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2023 Cattle Market Outlook

By Bernt Nelson, Economist, American Farm Bureau

2022 was filled with mountains for U.S. cattle producers to climb. From high feed costs to the third consecutive year of drought, there was no shortage of complex obstacles, many with effects that will carry through well beyond 2023. This Market Intel is a deep dive into the 2023 cattle outlook, and what producers can do to position themselves for what lies ahead.

Inventory

All eyes will be on USDA’s semi-annual cattle inventory report, set for release on Jan. 31. This inventory of cattle and calves in the United States will set the tone for 2023. Many industry experts are forecasting the inventory to be 4-5% below 2022, which was 2% less than the Jan. 1, 2021, inventory. If the report estimates are 3.9% or more below Jan. 1, 2021, the inventory of all cattle and calves in the Unites States would be the lowest since 2013. If the inventory comes in near 5% below 2021, the inventory would be the lowest since we approached 82.08 million in 1951. The last time the Jan. 1 cattle inventory declined by 3% or more was in 1987.

The most recent Cattle on Feed (COF) report estimates that all cattle and calves on feed in U.S. feedlots with capacity of 1,000 head or more were 11.7 million on Dec. 1, 2022. This is 3% below 2021. Placements of cattle into feedlots in November were 1.93 million head, down 2% from the same time in 2021. Marketings of fed cattle in November 2022 totaled 1.89 million head, 1% above the same time last year. This is a record high for November marketings since the survey began in 1996 and comes after a record low for cattle placed into feedlots in October. Marketings of fed cattle outpaced placements of cattle on feed for much of 2022. This is an indicator that farmers are culling cattle and reducing herd size. This was mostly due to farmers facing higher feed costs, and extreme drought conditions, especially in the West and Southern Plains. The next COF report will be released on Jan. 20, ahead of the semi-annual inventory report mentioned earlier.

Production

Beef production for November 2022 was 2.42 million pounds, 2% higher than the same time in 2021. Accumulated production was estimated to be 26.07 billion pounds, 2% higher than 2021, which was a record year for beef production. Production has been aggressive through much of 2022 with packers taking advantage of profitable margins that may not be as easy to come by in 2023. Supplies of cattle will be tighter in the upcoming year, which may force packers to pay more to secure cattle and meet demand. If inventory drops between 4% and 5%, the U.S. will be looking at a 400,000-500,000 metric ton decrease in production in 2023 and will provide price support.

Dressed and live weights were also up for much of 2022, with the average live weight for November coming in at 1,384 pounds. This is up 2 pounds from this time last year. USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) raised estimates for fourth quarter beef production by 70 million pounds, to 28.4 billion pounds, due to higher expected cattle slaughter and heavier carcass weights. The combination of increased cattle slaughter and higher average dressed weights should make 2022 a record year for production. ERS estimates 2023 production to slow year-over-year, dropping 7% to 26.4 billion pounds. This is largely due to the expectations for a smaller cattle inventory for the upcoming year.

Weather

For the third consecutive year, drought has plagued much of the U.S. in 2022. The West and Southern Plains experienced some of the worst drought conditions in recent history. This has taken a toll on pasture and rangeland conditions in regions of the country with the highest concentrations of cattle. On Oct. 30, 2022, 64% of the cattle in the U.S. were in regions where more than 40% of pasture and rangeland conditions were rated as poor to very poor. These conditions were among the top reasons we saw contraction in the cattle industry in 2022.

To begin with, the Southern winter wheat crop was damaged because of the drought. Then temperatures dropped during the last week of December before there was adequate snowfall to protect crops from the cold. Winter kill of the winter wheat crop would be another incentive for famers to market cattle and continue contraction of the cattle industry into the spring.

