The Power of Three in Walnuts

Power of Three Highlights Increasing Walnut Consumption Increase Heart Health

By Patrick Cavanaugh on the AgInformation Network

It’s called the power of three and it’s part of a big social media campaign by the California Walnut board and Commission. Jennifer Olmstead is marketing director for domestic public relations for the California Walnut board and commission.

“We have a lot of research backing up the heart health benefits of walnuts,” said Olmstead. “We’ve been researching it for approximately 30 years now and there’s a lot of data to support that and that’s the reason why we have the heart checkmark from the American heart Association

“The Omega 3 in walnuts is actually one of the key messages in our global power of three campaign. There are three different key points to the campaign. One is the Omega 3 in walnut,” said Olmstead. “The other is that we’re encouraging people to eat three handfuls a week, so something simple that they can remember to do to get them closer to better nutrition. And then we also want them to share that message with three people in their own life,” she said.

And because a robust public relations by the Walnut Board and Commission, most people already know that walnuts are good for their heart health.

“Yes, the heart healthy message is starting to resonate for walnuts. Health is one of the top reasons that people are buying walnuts in general, and we want to continue that momentum throughout the year,” noted Olmstead. “We want people buying walnuts all year and even-out that season and not just have this tremendous spike around the holidays. We want to encourage people to think about other ways to use walnuts throughout the year.”The Power

Sakata Seed Helps American Heart Association Raises $44,000

Sakata Seed America Supports the AHA through its Sakata Gives Corporate Giving Program

New Release Edited by Patrick Cavanaugh

During the month of October, as part of its Sakata Gives Corporate Giving Program, Sakata Seed America, a world leader in breeding and producing vegetable and flower seed, participated in two walks, including a special Sakata-coordinated campus walk, to raise awareness and much-needed funds for the American Heart Association.

On the morning of October 20th, Sakata Seed America staff, friends and family joined the annual American Heart Association Central Coast Heart & Stroke Walk. The 5K walk commenced at the Depot Lot and continued along the scenic coastal pathway located in Monterey. More than 275 Central Coast residents and visitors gathered for the annual Heart Walk to raise life-saving funds and awareness for heart disease and stroke.

The event which included 19 teams, including Team Sakata, raised more than $44,000. Team Sakata raised $3,772 for the walk, earning the titles of Top Team, Top Company, and Top Walker (Jamie Kitz). Funds raised from the Heart Walk will benefit research, advocacy, outreach, and education.

In addition, on the morning of October 3rd the Sakata staff stepped out at their own regional offices for a companywide Heart Walk staged at seven of their campuses throughout the United States, including major locations in Yuma, AZ; Morgan Hill, CA; Salinas, CA; Woodland, CA; Ft. Myers, FL; Mt. Vernon, WA; and Burlington, WA.

A first for Sakata and the American Heart Association, Sakata’s coordinated campus walk was the “heartchild” of Jamie Kitz, Program Manager for Sakata Gives, the company’s Corporate Giving Program. Kitz said, “Partnering with strong community-minded organizations as the American Heart Association speaks to the essence of the Sakata Gives. We love engaging in our communities through activities that contribute to the betterment of both life and culture.”

To encourage and thank walkers, 400 colorful tulips were generously donated by Sun Valley Floral Farm. Participants were thrilled to walk away with gorgeous blooms that made for even happier hearts! Sakata was pleased to build awareness and camaraderie at their own facilities and blaze a new trail in fundraising for the American Heart Association.

From humble beginnings, the AHA has grown into the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. A shared focus on cardiovascular health unites their more than 33 million volunteers and supporters as well as their more than 3,400 employees. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the No. 1 killer, and stroke ranks as the country’s No. 5 killer. For nearly 100 years, the AHA has been fighting heart disease and stroke, striving to save and improve lives.

Kelly LaPorta, Regional Director for the American Heart Association states, “It is evident that the mission of the American Heart Association is a mission that is near and dear to the hearts of the Sakata Family. Heart Walk is our premiere event for raising funds to save lives from heart disease and stroke and Sakata has fielded a team for the past six years. Happily, Sakata wanted to do more. They wanted to be sure they could participate at the highest level and raise the most funds and awareness—hence we decided to co-host our first coordinated campus walk for Sakata and it was a huge success!”

Overall, roughly 110 Sakata employees participated in the two walks and raised over $4,900 for the cause.

