farms and ranches, California agriculture is a $44.7 billion dollar industry that generates at least $100 billion in related economic activity. The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) mission is, “to serve the citizens of California by promoting and protecting a safe, healthy food supply, and enhancing local and global agricultural trade, through efficient management, innovation, and sound science, with a commitment to environmental stewardship.”

In 1919, the California Legislature created a single department responsible for protecting and promoting agriculture. CDFA is now organized into six divisions and operates at more than 100 locations throughout the state. These divisions provide valuable services to producers, merchants, and the public. Many of them are conducted in partnership with local county offices of the agricultural commissioners and sealers.

CDFA strives to support innovation and agricultural diversity. One way to support these efforts is through working with future generations of agriculturalists. The CDFA Internship Program is designed for college students of all majors and backgrounds who have an interest in agriculture, California government, and public service. Internships are for students looking to gain a better understanding of California agriculture, as well as the role CDFA has among the state’s agricultural systems. Internships are available in a variety of divisions within CDFA.

Internships are available to students year round and generally last 10-16 weeks. Students should be available for at least 8 — 10 hours per week, up to 30 hours per week, depending on the internship offered.

Prerequisites may include:

What Interns Are Saying

I just wanted to send a quick email to once again say thank you for the internship opportunity over the summer of 2015. I had no idea how much information I had learned from my internship would be invaluable in the classroom. The first-hand experiences and skills I gained during my internship have played such an important role in the classroom! I wanted to express my gratitude to you as I would not be where I am without this amazing opportunity. Please tell everyone I said hello and I hope everyone is doing well!

Nicole Nelsen
Master of Public Health-Veterinary Public Health Candidate
The Ohio State University


Administrative Services
Administrative Services is responsible for planning, organizing, directing, and controlling activities related to fiscal management, personnel, labor relations, budgets, general business services, contract management, and health and safety.

Animal Health and Food Safety Services
Animal Health and Food Safety Services protects the safety and security of meat, poultry, dairy products, and other foods of animal origin; public and animal health through the prevention, detection, and eradication of livestock and poultry diseases and dairy contamination incidents; and cattle owners against loss of animals by theft, straying, or misappropriation through ongoing inspections and investigative services.

For information about Animal Health and Food Safety Services contact:
Samuel Mercado
(916) 900-5021

Executive Office
The Executive Office provides oversight of the Department. Its mission is to serve the citizens of California by promoting and protecting a safe, healthy food supply, and enhancing local and global agricultural trade, through efficient management, innovation, and sound science, with a commitment to environmental stewardship.

For information about the Executive Office contact:
Josh Eddy
(916) 654-0462

Fairs and Expositions
Fairs and Expositions provides fiscal and policy oversight of the network of California fairs and ensures the best use of available funding and provides other consultative services.

For information about Fairs and Expositions contact:
John Quiroz
(916) 900-5025

Inspection Services
Inspection Services provides professional services that support and contribute to a safe, abundant, quality food supply; environmentally sound agriculture practices; and an equitable marketplace for California agriculture.

For information about Inspection Services contact:
Cecilia Baumann
(916) 900-5197

Marketing Services
Marketing Services assists in the promotion and administrative oversight of agriculture marketing programs in order to promote California agriculture products.

For information about Marketing contact:
Jeff Cesca
(916) 900-5011

Measurement Standards
Measurement Standards is responsible for the enforcement of California weights and measures laws and regulations. The Division’s activities are designed to ensure the accuracy of commercial weighing and measuring devices; verify the quantity of both bulk and packaged commodities; and enforce the quality, advertising, and labeling standards for products.

For information about Measurement Standards contact:
Rebecca Bland
(916) 229-3042

Pierce’s Disease Control Program
Pierce’s Disease Control Program is responsible for minimizing the impact of the Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-wing sharpshooter pest-disease complex and its vectors in California.

For information about the Pierce’s Disease Control Program contact:
Roger Spencer
(916) 900-5252

Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services
Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services protects California’s food supply from the devastating impact of exotic pests; environment and natural resources from direct pest impacts and increased pesticide use; public from pests that pose human health threats; and position in the global economy.

For information about Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services contact:
David Pegos
(916) 654-0317

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