Madera County Farm Bureau 5 things to look for as govt writes new dietary advice agriculture today January 2015 Vol. 5, No. 1 See Page 3 Front Page Call Today to RSVP for our CPR/First Aid Training – Spanish February 17th 9:00 am-2:00 pm Madera County Farm Bureau Upcoming Safety Trainings February 10, 2015 - Spanish Supervisor & Farm Worker Safety Training Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm Farm Bureau Member - $100 per person Non-member - $200 per person This course includes: Supervisors are an integral part of a company’s success, ensuring worker efficiency and operational effectiveness. In this seminar, supervisors learn critical information covering: • Heat Illness Prevention Training • Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (AB-1825 & AB-2053 compliant) • Safety and Health Laws & Regulations RSVP By: February 6, 2015 February 19, 2015 - English Manager Training Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm Farm Bureau Member - $100 per person Non-member - $300 per person This course includes: Managers are an integral part of a company’s success, ensuring worker efficiency and operational effectiveness. In this seminar, managers learn critical information covering: • MSPA Compliance Training • Workers Compensation Training • Joint Employer Liability RSVP By: February 16, 2015 March 12, 2015 – Spanish Supervisor & Farm Worker Safety Training Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm Farm Bureau Member - $100 per person Non-member - $200 per person This course includes: Supervisors are an integral part of a company’s success, ensuring worker efficiency and operational effectiveness. In this seminar, supervisors learn critical informa- tion covering: • Hiring and Intake Process Training • Wage and Hour Overview RSVP By: March 9, 2015 March 26, 2015 - Spanish Pesticide Handler Train – The – Trainer Time: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Farm Bureau Member - $100 per person Non-member - $200 per person This course, which is required by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, is designed specifically for pesticide handlers and fieldworker training. This seminar will cover topics including pesticide exposure, signs and symptoms of illness, emergency medical care, proper use of personal protective equipment, safe handling and transportation of pesticides and laws and regulations regarding labels and safety data sheets. In addition, participants will learn effective training techniques. Once participants have successfully completed this training, they will be able to submit an application to the state to be able to issue the blue WPS cards. RSVP By: March 23, 2015 Please call the MCFB office to get your name on the RSVP list at (559) 674-8871 or send us an email at [email protected] com. You can also visit our website www. maderafb.com and print out the registration forms and fax them to (559) 6740529. (559) 674-8871 Calendar February 3 Executive Committee Meeting, 1:00 p.m., MCFB Conference Room, 1102 South Pine Street, Madera (559) 674-8871, info @ www.maderafb.com 17 MCFB & American Red Cross CPR/First Aid Training, Spanish 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Ben Hayes Hall, 1102 South Pine Street, Madera (559) 674-8871, info @ www.maderafb.com 19 MCFB & AgSafe Managers Meeting: MSPA Compliance, Workers’ Compensation Insurance Requirements, English 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Ben Hayes Hall, 1102 South Pine Street, Madera (559) 6748871, info @ www.maderafb.com March 3 Executive Committee Meeting, 1:00 p.m., MCFB Conference Room, 1102 South Pine Street, Madera (559) 674-8871, info @ www.maderafb.com 10 MCFB Board of Directors Meeting, 12:00 p.m., MCFB Ben Hayes Hall, 1102 South Pine Street, Madera (559) 674-8871, info @ www.maderafb.com 12 Supervisor & Farm Worker Safety Training, Hiring & Intake Process, Wage & Hour Overview: Spanish 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., MCFB Ben Hayes Hall, 1102 South Pine Street, Madera (559) 674-8871, info @ www.maderafb.com 26 Supervisors & Workers Pesticide Handler, Train–The–Trainer, Spanish 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., MCFB Ben Hayes Hall, 1102 South Pine Street, Madera (559) 674-8871, info @ www.maderafb.com 2 | January 2015 Madera County Farm Bureau President’s Message Happy New Year and may 2015 be a bountiful one for all! With the glow of the holidays fading into the sunset of last year, January has always been a good month to look forward to a long period of new prosAl Sheeter President pects, possibilities, and choices. One way to make the necessary decisions needed during the next twelve months is to base them on an inventory of one’s assets and liabilities. Membership in the Madera County Farm Bureau certainly has only one place on your inventory list—the asset column! I know of few, if any, commitments that return more value for your dollar that belonging to our area’s only comprehensive agricultural advocacy organization! Just looking over the past month, there have been numerous meetings, both public and private, that have concentrated on groundwater changes that have the potential to impact every farmer in Madera County. Despite the focus on what MCFB Executive Director Anja Raudabough calls “the biggest issue of our time,” attendance at these gatherings by farming representatives has been minimal save for the staff and board members of MCFB. Groundwater regulation and control is but one issue that our Farm Bureau vigilantly focuses on every day to make sure that our rural way of life in Madera County is protected and preserved! There’s also poorly planned urban development, high-speed rail intrusion, suspect governmental actions, questionable endangered species rulings… the list goes on and on. Madera County Farm Bureau News 2014 - 2016 Executive Committee President: Al Sheeter First Vice President: Jay Mahil Second Vice President/Treasurer: Michael Naito Secretary: Nick Davis Appointed by President: Dennis Meisner Jr Appointed by President: Tom Rogers Immediate