March 7, 2024 - Korinne Bell `96 "Cultivating Leadership: My Path to Agricultural Commissioner"

Korinne Bell is a highly accomplished professional with a distinguished educational background and a diverse career in education and agriculture.

Korinne Bell

After graduating from Villanova Preparatory School, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. After graduating from college, she worked for her family’s agricultural businesses, including farming (avocados), cattle ranching, and animal feed/retail.

She later pursued a passion for education by teaching 6th grade at a local elementary school for a duration of four years. During this time, she furthered her academic pursuits by obtaining a Masters in Education from Azusa Pacific University. Her transition back into the world of agriculture began when she took on a clerical role in the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, primarily focused on data entry. In recognition of her personal and academic background in agriculture, she participated in a ride-along as an Agricultural Inspector Biologist, where her affinity for the field blossomed.

In 2006, Korinne made the pivotal decision to leave the teaching profession and join the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office full-time. Her dedication and expertise as an Inspector Biologist were quickly recognized, and she specialized in areas such as Pesticide Use Enforcement, Direct Marketing, Organics, Standardization, and Invasive Weed Management. As her career progressed, she assumed the role of Agricultural Land Use Planner, alongside her existing responsibilities. In 2012, Korinne's exemplary contributions led to her promotion to Deputy Agricultural Commissioner. In this capacity, she took on additional leadership roles, including overseeing programs such as the Pierce’s Disease Control Program (commonly known as the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter Program), Agricultural Disaster Assessment, and the Ventura County Crop & Livestock Report.

Her continued dedication to the department and it’s work earned her the opportunity to become Chief Deputy Agricultural Commissioner, which she was appointed to in 2016. As the Chief, she assumed a pivotal role in the organization, overseeing an extensive portfolio of 30 diverse programs and leading a team of over 70 dedicated employees. Her responsibilities encompassed personnel management, Human Resources matters, safety protocols as the department Safety Officer, and serving as the Public Information Officer. Korinne continues to oversee environmental analysis for land use projects involving agriculture and her related role as staff for the Ventura County Agricultural Advisory Committee. In 2022, she played a key role in the merger of the department with the Ventura County Weights & Measures Division. In September of 2023, Korinne Bell was appointed the first female Agricultural Commissioner for Ventura County.

Throughout her career, Korinne Bell has remained steadfastly committed to the department’s mission to protect and promote agriculture and equity in the marketplace while ensuring the welfare of the public, industry, and the environment. Her dedication and leadership continue to shape the future of agriculture in Ventura County.

Korinne Bell currently resides on her family’s avocado ranch in Santa Paula with her husband of 20 years, Terry Bell, and their two children, Carson (16) and Olivia (12).

Listen to Korrine's speech!

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