Cavanaugh Wins Fresno County Farm Bureau Journalism Award

Patrick Cavanaugh Wins Award for Audio Report on Temperance Flat Dam

By Laurie Greene, Founding Editor

The Fresno County Farm Bureau (FCFB) recognized Patrick Cavanaugh, Ag News Director and co-owner of California Ag Today Radio Network and CaliforniaAgToday.com, with a First Place Journalism Award in the Audio category on May 9. Cavanaugh’s radio report entitled “Temperance Flat Dam Denied Full Funding” broadcasted across our 26-station network, focused on the California Water Commission’s failure to fund the Temperance Flat Dam storage project.

Cavanaugh was among four award winners recognized by the FCFB at its second annual “Bounty of Fresno County” event at Wolf Lakes Park in Sanger. This year marked the FCFB’s 25th annual Journalism Awards.

Patrick Cavanaugh Wins FCFB Journalism Award

 

Over 25 entries were received from publications, websites, radio and television stations. The criteria for the awards were: thorough and objective coverage of issues, given time and space limitations; educational element for the agriculture industry or the consumer; and portraying the personal stories of those who make up the food and agriculture industry, making issues relevant to consumers and Valley residents.

Serving as judges were Westlands Water District Public Affairs Representative Diana Giraldo, farmer Liz Hudson of Hudson Farms, and journalist Don Wright of Water Wrights.

Award winners are:

Audio

Patrick Cavanaugh, California Ag Today Radio, “Temperance Flat Dam denied full funding,” March 9, 2018

Cavanaugh discusses the California Water Commission’s failure to fund the Temperance Flat Dam storage project.

Farm Trade Print

Vicky Boyd, Cotton Farming Magazine, “A bird’s eye-view of cotton,” September 1, 2018

Boyd explains the value of drones and how California farmers and ranchers are enlisting such technologies to help boost efficiency, optimize crop inputs and yields, and ultimately, remain profitable.

General Print

Robert Rodriguez, The Fresno Bee, “Will adding a sour kick get millennials to eat raisins?,” August 19, 2018

Rodriguez speaks with the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sun-Maid Growers of California, Harry Overly, about the company’s national campaign focused on rekindling consumers’ fondness for the brand.

Video

Alexan Balekian, KSEE24, “Is the gas tax putting California’s most valuable resource in jeopardy?,” February 19, 2019

Balekian explores the implications of Prop. 6, “the gas tax,” on California agriculture.

Check the CaliforniaAgToday.com Google News-recognized website for additional coverage on Temperance Flat Dam.

Featured Photo:  Ryan Jacobsen, CEO, Fresno County Farm Bureau, and Patrick Cavanaugh, California Ag Today Radio Network, holding tractor award.

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Fresno County Farm Bureau is the county’s largest agricultural advocacy and educational organization, representing members on water, labor, air quality, land use, and major agricultural related issues. Fresno County produces more than 400 commercial crops annually, totaling $7.028 billion in gross production value in 2017. For Fresno County agricultural information, visit www.fcfb.org.

 

Recommended:  The Fresno County Farm Bureau (FCFB) held the 22nd Annual Journalism Awards at the organization’s Celebrating Friends of Agriculture social where it awarded Vernon and the mental health series the Audio Award. 

Laurie Greene Wins Journalism Award

Greene Wins Fresno County Farm Bureau Award for Series on Farm Workers’ Rights

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

The Fresno County Farm Bureau (FCFB) recognized Laurie Greene, founding editor of CaliforniaAgToday.com,  with a First Place Journalism Award in the Farm Trade Print category on May 3. Her nine-part series published on our Google News-recognized CaliforniaAgToday.com website entitled, “Who Safeguards California Farm Workers’ Rights?” focused on recent, predominantly legal developments that illustrate the increasingly complex quagmire that masquerades as protecting farm employees’ rights in the state.

Laurie Greene wins Journalism Award
Ryan Jacobsen, FCFB CEO; Laurie Greene holding tractor award; and Donny Rollin, FCFB President.

According to the FCFB, “The annual awards recognize excellence in reporting on agricultural issues from journalists throughout the region. The criteria for the awards were: awareness of agriculture’s importance in the Valley; use of visuals to tell the story, where applicable; thorough and objective coverage of the issues, given time and space limitations; and portraying the ‘human side’ of the industry, making the issues relevant to consumers and/or producers.”

Laurie’s careful coverage of a complicated story was unrelenting in its meticulous research and thorough in cultivating numerous sources to tell the complete legal story of Gerawan’s farm employees. Laurie has been cited as a journalist with a sharp legal mind and is a strong asset to the company.

“When I moved to the Central Valley,” Greene said, “I was shocked to discover that Cesar Chavez’s legacy was tarnished. His UFW had evolved to mandate that farm employees submit to mediated union representation and payment of dues—all this by a union elected a quarter century earlier that subsequently abandoned the workers for two decades.

Gerawan Employees
Gerawan Farm Workers Protest against UFW at California Supreme Court.

Greene explained, “Current farm employees have had to fight to have their voices heard, to gain access to pertinent court hearings, to work unimpeded for the employer of their choosing, to face employment termination if they refuse to pay union dues, to exercise their right to vote to decertify the union in a sanctioned election and to have their votes publicly counted. I felt compelled to relay the facts in this important story.”

FCFB 2018 Journalism Award Winners Alex Backus, CBS47; Laurie Greene, CaliforniaAgToday.com; and Dominic McAndrew, 580AM KMJ. (Absent was Maria G. Ortiz-Briones, Vida en el Vale)

 

Greene’s work in the series was shared across the California Ag Today’s social media platforms and broadcasted across the California Ag Today Radio Network of 22 radio stations. She is also the owner of Cultivated Words, which provides professional editing services and college application essay coaching.



Other award winners were:

Audio:  Dominic McAndrew, News Talk 580AM, KMJ, “Signing the application for state funding of Temperance Flat Dam,” August 14, 2017.

Video:  Alex Backus, CBS47, “Fear in the Fields,” May 19, 2017.

General Print:  Maria G. Ortiz-Briones, Vida en el Vale, “Farmers, immigration rights advocates push back after ICE checks in the Central Valley,” February 12, 2018.


Who Safeguards California Farm Workers’ Rights?  (abridged)

Greene focused on the ongoing pressure the United Farm Workers (UFW) and the California Agriculture Labor Relations Board (ALRB) has placed on Gerawan farm workers in an attempt to force them to accept mandatory fee-based union representation by the UFW. Gerawan employees voted in favor of UFW representation in 1990, an election the ALRB certified in 1992. UFW never reached a contract to represent Gerawan employees in wage negotiations with their employer and never collected union dues. The UFW effectively abandoned the farm workers for 20 years.

The California Legislature amended the Agricultural Labor Relations Act in 2012 to impose a mandatory mediation and conciliation process for union contracts. The UFW offered Gerawan employees a new contract proposal via this forced legal process.

On Oct. 25, 2013, Gerawan employee Silvia Lopez filed a petition to decertify the UFW as the bargaining representative for the company’s workers. Gerawan voted in an historic, ALRB-sanctioned election on November 4 or 5, 2013; however, the ALRB impounded the ballots, reportedly without having counted them.

Silvia Lopez, Gerawan farm worker spokesperson

The twists and turns of who actually safeguards California farm employees’ rights have been strikingly dramatic, undemocratic, political, and arguably unconstitutional. And yet, the conflict remains legally unresolved.

Click here to read the series.

Click here to search for California Ag Today’s multimedia coverage since 2013 of this ongoing battle.  Search suggestions:  Gerawan Farming, Silvia Lopez, UFW, and ALRB.

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.