Past President: Tom Coleman Directors at Large Mathew Andrew Robert Cadenazzi H. Clay Daulton Stephen Elgorriaga Jim Erickson Michele Lasgoity Neil McDougald Jeff McKinney Dino Petrucci Pat Ricchiuti Robert Sahatjian Chris Wylie California Farm Bureau - District 9 Director Anthony Toso California Farm Bureau Committee Policy Recommendation – H. Clay Daulton Air & Environmental Issues – H. Clay Daulton California Farm Bureau Commodity Representatives Bee – Ryan Cosyns Beef – H. Clay Daulton Grape – Jay Mahil Specialty Crops – Tom Rogers Office Staff Executive Director: Anja K. Raudabaugh Executive Assistant: Normalee G. Castillo Madera County Farm Bureau 1102 South Pine Street Madera, CA 93637 (559) 674-8871; www.maderafb.com Just stop for a second and put a value on your time for the equivalent of one hour. Then multiply that value by one hundred. That conservatively is the number of hours spent by the MCFB staff and Directors in local meetings in December 2014 representing your agricultural interests in Madera County. Then you can double that result to factor in the time spent on issues of statewide and national importance that will also influence your farming operation. And this is for only one month of the year in terms of meeting attendance! Do you think that the return on investment (in this case your annual dues) is worth it? As the late, great comedian Dick Martin used to say, “You bet your sweet bippy” it is! The Madera County Farm Bureau is the only voluntary, non-govern- Farm Bureau Membership Benefits Insurance Allied Insurance, Health Net, Nationwide Agribusiness, State Compensation Insurance Fund, VPI Pet Insurance News and Entertainment AgAlert, California Country Mag & T.V. Advertising/Publishing Mid-Valley Publishing 1130 G Street, Reedley, CA 93654 Dodge Trucks, Vans and SUV’s, Vehicle Rentals, Avis, Budget, Budget Trucks, Hertz Advertising Sales Debra Leak (559) 638-2244 Grainger, Kelly-Moore Paints, Dunn Edwards Paints Editor Normalee G. Castillo Periodical Postage Paid at Fresno, California 93706 POSTMASTER Send address changes to: Madera County Farm Bureau 1102 South Pine Street, Madera, CA 93637 The Madera County Farm Bureau does not assume responsibility for statements by advertisers or for products advertised in Madera County Farm Bureau. Vehicles Do-It-Yourself Travel Choice Hotels, Wyndham Hotels Business Services Anderson Marketing, Farm Bureau Bank, Farm Employers Laborers Service, Land’s End Business Outfitters Health Services Clear Value Hearing, Farm Bureau Prescription discount program, LensCrafters, Preferred Alliance Contact the MCFB Office at (559) 674-8871 or www.maderafb.com for details. mental, non-profit organization that is dedicated to the support and preservation of agriculture throughout Madera County. Your membership should be at the top of your asset list. Make sure your enrollment is up to date, encourage and advocate membership to your fellow farmers and citizens at large, and let’s all get ready for another year of successful farming! New MCFB Members MCFB welcomes the following new Agricultural (producer), Associate (consumer) Collegiate, and Business Support members who joined in December & January: NAMECITY P/C/B Cody Chytka Coarsegold Producer D & J Ag Labor Services Madera Producer Thomas Deniz Madera Producer Michael McClaran Madera Producer Nancy McLaskey Madera Producer Patsy Pope Calistoga Producer Samra Sarbjit Madera Producer Yua Thao Madera Consumer To become a member call 674-8871 New MCFB Donors MCFB would like to thank all of our members who help support our work through their voluntary contributions for the months of December & January. Diepersloot Dairy Duane G. Blech Gary Foth Gerald W. Cederquist Helen Ford Marion Overgaard Midland Tractor Company Muir Trail Ranch Poythress Farms Ryan A. Cosyns To become a Donor call 674-8871 January 2015 | 3 Madera County Farm Bureau Executive Directors Address Happy New Year from the Madera County Farm Bureau! With well wishes and prayers of hopeful rain to come in the forecast –we’re hoping for another year of peace and plenty. The Board of Director’s has officially Anja lodged a Notice of Raudabaugh Default against the Executive California High Director Speed Rail Authority (Authority) –based on serious defaults and violations of the Court-Approved Settlement Agreement between the Authority and the Farm Bureaus – Madera and Merced. The defaults are associated with the Authority’s acquisition of property in Madera County. Failure to timely remedy the violations will result in the Authority being required to go back to Court for judicial enforcement of the Settlement Agreement. A copy of the Notice of Default and other related materials can be found on the MCFB website, www. maderafb.com. On a brighter note –please save the date for our Annual Wine Tasting event, which will be held on Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 –at Appellation California (ApCal). This year’s event is introducing a new local specialty –Beer! We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with our outstanding local wineries as well. This event is entirely tax deductible and proceeds go toward our Scholarship Fund. Please contact the office for more information or if you’re interested in sponsoring the event. Our office is also busy setting up our new and improved wave of Spring safe- ty trainings –sponsored by Agri-Land Farming and Foster and Parker Insurance. We are offering many different types of compliance trainings this year; including train the trainer pesticide and hazards awareness, overtime and wage law compliance, heat stress and sexual harassment training –and CPR and First Aid. Please call the office or visit our website for more information. We look forward to serving our membership in the upcoming year – Keep Planting, Growing, and Picking! By Mary Clare Jalonick Associated Press advice. They also form the basis for the government’s “My Plate” icon, which replaced the food pyramid a few years ago. A government advisory committee made up of medical and nutrition experts