CAWG Gears Up to Fight New Overtime Bill

Following Defeat of Overtime Bill AB 2757, CAWG Gears up to Fight New Overtime Bill AB 1066

By Laurie Greene, Editor


California Assembly Bill 2757, which called to end the 10-hour workday for farm laborers (by enforcing overtime) and to illuminate extra work time opportunities, was voted down in June 2016, but a new version of the bill, AB 1066, is back on the drawing table.


Brad Goehringtreasurer of the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) Board of Directors and current chair of the CAWG State Government Affairs Committee, spoke about the process of fighting back on this bill. “We already beat it and we had a major victory in the California State Assembly earlier in the year. The author of the bill didn’t like that result, and it is all union-backed and backed by taxpayer groups like California Rural Legal Association, Inc. (CRLA),” Goehring said.



“But the pressure is back,” said Goehring, also a fourthgeneration winegrape grower and owner of Goehring Vineyards, in Clements, near Lodi. “They did a dirty gut and amend bill¹, which is a slide of hand and basically reintroduces the bill again under a different bill number. This time it’s going to start in the Senate and we’re expecting a tough battle; but we’ve got a very organized coalition of Ag associations and we’re going to put the same energy into fighting this that we did before,” explained Goehring.


“It was a bloody fight in the Assembly,” noted Goehring. “But still, we’re optimistic as there are plenty of no votes from the party that wanted this to go through that we think it will be hard for the governor to sign even if [the bill] makes that far.


Goehring maintained, “The key is to educate legislators that the bill would hurt farmworkers because it would force farmers to minimize work hours to prevent overtime payroll. In fact, farmworkers are pushing for this second bill to fail.”


“Where the lack of understanding lies is the clear line between the urban legislators and the rural legislators,” Goehring commented. “The urban legislators, ironically, are the ones who already hav $15 minimum wage laws in their towns—San Diego, San Jose, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. These legislators are trying to cram it down our throats and our lives here in the rural areas. We’re not having any real hard times getting to agreement with either party, if they are in the rural areas. It’s the urban ones that are doing all the damage.”


“We’ve had these legislators out to our farms. We’ve walked away and let them talk openly with our employees, and our employees have told them they don’t want it,” Goehring said. “Our employees have told them that they want to make an honest living. They want to teach their kids how to do the same thing. Our employees have taken it one step further; we overheard them telling the legislators they are not even in favor of any of the entitlement programs because that’s not the way to make an honest living that they want for their kids.”


“With all that said,” Goehring concluded, “the urban legislators are turning their backs on and ignoring our employees. This is all about unions and CRLA. They don’t care about the employees—is basically what they’re saying,” noted Goehring.


¹GUT AND AMEND is when amendments to a bill remove the current contents in their entirety and replace them with different provisions. (Source:  California State Legislature Glossary of Legislative Terms).

2021-05-12T11:05:50-07:00August 5th, 2016|

Landfill Dzine Partners with My Job Depends on Ag

Landfill Dzine Partners with My Job Depends on Ag

By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor

Todd and Heather Carpenter, of Landfill Dzine

Heather and Todd Carpenter of Landfill Dzine and A&J Industrial sell recycled lay-flat tubing made into into belts, purses,bracelets, flip-flops.

Landfill Dzine has partnered with My Job Depends on Ag (MJDOA) to sell specialized MJDOA merchandise, including the already-popular bling MJDOA baseball caps. Heather Carpenter, co-owner with her husband, Josh, of A&J Industrial and Landfill Dzine, said the partnership just makes sense because Landfill Dzine is a company based on upcycling old irrigation hoses, which depends on the agricultural industry for its existence.

“MJDOA is everything we already do,” Carpenter said, “so it’s just like a match made in heaven for us.”

Carpenter said that Landfill Dzine upcycles old irrigation hoses called Layflat that is made with rubber, nylon and other materials all woven or melted together, which makes the hoses un-recyclable.

