August 2014-Western Grower Ag Legal Network

Western Growers Foundation awarded fifty Arizona K-12 schools with $75,000 in grant money to create and sustain their own edible fruit and vegetable gardens.  Each school will receive $1,500 plus seeds and other materials.  The grants were provided through the Arizona Department of Agriculture as part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant.

Paula Olson

Start with a Black Belt in karate, add a dash of The French Laundry, a Michelin star, or two, and mix with a showing on Bravo’s Top Chef as a finalist and what do you have?  Chef Louis Maldonado, a rising young master of the culinary world who is nothing short of astonishing.

Wendy Fink-Weber

California voters may have set a record in June’s primary election by largely electing not to bother to vote.  Only about one-quarter of the state’s registered voters participated, leading to some wild results and possibly setting the stage for more unpredictable outcomes in November if the low-participation trend holds.

Dave Puglia

Dan Gerawan was opening his mail one day in October 2012 and came across a letter from a representative of the United Farm Workers.  In the letter, the UFW representative noted that the union was the “certified bargaining representative” of all of Gerawan Farming’s agricultural employees, and set forth a list of documents and information it was requesting, ranging from detailed employee information to maps of Gerawan’s farming locations.

Aside from a food contamination lawsuit, the biggest threat to agricultural producers may be a wage and hour class action on behalf of field or shed workers.  In 2012 Brinker v. Superior Court seemed to give some clarity in the area of meal and rest period class actions.  There was speculation that class actions in California would actually decrease.

Western Growers

Is there a school garden in your community?  There could be.  With grants from the Western Growers Foundation (WGF) and your personal involvement, a lot of kids will be introduced to good nutrition and the joy of seeing something grow.

Paula Olson

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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.