For more information on the Heart & Stroke Walk visit www.centralcoastheartwalk.org

Army Vet Finds Purpose in Farmer Veteran Coalition

Organization Uses Ag to Help Veterans

By Joanne Lui, Associate Editor

California Ag Today is proud to announce a partnership in support of Farmer Veteran Coalition by featuring stories about their members on a monthly basis. This is the first story in a series that will carry over into the next year.


Agriculture is important in countless ways. In the broadest sense, California’s agricultural industry feeds the world and provides many jobs. But on a smaller level, farming can change one life at a time, whether it’s educating a child or giving purpose to a veteran. That’s what Randy Ryan discovered since he retired from military service with the U.S. Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps. 

“I volunteered to help some kids grow some food. They said, ‘Man, you’re really good with these kids.’ That started me on the path to teaching kids in the Southern

tgn Randy Ryan, Farmer Veteran Coalition
Randy Ryan (center) said, “There’s nothing that gives you purpose like serving. And I can’t think of a better way for veterans to serve than to grow food.”

California area about growing food,” Ryan said.

Ryan, who grew up on a farm in Tennessee, began working with Teaching Gardens, a program funded by the American Heart Association that fights childhood obesity by teaching kids how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest produce and understand the value of good eating habits.

“I used to go into classrooms and say, ‘Let’s try some broccoli. Let’s try some kale.’ They were like, ‘Ew,’” Ryan recalled. “But if they grow it, they are going to desire it. And if they desire it, they are going to buy it locally.”

While working with Teaching Gardens, Ryan also connected with the Farmer Veteran Coalition. The non-profit organization’s mission is to “cultivate a new generation of farmers and food leaders and develop viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the farming and military communities.” The Coalition believes “agriculture offers veterans purpose, opportunity, and physical and psychological benefits.”

Now, Ryan has become the manager of a new California initiative with the Farmer Veteran Coalition. “We’re going to focus on the state of California and get more veterans involved” Ryan said. The Coalition aims to reach more veterans with information on how to get involved and to encourage more farmers to provide internships to veterans.

Ryan recognizes it can be hard to ask a farmer to train a veteran because they do not necessarily have the time or resources. That’s why Ryan is focused on getting fellowships and grants. Already, many partners have come aboard, including Newman’s Own and the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

farmer_veteran_coalition_logo“There are also a lot of opportunities in the industry other than starting your own farm,” Ryan pointed out. He encourages veterans to consider opportunities in farm management, vineyard management and food safety, among other jobs. “The skills from being a veteran and those from being in the food and agriculture industry—they are so similar to me,” he said.

Ultimately, Farmer Veteran Coalition aims to give returning veterans a purpose after serving their country in the military. “Veterans come home with a feeling of needing to serve,” Ryan said. “Veterans want to serve. There is nothing that gives you purpose like serving. And I cannot think of a better way for veterans to serve than to grow food.”

Click on the link to learn more how you can support Farmer Veteran Coalition.

The Holiday Guide to Staying Healthy

By: Monique Bienvenue; Cal Ag Today Communications Manager 

With cookies, pastries and elaborate meals surrounding you this holiday season, it’s extremely easy to indulge in unhealthy meals. Thanks the American Heart Association, however, there are few ways to indulge in your favorite holiday dishes while staying on track. Here’s how:

Keep an eye out for sodium:

  • Look at the labels! Believe it or not, your favorite breads and canned soup may contain high levels of sodium, so make sure to look at the food labels before making a purchase.
  • Find substitutes: Instead of adding salt to your meal, try using spices and herbs such as rosemary and cloves.
  • Add veggies: Fresh vegetables are sure to add flavor to your meal without having to add salt!

Defeat the turkey:

  • Choose the white meat: White meat has less fat and less calories than dark meat!
  • Remove the skin: Although tasty, the skin contains a large amount of fat
  • Limit the gravy: Gravy can be the culprit when watching your calories, be sure to limit the amount you put on your meal.

Desserts, desserts, desserts:

  • Share the goodness: Instead of indulging in one full serving of cake or pie, split it with a friend or family member. You’ll thank yourself at the end of the day.
  • Sample: Take a bite of a cookie, and eat the corner of piece of cake. The small bites you take will have less fat and calories than one full serving of something else.

For information on how to stay healthy this holiday season, click on the link below.

http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@fc/documents/downloadable/ucm_455757.pdf