is set to issue preliminary recommendations this month. It indicated in draft recommendations circulated in December that it may suggest some changes in current dietary advice. The secretaries of the Agriculture and Health and Human Services Departments will take those recommendations into account as they craft the final 2015 guidelines, expected by the end of the year. Five things to watch for as the government begins writing the new guidelines: REAL LIMITS ON SUGAR The 2010 dietary guidelines recommended generally reducing caloric intake from sugars added during food processing or preparation. Those sugars act the same in the body as naturally occurring sugars, but add empty calories. In its draft recommendations, this year’s advisory committee is suggesting specific limits on added sugars for the first time, advising that only 10 percent of calorie in- 5 things to look for as govt writes new dietary advice See Advice; Page 10 Foster & Parker INSURANCE • Home • Farm • Business • Auto • Health • Life Call for your FREE heat safety training materials package Steve Barsotti 674-8536 www.fosterparker.com CA Lic. #0551757 8941 1643 N. Schnoor Ave • Madera 8798 WASHINGTON — You’ve heard it before: Eat fewer calories, more fruits and more vegetables. Those recurring themes as well as some new advice about sugar, salt, meat and caffeine could be part of the government’s upcoming dietary guidelines for healthy eating. Whether individuals listen or not, the dietary guidelines affect nutritional patterns throughout the country — from federally subsidized school lunches to labels on food packages to your doctor’s 4 | January 2015 Madera County Farm Bureau Advocacy Group’s Video of Hens Raises Questions, but Not Just for Farms By Stephanie Strom and Sabrina Tavernise New York Times An animal rights group released Thursday a disturbing video of laying hens at a farm in Northern California that supplies eggs to Whole Foods and Organic Valley, among other retailers and distributors. The group, Direct Action Everywhere, contended that the hens’ treatment was inhumane and said it planned to protest this weekend at Whole Food stores in a number of American cities. The hens in the video belong to Petaluma Farms, whose owners assert that the group is distorting and exaggerating the conditions under which its organic and conventional eggs are raised and sold under the brands Judy’s Family Farm and Rock Island. It also supplies eggs sold by Whole Foods stores in Northern California under the grocer’s 365 label, and it accounts for more than 4 percent of the eggs sold by Organic Valley. This latest dispute over the treatment of animals used in food production provides an example of how prevalent the use of graphic videos as a publicity tactic is becoming. (This week, the Humane Society unveiled its own “exposé” of conditions at a slaughtering facility in Minnesota.) But these videos can also be mystifying, if not misleading, for consumers paying attention to the varying certification standards of humane treatment available to producers and companies selling animal-based food. According to Wayne Hsiung, a founder of Direct Action Everywhere, the video footage was obtained by a small team of activists who climbed over a barbed wire fence into a Petaluma Farms facility at 700 Cavanaugh Lane, in Petaluma, Calif., about 10 times between the summer of 2013 and this past fall. Barns there house hens raised according to organic standards, producing eggs certified as organic, as well as laying hens that are raised conventionally, according to Steve Mahrt, the owner of Petaluma Farms. The welfare of the organic birds at the Cavanaugh Lane facility, as well as a few organic hens housed at another Petaluma Farms location, has also met the standards of Certified Humane, an animal welfare certification program operated by the nonprofit group Humane Farm Animal Care. While Mr. Hsiung criticized Whole Foods’s animal welfare policy, calling a five-step program “five steps of cruelty,” the egg producer took exception to the generalizations made by the group. Mr. Mahrt said the video produced by Direct Action Everywhere “isn’t anywhere indicative of our operation — they had to go through 15 barns off and on over a year to find three chickens they could use to make their point in this video.” He said he was confident that only three birds were featured in the video and that none of them were from his VALUE, SERVICE AND QUALITY organic flock. “This scares me to death because there’s avian influenza out there, salmonella, all sorts of things these people could have tracked into those barns,” Mr. Mahrt said, accusing them of trespassing. (On Wednesday, Politico reported that about 30 countries have banned imports of American poultry because of an avian flu outbreak in Washington State and Oregon.) For his part, Mr. Hsiung said Direct Action Everywhere had found dozens of chickens in poor condition but had highlighted only a few in the video. Still, experts debated exactly what was wrong with the hens depicted in the video. Is the forlorn-looking, nearly bald hen a victim of feather pecking, a behavioral tic acquired by chickens in close quarters? Or is the hen simply molting? Andrew Gunther, program director of Animal Welfare Approved, another certification group, said he saw signs in the video of feather pecking, molting and treading, which happens when a rooster cleans its claws on a hen’s back while having intimate relations. “It’s pretty difficult to audit by photograph, but what I’m seeing is very poor management, not systemic failure,” Mr. Gunther said. And what Direct Action Everywhere called “debeaking” was described by Mr. Gunther and other experts as “beak trimming” or “tipping,” in which a portion of the beak is removed to prevent a chicken in close quarters from feather pecking and cannibalism. Trimming is allowed by Certified Humane, but only when done by an expert and before a bird is 10 days old. “With any group of more than 110 hens together, you have feather pecking and the risk of cannibalism, and we don’t