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APG To Have Facebook Live Series with Their Ambassadors, And Others

American Pistachio Growers Kicks Off New Facebook Live Series

 

Monthly interviews will feature conversations with some of the world’s top athletes, adventurers and renowned nutrition and thought leaders, asking them “What fuels your goals?”

 

American Pistachio Growers (APG), armed with voluminous data that pistachios are packed with a multitude of benefits for active bodies and minds, is inaugurating a new 2021-22 Facebook Live Series — Friday Fuel-Up with Dr. Mike Roussell

 

  • to engage some of the most energetic and interesting people in the world with the question, What fuels you? The monthly series, which debuts August 6 and continues the first Friday of every month, is hosted by nutritionist Dr. Mike Roussell, a noted author and nutrition advisor to

Men’s Health Magazine.

“I’m ecstatic about the opportunity to bring to online audiences conversations with some of the world’s top athletes, adventurers and authorities in key areas of life,” said Roussell. “We’ll delve into their mindset, what drives them to succeed in their field, as well as the physical aspect of fueling success. In all episodes, there should be key takeaways that any listener can apply to their own life.”

 

The first eight months’ line-up of guests reads like a page out of Who’s Who. His first guest on August 6 is Luke Coutinho, a globally renowned holistic lifestyle coach and best-selling author, based in India, who’s known for his take on Eastern philosophy, nutrition and practices that also incorporate well into Western lifestyles.

 

The balance of the 2021 line-up includes: Scott H. Smith, PhD., Nutritionist and Manager for Nutritional Biochemistry for NASA’s Johnson Space Center, September 3; renowned Big Mountain snow boarder and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Jeremy Jones, October 1; two-time Olympic gold medal-winning British triathlete Alistair Brownlee, November 5; and Bryan Snyder, Director of Nutrition for the Denver Broncos, December 3.

 

For 2022, Roussell will welcome 2021 Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey, January 7; Vicky Losada, international soccer star and leading advocate for womens’ and girls’ sports, February 4; and pro quarterback Josh Allen, March 4.

 

Audiences can join the conversations LIVE between Roussell and Coutinho on August 6 at 10 a.m. PST at Facebook.com/AmericanPistachios, the same time and place for all subsequent episodes in this first Friday-of-the-month series. Recorded programs will also be available on Instagram and YouTube.

2021-07-29T15:18:54-07:00July 29th, 2021|

Rep. Harder Funds Almond Biocarbon Program

Almond Alliance Commends Rep. Harder for FARM Act funding for Pilot Programs to Produce Biocarbon

The Almond Alliance of California today commended Rep. Josh Harder (C-10) for including funding to support ten nationwide pilot programs to convert tree nut by-products into biocarbon products in the Future of Agricultural Resiliency and Modernization (FARM) Act.

Almond Alliance President Elaine Trevino explained that in California the funding will help accelerate efforts to develop new biofuels or other biocarbon products derived from almond harvest by-products.  For example, in a process called “pyrolysis” almond harvest by-products can produce biochar, a soil amendment with excellent carbon sequestration potential and syngas and bio-oils, which can be used directly to fire furnaces or more importantly as inputs to produce motor vehicle biofuels and other biochemicals.

Trevino commented, “California’s almond growers are proud to be innovators who remain focused on sustainability and are constantly looking to put everything we grow to its highest and best use.  We expect that biofuels produced using California Grown almond by-products will become a major contributor towards meeting California’s carbon neutral goals.  We appreciate Congressman Harder’s ongoing support of almond growers and especially his inclusion of funding for pilot projects in the FARM Act that will catalyze development of climate-friendly biocarbon and biofuel products.”

2021-07-29T11:09:24-07:00July 29th, 2021|

Big Increase in State Budget for UCANR

Governor Signs ‘Transformational’ Budget for UC ANR Research and Outreach

 

By Pam Kan Rice, UCANR Assistant Director, New and Information Outreach

The state budget signed by Governor Newsom Monday night [July 12] includes a historic increase for the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. The state restored UC ANR’s budget to pre-COVID levels of FY 2019-20 and provided a 5% increase plus an additional $32 million in ongoing funding, bringing total state support to $107.9 million for the division, which contains the county-based UC Cooperative Extension, Integrated Pest Management, and 4-H Youth Development programs.

