A Leader in Ag

by | Jan 10, 2022 | Agriculture, Alumni Profiles, Fall/Winter 2021-22

A lot goes into overseeing agriculture in Yolo County, but protecting farmworkers from pesticides first drew Humberto Izquierdo ’93 to the job. Izquierdo, whose mother encouraged him to become a doctor or lawyer after the family moved from Guatemala to the Bay Area, came to UC Davis as a pre-med student. After graduating, he spent time at rural health clinics in Esparto, Knights Landing and elsewhere, and realized he wanted to do more to help agriculture workers. “The worker protection really attracted me,” he said. “That was something I really appreciated.” He first worked as an inspector for the Yolo County Agriculture Department in the 1990s, ensuring workers wear the proper protective equipment when applying pesticide, and don’t use it in a way that could damage neighboring crops or make someone sick. After stints in Napa and Alameda counties, he returned in January to take the post of Yolo County agricultural commissioner and sealer of weights and measures. His job also includes preventing pests that could harm crops and the environment, certifying agricultural exports and ensuring the accuracy of gas pumps, store prices and scales at grocery stores and agricultural processing plants. “You don’t have to carry your own weight to make sure you’re not being cheated,” Izquierdo said. “It creates a fair marketplace.”