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Dairy Defined: In Search of “Big Dairy”

“Big Dairy.” One of the strangest terms attached to the industry. As seen in fear-mongering headlines, Big Dairy is used to de-personalize individual dairy farmers and imply some large, faceless force foisting an agenda on unsuspecting consumers. So, who exactly is it? Maybe by figuring out what Big Dairy is – or isn’t – some light could be shed on …

CAWG Mourns Passing of Founding Chair Richard Keehn

The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) is saddened to share that Richard Keehn, a founding member of CAWG and the first chair of its board of directors, passed away on Dec. 20, 2019. Following a decorated 15-year career in the U.S. Army, Keehn began farming winegrapes in Mendocino County in the early 1970s. In the years that followed, he …

Tulare County Crop Report (For the week ending December 28, 2019)

Tulare County Crop Status

SMALL GRAINS AND OTHER FIELD CROPS: Winter grain crop planting is finished. Winter grain plants are beginning to emerge from the soil. Some wheat, oats, and barley fields are being treated for weed control, as the winter wheat germination will increase due to high moisture.   DECIDUOUS TREE FRUITS, NUTS, AND GRAPES: Almond and pistachio harvest have ended. Dead and …

Daniel Errotabere Elected President of Westlands Water District

On December 17, 2019, Don Peracchi announced that he would step down as President of Westlands Water District’s Board, effective December 31, 2019. Following his announcement, the District’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to elect Director Daniel Errotabere as President of the District. Mr. Peracchi stated, “It has been an honor to serve as Westlands’ President, and I am proud of …

“Brand New” Sun-Maid Holds 107TH Annual Meeting

Sun-Maid Growers of California held its 107th Annual membership meeting at the Convention Center’s “New Exhibit Hall” in Downtown Fresno this past weekend. The theme “It’s a Brand New Sun-Maid—And it’s not just Business as Usual” was evident throughout the event with a fresh approach to facing challenges in the industry and continuing company-wide transformation. More than 1,000 raisin growers, families …

U.S. Dept of Labor Investigation of Blueberry Grower Munger Bros. Results in $3.5 Million in Back Wages, Penalties

After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Delano, California-based blueberry grower Munger Bros. LLC and two related companies will pay $2.5 million in back wages to approximately 3,000 workers to resolve violations of the H-2A visa program and the Migrant and Seasonal Worker Protection Act (MSPA). Munger Bros. and the two related companies …

Wine Industry Leader Jeff O’Neill to Keynote at 2020 Unified Symposium

The 2020 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium is set to open on Tuesday, February 4, at Cal Expo in Sacramento, with three days of networking, learning about the latest technological advances, and critical trends and information required to plan for the year ahead. The 2020 Unified Symposium opens with a luncheon featuring keynote speaker Jeff O’Neill, CEO of O’Neill Vintners …

California Receives More Than $7.6 Million from USDA for Rural Business Energy Efficiency Projects

The USDA is investing a total of $237 million throughout the US to help farmers, Ag producers and rural businesses lower energy costs. More $7.6 million of that is coming to California for 12 different projects. The funding is provided through the Rural Energy for American Program (REAP). Recipients can use REAP funding for energy audits and to install renewable energy …

USDA Extends Deadlines for Dairy Margin Coverage, Market Facilitation Programs

Due to the prolonged and extensive impacts of weather events this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today extended the deadline to December 20 for producers to enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program for the 2020 calendar year. The deadline had been December 13.  USDA announced is also continuing to accept applications for the Market Facilitation Program through December …

American Farmland Trust Releases First-Ever CA Non-Operating Landowner Survey Results

SACRAMENTO, CA — Today, American Farmland Trust, the organization behind the national movement No Farms No Food®, released fact sheets summarizing results from its Non-Operating Landowners, or NOLs, Survey that surveyed individually or partnership-owned lands, not institutions or trusts, for California. The results are promising, demonstrating that landowners care about their land and are keenly interested in stewarding their land well — keeping it …

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