“This budget increase is transformational and will allow us to rebuild UC Cooperative Extension’s boots-on-the-ground to help Californians cope with wildfire, drought, and climate adaptation,” said Glenda Humiston, UC vice president for agriculture and natural resources.

Over the past 20 years, state funding for UC ANR decreased by almost 50% (adjusted for inflation), resulting in a significant reduction of UC ANR’s Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists – from 427 positions in 2001 down to only 269 in 2021 – creating vacancies in many critical positions.

“We appreciate UC ANR stakeholders for sounding the alarm,” Humiston said. “And we are immensely grateful to Senator John Laird, chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Education, for recognizing this critical need and for his leadership and dedication to restoring UC ANR’s budget to bring back Cooperative Extension throughout California.”

With this new funding, UC ANR will begin recruiting for 20 UC Cooperative Extension academic positions and prioritizing many more critical positions for hiring during the next several months.

“As in the past, we will be talking to our community partners and other stakeholders to identify the most pressing needs to prioritize the next round of hiring,” Humiston said. “We must identify positions to address California’s emerging and future needs. While this state budget increase will allow UC ANR to hire more people, we will continue seeking funding from additional sources to expand access to our diverse resources for all Californians.”

To learn more about how UC ANR enhances economic prosperity protects natural resources, develops an inclusive and equitable society, safeguards food, develops the workforce, builds climate resilience, and promotes the health of people and communities in California, see the stories in its 2020 annual report at https://ucanr.edu/sites/UCANR/files/352362.pdf.

2021-07-27T11:22:09-07:00July 27th, 2021|

USDA Radio Often Ignores California!

 

 

 

USDA Radio Newsline Focuses Primarily on Midwest Animal Feed Crops

They do not Seem to Care Much about the Food that People Eat, Except Rice and Peanuts

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

We get a daily email from the USDA Radio Newsline. More often than not, the reporters focus on program crops and not specialty crops. While this email did focus three reports on a new US Forest Service Chief, Randy Moore, and two addition reports on wildfires in the West, the rest of the lineup focused on Soybeans, Corn, Wheat and Barley.  We would hope that USDA would realize where most of the nutritious food is grown. We are talking big ag industries such as Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, Tomatoes, Fresh Citrus, Raisin, Wine and Table Grapes; and many other specialty crops that are exclusively grown in California!
Animal feed is important, but what about the crops that consumers love to eat. That would very interesting to listeners around the country listening to hundreds of radio stations!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday July 26 Stories

  • U.S. Forest Service Has a New Chief
  • Forest Service Chief-We Need to Go on the Offensive to Help Prevent Wildfires
  • Actuality: Forest Service Chief’s Views on Climate Change and Wildfires
  • Actuality: Some Wildfires Are Behaving in Unexpected, Dangerous Ways
  • Shoppers May Soon See Shrinking Beef Supplies and Rising Prices
  • Dry Weather Leads to Corn, Soybean Condition Declines
  • Actuality: Details on Corn Crop Development
  • Actuality: A Detailed Look at Corn Conditions
  • Actuality: Soybean Crop Development is Progressing Ahead of Schedule
  • Actuality: Soybean Condition Details
  • Spring Wheat Conditions Continue Downward Plunge
  • Actuality: Spring Wheat Harvest is Underway
  • Actuality: Crop Progress Numbers for Barley Sharply Contrast with Last Year
  • Actuality: Winter Wheat Harvest Pace is Ahead of Average
  • Actuality: Rainy Weather Slows Cotton Development
  • Actuality: “Decent-Looking” Cotton Crop
  • Actuality: Rice — Slow Development, Good Condition
  • Actuality: Peanut Crop Pegging Behind Average, but Condition is Good
2021-07-26T17:28:59-07:00July 26th, 2021|

Valadao: Introduces Amendment to Help with Drought

Congressman David G. Valadao Introduces Three Amendments to Alleviate California Drought

 

Congressman David G. Valadao introduced recently three amendments to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill, which funds various federal agencies. Each of which would make strides toward alleviating the devastating California drought. The House Committee on Appropriations is responsible for appropriating funding for most of the functions of the federal government.

