SACRAMENTO, December 20, 2006 – Anna Catharina ("Cat") Berge, a Visalia community leader in agriculture, has been selected to participate in the California Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP), one of the premier agricultural leadership opportunities in the United States. Her class, the 37th selected in the program’s history, was recently inaugurated in San Diego.
CALP is an intensive two-year fellowship that focuses on more effective leadership through enlightenment and cultural exposure. It has been in operation since 1969 and has more than 1,000 alumni, including such influential leaders as Secretary of Agriculture A.G. Kawamura, State Senators Mike Machado and Abel Maldonado, U.S. Representatives Devin Nunes and George Radanovich, and former Secretary of State Bill Jones.
"Through the Agricultural Leadership Program I hope to further develop my leadership skills in order to better be able to serve, support and lead both on a local, statewide, national and international level," says Berge.
Veterinarian Berge works at the UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center (VMTRC) just south of Tulare. A native of Sweden, she came to the United States in 1998 to earn a Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine degree at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She left a successful career in veterinary policy in the Swedish government and in the European Union to pursue studies in epidemiology. In the summer of 1999 she moved down to the VMTRC.
After finishing her master's in 2001, she realized that her mission was not accomplished and continued her research. Dr. Berge also became interested in the environmental ecology of Salmonella in the Central Valley. She has published several key papers in peer-reviewed journals and is continuously evaluating new statistical and descriptive models to describe the complex dynamical processes in the spread of diseases and antimicrobial resistance. In 2004 she obtained a Ph.D. in Comparative Pathology with a focus on the predictive factors governing the emergence of antibiotic resistance in pre-weaned calves and alternatives to antibiotic use in calf production.
With similar intensity and passion Cat Berge started bicycling in 2000 and became a competitive racer with numerous first places. This spring Cat started a Central Valley team (Lunachix), a group of eight women with the goal to inspire, encourage and motivate women to explore the joys of biking.
As a member of Class 37, Berge will be exposed to a variety of issues and activities unique to CALP. Those include visits to San Quentin State Prison in San Rafael and intercity youth programs in East Los Angeles, as well as trips across the United States and to developing nations. The participants’ interaction with non-agricultural environments follows CALP’s belief that effective leaders must have a true understanding of the world around them.
For more information about CALP, visit http://www.agleaders.org/ or call 916-928-2202.