WG&S August 2015: AgTECH Summit Held in Salinas

By Sabrina Blair


Western Growers Foundation has now proudly funded more than 1,000 school gardens throughout Arizona and California.  We estimate that approximately 558,800 students have been exposed to fresh fruits and vegetables as a result of these school gardens and that number continues to grow each year as new students are introduced to the garden.

Sabrina Blair

Dear Jon


We offer a health benefit plan now to our full-time employees and understand that the employees we currently consider seasonal may in fact be full-time.  We will offer them benefits next year.  My question is about penalties.  I know about the employer mandate penalty but I’ve heard there are penalties for failing to do the IRS employer reporting.  Can you explain these please?

Purposefully Avoiding Penalties in Petaluma




Dear Purposefully,


(Editor’s Note: Questions and answers have been paraphrased for brevity and clarity.)


Organic and conventional producers benefit from the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM).  Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to meet the director of the Western IPM Center, Dr. Jim Farrar, who provides overall leadership for the center.  Here is a summary of key questions related to IPM that Dr. Farrar addressed during a recent conversation on IPM insights.


What is IPM and how has it evolved over time?

Industry veteran Jeffrey Gullickson was hired as the new leader of Western Growers Insurance Services (WGIS) on July 1 when he was named senior vice president of the full-service, bilingual agency which serves the insurance needs of farmers and related businesses in California, Arizona and Colorado.

As the leader of WGIS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Western Growers, Gullickson has full responsibility for the company’s production, account management and support teams in WG’s Irvine headquarters and 11 offices in California and Arizona.

(Editor’s Note: The questions and answers have been edited and paraphrased for clarity and brevity.)


Senator Cory Gardner grew up in “the other” Yuma, a small town on the Eastern Plains of Colorado.  He began serving in the Colorado House of Representatives in 2005.  He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, and became Colorado’s junior U.S. senator in 2014.


Tell us a little bit about your Colorado roots.

Tim Linden

In January, amid a case docket otherwise dominated by electronics and pharmaceuticals, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the group of D.C.-based justices whose jurisdiction over patent matters is second only to the Supreme Court, issued a decision concerning a seemingly more elemental technology: grapes.  The decision in Delano Farms Co. v.

Agricultural law has evolved tremendously over the years with attorneys representing Western Growers members in a wide variety of disciplines from labor concerns to water issues to trademark infringement.  Today, there are dozens of law firms that are members of Western Growers, more than half of which participate in the Western Growers Ag Legal Network (WGALN).  Participants in this referral service agree to give Western Growers members a 15 percent discount off of their normal legal services rates.*


Tim Linden

During the course of The AgTech Summit, two Western Growers members were honored with awards from Forbes.  Salinas Mayor Joe Gunter was on hand to present Bruce Taylor, founder and CEO of Taylor Farms, with the Forbes Impact Award in Leadership.  Gunter described Taylor’s passionate representation of the produce industry and faithful stewardship of the Salinas community as the basis for his award.

Throughout the pages of this magazine, you will see articles and ads featuring many of the very best attorneys in the country specializing in areas of the law that affect farmers and related ag businesses.  This annual edition of our magazine—the Ag Legal issue—always takes me back to my own days as a labor lawyer in Imperial Valley representing farmers at a very tough time.

Tom Nassif

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