Every year when CWA hosts its May state-wide meeting, our members present the Cornucopia Award to a legislator, who represents an urban district, who has demonstrated an understanding of agriculture and is open to communication about challenges surrounding rural areas of California. This year we are pleased to present the Cornucopia Award to Assembly Member Susan Talamantes Eggman.
A leader with decades of experience in public service and community-building, Dr. Susan Talamantes Eggman was first elected in November 2012 to represent the 13th Assembly District, which draws together the San Joaquin Delta communities of Stockton, Tracy, Thornton and Mountain House. Susan has since been re-elected in 2014, 2016, and 2018.
Susan grew up on her family’s small almond orchard and apiary in Turlock. It was a farm-to-market family business, with Eggman’s father and brother tending the orchard and hives, her mother keeping the books, and later her partner, Renee Hall, bottling and selling the honey at farmers’ markets in San Francisco. Continuing through three generations of growing and beekeeping in California’s Central Valley, the operation ultimately grew to over 40 acres of almonds and 2000 beehives.
Susan joined the U.S. Army out of high school and served four years as a medic. After her service, she attended California State University, Stanislaus, where she completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in social work. She worked as a mental health provider and medical social worker before completing a Ph.D. at Portland State University. An associate professor of social work at California State University, Sacramento, Susan has taken a leave of absence to serve in the State Assembly. A lifelong learner, Susan passed the Licensed Clinical Social Worker examination shortly after assuming office.
The chair of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Susan also is a member of the committees on Appropriations, Utilities & Energy, Business & Professions, and Natural Resources.
A former member of Stockton’s City Council – and the first Latina elected to that office – Susan is committed to policies that advance the good of her whole community, including improving access to health care, expanding educational opportunities and addressing her district’s critical need for resources to address crime. She has a proven record of working across partisan divides to find working solutions to real problems.
Susan and Renee, her spouse and partner for more than 30 years, live in Stockton’s Victory Park neighborhood, where they are raising their daughter, Eme.