We upcycle it into everyday, wearable products: flip flops, handbags, belts. We divert it from going to the trash, and we use it in all of our products. We cut [the irrigation hose], wash it, clean it and make it into something else.”

Carpenter said Landfill Dzine is able to help the agricultural community by taking waste straight from the field and giving it a new purpose. “It helps farmers save money because they don’t have to throw old irrigation hoses in the trash.”

Carpenter said she strongly believes the mission of MJDOA applies to Landfill Dzine; hence, the partnership between the two companies. “We help distribute MJDOA’s products as well,” said Carpenter, “ and increase awareness on what we’re trying to do in California and with water and waste.”

2016-05-31T19:24:09-07:00March 25th, 2016|

Falcons Work in Agriculture, Too

Farmers’ Other Best FriendFalconsWork in Agriculture, Too

By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor

Charmayne Hefley, California Ag Today broadcaster and associate editor, and farmers’ other best friend – the falcon.

Agriculturalists have found ways to employ some animals to assist them in the fields. Karl Kerster, owner of Sacramento-based Kerster’s Falconry, employs farmers’ other best friend, falcons, to keep agricultural products safe before and during harvest. More specifically, Kerster’s five falcons perform bird abatement—removal of nuisance birdsto protect cherries, berries and grapes. Pest birds are defined as sparrows, swallows, finches, starlings, pigeons, blackbirds and more.

“We work to protect the farmer’s crop,” Kerster said, “and we really enjoy doing it—which is a plus when you’re having to do it for a hundred days straight to keep a crop safe. We start when the fruit starts to ripen enough that the birds are going to attack, until the crop has been substantially harvested. I work five birds, and I have several more in reserve, but the five that I work keep me very busy.”

Kerster, a master falconer, has been serving as a falconer since 1996, and his birds have a high success rate at keeping pest birds away from crops.“We are 99 percent successful in protecting a crop in most situations,” Kerster said. “We also take care of any other bird problems that may or may not be on the berries, cherries and grapes that we normally do. Any customer who wants us to dispose of a problem, we’re ready to help.”


Becoming a falconer is not an “overnight” achievement and is not for the meek. The first of the “up-front questions you need to be able to answer to yourself,” according to the California Hawking Club is, “Will you, can you, commit part of your waking hours to a creature who at the very best of times will merely tolerate your presence, is as affectionate as a stone, and at the worst of times will cause you heartache and puncture wounds? Can you commit to an average of a half-hour a day, every day, and two to four hours on a hunting day, regardless of school, family, or job – forever?

The eight steps required to become a falconer in the state of California are provided by the California Hawking Club.

Becoming a Master falconer, according to the North American Falconers Association, “takes at least seven years; finishing your apprenticeship alone will take at least two.”


Falconry is a heavily-regulated practice, governed by federal and state laws and regulations.  For more information, go to:

California Natural Resources Agency Department of Fish and Wildlife

California Hawking ClubCalifornia-Hawking-Club-logo

Kerster’s Falconry 

Electronic Code Of Federal Regulations


2021-05-12T11:03:03-07:00February 29th, 2016|

My Job Depends on Ag Update

My Job Depends on Ag Update

By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor

The “My Job Depends on Ag” Movement has more than just decals and a potential festival in the making. Erik Wilson, co-founder of “My Job Depends on Ag” with Steve Malanca, explained at the group’s meeting earlier this month, they hope to become a non-profit and use proceeds from decal sales to provide scholarships for students in agriculture. “We would like to keep young people connected to agriculture through scholarships and education,” Wilson said, “and foster their creative ideas about how their food is grown and processed.”

Erik Wilson

Erik Wilson

Wilson wants to see the movement grow to become an educational resource for agricultural topics directly from those involved in Ag. “I would really like to see anyone who is curious about how their food evolves from field to fork view our Facebook page as a open source of first-hand information—not from a news desk miles away from a field—but from the people in the field who are cultivating it. Because the people who do it and their kids, eat the same food and yet their stories haven’t been told.”

