Camarillo, Calif., April 5, 2012 – CSU Channel Islands (CI) will hold its 8th Annual Poe Symposium, “Agriculture in the Golden State: Challenges in Feeding California in the 21st Century,” on Friday, April 20.  The free public event will take place from 12 to 5:30 p.m. in Aliso Hall 150 on the CI campus.  Advance registration is required at

As the nation’s top agricultural producer, California generates more than $30 billion annually.  However, growers’ ability to feed California and the rest of the country is being continually challenged by new insect pests, drug-resistant pathogens, and environmental concerns at the urban-agricultural interface. The Biology program at CI organized the symposium to help educate the campus and community about the ongoing research on agriculture and the challenges facing growers and policy makers.

“Ventura County is one of the top 10 agriculturally important counties in California, producing many of the state’s strawberries, raspberries, citrus and avocados,” said Dr. Ruben Alarcón, Assistant Professor of Biology at CI and organizer of the symposium.  “It’s important that we understand more about the threats to our agricultural livelihood and access to food so we can take appropriate steps to solve these problems.”

The symposium will kick off with remarks from CI President Dr. Richard Rush and Dr. Alarcón.  Presentations from five experts in their respective fields will follow, covering topics ranging from pests, pathogens and pollination to water challenges and making new agriculture. Attendees will hear from Dr. Ben Faber and Dr. Oleg Daugovish of the University of California Cooperative Extension in Ventura County; Dr. Michael Cahn of the University of California Cooperative Extension in Monterey County; Brett Chandler, President and General Manager of Associates Insectary; and Dr. Gordon Wardell, Senior Bee Biologist for Paramount Farming Company.

Limited parking is available on campus with the purchase of a $6 daily permit; follow signs to the parking permit dispensers. Free parking is available at the Camarillo Metrolink Station/Lewis Road parking lot in Camarillo with bus service to and from the campus. Riders should board the CI Vista Bus to the campus; the cash-only fare is $1.25 each way. Buses arrive and depart from the Camarillo Metrolink Station every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. For exact times, check the schedule at

To register and learn more about this year's symposium please visit or contact Catherine Hutchinson at 805-437-8403 or

# # #

About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands 
(CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CI's Social Media.