Industry Calls for Governor to Veto Card Check (AB 616)

 

California Fresh Fruit Association Calls on Gov. Newsom to Veto AB 616

On August 26, the California State Senate voted 24-11 to pass AB 616 (Stone), commonly referred to as “card check.” AB 616 would alter the traditional petition and secret election process overseen by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) in which farmworkers can vote for a union. The California Fresh Fruit Association joined a broad coalition of agricultural organizations to oppose AB 616, which proponents have misleadingly characterized as “vote by mail” legislation. Unlike mail-in voting, AB 616’s process would allow for interested parties to select the timing and manner of a union election, as well as who receives a card check form, and would limit the ability of the ALRB to provide impartial supervision of an election.

 

CFFA President Ian LeMay stated, “the California State Senate’s vote to pass AB 616 and undermine the integrity of the secret ballot in union elections is beyond disappointing. The right to an impartial, secret ballot election, free from undue pressure, is foundational to the democratic process that all of us cherish as Americans. AB 616 would allow for interested parties (union) to deliver a representation card to a select group of employees to sign in their presence smacks of voter coercion and intimidation – an anathema to the democratic voting process. The bill fails to even require that every employee of a company have the opportunity to vote on who or if they want to be represented.”

 

LeMay continued, “At the same time that our state legislators are smacking the pulpit regarding protections needed for our state and national voting processes, it is unfathomable that they would strip our farmworker community of that same basic right. We now call on Governor Newsom, to have the same foresight as his predecessor Governor Brown did when he vetoed the previous card check attempt. Veto AB 616 and protect California farmworker’s right to a free and fair election process.”

2021-08-27T11:49:27-07:00August 27th, 2021|

WAPA Joins A Call for Action On Water

Western Ag Processor’s Assocation’s Roger Isom Speaks Up

 

Association President/CEO Roger A. Isom spoke today at a press conference at the San Luis Reservoir calling on the state to fix our water infrastructure.

Isom joined Senator Melissa Hurtado and a broad group of water districts including Federico Barajas, of the San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority; Tom Birmingham, from the Westlands Water District; Jason Phillips of the Friant Water Authority, and Royce Fast from the Kern County Water Agency.

The event was held by Senator Hurtado and held at the San Luis Reservoir to commemorate the speech given by President John F. Kennedy at the same site in 1962 to begin construction of the San Luis Reservoir.

Isom quoted Kennedy stating “this is our task in the simplest of forms.  It is a task to renew and strengthen the American Land and its resources and build up a legacy for those who follow”.  The event also recognized the $100 million received to help infrastructure in the state to help repair canals.  Isom called it a down payment to help the state fix our infrastructure for our farms, cities and every citizen in this state.

2021-08-19T17:34:06-07:00August 19th, 2021|

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|

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|

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 Representatives 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 houses 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.”

2021-08-05T18:06:05-07:00July 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|

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against CA ALRB

California Fresh Fruit Association Reacts to Supreme Court Ruling

 

The California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) is pleased with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid. The Court held that under California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA), access by union organizers to come onto the private property of farmers and landowners to promote the union violates the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

 

Ruling Pushes Back on UFW

According to Chief Justice John Roberts, who authored the opinion, “unlike a mere trespass, the regulation grants a formal entitlement to physically invade the growers’ land. Unlike a law enforcement search, no traditional background principle of property law requires the growers to admit union organizers onto their premises. And unlike standard health and safety inspections, the access regulation is not germane to any benefit provided to agricultural employers or any risk posed to the public.”

 

CFFA President Ian LeMay said, “Today’s ruling involving Cedar Point Nursery and CFFA member Fowler Packing protects the constitutional rights of agricultural employers and brings the ALRA access rule into alignment with the National Labor Relations Act. For 45 years, California’s farmers have seen their property rights ignored by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board by allowing organizers onto their property. No other industry in the United States, including California, has had to allow union organizers onto their property in a similar manner. We appreciate both Fowler Packing and Cedar Point’s efforts in leading the fight to restore the same property rights that are enjoyed by all other industries in the United States, to California farmers.”

 

 

2021-06-29T17:48:55-07:00June 29th, 2021|

Many Options for Melon Weed Control

 

Conventional Melon Weed Management in the Sacramento Valley

 

By Amber Vinchesi-Vahl, UCANR Cooperative Extension Colusa County

Sutter County grows between 300 and 800 acres of fresh-market honeydew, mixed melon, and cantaloupe each year. The fields vary between furrow and drip irrigation, with many fields in the Sutter Basin only receiving a pre-irrigation.

Because of the rapid growth of melons, they are competitive with weeds and one cultivation may be sufficient to control weed issues. The growing habits of melons reduce the need for herbicides, which is fortunate since the availability of registered and effective herbicides is limited.

Generally, in Sutter County, the field is tilled, pre-irrigated, worked again, and melons are planted into moisture. When weed pressure is high, a hand-hoeing crew comes in and cultivates. Since many of the conventional fields in the northern region receive little water, herbicides may not be as effective since they do not work well without water. If water is available, herbicides like Prefar and Curbit may be used.

Bensulide (Prefar) can be applied before planting and incorporated shallowly or as a preemergent herbicide under sprinkler irrigation. It is used to control small-seeded annual grasses, pigweed and purslane. Remember to always check the label and consider plantback restrictions, especially if following with corn or sorghum. A layby application of ethalfuralin (Curbit) may also be used after thinning when melon plants are young (4-5 leaf stage) to control late germinating weeds.

