WG&S October 2015

Western Growers Foundation (WGF) has been graciously awarded a $10,000 grant from Driscoll’s as a part of its Regional Community Grants Program.  The grant monies will be redistributed in the form of twenty $500 edible garden grants to K-12 schools throughout Merced, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Tehama and Ventura counties.

Sabrina Blair

Dear Jon,

We are a large employer.  I’ve been trying to stay on top of the rules relating to large employers and their IRS reporting obligation under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but I have a few questions.  Are the reporting forms final yet?  Which employees do I report about and which can I exclude?

Rankled by Reporting Requirements


Dear Rankled,


Final Forms & Instructions Available

The 2015 legislative year is nearing completion and, at the time of this writing, WG staff is awaiting final action from the governor on bills that were passed by the Legislature.  This year was filled with the usual battles in the capitol corridors over health, labor and water bills.  However, none of these bills or issues captured the attention of the state or nation quite like SB 350 authored by Senator President pro Tempore Kevin De Leon (D – Los Angeles) and SB 32 authored by Senator Fran Pavley (D – Agoura Hills).

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

I know your roots run deep in Arizona, give us your family background.

My grandfather on my mother’s side came to territorial Arizona during the 1880s Silver Rush.  He settled in Florence where he was a grocer and a baker.  My father came out here in 1914 from Ohio.  He went back to Ohio and served in World War II before coming out for good, and also settled in Florence.

My dad was a jack of all trades, working on ranches as a builder and a carpenter.

Tim Linden

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have become a hot topic in recent years as more media and anti-GMO groups have raised awareness about their existence.  During a recent webinar hosted by Western Growers, Dr. Peggy Lemaux with the University of California, Berkeley, provided a great overview of the current status on GMOs.  I was not surprised to hear that scientists view issues differently than the general public.

Sonia Salas

The Grand Del Mar in San Diego will serve as the elegant backdrop for the 90th Annual Meeting of the Western Growers Association.

Geographically, the association has not moved that far since its first meeting back in 1926, which was held about 100 miles east as the crow flies in Brawley, Calif., at the Planters Hotels.  But in every other way, the organization has moved significantly since those 26 companies came together to form the Western Growers Protective Association.

Tim Linden

By Tim Linden


You can hardly pick up a newspaper or check out the internet without someone mentioning the Great El Niño lurking in the Pacific Ocean that will soon be peppering California with a series of strong storms.

“El Niño is on track to become one of the most powerful on record, strongly suggesting California could face heavy rainfall this winter, climate scientists say,” was the first sentence of a story in the Los Angeles Times in early September.

The Nunes Company launched its Broccoleaf product more than a year ago as a way to utilize a part of the broccoli plant that was discarded.  The item has been well accepted and has received kudos from food writers across the country.

At the time, Matt Seeley, vice president of marketing for the firm, said it was akin to the meat industry’s “nose to tail” effort.  Proponents of that foodservice cooking movement strive to utilize the entire animal in food preparation, thus more efficiently utilizing the natural resources needed to raise that animal.

Tim Linden

In April 2014, Western Growers launched a Solar Energy Initiative (SEI) to periodically provide information that may be useful to WG members interested in solar power.  Here are some of the most recent developments related to the current tax credit for solar systems, as well as some of the considerations to determine if a solar system is the right fit for a particular business.

Sonia Salas

The law of unintended consequences has been used by philosophers, economists and sociologists to describe unforeseen outcomes of well-meant action—generally referring to public policy enacted by the government.  A famous example of this “law” is the 18th Amendment, ratified in 1919, prohibiting the manufacturing or sale of alcohol in the United States.  One unintended consequence of Prohibition was to strengthen organized crime as bootlegging provided the financial resources to pursue other illicit activities.  Another was the loss of 14 percent in tax revenue that came from alcohol sales. 

Tom Nassif

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