Bayer Helps Youth “Agvocate” For Farmers

Farming Operations Represent 21 Million Jobs

By Mikenzi Meyers, Associate Editor

Less than two percent of the United States population is working in agriculture. This may not sound like much, but let’s break it down. Two percent of the population means roughly 21 million jobs, 10 percent of the total workforce, and more than 160,000 farms. The greatest credibility for this huge industry goes to the farmers who work 365 days a year to feed the world. But who is advocating for them while they’re out in the field? That’s where Rob Schrick and Bayer Crop Science comes in.

Schrick, the Strategic Business Director for Bayer, knows the importance of promoting the industry and making consumers more aware of where their food comes from.

Rob Schrick, Bayer CropScience“What we’re trying to get across is that everyone in agriculture needs to lean into the conversation about ag, and be a proud ‘Agvocate’ for our industry,” he said.

Explaining the importance of farming, using both science and an emotional connection is key to getting this incredibly important concept across.

One way Bayer is striving to accomplish this goal is by working with youth involved in 4-H.

“We’re trying to get the kids even more excited about STEM,” Schrick explained.

STEM is a program that combines Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to give the kids hands-on education and inquiry-based science learning, which they can relate to agriculture and share with their community.

It is said that today’s youth are tomorrows leaders, and Bayer is helping the future leaders found in 4-H represent the farmers that work so hard to provide the world with a safe, affordable food supply.

California Proudly Provides Most of Thanksgiving Feast to America

Enjoy Your Thanksgiving Feast

From California’s Farms to Your Table

 

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

 

Turkeys come from several areas of the state, and while California is ranked No. 7 in turkey production, we do supply most of the western United States.

The famous Mrs. Cubbison’s dressing comes from Sophie Cubbison, a California entrepreneur who was born in 1890 in the San Marcos area of San Diego County. A longer fascinating story made short: In May 1920, she graduated from California Polytechnical University with a degree in Home Economics. In 1948, she added seasoning to broken pieces of the popular Melba toast to make stuffing. A factory in Commerce, California churns it out this time of year.

Farmers and farmworkers in California produce almonds, raisins, walnuts, prunes, pistachios, figs and dates, apricots, pumpkins, pecans and pomegranates. . . right on up the food line.

These are all part of the American Thanksgiving feast.

Celery from the Oxnard and Ventura area, and the rest of the ingredients for the stuffing mix, plus carrots, lots of crisp lettuce and fresh spinach from Salinas — all these greens waiting for you, already washed and bagged in the produce department. The green beans in your casserole come from California growers.

You’ve got oranges and kiwi fruit, table grapes, strawberries, raspberries freshly harvested from the Salinas and the San Joaquin Valleys. You’ve got sweet potatoes from Merced County — this is their pinnacle season. You’ve got all kinds, colors and sizes of potatoes and tomatoes, plus parsley, onions and garlic. . .  all grown in California.

Practically all the fruits, vegetables and nuts make America’s Thanksgiving celebrations festive, and nearly all of them come from California.

And don’t forget about the great variety of California winegrapes cultivated by California growers and then crafted with great care into great California vintage.

Wait! We grow firm, juicy apples and those small round watermelons that are a great snack or accent to a flavorful dessert fruit salad. And besides poultry, we even have California lamb, beef, rice or pasta—if you want to go that way.

Of course, you’ve got Martinelli’s sparkling apple or grape cider from Watsonville, near the Monterey Bay area. Local growers provide the tree-ripened fruit to the award-winning company, which is still family-owned and is run by the founder’s grandson and great-grandson.

At more than 140 years old, Martinelli’s is merely one century younger than our nation. In fact, the company received a first place award at the California State Fair in 1890.

By the way, do you know that little pop-up turkey timer that indicates when the turkey has reached the correct internal temperature? Food public relations genius Leo Pearlstein¹, along with a turkey producer from Turlock, invented that gizmo. Pearlstein, who handled the promotions for the California Turkey Advisory Board, was contemplating the enduring Thanksgiving conundrum—how long to cook the turkey and how to figure out when it is done?

Pearlstein said he and the turkey rancher were sitting in Pearlstein’s test kitchen mulling over ways consumers could determine when the turkey was done. They noticed the fire sprinkler system overhead. When the kitchen gets too hot, the fire sprinkler turns on. A metal alloy in the sprinkler is activated or melted when subjected to the high temperature of a fire in the room (185 degrees Fahrenheit). They applied that concept to the pop-up timer.

Officially, the National Turkey Federation advises consumers also use a conventional meat thermometer to verify that the cooked turkey’s internal temperature reaches:

165 degrees F to 170 degrees F in the breast or
175 degrees F to 180 degrees F in the thigh and
165 degrees F in the center of the stuffing
.

Except for cranberries, it is really a California Thanksgiving.


¹Leo Pearlstein is founder and president of Lee & Associates, Inc., a full-service public relations and advertising firm, which he opened in 1950. According to the company website, he currently runs the company with his partners, two of his sons, Howard and Frank Pearlstein. He is also founder and director of Western Research Kitchens, the food and beverage division of his agencyHe is considered a pioneer food consultant and his agency was recently named as one of the top agencies in the country that specializes in food and beverage clients.