The good news is there have been signs that La Nina has started to weaken. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climate Prediction Center updates the Nina status on the second Thursday of every month. According to the most recent summary, La Nina is still present. However, there is an equal chance that ENSO-neutral (El Nino Southern Oscillation – Neutral) status will develop between January and March, and a 71% chance of an ENSO-neutral event occurring in February through April 2023. An ENSO-neutral event is one where neither El Nino or La Nina are present. The ENSO-neutral event is one of the most important climate phenomena because it can change circulation patterns of the global atmosphere. What this means in plain language is that chances are pretty good for breaking the La Nina trend that has caused the drought.

Prices

For the week ending Dec. 6, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported 78% of the United States was experiencing some level of drought. While winter weather has provided some much-needed moisture since the beginning of December, much of the U.S. remains under threat of drought conditions for 2023. The winter weather has given packers some trouble securing cattle, causing a drop in cattle slaughter last week and a jump in beef prices.

Cash asking prices in the Southern Plains have been holding at $158/cwt for fed cattle. So far packers have not been willing to pay that, but the declining cattle marketings reported by COF will force them to eventually pay some higher prices as supplies continue to tighten. In Midwestern states such as Iowa and Nebraska, prices been as high as $160/cwt for fed cattle with the greatest volume of trade occurring near $158/cwt. Prices have been much higher for replacement heifers with desirable genetics, especially in the Midwest. The 5-market weekly regional weighted average fed steer price for the week ending Dec. 4 was $156.42/cwt, the highest price since May 31, 2015, when the average price was $155.59/cwt.

Outside markets such as corn and stock markets are playing a major role in futures price volatility in live and feeder cattle. When stock markets move upward on the day, this is supportive of upward movement in livestock futures because it means consumers have more money to spend. Corn futures are reflective of a primary feed source for livestock. When the price of corn drops, it is supportive of livestock futures. On the other hand, when corn futures increase, it puts pressure on livestock futures.

Feeder cattle are changing the market situation. Recently, feeders and live cattle have really broken out to the upside in the futures markets. Recall placements in the most recent COF report were down 3% year over year. The tighter supply is first felt in feeder cattle contracts. The market is becoming current. This means that the fundamental events are changing futures prices. The January feeder cattle contract is currently trading at $185.22 with the deferred (months outside the nearest contract month) months being much stronger. This really puts things in perspective when the deferred contracts are analyzed. May feeder cattle were trading at $191.86 on Jan. 4, which indicates the expected supply/demand effects later in the year. Live cattle have moved higher as well but not at the same rate as feeders. Lower numbers of placements of cattle on feed are being built into feeder cattle contracts. Live cattle are still available in good numbers from a time when placements were still strong, so the live cattle futures contracts aren’t moving higher as fast.

Cutout

The choice/select spread (the price difference between choice grade and select grade beef) narrowed a bit after getting quite wide during the holidays. When the spread is particularly wide, it can be an indicator of consumer willingness to pay a premium price for higher grade beef (choice grade). Choice beef was up $9.12 for week ending Dec. 23, 2022. Beef prices continued to jump during the first week of January due to weather issues, with choice up $4.97 at $286.95/cwt and select up $3.70 at $254.63/cwt on Jan. 3. Positive packer margins will spark aggressive buying because packers will want to take full advantage of profitability when it occurs. Packers will be facing periods of negative margins in 2023. The growing spread between choice and select beef combined with record production are an indicator that demand for beef is very strong. If it holds, strong demand with tighter cattle supplies should keep a very positive environment for cattle producers in 2023.

Production Costs

One obstacle to profitability in 2023 will be the cost of production. Net farm income for farmers reached record levels driven by record percent increases in cash receipts across many sectors of agriculture. However, there were other records set as well. Production expenses were also estimated up $70 billion, or 19%, to a record $442 billion in 2022. Costs for feed, fertilizer, chemicals and fuel to maintain pastures are expected to stay elevated in 2023.

Drought has further exacerbated production costs, driving up prices for hay and feed, especially in regions particularly hard hit. Corn prices have come down since their highs in May and June. At that time corn prices approached $7.50 for fall delivery while soybeans were near $15.50 in many production regions of the country. The futures price for the March contract was $6.52, while the December 2023 contract was $5.91. While feed prices have come down from their highs, in most cases these prices are still nearly double what they were just a few years ago.