think that’s good animal welfare,” said Adele Douglass, the founder of Humane Farm Animal Care. Ms. Douglass said Petaluma Farms’s certification had expired in June. She said it had applied for recertification but, because of staffing issues at her organization, the inspection required to renew the certification has not yet been done. The video also pinpoints differences that arise through certification from one source or another. Certified Humane allows trimming, Animal Welfare Approved does not. “A lot of the behaviors that you’re trimming beaks for are the result of tight confinement,” Mr. Gunther said. “Instead of trimming, you can let birds go outdoors, you can change the breed.” A consumer, however, has almost no quick way of recognizing the varied criteria amid a number of groups offering certification. Only organic certification is designated by a single seal, indicating compliance with a federal law. “Other than doing some personal research and going online to see what different certification labels require, it gets tricky for consumers — and for us, too,” said A.C. Gallo, president and chief operating officer of See Video; Page 11 Shredding Bursey By Disc Blades Safety Glasses and Gloves Pole and Chain Saws Coveralls and Footwear Pruning Tools TeeJet Spray Personal Protective Equipment Almonds • Walnuts • Pistachios • Citrus 8945 Locally owned and operated Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday • 8 a.m. – Noon on Saturdays 2880 Falcon Drive (in Airport Business Park) • Madera • 559-665-2300 (559) 352-0926 Madera, CA 8944 January 2015 | 5 Madera County Farm Bureau IMMIGRATION: Farmworkers may seek greener pastures President Obama’s initiative to provide work permits to potentially millions of undocumented immigrants could lead some to leave fields. By David Olson Riverside Press-Enterprise Every summer, Ben Drake scrambles to find enough workers to pick wine grapes in his fields outside Temecula. He worries that President Obama’s executive action on immigration, which will allow potentially millions of undocumented immigrants access to three-year work permits, could make it even more difficult. “I can provide good wages for three months during the harvest,” Drake said of migrant workers. “But I don’t have work for them year-round.” Like other growers, Drake believes some of his migrant employees may abandon farm work for more stable employment. About four million people are expected to be eligible for the executive action, ac- cording to estimates from the Migration Policy Institute. The main beneficiaries are parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents who can prove they have lived in the United States for at least five years. The executive action will protect recipients from deportation and allow them to work legally in the United States. “Legal status tends to help workers get better jobs,” said Todd Sorensen, an expert on the economic effects of immigration and until recently an assistant professor of economics at UC Riverside. “Agricultural jobs are not the better jobs, so I would expect people who are undocumented would move out of agricultural.” Other jobs that typically pay low wages -- such as dishwashing and other food-service work -- also may lose some immigrant workers, said Sorensen, who is now at the University of Nevada. CA High Speed Rail Authority holding following meetings: Chowchilla Fairgrounds, Little Theater Tuesday, January 20 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 1000 S. Third Street Chowchilla, CA 93610 Fairmead Elementary School, Cafeteria Wednesday, January 21 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 19421 Avenue 22 ¾ Chowchilla, CA 93610 Without work permits, many undocumented immigrants avoid switching jobs, because of the risks of working illegally, he said. HALF OF FARMWORKERS UNDOCUMENTED About half of U.S. agricultural workers are not authorized to work in the United States, according to U.S. Department of Labor estimates. Drake said he checks the identification documents that his workers present him and hires them if the documents appear to be legitimate. But he acknowledged that the government has in the past notified him of workers who had social security numbers that did not match up with their names, indicating they were in the country illegally. He said he dismissed those workers. Drake, 65, grows grapes and avocados on 1,150 acres near Temecula. Every July, he gets nervous about finding the 12 to 14 temporary workers he needs for the grape harvest, in addition to about a dozen employees who work year-round in the vineyards. He typically pays between $9.75 to $10.50 an hour for pruning and other off-season work. But during harvests, he said he pays an average of $14 to $16 an hour -- well above the $10.80 average farmworker wage that the Department of Labor found in 2012. But that can’t compete with a yearround job, including positions in construction, which often pay more, he said. “I had two guys who just left me and then went to work in construction,” Drake said. During Riverside County’s torrid growth in the early and mid-2000s, when seas of new homes seemingly went up overnight, many farmworkers left the fields for construction sites, said Steve Pastor, executive director of the Riverside County Farm Bureau. “During the boom years of construction, it was awfully hard to find workers,” he said. That was without a presidential executive action that allows many undocumented immigrants to legally work in the United States. As the Inland region’s economy See Immigration; Page 8 ATTENTION!! Farmers and Ranchers Considering Selling... Retiring? This is the time to SELL! 36 Since 19 Listed and Sold this 40 ac Madera County vineyard in 7 days. 1340 N. Crystal 93728 • Fresno FUEL & LUBRICANTS FOR ALL APPLICATIONS Serving Fresno & The Greater Central Valley (559) 493-0645 SOLD For all your Farm Real Estate needs Please Call Golden Valley Real Estate Robert Sahatjian 559-647-0446 www.seibertsoilco.com 8860 We’re your source for Natural Gas Engine Oil! [email protected] 9207 