On April 26, 14 representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture visited the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology in Salinas, Calif.

Among those who toured the facility to meet with the startups was Bill Richmond, Chief of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program for the USDA and Robin Chilton, Director, Standards Division of the USDA's Specialty Crops Program.

The group met with WGCIT member Solare Holdings about their hemp program and the USDA requirements for hemp. In addition, the group me with the following WGCIT startups:

Ann Donahue

As a produce shipper with a reported problem load at contract destination, you shouldn’t solely depend on your buyer informing you that he or she has already obtained an opinion from the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) regional office that it was a “shipper problem.” Many times, buyers will contact PACA for advice and an opinion on a scenario; however, sometimes they may inadvertently fail to give all the pertinent facts to PACA when seeking an informal, real-time opinion.

Bryan Nickerson

The push for climate-minded policies at the state and federal level is getting stronger than ever. Countless proposals are being floated - from carbon emission reduction and renewable energy technologies to farm conservation programs and water quality. However, all these efforts currently overlook or miss a key point: their impact on - or usefulness to - specialty crops like fruits, vegetables and tree nuts.

Ann Donahue

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