The cost of debt is another concern for farmers. Farming in general requires a great deal of working capital to continue operating. Interest rates for operating loans will be double or even triple what they were just a couple years ago. This is largely due to the series of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve to combat inflation. Inflation has many negative effects including dropping land values, which were recently at record levels.

Consumer Demand

With beef prices expected to go up in 2023, what about consumer demand? Stock market variability and the threat of a recession are on the minds of many and would affect the amount of money in the pockets of U.S. consumers. Households will likely consume as much beef as they can afford. Government programs for nutrition benefits are also supportive of beef demand. The question is, how high will beef prices have to go before consumers start looking for substitutes such as pork and poultry? Retail prices for pork and poultry remain elevated as supplies are tight and avian influenza is continuing to cause problems.

Retail beef prices have been elevated over the last couple of years, reaching as high as $7.55 per pound in October 2021 due to supply chain issues. Since then, beef prices have remained elevated with the average retail price at $7.37 per pound on Nov. 22, 2022. Demand has the potential to drop off if prices move higher but so far it has remained resilient.

Total red meat in cold storage decreased 4%, from 9.75 billion pounds to 9.42 billion pounds in the month of November, but it is up 10% compared to the same time in 2021. Beef in freezers on Nov. 30 was 521.87 million pounds, rising 2% and up 6% from 490.41 million pounds last year. A drop in total red meat in cold storage is typical in the month of November, with an average decline of about 3% ahead of the holiday season. These strong levels of meat in cold storage should help keep retail prices tempered for a while. This is good for producers who rely on keeping consumer demand strong.

Global Market/Trade

With the U.S. looking at reduced production and continued demand, the question then becomes who can satisfy this appetite? Beef importers will be looking to benefit from the decline in production but where will the product come from? Canada and Mexico are historically the top two suppliers in the U.S. market. However, Canada is currently in the contraction phase of their cattle cycle as well. Australia is beginning the expansion phase of their cycle, which will limit beef available for export. South America has the potential to satisfy some of the demand gap. USDA has recently moved to allow trim to be imported into the U.S. from Paraguay under certain conditions. Brazil has enough beef to export but lacks sufficient infrastructure to move beef product efficiently.

On the export side of things, accumulated U.S. beef exports through November 2022 were just under 1.087 million metric tons, about 4.5% ahead of the same time last year. The top buyers of U.S. beef so far in 2022 in order are South Korea, Japan, China, Mexico and Canada. These five countries are responsible for 82% of all U.S. beef export sales. South Korea, Japan and China alone are responsible for 70% of all export sales.

China has been in the spotlight lately. 2022 is forecast to be a record year for U.S. red meat exports with China buying huge amounts beef. China has begun loosening COVID restrictions, resulting in growing cases of the virus. Last year analysts were expecting loosened COVID restrictions to stimulate demand. On the contrary, when restrictions let up, COVID cases skyrocketed, keeping consumer demand from rising. Beef prices in China have remained strong despite a weakening economy. However, beef prices are also nearly twice that of pork, which is a substitute. This may limit the ability of beef prices to continue their climb in China, which should keep demand strong.

Summary and Outlook

The beef outlook for 2023 is very positive. Cash prices have gone up and still have room for more. A decreasing cattle supply resulting from contraction in the cattle industry should combine with adequate demand to provide support for prices throughout the year. Tighter supplies are showing up through smaller placements of cattle on feed. Lower placements have driven feeder cattle futures higher with live cattle trailing. The deferred months are higher than the nearby and are accounting for the tighter supply and demand. There will be many factors that have the potential to offset higher prices. Farmers will be up against weather, high input costs, inflation and potentially a recession that would leave consumers with less money to buy beef. The good news is demand for beef is very strong in domestic and global markets after what was likely a record year for beef production. Cattle producers will be looking for relief from drought so damaged pasture and rangeland can begin to recover before contraction in the cattle business can come to an end.