Lic#01493987 Due to low inventory and record land values there is no better time to list your property with your local AGLAND SPECIALIST 6 | January 2015 Madera County Farm Bureau Opinion Fallowing used to be a dirty word, but not anymore By Lois Henry Bakersfield Californian A few years ago, no one in the ag or water worlds would dare utter the “f ” word, even amongst themselves. Yesterday, I heard it used openly. On the radio, no less. I’m talking about “fallowing,” or purposely retiring productive farmland. (What “f ” word were you thinking? Dirty birds.) Fallowing productive land used to be anathema to just about everyone involved in agriculture. But outlooks have changed, largely due to the groundwater sustainable act passed last year. “The ag community has known longer and better than anyone that our groundwater is not sustainable. The basin is greatly over drafted. We aren’t putting water back in the bank as fast as we’re taking it out,” said Tricia Stever Blattler, director of the Tulare County Farm Bureau, who told Joe Moore on Valley Public Radio’s “Valley Edition” Tuesday that land fallowing will have to be a part of how groundwater is managed in the future. I was struck by Stever Blattler’s matter-of-fact summation of such a delicate topic. So I called to ask her more about this heretofore heretical thinking. She’s not in favor of fallowing, she stressed. But it can’t be ignored in this new age. “It is going to have to be a big part of the conversation going forward. And it will be a tough conversation.” And it’s not just all about ag, she said. Real estate developers, cities, counties and others are all groundwater extractors. Their land uses will come under scrutiny as well. She predicted the law will be a major game changer in how the San Joaquin Valley does business in the future. The law gives broad policing authority to each region’s groundwater sustainability agencies (which must be in place by 2017, with a sustainability plan to the state by 2020.) Those agencies will have the ability to require well monitoring, receive information about extractions, limit or allocate water based on a safe yield formula, curtail where wells are placed, and consider land fallowing. That’s a lot of power, Stever Blattler said. “So it may not be easy, but ag must be involved in the conversation and make it as broad and transparent as possible,” Stever Blattler said. “It’s better to be at the table than on the menu.” Here in Kern County, a Groundwater Authority has already been formed and most players are on board. When I asked Eric Averett, director of the authority, about Stever Blattler’s views on fallowing, he agreed it will be one of the tools to achieve sustainSee Fallowing; Page 7 9206 January 2015 | 7 Madera County Farm Bureau fallowing Continued from Page 6 ability. How much land are we talking about? He couldn’t say other than to note that in some areas of Kern where groundwater depletion is significant, fallowing could be significant as well. When farmland goes out of production, it takes jobs and taxes with it so this isn’t just a theoretical discussion. It will have real effects. Averett said some agricultural water districts have already begun fallowing land but in a more “market-based” approach. That means the water is more valuable than the crops it used to grow. Up north, the Oakdale Irrigation District is proposing to pay farmers solid stainless staples to voluntarily fallow more than 1,100 acres so it can sell about 4,000 acre feet of water to out-of-county buyers for an estimated $1.6 million (about $400 per acre foot). That’s similar, with one major difference, to a deal Buena Vista Water Storage District, here in Kern County, put together last year. Buena Vista made headlines when it sold 12,000 acre feet of water for $14 million (about $1,000 to $1,350 per acre foot). None of that water left Kern County. It had to be used on farms in this basin, said Maurice Etchechury, Buena Vista’s general manager. The out-of-county aspect of Oakdale’s plan is causing a lot of controversy. Along with the water sale last year, Buena Vista also introduced a voluntary fallowing program in which But Etchechury said, anecdotally, farmers have told him they were stunned by how quickly the groundwater rebounded after the peak irrigating season. Buena Vista has also bought easements on 1,100 acres to take it out of production permanently. That’s only about 2 percent of the district’s 50,000 acres. “We’re taking measured responses and reevaluating everything we do,” he said. “We didn’t get in this mess overnight and we’re not getting out of it overnight.” Buying land to take it out of producSee Fallowing; Page 9 • 6" 8" 10" 12" Length For Safe and Secure Drip Line Placement • Grade 316L World Ag Expo 2015 Resists Corrosion from Acidic Water & Fertilizers in All Soil Types Pavilion B - Booth 526 February 10th - 12th • Reduce Labor MADE IN USA the district paid some of its farmers $400 per acre not to farm last summer. About 4,000 acres were taken out of production for that season. The district decided on the fallowing program after the state announced it would deliver only 5 percent of each State Water Contractor’s alloted amount. And that water wouldn’t come until September. “We realized we couldn’t effectively deliver surface water to our farmers,” Etchechury said. And that would mean massive groundwater pumping. 