Richard Casias, principal scientist and managing member at RCC Group, LLC, an environmental management consulting company based in Davis, expressed his deep respect for the Valley’s local farmers’ positive outlook, “What I really appreciate about these individuals is farmers are true asset managers. Their goal is to work efficiently, effectively and bring a good investment off the land they are managing.”
RCC Group’s primary customer base of almond, walnut and pistachio growers approach Casias by introducing their asset, emphasizing ongoing preservation of that asset, and making certain that the inputs are positive, and losses are minimized, like any company. With over 30 years of experience in earth science and environmental management, Casias attributes his expertise to this ongoing learning process.
Casias has traveled nationwide, including Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Texas, promoting environmental management systems and conducting environmental and water resource investigations. “I’ve been advocating for an environmental management system for farming operations. Australia and other countries have been doing it, and it is completely applicable here in Central Valley farming operations.”
Casias continued, “So many of the farming practices that are being done are not getting farmers the positive feedback and validation as good land and water stewards. That is part of my motivation—to make sure growers recognize and take credit for all the extra work that they do to make their farming operations successful.”
When it comes to increasing water regulations on farming, Casias commented, “I try to remind growers that public scrutiny is not solely focused on agriculture as the villain; there are a number of people [and industries] using these natural resources.”
Almond Hullers & Processors Association (AHPA) Chairman Dick Cunningham and President Kelly Covello urged their membership to support the voluntary California Almond Industry PAC at the association’s 34th Annual AHPA Convention, held on the Big Island in Hawaii over the past three days.
Facing immense challenges such as the slowdown of West Coast ports, air quality laws and regulations, net energy metering (NEM), food quality and safety, worker safety, bees and bee health, wastewater treatment, crop protection regulation, aboveground petroleum storage Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans, competing research priorities and most urgently, unprecedented drought conditions and public misunderstanding and criticism of almond water usage, the Almond Industry aims to create a unified voice for candidate support, political information and education services.
Through a Memorandum of Agreement with the Almond Board of California (ABC), AHPA is able is able contract for a portion of staff time/expertise to assist in AHPA’s advocacy efforts and provide a unified voice for the industry. The ABC educates regulatory agencies and legislators but is prevented by the USDA Federal Marketing Order to advocate for government policy or legislation.
The California Almond Industry PAC will hold a fundraiser in Bakersfield on May 14th, at Imbibe, 4140 Truxtun Avenue, from 5:30-7:00pm, sponsored by Golden Empire Shelling, LLC., Landmark Irrigation, Inc., Pacific Ag Management, Inc., Paramount Farms, and Supreme Almonds of California.
Fundraisers will also be arranged in the Northern and Fresno areas in the upcoming months.
Sponsorship Levels include:
Supporter: $500 (includes a guest)
You do not need to be an AHPA member to contribute or attend the event.
For more information, contact (209) 599-5800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.