Congressman Valadao’s first amendment would extend California water storage provisions of the WIIN Act — Subtitle J — for one year. Certain provisions of the WIIN Act are set to expire soon, or have already expired, creating an urgent need for specific extensions. The amendment would also extend the authorization of appropriations for water storage projects that the Secretary of the Interior finds feasible. This language complements the RENEW WIIN Act and NEED Water Act that the congressman introduced earlier this year.

california drought

The WIIN Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2016, directed the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce to develop a new operations plan of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project, which was completed in February 2020. The resulting biological opinions (BiOps) provide flexibility and guidance to make use of California’s water to the fullest extent and avoid waste of this precious resource. The second amendment would codify the BiOps. These BiOps were independently peer-reviewed and informed by the most accurate, best available science. The corresponding operations plans for the Central Valley Project and State Water Project employs this science and data to ensure greater water reliability and availability for communities and farms across California, while continuing to protect at-risk species.

 

Congressman Valadao’s third amendment would provide funding to restore the conveyance capacity of canal infrastructure facilities to move flood flows to groundwater recharge areas in order to help farmers comply with new state laws related to groundwater pumping. Major San Joaquin Valley canals would benefit from this program.

 

House Appropriations Committee Democrats voted down all three amendments.

 

“When I meet with my constituents, the same issue arises: the desperate need for water. Today I introduced three amendments to address California’s crumbling water infrastructure, storage issues, and lack of operational flexibility for communities and farmers. Farmers across the Central Valley are being forced to tear up their crops to conserve water—crops that would have fed families across the United States and across the world. Communities in my district’s wells are drying up, if they aren’t already dry,” said Congressman Valadao. “Once again, my colleagues across the aisle refuse to acknowledge the fact that we have a crisis on our hands. I am incredibly disappointed that the Majority rejected my amendments — real people need our help, and it’s clear the Democrats are unwilling to provide it. I will not stop fighting to bring a solution to the Central Valley.”

 

2021-07-23T14:24:45-07:00July 23rd, 2021|

Study: New Fumigation Stategy

New Fumigation Techniques for Soilborne Diseases

By Tim Hammerich with the Ag Information Network

Protecting fruit from soilborne pathogens is a big concern for strawberry growers. Researchers at the University of California Ag and Natural Resources are looking to see if a drip application of fungicides might be effective, noted UC Cooperative Extension advisor in entomology and biologicals, Surendra Dara.

“This particular study was based on a request from FMC. They wanted to evaluate if drip application of some fungicides could be supplemental to whatever the growers are currently following to control soilborne diseases. And they also wanted to see if it has any impact on improving the crop health, and potentially other diseases,” said Dara.

Dara noted the results from the first trial were positive, but he didn’t see enough incidence of soilborne disease in the control group to be sure. He’s optimistic though, given drip application of fungicides has been effective on other plant pathogens.

“They do apply fungicides to drip, but not necessarily for soilborne diseases. The management practices are usually obtaining clean transplants and fumigating or crop rotation. These are the typical management recommendations for soil-borne diseases,” explained Dara.

Dara hopes to continue to study the potential for this management practice.

2021-07-23T21:22:40-07:00July 22nd, 2021|

Big Grant for Dairy’s Net Zero Initiative

Dairy’s Net Zero Initiative Gets Boost with $10 million Research Grant

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research has awarded a $10 million grant to support U.S. dairy’s Net Zero Initiative as a critical on-farm pathway to advance the industrywide 2050 Environmental Stewardship Goals set through the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

In California, UC Davis and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources scientists will collaborate on the nationwide project addressing carbon sequestration, soil health and nitrogen management.

“The Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research grant in partnership with Soil Health Institute and Dairy Research Institute are funding research that will positively impact the future of animal and plant agriculture in a world with increasingly limited natural resources,” said Deanne Meyer, UC Cooperative Extension specialist based at UC Davis, who studies livestock waste management.

Working with California dairy forage and almond producers, UC Cooperative Extension scientists and technicians will evaluate and demonstrate the impacts of using manure products as fertilizer in combination with more traditional soil conservation practices.

“With this research, there’s a potential to expand the use of dairy manure products beyond forage crops to crops such as almonds,” said Nick Clark, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor for Fresno and Tulare counties. “We expect results to demonstrate that groundwater quality and quantity can be protected and preserved, and crop yields can be maintained without increasing net greenhouse gas emissions from crop production.”

Clark added, “We look forward to working with our local producers and connecting with our national partners and collaborators to examine and demonstrate the best practical solutions that science has to offer for farming in tomorrow’s world.”

California dairy operators who would like to participate in the experiment may contact Clark for more information at neclark@ucanr.edu.