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The new permits that allow undocumented immigrants to work legally may make non-agricultural jobs even more tempting for farmworkers than in the past, Pastor said. “We do think that more workers will leave migrant labor for more stable jobs,” Pastor said. That worries anti-illegal-immigration activists such as Joe Guzzardi, spokesman for the anti-illegal-immigration Californians for Population Stabilization. He predicted that the influx of so many new people into the legal work market will make it more difficult for unemployed U.S. citizens and legal residents to find jobs. It also will undercut earnings for lowwage workers, he said. For example, an employer may reduce wages from $12 an hour to $10, knowing that someone in the country illegally earning $9 an hour would view it as a step up. Meanwhile, citizens could be forced to accept the lower wage because of the increased competition, he said. It’s unknown how many immigrants will apply for protection from deportation. About a third of those potentially eligible under a more limited 2012 executive action never applied for the program. That executive action has granted deportation relief and work permits to more than 600,000 young undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. It’s also unclear when undocumented immigrants covered under the new executive action will start receiving work permits. The government doesn’t expect to begin accepting applications for the bulk of those covered under the new program until May, although the estimated 300,000 immigrants included in an expansion of the 2012 executive action may be able to apply next month. Conducting a background check for each applicant and verifying residency could take months, meaning the effect on this year’s labor market -- and agricultural harvests -- is uncertain. But the eventual result may be a labor shortage that could devastate some farmers, growers say. Drake said if a labor shortage is severe enough, he could be forced to either cut back on the number of acres he farms -- some of the farming he does is on contract for wineries -- or go out of business. Some previous shortages have led to crops rotting in the fields, said Ken Barbic, senior director of federal government affairs for the Western Growers Association, which represents fruit and vegetable farmers in California and Arizona. Crops in Georgia and Alabama went unpicked a few years ago after the states enacted strict anti-illegal-immigration laws, and pears rotted in California in the mid-2000s amid a labor shortage, news reports at the time said. “In agriculture, if you don’t get the labor you need at harvest, it means all the investment you made is lost,” Barbic said. The number of farmworkers in California already has been steadily declining for years, in part because of stricter border enforcement, he said. Guzzardi is skeptical of growers’ claims of labor shortages. But, he said, if growers want to attract more U.S.-born workers, they should pay them more. Barbic said U.S. growers have a limit to what they can pay, because of competition from countries where farmworkers earn much less than in the United States. And Pastor said more money won’t lure many more U.S. citizens to the fields. “Agriculture is a very difficult job to do,” he said. “You work long hours. You’re out in the elements. My experience from my farming days is a lot of people don’t want to do that job. They say, ‘I can make that money working at a computer in an office.’” Obama’s executive action will grant work permits for only three years at a time, and a future president could nix the program. Pastor and Barbic said growers need more long-term certainty. They said an overhaul of the immigration system that allows growers to legally hire the workers they require is necessary. “We need something that guarantees we’ll have our crops picked,” Pastor said. “When you have a crop ready to be harvested, it can’t wait for people in Washington messing around with immigration reform.” NEW OPPORTUNITIES See Immigration; Page 12 We know how the San Joaquin Valley grows. Narrow and Low-Profile Tractors, and Agriculture Management Solutions from Fresno Equipment. 5EN NARROW SERIES TRACTORS 5ML LOW-PROFILE SERIES TRACTORS • Designed for vineyard, orchard and nursery producers • Easy access under low branches and in other hard-to-reach places • Only 45.2 inches wide • Low, wide fenders for less impact on delicate crops • John Deere PowerTech™ diesel engine • John Deere PowerTech™ diesel engine JOHN DEERE FIELD CONNECT™ SOIL MOISTURE MONITORING Learn how it can help you can save money and increase yields. Call us to schedule a demo. Visit us at www.fresnoequipment.com We can help with your Air Resources Board application, and answer questions! Fresno • 4288 S. Bagley................................... 559-486-8020 Five Points • 21350 S. Lassen Ave ................... 559-884-2425 All tractors featured are approved by the NRCS and California Air Resources Board emissions standards. FEC6X5.50101MCFB-4C 9026 January 2015 | 9 Madera County Farm Bureau Fallowing STABLE STEADY STRONG Continued from Page 7 tion has been going on quietly in the Semitropic Water Storage District for several years. When I first asked General Manager Jason Gianquinto about it a couple years ago, however, he was reluctant to talk about it. He wasn’t so reticent this time around. “Fallowing more land is a real possibility,” he said. Semitropic has bought and retired about 10,000 acres so far. “Fallowing is the negative side of managing our groundwater. But if we can’t develop new sources, we will be forced into it.” I asked what “new sources” he thought might be in the offing considering how difficult new dams and even banking projects have become. “Well, when prices came up like they did last year and people were still willing to pay, I think that opened up a lot of other alternatives.” That could mean recycling more water or treating brackish water, both considered too pricey in years past. “The new groundwater regulations were a wake up call to the value of water,” he explained. “When groundwater was unlimited, $100 an acre foot was a lot.” Yep, things have definitely changed. Opinions expressed in this column are those of Lois Henry. Her column runs Wednesdays and Sundays. Comment at http://www.bakersfield.com, call her at 395-7373 or email [email protected] bakersfield.com Nobody else in the industry has a track record like State Fund’s. For nearly 100 years we’ve been the stable force that others look to for guidance, and we’ve never pulled out of the market when times get tough. Call your broker or 888-STATEFUND (888-782-8338) for discounted rates for Farm Bureau members. PACKING