In 2017, I received a farm call about a grassy weed in a honeydew field that the pest control adviser had never seen in a melon field during his long career. He applied sethoxydim (Poast) twice and the grass (johnsongrass) kept coming back. When grasses are moisture stressed, sethoxydim can be less effective, which makes sense in a melon field receiving little irrigation.

2021-06-16T18:25:11-07:00June 16th, 2021|

CaDairy2Go Competition Celebrates Innovations

California Milk Advisory Board Selects 12 Creative Chefs  For Inaugural Culinary Event

 

The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) this week announced the launch of an inaugural foodservice competition challenging professional chefs to create innovative “to-go” dishes using California dairy products. The “CADairy2Go” competition is inspired by chefs and foodservice operators who made quick, creative pivots to adjust their menus for the takeout and delivery model during the disruption caused by the pandemic.

The Real California Milk Foodservice Team hand-selected twelve culinary professionals to participate in the first-of-its-kind event, representing a variety of foodservice backgrounds, including experience in major restaurant chains, broadline distributors, independent restaurants, ghost kitchens, and food trucks.

Each chef will submit one dish in either the Cal-Mex or Cheese+Mac category, as well as a second dish under Innovate-To-Go, which allows for creativity beyond their assigned category. All dishes must be optimized for the takeout or “to-go” experience and incorporate sustainability sourced California cheese and other dairy ingredients.

 

The 2021 CADairy2Go participants are:

 

Carrie Baird – Rose’s Classic Americana – Boulder, CO

Victoria Elizondo –Cocina Local – Houston, TX

Gina Galvan – Mood for Food – San Juan Capistrano, CA

Gina Genschlea – Revolution Winery & Kitchen – Sacramento, CA

Nelson German – alaMar Kitchen & Bar, Sobre Mesa – Oakland, CA

Heidi Gibson – The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen – San Francisco, CA

Marti Lieberman – Mac Mart – Philadelphia, PA

Brian Mullins – Ms. Cheezious® – Miami, FL

Tamra Scroggins – Grill Concepts – Los Angeles, CA

Alex Sadowsky – Twin Peaks – Dallas, TX

Manish Tyagi – August 1 Five – San Francisco, CA

Mary Grace Viado – Village Tavern – Birmingham, AL

 

Participating chefs will win cash prizes from $500 to $5,000. Two finalists from each category will earn a trip to Napa, where they will compete in a live cook-off event July 28th at the Culinary Institute of America’s Copia location. The final cook-off will be captured in a live broadcast that will be streamed in celebration of the chefs and their creations. Additional details on the competition and the chef competitors is available at CADairy2Go.

“The past year has challenged chefs to be strategic in creating dishes that are not only comforting but can also hold up for an off-premise dining experience. This competition leverages the off-premise dining trends that emerged during this time and celebrates chefs who worked to respond quickly to consumer needs,” said Nancy Campbell, Business Development consultant for CMAB Foodservice. “Dairy is an essential ingredient for bringing to-go menu innovations to life and provides the flavor and flexibility to any style of cooking – from plant-forward to comfort and everything in between.”

As the nation’s largest dairy state, California boasts a long list of cheesemakers and dairy processors, that are further driving to-go dining innovation California leads the nation in milk production and is responsible for producing more butter, ice cream and nonfat dry milk than any other state. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese and yogurt. California milk and dairy foods can be identified by the Real California Milk seal, which certifies they are made exclusively with sustainably sourced milk from the state’s dairy farm families.

California is a reliable, consistent source of sustainable dairy products used by chefs throughout the world. Check out our REAL Makers chefs who rely on California dairy for their dishes.

 

2021-06-15T15:58:03-07:00June 15th, 2021|

Get Vaccinated to Have More Freedom

CDPH Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

This week, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated its recommendations for individuals who are fully vaccinated. A few key points from this guidance are below.

Fully vaccinated people can do the following:

• Spend time with other fully vaccinated people, including indoors, without wearing masks or physical distancing (outside a workplace setting).
• Spend time with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
• Refrain from wearing face coverings outdoors except when attending crowded outdoor events, such as live performances, parades, fairs, festivals, sports events, or other similar settings.

  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic.
  • Following a known exposure at work, fully vaccinated
    workers do not need to quarantine if asymptomatic.
  • In the workplace, employers subject to the Cal/OSHA
    COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards
    (ETS) must ensure that employees are following the
    current ETS face covering and testing requirements.

Fully vaccinated people should continue to take precautions in public including wearing a well-fitted mask indoors, and when attending crowded outdoor events, as described above. Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. If fully vaccinated people test positive for SARS-CoV-2, they should follow CDPH and local health department guidelines regarding isolation and/or exclusion from high-risk settings. For workplace settings, employers should follow the exclusion provisions of the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards.

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated when it has been two weeks or more after they have received either their second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna) or their single-dose vaccine (J&J/Janssen).

As reported by Kahn, Soares & Conway (KSC), for workplace settings, employers should follow the exclusion provisions of the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards. The Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) applies to all employers, employees, and to all places of employment with three exceptions:

• Workplaces where there is only one employee who does not have contact with other people.
• Employees who are working from home.
• Employees who are covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases regulation.

KSC as reported, in correspondence with this week’s CDPH recommendations, and per Executive Order N-84-2020, the Cal/OSHA ETS now stipulates that fully vaccinated individuals who have had a COVID-19 exposure and are asymptomatic no longer need to be excluded under the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards. More information is available in the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards FAQs.

2021-06-08T17:11:54-07:00May 23rd, 2021|
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