Jose Chang has been approved by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors as the new agriculture commissioner/director of weights and measures.
He will begin his new role on Jan. 23.
Mr. Chang will assume the duties from Cathy Fisher, who is retiring after 12 years as commissioner.
Mr. Chang has worked in agriculture/weights and measures since 2006 for Napa County and most recently for Monterey County, where in his role as assistant agriculture commissioner/sealer, he oversaw a $13 million budget and 80 staff members.
In addition, he served as the president of the California Association of Standards and Agricultural Professionals in 2018-2019.
Growing up in an agricultural family, Mr. Chang has always been passionate about farming. He studied agriculture at UC Davis and spent his career working to protect and promote agriculture in the California Agricultural Commissioner System.
“The experience, skill set and education I have gathered over the past 18 years have led me to this position. I have worked in Napa, where wine grapes are the primary crop, and as you know, wine grapes are one of the top agricultural commodities here,” Mr. Chang said in a news release. “In addition, working in Monterey County, I acquired knowledge and experience of the vegetable and fruit crops grown there, ranging from strawberries to broccoli, which have tremendous economic value in Santa Barbara County.”
Mr. Chang received a bachelor’s in plant biology at UC Davis. He is bilingual in English and Spanish. He holds his California Department of Food and Agriculture license for agricultural commissioner, sealer, deputy agricultural commissioner and Deputy Sealer.
Joan Hartmann, chair of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, praised Mr. Chang for being a wonderful addition to the county. “Agriculture is a vital pillar in the economic structure of our County, and with Jose’s background in other California counties that focus on agriculture and his familiarity with our top crops, he has a good understanding of just how important the work he will be doing is for our whole community.”
Ms. Hartmann added, “I would like to recognize Cathy Fisher for her work and leadership as the Agricultural Commissioner for the past 12 years. She has worked to protect agriculture, natural resources and the quality of life in Santa Barbara County. She has been a wonderful leader working to improve processes and helping our agricultural community thrive while protecting the consumer.”
For more information about the Agriculture/Weights and Measures Department, go to www.countyofsb.org.