FACILITY FOR LEASE statefundca.com 100,000 SF on 10 Acres 12800 W. Shields Fresno, CA California Farm Bureau’s endorsed provider since 1943. State Compensation Insurance Fund is not a branch of the State of California. ©2013 State Compensation Insurance Fund of California 9203 559-222-9697 Roger Anthony 559-288-7902 Bill Shubin 8803 10 | January 2015 Continued from Page 3 take come from added sugars. That’s about 50 grams of sugar, or 12 teaspoons a day, for a person eating a normal diet, according to the nutrition advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest. Currently, Americans get about 16 percent of their total calories from added sugars, much of it from sugary drinks. The Food and Drug Administration proposed last year that added sugars be included in the nutrition facts labels on food packages. HOW MUCH SALT IS TOO MUCH Lowering sodium is important for heart health, and the 2010 dietary guidelines recommend reducing sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams a day, reducing that to 1,500 milligrams for people who are 51 and older, African-American or those who have hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. Those subgroups amount to about half of the population. While the committee’s draft recommendations appear similar, it is unclear if their advice on sodium will be as strong as the 2010 guidelines. A 2013 report by the Institute of Medicine said that while low- ering salt intake is important for health, there is no good evidence that eating less than 2,300 milligrams a day of sodium offers benefits. The dietary guidelines advisory panel noted that years of public pressure to lower sodium levels has not had much effect. The average American consumes more than 3,400 mg of sodium a day, or about 1 1/2 teaspoons. EAT LESS MEAT? Current guidelines advise that people eat a variety of proteins, including lean meats. The beef industry in particular has expressed concern that the panel’s recommendations will no longer encourage eating lean meats. A draft recommendation discussed at the panel’s Dec. 15 meeting says a healthy dietary pattern includes fewer “red and processed meats” than are currently consumed. After that meeting, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association sent out a statement by doctor and cattle producer Richard Thorpe calling the committee biased and the draft meat recommendations absurd. He said lean beef has a role in healthy diets. NEW ADVICE ON CAFFEINE The advisory committee indicated it may propose guidelines that would urge pregnant women to limit caffeine intake. The 2010 guidelines don’t address caffeine use. The panel said it supports advice from medical organizations that pregnant women limit caffeine to less than 200 milligrams a day, or around two cups of coffee. “Limited evidence suggests that moderate caffeine intake is associated with a small increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight, and small for gestational age births,” the committee said in its draft recommendations. ROLE OF THE ENVIRONMENT Over the past year, the committee has discussed the idea of including sustainability as a dietary goal. The advisory panel said in its draft recommendations that there is “compatibility and overlap” between what is good for health and what is good for the environment. The committee has framed the issue in terms of ensuring food access for future generations, and also what foods are healthiest. Guidelines addressing the environment could be another blow for the meat industry. A diet higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods is “more health promoting and is associated with lesser environmental impact than is the current average U.S. diet,” the draft recommendations said. State to double down on AB 32’s failure? Really? Editorial U-T San Diego Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to double down on AB 32 — the state’s landmark 2006 anti-global warming law — is stark testament to the power of the green religion among California Democrats. It is also a rejection of basic economics and logic. In 2006, the key rationale for AB 32 and related laws was to inspire the world to take aggressive action to cut the emissions believed to help cause global warning. Supporters acknowledged that one state going it alone against global warming wouldn’t even begin to solve the problem. The laws required California to get 33 percent of its electricity from cleaner-but-costlier sources by 2020, using a cap-and-trade system in which emission rights were bought and sold. The risk this posed was acknowledged by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, AB 32’s loudest supporter, and confirmed by economists hired See AB 32; Page 12 4 locations to serve our customers FASTER & BETTER 608 N. Gateway 8 SERVICE BAYS TIRES MOUNTED IN 30 MIN HUNDREDS OF TIRES IN STOCK HIGH TECH EQUIPMENT ALIGNMENT & BRAKES FINANCING AVAILABLE OAC 22800 Ave. 181/2 ACCROSS FROM PILOT TRUCK STOP 6 SERVICE TRUCKS 3 ACRES OF ROOM 24 HOUR ROAD SERVICE NEW ACCOUNTS WANTED 674-4678 674-6236 711 E. Childs Ave. - Merced 209-723-1823 1539 Robertson Blvd - Chowchilla 559-665-3704 SCH ETTLER TIRE Since 1934 8854 SERVING THE LOCAL FARMERS FOR OVER 75 YEARS 8940 advice Madera County Farm Bureau January 2015 | 11 Madera County Farm Bureau video Continued from Page 4 Whole Foods. Whole Foods, which also sells Petaluma’s Rock Island, Uncle Eddie’s and Judy’s brands, has just begun giving suppliers its own set of required humane standards for laying hens. As part of that process, a Whole Foods executive toured Petaluma Farms in February, but did not see anything like what was depicted in the video, Mr. Gunther said. Mr. Gunther helped establish the humane standards for animal husbandry used in the United Kingdom, which, like other European countries, requires farmers to adhere to a single set of standards for each animal. Reaching a consensus standard amenable to advocates and producers however, can be difficult, he said. There are at least three standards for humane treatment of animals, and five