2023-01-10T10:32:18-08:00January 10th, 2023|

Update on Citrus Yellow Vein Clearing Virus

By Citrus Insider

Two new detections of citrus yellow vein clearing virus (CYVCV) have been confirmed in rural residential citrus trees in the city of Visalia in Tulare County. The detections resulted from an ongoing survey and sampling activities conducted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). CYVCV had previously been confirmed in the city of Tulare, also in Tulare County.

CDFA staff have been conducting survey and sampling activities of CYVCV host plants in Tulare County on residential properties throughout the area to determine the extent of the disease and potential impacts, and surveys will be ongoing for the near future. Survey results – along with CDFA’s robust pest prevention system that focuses on exclusion and monitoring, as well as CDFA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) experience responding to other vectored disease threats – will be critical in developing an appropriate joint regulatory response.

CYVCV can be spread by vectors as they move from tree to tree, feeding on foliage. The vectors include citrus whitefly, green citrus aphid, melon or cotton aphid, and cowpea aphid, which are all known to be present in California. CYVCV can also be spread through the grafting and movement of infected propagative materials, rootstocks, or contaminated tools and equipment.

While there is no treatment for this disease, as of now, the best mitigation measure is to control the vector and sanitize tools and equipment. To the greatest extent possible, growers are encouraged to urge their field crews to clean and sanitize all their equipment thoroughly between jobs or when moving between groves.

For questions about CYVCV, please call the CDFA Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899 or contact your local Grower Liaison.

2023-01-10T10:04:26-08:00January 10th, 2023|

California Farm Bureau Congratulates Speaker McCarthy

By Peter Hecht, California Farm Bureau

California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson applauds California’s Kevin McCarthy on his election as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“As a former member of the House Agricultural Committee who hails from California’s vital Kern County farming region, Speaker McCarthy has long been an advocate for farmers and ranchers in the Golden State,” Johansson said. “He understands the importance of the nation’s leading agricultural economy and its bounty of ‘California-Grown’ products, which feed America and the world beyond. We look forward to partnering with Speaker McCarthy on key issues to help California farmers, ranchers and agricultural businesses prosper for generations to come.”

2023-01-10T09:57:51-08:00January 10th, 2023|

California Farm Bureau Reacts to ‘Waters of U.S.’ Rule

By Peter Hecht, California Farm Bureau

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Dec. 30 released the revised definition of the “Waters of the United States” rule to redefine waters protected under the federal Clean Water Act. This new rule will replace the Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson expressed his concerns on behalf of farmers, ranchers and agricultural businesses in the state.

“This rule will have a substantial effect on our members and the ability of our farmers and ranchers in California to continue to utilize their land,” Johansson said. “We are particularly concerned about small farms and ranches needing costly legal or consulting expertise to farm ground they have already thoughtfully and sustainably stewarded.”

2023-01-03T14:09:54-08:00January 3rd, 2023|

Citrus Industry Welcomes Federal Funding for New Citrus Breeding Program in Parlier, California

By Abby Peltzer, California Citrus Mutual

California Citrus Mutual (CCM) and the Citrus Research Board (CRB) welcome more than $1 million in new federal funding for critical research programs that support the U.S. and California citrus industries.

The 2023 Appropriations bill passed by Congress last week includes continued funding to help stop the deadly citrus plant disease Huanglonging (HLB) that has devastated citrus production in Florida and other parts of the country. Additionally, $1 million in new funding was approved to establish a citrus breeding program at the USDA Agriculture Research Service (ARS) field station in Parlier, California. This funding will be re-appropriated annually.

Championed by California Senator Alex Padilla and Representatives Jim Costa and David Valadao, the new California citrus breeding program will identify new citrus varieties that are best suited for changing climatic pressures such as drought, consumer taste preferences, and resistant to pests and diseases such as HLB.

