California Table Grape Comm. Hires Marketing Dir./Category Management

David Dudley is New Marketing Director/Category Management

David Dudley is the new marketing director of category management for the California Table Grape Commission. Dudley’s responsibilities include expanding the retail demand for California table grapes in the U.S. and Canada through enhanced category management.

“We are very excited to welcome David to the team,” said Kathleen Nave, president of the commission. “David’s nearly 10 years of experience in produce management and his experience in the retail sector will be key to the development of future retail programs.”grapes

Dudley joins the commission after more than five years at Save Mart, most recently as a senior produce category manager. Dudley also worked for Markon Cooperative as a product manager. According to Nave, Dudley will primarily focus on developing a strategic marketing plan to drive California table grape sales. Dudley will be part of a four-member retail team and will manage numerous retail accounts.

Dudley is a California native, born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley. He is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a bachelor of science degree in agribusiness with a concentration in marketing.

Fight Against SB1

Contact your Assemblymember and State Senator today to ask them to oppose SB 1 (Atkins).  Despite amendments taken last night, SB 1 still threatens the water supply of our agricultural communities.

Amendments to SB 1 were made on September 10thto remove the language redefining “waste” and “waters of the state” in the Water Code and the requirement that the state adopt old federal Biological Opinion standards for species that are listed under the provisions of SB 1.

However, SB 1 attempts to apply the California Endangered Species Act to the federal operations of the Central Valley Project so that they can justify smaller water deliveries to farming and ranching communities.  California does not have the authority to mandate an action by the federal government.  Including this provision will likely lead to a collapse of negotiations to implement the Voluntary Settlement Agreements (VSA) which would ensure science and reason are part of the water management in this state.  This would leave the draconian unimpaired flow standards proposed by the State Water Board in place – a potential reduction of 40-60% of our annual water deliveries.

Act now to ask that SB 1 be voted down or made a 2-year bill. Contact here:  Fix SB 1 – Urgent Update!

Congressman Harder: Veto SB1

Harder, California Members of Congress Statement on Planned Veto of SB1

WASHINGTON – Representative Josh Harder (CA-10), alongside Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Representatives Jim Costa (CA-16), John Garamendi (CA-03), and TJ Cox, (CA-21) released the following statement in advance of Governor Gavin Newsom’s veto of SB1. 

Josh Harder
Congressman Harder

 “While we support the objectives of SB1 – to protect clean air, drinking water, and our environment – the bill as written would jeopardize those very goals. It is critical that all Californians, especially those in our disadvantaged communities, have a reliable supply of clean, fresh drinking water, in addition to water for our environment and essential agriculture industry. We applaud the Governor’s leadership in vetoing this bill, and his efforts to solve California’s difficult water challenges with solutions that meet the needs of the 21st century.

“Working together with all water users provides the best hope for avoiding endless litigation on the management of California’s water supply. We know this through experience. Continuing the collaborative process put in motion by the Governor can result in improved habitats and protect fish and wildlife species, while also ensuring improved water supply reliability for our communities and family farms across California.”

 

California Ag Plate Funding Set

CDFA ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR 2019 AG PLATE GRANT PROGRAM

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is currently accepting proposals for the 2019 California Agriculture Special Interest License Plate (CalAgPlate) grant program. This program provides an estimated $250,000 in grant funding to promote agricultural education and leadership activities for students at the K-12, post-secondary, and adult education levels. Proceeds generated through the sales of specialized, agriculture-themed license plates through the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) have made this opportunity available.

“We are very proud of this program and this marks its sixth year of providing agricultural education opportunities,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “The CalAgPlate Program raises awareness about our rich agricultural production, as well as the stewardship practices of California’s farmers and ranchers in bringing these products to our tables.”

Purchasing a CalAgPlate funds educational opportunities statewide that include agricultural workshops, farm tours, and the state Future Farmers of America (FFA) Leadership Conference. The CalAgPlate program has funded more than $1.2 million in youth educational activities since the program’s inception.

Funding is available on a competitive basis for eligible agricultural education programs as well as government agencies and non-profit organizations that administer agricultural education programs. The application deadline is October 7, 2019.

For further information and grant application materials, please visit https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/egov/calagplate/  

You can help support agricultural education and the CalAgPlate program by purchasing a special interest license plate at your local DMV office or online today.

2018 Fresno County Crop Report a Record: $7.8 Billion!

Fresno County up BIG on Production Value for 2018

 

Submitted to Fresno County Board Supervisors by Milissa Cregan Fresno County Ag Commissioner

It is my pleasure to submit the 2018 Fresno County Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report. In each of our annual reports, the Department likes to highlight a segment of our history; and this edition will feature the California Department of Agriculture’s Direct Marketing Program and the certi­fied producers and their crops.