Data from the “Dairy Soil & Water Regeneration: Building soil health to reduce greenhouse gases, improve water quality and enable new economic benefits” project will be broadly shared among the dairy community. The six-year project will provide measurement-based assessments of dairy’s greenhouse gas footprint for feed production. It will also set the stage for new market opportunities related to carbon, water quality and soil health.

“Addressing the U.S. dairy industry’s emissions is a critical solution to climate change,” said FFAR Executive Director Sally Rockey. “I know dairy farmers are working hard to decrease their environmental footprint and I’m thrilled to support their efforts by advancing research needed to adopt climate-smart practices on dairy farms across the country.”

Through foundational science, on-farm pilots and development of new product markets, the Net Zero Initiative aims to knock down barriers and create incentives for farmers that will lead to economic viability and positive environmental impact.

“After six years, we will have data that accurately reflect our farms’ greenhouse gas footprint for dairy crop rotations with consideration for soil health management practices and new manure-based products,” said Jim Wallace, Dairy Management Inc. senior vice president of environmental research. “We expect to develop critical insights that link soil health outcomes, such as carbon sequestration, with practice and technology adoption. This will provide important background information to support the development of new carbon and water quality markets.”

The project will be executed across four dairy regions responsible for about 80% of U.S. milk production: Northeast, Lakes, Mountain and Pacific. In addition to UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and UC Davis, collaborators include the Soil Health Institute and leading dairy research institutions, including Cornell University, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, University of Vermont, and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research in Idaho.

Dozens of dairies representing climates and soils of these major production regions will participate in a baseline survey of soil health and carbon storage. Additionally, eight farms, including five operating dairies, two university research dairies and one USDA ARS research farm, will participate in the project. These pilots will be used to engage farmers in soil health management practices and monitor changes in greenhouse gas emissions, soil carbon storage, soil health and water quality.

The FFAR grant will be matched by financial contributions from Net Zero Initiative partners such as Nestlé, the dairy industry, including Newtrient, and in-kind support for a total of $23.2 million. The funds will be managed by the Dairy Research Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity founded and staffed by Dairy Management Inc., whose scientists will serve as the project leads to address research gaps in feed production and manure-based fertilizers.

About the partners

FFAR builds public-private partnerships to support bold science that fills critical research gaps. Working with partners across the private and public sectors, FFAR identifies urgent challenges facing the food and agriculture industry and funds research to develop solutions.

NZI is an industrywide effort led by six national dairy organizations: Dairy Management Inc., Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, International Dairy Foods Association, Newtrient, National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council. This collaboration represents a critical pathway on U.S. dairy’s sustainability journey.

For more information about dairy sustainability, visit www.usdairy.com/sustainability.

UC Agriculture and Natural Resources brings the power of UC to all 58 California counties. Through research and Cooperative Extension in agriculture, natural resources, nutrition, economic and youth development, our mission is to improve the lives of all Californians. Learn more at ucanr.edu and support our work at donate.ucanr.edu.

 

2021-07-22T16:09:39-07:00July 22nd, 2021|

Amendments Needed on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act

Urgent Amendments Needed to the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021 and the Passage of Dreamers Legislation

 

The U. S. House of Representative passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021. NFL President Manuel Cunha stated, “Unfortunately, their version of the legislation did not include employees of packing house or processing facilities under the definition of ‘agricultural labor or services.’ It is our desire to expand the definition to include employees vital to our community and economic sectors.”

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021 would provide farmworkers, who are invaluable to our economy and have lived in this country for years, even decades, an opportunity to earn citizenship.

Community leaders are concerned. Orange Cove City Mayor Victor Lopez said “the hard-working people in our community who work in packing houses should be treated fairly. We urge the Senate to adopt language expanding the definition of the farm workforce.”

Parlier Mayor Alma Beltran, added, “we support our farmworkers. We do not want to split up families. We want our communities to be strong and viable.”

Most recently, the Nisei Farmers League, the African American Farmers of California, the Insure America Project, and numerous Mayors wrote letters to U. S. Senators Feinstein and U. S. Senator Padilla asking them to include employees who work in packing houses and processing facilities to be added to the Senate version of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021. Cunha stated, “We intend to contact 43 cities in the Sand Joaquin Valley for their support.”

Cunha further stated, “We are also asking legislation for Dreamers be passed concurrently. In light of the recent federal ruling that new applications for DACA must stop, it is even more important our ‘Dreamers’ are not forgotten in the effort to legalize agricultural workers. In our communities, many Dreamers have parents working in agriculture. To not move forward with DACA legislation leaves thousands to uncertain futures and possible family separations.”