The program is an expansion of the existing national USDA ARS citrus breeding program located in Florida, which is focused primarily on varieties that are optimized for Florida growing conditions. The Florida program has resulted in new varieties with higher yields, increased disease resistance, improved color, and a longer shelf life.

With such promising advances being made in Florida, CCM and the CRB saw the need for a similar program in California to breed fresh citrus varieties that are better adapted to the unique environmental conditions of California’s production regions.

The CRB, which is a grower-funded organization aimed at furthering the industry’s research priorities, has committed $500,000 toward establishing the new breeding program in Parlier, with the goal of bringing additional representation to California’s industry.

“The commitment of the citrus industry to delivering quality research and innovation for all farm use has taken a big step forward with the support of congress funding the citrus breeding program in Parlier,” said Justin Brown, CRB Chairman.

Marcy L. Martin, CRB President, added, “Expanding the current national citrus breeding program into California will have a significant impact on California’s citrus industry as growers aim to mitigate the evolving issues that affect production and increase yield through varietal research.”

The Florida and California breeding programs along with the continued efforts of the University of California citrus breeding program at UC Riverside will work together to deliver the best results for California citrus growers.

“The addition of the breeding facility in Parlier will make the ARS Citrus Program a truly national project,” said CCM President and CEO Casey Creamer. “We look forward to watching the growth of this program and its collaboration with the UC breeding program to find solutions to the issues California citrus growers are faced with every day.”

Additionally, the 2023 Federal budget includes continued funding for the Citrus Health Response Program, which supplements industry and state funding for on-the-ground efforts aimed at preventing the spread of the HLB and continued funding for the Huanglongbing Multi-Agency Coordination group, which funds research programs aimed at identifying short term solutions to HLB.

2022-12-30T10:21:45-08:00December 30th, 2022|

California Minimum Wage Increases for 2023

By Barsamian & Moody

In 2016, then Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 3, to provide a six step
statewide annual increase to California’s minimum wage. The new amended Labor Code
also provided that California employ a two-tiered minimum wage system, requiring “Large
Employers” (those with 26 or more employees) to pay a higher minimum wage than “Small
Employers” (those with 25 or fewer employees) until 2023.

According to the six-step increases, the minimum wage for both Large and Small
Employers should have been $15.00 on January 1, 2023. However, Senate Bill 3 also
required the California Director of Finance to adjust the minimum wage for inflation by
August 1, 2022 to be effective January 1, 2023, and then annually thereafter.

Therefore, effective January 1, 2023, all California employers, regardless of size,
will be required to meet the new minimum wage requirement of $15.50 per hour. The
minimum wage will be adjusted annually at the rate of inflation based on the national
consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W). The
adjustment is capped at 3.5% per year and cannot be lowered if the inflation rate is
negative. The California Director of Finance will continue to adjust the minimum wage
based on inflation no later than August 1 of each year to be effective the following year
on January 1.

The increase to $15.50 affects non-exempt employees but also changes the
minimum annual salary requirements for exempt employees. Salaried employees who
are exempt from overtime compensation will have a new salary requirement of least
$64,480 on an annual basis ($5,373.34 per month).

What This Means for Employers:

Employers must adjust the pay rates for all employees earing less than $15.50 per
hour and for salaried exempt employees earning less than $64,480 annually. These
adjustments must be made before the first payroll run of the year which covers workdays
in 2023. If pay periods include 2022 and 2023, the hourly rate should be pro-rated
accordingly. Employers should also check their local minimum wage ordinances to
ensure there will not be a new minimum wage requirement which exceeds the new
California minimum wage.

2022-12-28T15:27:01-08:00December 28th, 2022|

California Fresh Fruit Association Applauds the Introduction of Senate’s Affordable and Secure Food Act

By Ian LeMay and Courtney Razor, California Fresh Fruit Association

The California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) applauds the introduction of the Affordable
and Secure Food Act that was announced in the United States Senate today. The California agriculture
industry is the nation’s top producing region in the world. However, ensuring a reliable workforce has
remained a constant issue.