This report is produced in accordance with Sections 2272 and 2279 of the California Food and Agriculture Code; and summarizes the acreage, production, and value of agricultural commodities produced in Fresno County. Fresno County’s total gross production value for 2018 is $7,887,583,790. This represents an increase of $859,559,690 or 12.23% over the previous year’s total of $7,028,024,100.

Once again, almonds continue to be the leading agricultural commodity in Fresno County with a gross value of $1,178,182,069, which represents 14.94% of the total gross value of all crops produced in 2018. The total gross value of grapes remained in the number two spot at $1,106,858,236 followed by pistachios for the ­first time at $862,144,401.

Fresno County’s agricultural strength is based on the diversity of crops produced. Included in the 2018 report are over 300 different commodities, 76 of which have a gross value in excess of $1,000,000. Although individual commodities may experience difficulties from year-to-year, Fresno County continues to supply the highest quality of food and fib­er nation-wide and abroad to more than 95 countries around the world.

Crop values vary from year to year based on production, market fluctuations and weather. It is important to note the figures provided in this report reflect gross values and do not take into account the costs of production, marketing, transportation, or other ancillary costs. These ­figures do not represent net income or loss to the producers of these commodities.

This report is our yearly opportunity to recognize the growers, shippers, ranchers and other businesses instrumental to and supportive of agriculture in Fresno County. We truly appreciate the many producers, processors, and agencies (both private and public) that supported our e‑orts in completing this report. In addition, a hearty thank-you goes out to my entire staff, especially Fred Rinder, Scotti Walker, Angel Gibson, Rosemarie Davis, Sam Sohal, and Shoua VangXiong. Without their hard work and valuable input, this report would not be possible.

 

Generic Promotion of US Pistachios is Powerful

New Analysis Points to the Power of US Pistachio Industry’s Generic Program

American Pistachio Growers’ (APG) efforts to reduce or eliminate trade barriers in several key overseas markets have been a significant boon to pistachio exports and to growers’ bottom-line. A new study, “An Analysis of the Effects of the American Pistachio Growers’ Program to Reduce/Eliminate Tariffs on U.S. Pistachios,” has quantified, for the first time, the direct benefit to the U.S. pistachio industry from APG’s strategic program to vanquish trade barriers.

The analysis from Dr. Dennis H. Tootelian, an emeritus Professor of Marketing, sought to determine what shipments of U.S. pistachios would have been if tariffs had not been lowered or eliminated in Israel, Mexico, China and Hong Kong, and the European Union which are the export markets prioritized for focus by APG. Many of his analyses centered on the period from 2009 through 2017 — the period in which tariffs were reduced in all five geographic areas.

Tootelian’s study showed that actual shipments of U.S. pistachios after the tariffs were reduced or eliminated for each export market were more than 2.3 billion pounds greater than what would have been expected had the tariffs remained in place. Equated in economic terms, the boost in export volume after the trade barriers had been removed amounted to nearly $3 billion greater value than what would have been expected had the tariffs remained in effect.

While Tootelian did not have any prior expectations of what his study would show, he was surprised by the findings.

“To see this kind of an increase in shipments on a before and after basis with the tariffs did surprise me. I did not expect this kind of result in the marketplace. These are not small numbers,” Tootelian said.   “What the data tell me is that there is latent demand for U.S. pistachios and once the tariffs come down, foreign markets want to buy them.”

Tootelian said the projected economic boon to U.S. growers is even more profound if the fluctuations in prices in China and Hong Kong were eliminated from the analysis.

“If you take the price fluctuations in China and Hong Kong out, the increase in value of pistachio shipments amounts to nearly $355 million more dollars per year — nearly $4.5 billion in total from the time when tariffs were in effect to after they were reduced or eliminated,” said Tootelian.

Data from the analysis estimated that more than 1.7 billion pounds of U.S. pistachios in total, or an average of more than 192 million pounds annually, may have gone into storage if they were not diverted to other markets. While the effect of the projected added supply on the world market is unknown in terms of lower prices, Tootelian said that it would surely have had a detrimental impact on U.S. growers.

“It is unknown what that would have done to the price,” he said. “In order to divert from storage and into other markets, prices probably would have had to come down considerably and whether they would have been able to market that much supply is an unknown.”