for fair trade. “That’s the problem with many certification labels,” said Mark Kastel, co-director and co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm policy research group. “Some are credible and some are not.” In a nod to that problem, Senators Dianne Feinstein of California At Your Service and Cory Booker of New Jersey, both Democrats, sent a letter on Wednesday to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking him to update federal policy to set strong, uniform standards for the labels “humanely raised” and “cage-free.” Cornucopia took Petaluma Farms to task in a 2010 report, “Scrambled Eggs,” which rated organic egg producers. Federal law requires organic egg producers to give their birds outdoor space, but the Mahrts have an exemption because of concern that wild birds might spread avian flu to their flocks. Instead, their organic birds have access to a small screened porch attached to their barns. Quality Compost & Soil Amendments Two years after the report, the Animal Legal Defense Fund sued Petaluma Farms for false advertising, contending that the images of hens frolicking in a field on its egg cartons suggested its birds had outdoor access. The company settled the suit last year, agreeing to change its packaging and pay $44,000 to three animal welfare groups. The same year, the Food and Drug Administration sent Mr. Mahrt a warning letter, charging him with lax recordkeeping that it said increased the risk of salmonella poisoning. Mr. Mahrt said the F.D.A.’s concerns have been addressed. BOB MURDOCH Valley Feed Phone: 209.725.2828 Cell: 559.341.5158 Fax: 209.725.2848 Tree & Vine Supplies Product Sales Manager-West [email protected] Synagro - Central Valley Composting 13757 South Harmon Road • Dos Palos, CA 93620 121 N. Gateway Drive Madera, CA 93637 Ph: (559) 674-6735 • Fax: (559) 661-7200 For all your Service, Parts & Sales Needs 1100 South Madera Ave (Hwy 145), Madera (559) 674-5661 RAISIN PAPER ROLLS RAISIN GROWERS Guaranteed Call Chad Today! Quality & Pricing! Ph: 237-3819 IRRIGATING THE VALLEY SINCE 1967 DESIGN THROUGH INSTALLATION 559-673-4261 559-674-4078 19170 HWY 99 MADERA, CA 93637 12 | January 2015 Continued from Page 8 As growers worry about potential labor shortages, immigrant-rights activists are celebrating the increased opportunities the executive action offers undocumented immigrants. The work permits will open up skilled jobs to many immigrants who previously had been shut out of them, said Luz Gallegos, community programs director of TODEC Legal Center in Perris. She expects many immigrants to come to organizations such as hers for computer training and other vocational assistance. Other immigrants already have the skills needed for better jobs, she said. After the 2012 executive action, many beneficiaries moved from low-wage jobs to better-paying, higher-skilled positions, Gallegos said. She expects the same to occur with the new executive action, as undocumented immigrants who were engineers, attorneys or other professionals in their home countries -- or received college degrees in the United States -- and were forced to work in low-wage jobs will be able to look for jobs in their fields. “Right now they’re working for whoever will hire them and doesn’t ask for documents,” she said. “They have to settle for less.” The executive action also will make immigrants more comfortable with reporting wage theft, below-minimumwage pay and violations of overtime regulations, Gallegos said. Even though state and federal labor laws on such matters apply to undocumented workers, many of them are afraid to contact government agencies, for fear it would lead to deportation, she said. “With the new work permit, they’ll feel more comfortable coming forward,” Gallegos said. Contact the writer: 951-368-9462 or [email protected] AB 32 Continued from Page 10 9205 immigration Madera County Farm Bureau by the state air board to analyze the law. They warned that negative effects were certain if California had higher energy costs than rival states and nations. We are well on our way to that reality — because California didn’t inspire copycats around the world at all. Instead, thanks to the booming economies in China and India, greenhouse-gas emissions kept growing. And in addressing global warming, academics and energy experts alike gave up on cap-and-trade in favor of a carbon tax approach that could use tariffs to force broad global compliance with international efforts to limit emissions. (Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers makes the case for this approach here.) Meanwhile, AB 32’s failure to accomplish its key goal led its admirers to airbrush history and say its real purpose was job creation — as if much higher energy costs were a net good for job creation. Against this backdrop, Gov. Brown’s announcement Monday that he wants half of the state’s electricity to come from cleaner-but-costlier sources by 2030 — continuing with the failed unilateral approach of AB 32 — is incomprehensible. What about the effects on California’s economic competitiveness? The governor pretends this isn’t even a problem. “Taking significant amounts of carbon out of our economy without harming its vibrancy is exactly the sort of challenge at which California excels,” Brown said Monday. The governor can’t offer evidence for this claim because there is none. And who will suffer the most from the higher energy costs that are certain to result if Brown gets his way? Poor people. California may look back at the years when 23 percent of the state was impoverished as the good old days. A policy that is supposed to be about global warming but that doesn’t do anything to stop it is odd. But when that policy has the side effects of driving away heavy industries, destroying jobs and making the cost of living higher, it is madness. Yet Jerry Brown won’t even admit that what he wants to do amounts to a risky experiment with California’s economy — and with people’s lives. This isn’t shrewd or farsighted. It’s scary.
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