CFFA President Ian LeMay stated, “On behalf of the California Fresh Fruit Association, we would like
to thank Senator Bennet for his leadership in introducing this bill. The agricultural industry has waited
many years to have a reliable, legal workforce. This legislation will address the critical need to provide
a pathway to legal status for current, undocumented employees, while also improving the existing
guest worker program. The agricultural industry in California and across the country prides itself on
being able to provide a safe, and secure food supply to the nation and the world. However, this can
only be accomplished with a dependable workforce. There is no doubt that agriculture has waited
many years for immigration reform, and we are optimistic that this bill will finally accomplish this
goal.”

CFFA is encouraging the Senate to pass this bill to ensure that our domestic food supply will last long
into the future. The Association will continue to engage on this issue to ensure that California’s fresh
fruit industry’s needs are addressed.

2022-12-22T12:38:23-08:00December 22nd, 2022|

CDFA Accepting Grant Applications for Climate Research Program

By Steve Lyle, Director of Public Affairs, CDFA

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting grant applications for the California Livestock Methane Measurement, Mitigation and Thriving Environments Research Program (CLIM3ATE-RP), administered by its Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation (OEFI). Applications to CLIM3ATE- RP will be accepted through 5:00 P.M. PT Tuesday, February 28, 2023.

CLIM3ATE- RP will award competitive grants to California-based eligible entities for research projects aligned with California’s efforts to successfully implement climate-smart agriculture, with a direct focus on nutrient management and methane reduction from dairy and livestock operations.

An appropriation of $5 million to CDFA Budget Act of 2021 (SB 170, Chapter 240) will be directed toward the assessment of the cost-effectiveness of various livestock methane reduction strategies on a per-metric-ton basis, including comparison of projects funded under the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) and the Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP) as well as alternative methane reduction strategies such as dietary modifications, and research on manure-based product development.

Eligible entities can submit proposals for up to $2,000,000; $1,600,000; or $500,000 in CLIM3ATE-RP grants, depending on the research area outlined in the RFP.

The following entities are eligible for this program: tribal governments, resource conservation districts (RCDs), non-governmental organizations, private companies, non-profit organizations, and California public higher learning institutions.

The RFP for CLIM3ATE-RP, including detailed information on the application processes and requirements, as well as application assistance workshops conducted by CDFA will be available at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/research/

2022-12-21T10:40:42-08:00December 21st, 2022|

Farmworkers at Risk for Obesity, High Blood Pressure, Say UC Researchers

By Pam Kan-Rice, UCANR

Better Access to Health Care and Safety Net Programs Would Help

Farmworkers are a crucial link in our food supply chain, a fact that came sharply into focus during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep these essential workers healthy, there is a need for more data on farmworkers’ health. A new study published by University of California scientists looks beyond work-related health concerns such as heat and pesticide exposure to the general health of the people who help plant, nurture and harvest food in California.

“The study findings confirm the high chronic-disease burden in a workforce that is considered essential but lacks adequate access to health care and safety net programs,” said Susana Matias, lead author and UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the UC Berkeley Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology. “This is a concern because California needs a healthy farmworker workforce. These workers are key to putting food on our tables and should be protected and supported as any other California worker.”

After reading the study, an advocate for women farmworkers said she sees opportunities to enhance farmworkers’ health by improving their working conditions by enacting policy governing work permits; childcare; pest management; unemployment benefits; access to healthy and affordable food; and safe, affordable housing.

To see a broader perspective of farmworker health, Matias analyzed data from three studies by Marc Schenker, UC Davis physician and professor emeritus. Schenker’s studies examined farmworkers’ general health, occupational injuries and important causes of illness and disease. Causes or so-called “social determinants” of disease include low income, food insecurity, undocumented immigration status, and poor housing conditions.