Underlying Tootelian’s analysis is the fact that price is not the sole determinant of the volume of U.S. pistachio exports. He said when tariffs are lowered or eliminated, traditional economics would dictate that increased shipments would lead to lower prices, but his data show demand for U.S. pistachios in some key markets remained high in the post-tariff era.  Several factors, he said, appear to be in play.

“One is the reputation of U.S. pistachios, which carries a very positive market image with consumers and importers. Second, it could be the quality of the product is better or more consistent, or both, for what consumers can buy from other countries,” said Tootelian. “And third, there are a lot of reputable health studies that show nuts are healthy and nutritious.  APG has invested considerable resources raising consumer awareness of the healthful attributes of pistachios, and consumers appear to be willing to pay a higher price. That is pretty clear from the data.”

APG has aggressively worked in the halls of Congress, with U.S. trade officials and with foreign governmental bodies to alleviate burdensome trade barriers and create a more open market for U.S-grown pistachios.

“Quantifying the value of APG’s efforts to growers has been difficult up to now, but this new study gives us some tangible answers to the importance of the work we are doing on behalf of the U.S. pistachio industry,” said Richard Matoian, APG’s executive director. “Frankly, we were quite surprised at the magnitude of these numbers.  It’s our strong belief that whenever and wherever trade barriers exist to the free flow of American-grown pistachios around the world, we will confront them vigorously.”

In a postscript to his analysis, Tootelian added, “If I were a grower, I would be encouraging APG to be doing this more in other markets because the greater the demand there is for the product, the less goes into storage and that helps boost the price.”

 

Marcy Martin To Head Citrus Research Board

Martin Selected Following Year Long National Search

 Marcy L. Martin was named today as the new president of the Citrus Research Board (CRB). The appointment was announced by CRB Chairman Dan Dreyer, who said that Martin was selected after a nearly year-long national search for the very best candidate to lead the organization.

Martin joins the CRB with more than 25 years of experience with California commodity organizations. She most recently served for 14 years as director of trade for the California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA), where she advocated on behalf of the state’s fresh grape, blueberry, pomegranate and deciduous tree fruit production in governmental, legislative and policy issues. Prior to that, she had been controller of the California Apple Commission for ten years.

In 2015, then U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack appointed Martin to the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for Trade in Fruits and Vegetables. In his announcement, Vilsack said of those who were appointed, “They are an invaluable asset as we work to enact trade agreements and trade policies that deliver the greatest economic benefit for U.S. agriculture and for our nation as a whole.”

“California’s citrus growers, packers and shippers have demonstrated through their keen understanding that an industry must invest in sound research to meet the challenges of a constantly evolving environment, marketplace and consumer,” said Martin. “The Citrus Research Board, industry, staff and research community have stepped up to take on looming challenges, specifically huanglongbing, that have devastated citrus production within other regions, both domestically and globally. This is an area I am passionate about, and I look forward to bringing my experience in the technical and regulatory arena to the team.”

Dreyer said, “The Board is pleased to have Marcy Martin taking the helm of CRB. Her extensive experience with commodity organizations and local, state and federal regulatory agencies will be a key ingredient to the success of CRB projects and priorities. She comes to the CRB with extensive knowledge of fresh tree fruit production and the agricultural use of plant protection products. Our Board members were impressed by her dedication to and passion for agriculture.”

“The California citrus industry is an important economic contributor and an icon of the Golden State,” Martin said. “Citrus is part of our American and Californian agricultural footprint – a commodity we need to preserve and foster. I’m honored to be part of this continuing tradition.”

Martin officially will join the CRB on October 1 and will be based out of the CRB headquarters in Visalia, California. She will take the reins from Interim President Franco Bernardi.

“We cannot thank Franco enough for his dedicated service to the CRB throughout the past year,” said Dreyer. “He did an excellent job in guiding the organization through a challenging period, and the Board has been truly grateful for his leadership.”

AgTech Insight And Agritecture Form Strategic Alliance

AgTech and Agritecture Reach both Out Door and Urban Ag Space

AgTech Insight LLC, Salinas, CA and Agritecture LLC, Brooklyn, NY are excited to announce the formation of a strategic alliance between the two firms. In its simplest form, AgTech Insight will advise and provide services to Agritecture clients in the large scale outdoor agriculture industry while Agritecture will advise and provide services to AgTech Insight clients in the urban agriculture space. The focus of the mutually beneficial effort is aimed at improving both the firm’s capabilities across a broader array of services for clients in the ag sector globally. 

