While St. Patrick’s Day didn’t produce a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it did bring about the end of this year’s March Western Growers’ Board of Directors’ meeting. Beginning Monday evening and concluding Thursday afternoon, directors gathered in Sacramento to engage on a variety of complex issues facing the industry and affecting growing operations. Larry Cox of Lawrence Cox Ranches, Brawley, California, presided over his first Board of Director’s meeting.

Jeff Janas

Western Growers’ Board of Directors are meeting in Sacramento this week to discuss a variety of topics affecting the agriculture industry. Tomorrow, Western Growers Chairman Larry Cox will gavel the meeting to order and committee meetings will follow. The Board will cover issues such as water, labor, food safety, agtech, legislative proposals, trade, and transportation issues. The full board will meet on Thursday to report on their respective discussions and to take up any items passed out of the committees.

Stephanie Thara

Western Growers has long advocated for Congress to take action on immigration reform in order to provide members with a legal and reliable workforce. We will continue to work toward meaningful solutions critical to the needs of our industry and the nation.

However, because of Washington’s intractable political climate, we have broadened our efforts to focus on reforming and streamlining the only program farmers can use to legally bring in foreign workers to harvest their crops – the H-2A program.

Jeff Janas

Later this spring, the Supreme Court will be taking up U.S. v. Texas, and the court’s decision in this case will determine whether the Obama Administration’s expanded deferred action program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA),  is allowed to proceed or not. A number of groups across the country and in California are preparing to file amicus (“friend of the court”) briefs urging the court to allow the DAPA program to proceed.

Jeff Janas

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Immigration

Immigration has been a critical issue for Western Growers members. For years, we have fought for a legal and stable workforce that not only supports our industry but ensures those who have worked along side our members are treated with decency and respect.

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Western Growers members care deeply for the food they grow, the land they sustain, the people they employ, and the community in which they live. 

Will this year be The Lost El Niño?

El Niño has already brought major rain and snow to California. But most of it is going straight out to the ocean. Why are we missing this opportunity to recover from the drought?