“Those social determinants are particularly negative and impact disease outcomes in the farmworker population,” Schenker said. “Too often farmworkers don’t have the benefits of other working populations, including adequate health care. It is hoped that recognition of this situation can lead to addressing these deficiencies and an improvement in farmworker health.”

Irene de Barraicua, director of operations and communications for Lideres Campesinas, said the study relates to much of the work her organization does advocating for women farmworkers.

“The article and studies emphasize findings that call for higher salaries, better working conditions, more worker rights and access to healthcare,” de Barraicua said. “From these findings, we can also gather that the health of farmworkers is impacted by various stress factors related to poverty, excruciating and unsafe work conditions, and lack of or costly childcare to name a few.”

Matias found that female farmworkers were at higher risk of obesity and larger waist circumference, while male farmworkers were at higher risk of high blood pressure and high total cholesterol.

“These differences in chronic health risks between farmworker men and women suggests that clinical and public health responses might need to be sex-specific,” said Matias, who is also co-associate faculty director at the Berkeley Food Institute.

The studies were conducted with farmworkers in Mendota, Oxnard and Watsonville. Matias would like to expand the scope to assess the health of farmworkers statewide.

“Our study is not representative of other regions of the state,” Matias said. “A representative survey is urgently needed in California to better identify and quantify the health problems in this population, and to provide the services needed by these essential workers.”

“The article ‘The Chronic Disease Burden Among Latino Farmworkers in California’ clearly brings to the forefront very important sociodemographic and socioeconomic ‘gaps’ unique to farmworkers, an essential segment of our population and workforce,” said de Barraicua of Lideres Campesinas.

“We need to enact policy that facilitates access to health care including mental health services; easily accessible, free rural and mobile clinics; telehealth services, essentially unrestricted healthcare coverage for all,” de Barraicua said, adding that trusted community health workers who know the farmworkers’ culture and speak their language are needed.

She also noted the growing population of indigenous Mexican farmworkers and face greater challenges related to language access, limited education and immigration status.

The article, co-authored by Matias, Schenker, UC Berkeley postdoctoral researcher Caitlin French and student Alexander Gomez-Lara, is published in Frontiers in Public Health.

2022-12-21T10:31:22-08:00December 21st, 2022|

Westlands Water District Names Jose Gutierrez as Interim General Manager

The Westlands Water District (District) Board of Directors named Jose Gutierrez as the District’s Interim General Manager starting January 1, 2023. Mr. Gutierrez has been with the District since 2012 and currently serves as the District’s Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Gutierrez is a registered civil engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and Masters degree in civil/environmental engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

“Gutierrez has the skillset and historical knowledge to help lead the District during this transition,” said Jeff Fortune, Board President, Westlands Water District.

“I’m honored the Board entrusted me to serve as Interim General Manager and will work diligently to ensure Westlands continues to deliver reliable water and high-quality service to our water users so they can continue to grow the crops that feed the nation and the world,” said Jose Gutierrez.

Mr. Gutierrez will share responsibility for managing the District activities with Jon Rubin, the District’s Assistant General Manager & General Counsel. Both Mr. Gutierrez and Mr. Rubin will work closely with the Board.

As the Interim General Manager, Mr. Gutierrez will be responsible for the operations and administration of the District and will manage efforts intended to improve storage and conveyance of the District’s surface and groundwater supplies.

Mr. Rubin, in his capacity as the Assistant General Manager, will be responsible for the District’s policy efforts, external engagement, and strategic water initiatives for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta. Mr. Rubin, in his capacity as General Counsel, will continue to be responsible for the District’s legal affairs. Shelley Cartwright, the District’s Deputy General Manager- External Affairs, will continue to engage in the District’s policy efforts and oversee the District’s Federal & State legislative affairs, public affairs, and outreach and education efforts.

The District will begin a formal search for a regular General Manager at the start of the new year.

2022-12-21T10:13:55-08:00December 21st, 2022|
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