2021-07-21T20:09:56-07:00July 21st, 2021|

Center for Land-Based Learning Gets Big Grant

Center for Land-based Learning Awarded $25,000 Bank of America Grant

Grant will support General Operating Funds for the Growing Non-profit

 

Bank of America has awarded $25,000 to the Center for Land-Based Learning, based in Woodland, to support General Operating Funds for the growing non-profit.

Bank of America has long been a supporter of the Center’s work, with previous grants funding its Green Corps program and a multi-year Neighborhood Builder project. The current funding undergirds the Center’s mission to inspire, educate, and cultivate future generations of farmers, agricultural leaders, and natural resource stewards, through educational programming, job creation, and workforce development efforts.

Lori A. Rianda, Senior Vice President and Local Market Executive for Bank of America Greater Sacramento, remarked of the partnership, “The work that Center for Land-Based Learning does in our community around workforce development within the ag industry and environmental stewardship is truly impactful. We are pleased to partner with CLBL, a true model for what an effective, sustainable community-based organization should be.”

This grant, in providing General Operating Support to the Center, would directly support Workforce Development, specifically through the FARMS Program and California Farm Academy. The Center directly engages in job creation through the internship portion of the FARMS Program, aimed at helping youth ages 16 through 24 to enter the fields of agriculture and natural resource stewardship. The Center also partners with local partners to create and manage paid internships for youth interested in entering these fields professionally.

Mary Kimball, CEO of the Center for Land-Based Learning, expressed her appreciation for the support: “We are thrilled to be funded by the Bank of America Foundation again through this grant. We value our long-term partnership and the investment that the foundation makes in the economic and social well-being of our region through its philanthropic giving.”

2021-07-21T16:59:44-07:00July 21st, 2021|

Drought Assistance Sought for Central Valley

State Senator Hurtado and Congressman Valadao Urge Gov. Newsom For Help in Drought for Central Valley Counties

 

 Today, Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) and Congressman David G. Valadao (R-Hanford) released the following statements regarding a letter they sent to Governor Gavin Newsom and the Federal Drought Task Force to ensure that the south Central Valley will be considered in drought decisions:

“California is one state of many, including countries around the world, that is experiencing a drought unlike any other,” said Senator Hurtado. “Farmers of the Central Valley are world leaders and have been at the forefront of the fight against climate change. Support for our farmers equals support for our food—we may not be able to avoid this water crisis, but we can work to avoid a food crisis. There is no room for partisan politics in addressing this enormous challenge. Congressman Valadao, myself, and the Valley Delegation have been working tirelessly to address the needs of our constituents, farmers and farmworkers. We will continue to do so.”

“Central Valley farmers are doing everything they can to mitigate this crisis, and we need you to do everything you can to help them,” said Congressman Valadao. “Senator Hurtado and I understand the challenges both state and federal officials currently face in allocating extremely limited water supplies to meet all the demands of the state. There is no doubt that the agriculture industry can, should, and currently is playing a role in reducing water use during these difficult times. Not only have many farmers in our districts implemented more modern technology and irrigation practices to efficiently use water, but farmers across our districts have already fallowed fields and prematurely ripped out permanent crops in an effort to reduce water use further. We strongly urge you to think about our Central Valley farmers when making critical decisions on drought mitigation.”

Pipe without waterThis legislative session, Senator Hurtado has introduced Senate Bill 559–the State Water Resiliency Act of 2021. Senate Bill 559 will allocate $785 million to repairing vital water delivery systems that provide drinking water to communities throughout California and water to sustain the state’s leading agricultural economy. The funds would go to fixing the Friant-Kern Canal, the Delta-Mendota Canal and major portions of the California Aqueduct, all of which have degraded and are losing water as a result of subsidence – the actual shrinking of land.

The Senator is also a co-author of the Water Innovation Act of 2021, which will create the Office of Water Innovation at the California Water Commission-furthering new technologies and other approaches within the water sector. The Senator has also introduced Senate Bill 464, which will expand the eligibility for state funded food benefits to undocumented immigrants, ensuring all residents can access food assistance. Senator Hurtado’s SB 108, which will declare it to be state policy that all people have access to sufficient, healthy food.

2021-07-19T12:47:36-07:00July 19th, 2021|
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