Aaron Magenheim, Founder of AgTech Insight stated that “The urban and indoor Agriculture space is rapidly growing around the world and collaborating with Agritecture, given their leadership in their industry sector and global vision using innovation and best practices to help a growing population is a natural fit! Over the past year, it has been great to work with David Ceaser and the Agritecture team sharing our expertise and working on projects together. There is a unique resource we have been developing together which we will be sharing with the world soon and are excited to be working together to bridge the Urban and large scale agriculture sectors!”

David Ceaser, Agritecture horticultural specialist said, “Agritecture is very excited about our collaboration with AgTech Insight. Urban and Peri-urban farming is generally smaller-scale agriculture and focuses on smaller more niche consumer markets. But, as far as farming goes, there is no reason to re-invent the wheel. There is a ton that we can learn from large scale outdoor ag. The vast amount of experience and knowledge that Aaron and his team bring to the table is invaluable for us.”

AgTech Insight is a global leader in full-spectrum agriculture technology consulting services. We have an elite team of subject matter experts around the world, each of whom has a unique skill set to help our clients execute both short and long-term strategies. We deliver distinctive consulting and advisory expertise to a variety of companies and large corporates, governments, investors, farmers, industry leaders, and more. Our team tracks over 3,000 digital AgTech companies around the globe and get past the smoke and mirrors to work with real companies to make a huge impact on the world’s food supply. In 2014 we saw the Agriculture and Tech industries starting to collide and were inspired to start AgTech Insight as a bridge to help these two very different industries collaborate. We specialize in sharing deep, on-the-ground experience in the emerging AgTech space that is necessary for success in this evolving industry. –http://www.agtechinsight.com/    Solutions@AgTechInsight.com

Agritecture Consulting provides a comprehensive approach to CEA project development. In operation since 2014, Agritecture has helped more than ninety organizations determine the feasibility of their ideas, validate their business strategies, recruit talent for their projects, and manage operational challenges. Our job is to jumpstart your knowledge of CEA, help you navigate barriers to entry, make industry connections, and mitigate risk. Our consulting services are backed by several years of operations data and a team of 

Consumers Prefer Dairy Milk over Other Plant Based Choices

Survey Says 86% of US Adults Prefer Dairy Milk

A new Morning Consult national tracking poll of 2,200 Americans points to a number of revealing consumer preferences for milk and related beverages. When given the option to choose among whole, reduced fat 2%, low fat 1%, skim, other (almond, soy, oat, other plant-based, lactose-free), or “do not consume” milk, respondents overwhelmingly chose 2% and whole milks because they believe they are most nutritious for themselves and their families. Further, 86% of U.S. adults prefer dairy milk over “other” beverages, including plant-based beverages.

Additionally, by a margin of more than 2-1, U.S. adults say it’s important to offer low-fat flavored milks with school meals; and by a 3-1 margin, U.S. adults say it’s important to offer 2% and whole milk with school meals. The poll was conducted by Morning Consult in partnership with the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA).

Poll Results

Here are 8 key findings:

1. A whopping 67% of adults across key demographics believe 2% and whole milk are the most nutritious types of milk. Thirty-six percent of adults believe 2% milk is the most nutritious, while 31% believe whole milk is the most nutritious.
2. At least 86% of adults prefer dairy milk compared to 10% who prefer “other” including plant-based beverages and lactose-free milk.
3. Strong opinions about offering flavored milk in schools vastly outweigh strong opinions against. Half of the adults believe it is important that the public school their child attends offers low-fat flavored milk with school meals, while just 22% believe it is unimportant. Twenty-nine percent have no opinion.
4. Adults feel similarly about fuller-fat milk with school meals—by a 3-1 margin, U.S. adults say it’s important to offer 2% and whole milk with school meals: 53% believe it is important that milks like 2% and whole are offered in schools, while just 18% feel it is unimportant. Currently, only low fat 1% and skim milks are allowed in schools.
5. Overall, more women than men believe it is more important that their children have access to fuller-fat and flavored milks in school.
6. Forty-two percent of SNAP participants prefer whole milk for themselves or their families. SNAP participants also report that they believe whole milk is the most nutritious (46%), the only demographic to do so. Of the 2,200 respondents, 336 self-identified as SNAP participants.
7. Respondents with incomes under $50,000 (inclusive of 336 SNAP and 115 WIC participants, respectively, who self-identified) believe more strongly than those with higher incomes (above $50,000) that fuller-fat milks are most nutritious and prefer offering these options as well as low-fat flavored milks in schools for their children.
8. Variety is key: More than three-quarters (77%) of adults found it important to have a variety of options to choose from when purchasing types of milk.