Climate-Smart Agriculture Seminar Slated for Dutch Ag Minister’s Visit

Green farm field bordered by irrigation canal, water pump and divided highway.
The upcoming climate-smart ag seminar will include discussions of California's elaborate water-delivery system, part of which is depicted in this photo of a Merced County field with its water pumps and adjacent irrigation canal. (Josh Viers/UC Merced)

Martijn van Dam, the Dutch minister for agriculture, will visit UC Davis Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 28-29, as part of a trip to Northern California focused on further developing strong, collaborative relations between the Netherlands and California in agricultural technology and innovation.

His visit will bring together representatives of the two agricultural powerhouses, with the United States ranked as the world’s largest exporter of agricultural products, and the Netherlands — tallying 80 billion euros in annual agricultural exports — ranked second.

On Monday, van Dam will meet with Helene Dillard, dean of the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and attend a briefing on mosquito research.

Public seminar to examine ag water issues

On Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Marjolijn Sonnema, director general agro and nature, and other Dutch officials will participate in a free, public seminar titled “Climate Smart Agriculture in Times of Water Shortage and Water Quality Challenges.”

The seminar, to be held in the ballroom of the UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center on La Rue Road, grew out of an ongoing partnership in climate-smart agriculture that includes the UC Davis World Food Center, the Consulate General of the Netherlands, California Department of Water Resources and California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The program for the half-day seminar, which will be followed by lunch and networking, is available on the UC Davis World Food Center website. Media and members of the public who plan to attend are asked to RSVP to

Van Dam’s visit follows a visit last year by California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross to the Netherlands. At that time, the Netherlands and California agreed to work together on shared objectives, including cooperation in climate smart agriculture and environmental issues.

Media Resources

Pat Bailey, UC Davis News and Media Relations, 530-219-9640,

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