Growers and Farm Labor Contractors have an opportunity to attend a class on agricultural laws and regulations. AgSafe will host the event in Holtville Sept. 26. All topics will be covered for both beginning and advanced FLCs at a level that is appropriate for their experience
California created the first regulations for heat illness prevention more than 10 years ago. There is no question that those standards have helped reduce the number of heat-related illnesses and deaths associated with exposure. Initially, it took a few years for high heat industries to adopt the standards, but they have now become a normal part of everyday work life for most operations in California.
The Office of Compliance within the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) is charged with addressing the agency’s enforcement and field programs. How much do you know about these programs and the FDA’s fresh produce sample collection assignments? What do you need to know and do? Join us for a Lunch and Learn webinar to broaden your knowledge base and to share your thoughts.
The Cal/OSH Standards Board published its proposal on August 8, starting a 45-day comment period that ends with a public hearing on Sept. 25 in San Diego. Your comments and thoughts are needed so that we can appropriately respond to the proposal.
Members of the Western Growers Board of Directors convened this week in Orange County under the leadership of Chairman Bruce Taylor to deliberate the top issues affecting the industry. High on the list of issues discussed were the drought and regulatory restrictions on water supply, food safety, labor union activities and immigration reform. Several standing committees featured guest speakers. Dr. Jay Famiglietti, a senior water cycle scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and David Orth, general manager of the Kings River Conservation District, presented to the Water Committee; Amy Wolfe, president and CEO of AgSafe, presented to the Labor Committee; and Dr. Jerry Baron, executive director of IR-4 presented to the Food Safety, Science & Technology Committee.
It’s July 1, and as a result, Western Growers wants to remind members of two important changes that went into effect today.
There is a new minimum wage in the state of California. As of today, the minimum wage is now $9.00/hr. The increase is a result of legislation (AB 10) that was passed and signed by Governor Jerry Brown. The minimum wage will again increase to $10/hr. on January 1, 2016. A recent attempt to increase the minimum wage to $13/hr. was recently rejected by the Senate Labor Committee in the California State Assembly.
According to the California Air Resources Board (ARB) Compliance Schedule, owners of Transport Refrigeration Units (TRUs) should have already begun planning to ensure model year 2007 TRUs are compliant with the TRU ATCM (Airborne Toxic Control Measure) regulation by December 31, 2014.
All model year 2006 and older engines (or units manufactured in 2006 or earlier) should already be in compliance.
Since February 1st, 72 percent of inflows into the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta have been sent to the ocean.
More than 2.8 million acre-feet of water flowed into the Delta, but only 693,000 acre-feet were pumped to farms and cities to the south. More than 2 million acre feet flowed out to sea.
In an April blog posting, Natural Resources Defense Council attorney Doug Obegi wrote, “How we manage water during a drought has consequences that last for decades.”
That’s certainly true for Francisco Galvez. Now 35 years old with a wife and six kids, Francisco has been working on California’s farms since he was 17. He left his home in Mexico in fourth grade to work. California’s immense and once-thriving agriculture industry gave him economic opportunity he couldn’t find in Mexico. But now, due to the drought and Endangered Species Act rules that were used to let precious spring runoff flow out to sea, Galvez is out of work and out of money. He is ready to give up on California. As Los Angeles Times reporter Diana Marcum wrote in article published today:
“In May, a season when Huron's population once doubled with workers planting and picking, Galvez had found three days of work in two weeks.
The family was down to the amount of his last check: $256. They had stocked up on huge bags of beans and rice. The Mormon missionaries had brought misshapen cupcakes, the cake not reaching to the top of the cups and canned chocolate frosting three times higher. Two family friends had brought over bags of sweet breads and cilantro from their garden.
Galvez and Maya called a family meeting. Galvez said they told the children they would probably be moving to Texas soon.
The 15-year-old, Itzel, said no, she had a boyfriend. The 11-year-old, Francisco, said no, he liked his school. The oldest son, Manuel, said not a word. He only put a hand on his father's shoulder.”
So yes, Mr. Obegi, you are correct. How we manage water during a drought crisis has consequences that last for decades, for Francisco and Maya Galvez, their six children, and tens of thousands of other mostly Latino farm worker families who have been endangered by the Endangered Species Act.