For more food safety guidelines, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) provides this portal.

Celebrating California Agriculture

Celebrating California Agriculture – A Refreshing Perspective

By Laurie Greene, Editor

Peterangelo Vallis is the executive director of the San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association based in Kingsburg, CA. Today, he discusses the great care farmers put into their land.

“Hey, we don’t make any more land. God gave us a green earth. That is what we’ve got, and we live in the best possible place to grow virtually anything,” said Vallis.

peterangelo_vallis-side_shot-celebrating-california-agriculture
Peterangelo Vallis, executive director of San Joaquin Valley Winegrape Growers Association.

“In most cases, anything that has been farmed here in California has been farmed for a hundred years. The soil is better now than it was naturally because we are taking better care of it. We’re putting more natural green material back into the ground,” Vallis explained. 

“We are stewards of the land, and we have to be cognizant of that. We have to publicize that fact because farmers are the best people at caring for the land,” he said.

“I think oftentimes we are so busy caring for the land, we don’t do as good of a job pumping our chest up to everyone, going, ‘Hey! You know what? You come try to do this. You try to do it half as good as me, ‘because I’ve learned things from school. I’ve learned things from my family. I’ve learned things from generations. I’ve learned things just because I’m here doing my job and watching out,” Vallis said.

Vallis believes we need to widen the conversation and tell more people that farmers do the things they need to do; they do the things that benefit all society.

“We are proud of what we are doing. You know what? People who eat are the direct beneficiaries. Everyone who opens a can of beans. Everyone who goes and gets some lettuce out of the fridge. Everyone who eats beef, chicken or any other meat benefits from our taking care of the land to continue to produce,” he said.

“No farmer I know and no farmer I have ever met actively goes out and poisons our land, because then they can’t make food. Making food is what we are called to do.”

Ron Jacobsma: A lot of Folks are Hurting, Projects Must be Operated Better

By Colby Tibbet, Associate Editor

Ron Jacobsma is general manager of the Friant Water Authority. And of course in a good year with adequate rain and snow and reduced environmental restrictions, Friant delivers water to about 1 million acres farmed by about 15,000 farmers From Merced to Kern County.

Jacobsma noted that his service area is really hurting.

“The problem is that we are really running out reserves for a lot of our growers right now. Domestic folks are seeing their rural wells running dry, and many irrigation wells are going dry, and we have limited groundwater,” said Jacobsma. “We were able to put some programs together and so we avoided a lot of what we thought was going be, for example, more than  50,000 acres of citrus taken out.  But summer is not over  yet either, so we don’t know if were going to have enough water to for many growers to be able to keep some of those orchards and fields alive,” he added.

Jacobsma is looking ahead, and says if we do get rain this year, entirely different things need have to happen.

“If we do get precipitation, we got to have the projects run better than it was last year. Last year we had delays in being able to turn the pumps on. We had inexact science that was overly protective of the fish when the take numbers weren’t showing up, and these fish weren’t being harmed, nothing you could scientifically demonstrate and yet anytime there was a sense that there might be something going on, the pumps were shut down or we were severely limited,” he said.

Jacobsma finally added, “We can’t afford that this year. We’re coming in with basically nothing, and when he get to storms, we got to ramp up.”

 

Cal Ag Today Founder Recognized at Journalism Award Ceremony

Written by: Monique Bienvenue – Cal Ag Today Associate Editor 

As the Senior Intern and the current Associate Editor of Cal Ag Today, I’d like to personally congratulate my colleague, Patrick Cavanaugh, for being awarded at the 20th Annual Journalism Award Ceremony last night.

Patrick is not only hard working; he’s extremely dedicated and passionate about promoting all issues pertaining to the California agricultural industry. As somebody who understands the importance of agricultural literacy, I’m extremely proud of Patrick’s accomplishments and cannot wait to see what’s in store for Cal Ag Today and its impact on the agriculture industry.

The following Press Release has been provided by the Fresno County Farm Bureau:

FCFB announced the recipients of its 20th Annual Journalism Award Ceremony at the organization’s Celebrating Friends of Agriculture social tonight.

Recognized for excellence in agriculture reporting were:

Print/Web Print Media

First place: Mark Grossi, The Fresno Bee, “For Valley citrus growers, this season has 2 natural disasters,” March 2, 2014 – a comprehensive story about Valley citrus growers, specifically in the Porterville area, who are suffering the challenges brought on by the drought. The article touches on the impacts both farmers and consumers will face due to the drought.

Television/Radio/Web Audio-Visual Media

First place: A.J. Fox, Justin Sacher, Dave Spaher and Heidi Waggoner, KSEE, “High and Dry” series, April 21-24, 2014 – a four-part series focusing on the water struggles California farmers and consumers are encountering due to the drought; addresses potential solutions to the issues.

Farm Trade Print/Television/Radio/Web Media

First place: Patrick Cavanaugh, Pacific Nut Producer, “West Side water series,” Aug. 2013, Nov. 2013, April 2014 – a three-part series that examines Valley farmers and their agricultural journey through California’s water crisis, including the challenges they encounter along the way and what may be in store for the future.