Wilson would like people to see that phrase My job depends on Ag, “and ask themselves if their own job depends on Ag. For me it would be a win-win for the public to grasp the value in growing food. I think growing food is the most honorable industry in the world.”

2016-05-31T19:28:06-07:00August 29th, 2015|

“My Job Depends on Ag” is Growing

Steve Malanca on the Future of “My Job Depends on Ag”

By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor

Three months ago, a grassroots effort to spread the word of agriculturalists began in the form of the movement, My Job Depends on Ag. The organization held its first meeting this week at Harris Ranch in Coalinga with 50 members in attendance to discuss the future of the group.

Steve Malanca, co-founder of the movement, said his hope for the organization is to educate the consumer, as well as to unite the ag community. Malanca also sells agriculture equipment for AGCO.

“We really feel that educating the non-ag community about who we are and where our food comes from is very important,” Malanca said.

“We want to unite the ag community so that we all are represented together,” Malanca continued. “We want to encompass everybody—the organic farmer, the commercial farmer, the trucking company, the logging industry. But everybody that’s involved in ag we want them to know that we all have a stake in this, and if we can all come together and be as one, I think that we’ll be able to hopefully give a message to the general public that we have a need for people knowing where their food comes from.”

Malanca hopes to host a My Job Depends on Ag Festival in the future. The group is considering Los Banos as a location for the potential festival due to its accessibility with an airport, several hotels and a nearby fairgrounds for the event.

“We’re considering a festival in order to bring everybody together,” Malanca said, “and we’re considering combining the Salinas Valley growers with the San Joaquin Valley growers in a town for example like Los Banos.”

“We want to, perhaps, have ag tours around the city of Los Banos,” Malanca suggested, “and have buses available for people who aren’t familiar with ag to take a ride and come see what kind of crops are grown and how they’re done.”

“An historical pavilion would be nice to show people the history of agriculture, and California—not just central California, but the entire state,” Malanca stated, “and we’d bring in some big time entertainment and food, of course. And we’d have a way for everybody to be proud of what they do and to show people where their food comes from.”

Malanca said he hoped the group’s decal could be an icon that symbolized the importance of agriculture.

“We’re grateful for the response we’ve had with our decals,” Malanca said. “We hope that little decal being shown on people’s vehicles and equipment will be a sign or a vision for people to see where they’re food comes from and know that we are a huge community and that we are good people. Ag is good, and ag is where you’re food comes from.”

2016-05-31T19:28:08-07:00August 7th, 2015|

Phone Calls Needed Now






H.R.2898, the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015 has passed the House and is on the way to the Senate.

MY JOB Depends on Ag urges each and every one of us to call all U.S. Senators and tell them we want a YES vote.

  • Here’s a template letter to email.
  • Call these Senators, starting with CA and moving onward.
  • Say you are calling regarding HR 2898 and want the Senator to vote YES!! They may ask for your zip code and say they will pass along your concern.


Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) TODAY released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Western Water and American Food Security Act:

“The House today passed a drought bill that included some useful short-term provisions as well as some provisions that would violate environmental law. While I cannot support the bill as passed, I remain hopeful we can come to an agreement that can advance through both chambers.

“House Republicans are right that we need to increase the flexibility of the state’s water delivery infrastructure. We need to facilitate water transfers and maximize water pumping without violating environmental laws like the Endangered Species Act or biological opinions, and we must do this using updated science and real-time monitoring. Provisions to accomplish this were in the bill the Senate unanimously passed last year, and I plan to include them again this year with added environmental protections.

“I also believe we must look closely at ways to support water recycling, storage, desalination and groundwater replenishment projects. There are already 15 ocean desalination projects and 65 water recycling projects being considered throughout California. These types of projects—as well as building or increasing reservoir capacity—must be a part of any long-term solution.

“To get a bill through the Senate and the House we’ll need to include provisions that benefit the entire West and help support the development of alternative water infrastructure. If the climate continues to warm, as I believe it will, these alternatives will be key.”

2016-05-31T19:28:10-07:00July 16th, 2015|
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