WG&S September 2015

Dear Jon,

We have 60 full-time employees year-round and for about six months of the year we employ 250 seasonal employees.  The seasonal employees typically work 40-60 hours a week.  We have two different seasons: March through May and September through November.  We offer a health benefit plan to our full-time employees; do we need to worry about these seasonal employees?  Could we be penalized for failing to offer coverage to seasonal employees?

Seasonal Employee Concerns in Salinas

 

Dear Seasonal,

Nanotechnology was a subject of interest at the recent International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) conference in Portland, OR.  While research on this technology began about a decade ago, recent developments hold particular promise for the fresh produce industry.

Sonia Salas

By Jeff Gullickson

The clock continues to tick and the reporting requirements associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are just around the corner.  You may be ahead of the curve and already have your solutions in place.  Or, you may still be asking questions and trying to gain clarity.  Questions we have heard from customers include:

 

I am confused as to whether my company should be filling out the 1094b and 1095b or C’s...

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

 

Autumn Burke was elected to the California Assembly as a freshman in 2014, which made her part of the first mother-daughter team to ever serve as California legislators.  Her mother, Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, had a distinguished career as a Los Angeles County supervisor, California Assembly member and U.S. Congresswoman.  In 1973, when Autumn was born to Rep. Burke, she became the first child ever born to a sitting female member of Congress.

 

Tim Linden

By Robert Shuler

We know that agriculture must have water to produce food and fiber.  Whether it’s vegetables or livestock, cotton or strawberries, agriculture cannot survive without water.

These are obvious statements that all of us in agriculture understand very well.  Sadly, the public and many political decision makers don’t understand this fact.

Especially these days.

Admittedly going against the grain a bit, Fox business commentator and show host Stuart Varney expects to see a dramatic jump in the America economy over the next several years.

“I think we are about to see four to five percent growth on an annual basis,” he told WG&S magazine in mid-August.  “We are going to see a change in policy as the Obama (economic) model is cast aside and a more Reaganite philosophy is adopted with smaller government and lower tax rates.”

Tim Linden

Chef Shirley Chung, who is the chef owner of Twenty Eight Modern Chinese Cuisine restaurant in Irvine, Calif., and will be a featured presenter at the Western Growers Annual Meeting in San Diego, did not discover her passion for the culinary arts until her late 20s.  In fact, her restaurant name pays homage to the age she was when she began to pursue her dream.

Born and raised in Beijing, China, Chef Shirley, as she is called, came to the United States at age 17, graduated from college with a business degree and began working in Silicon Valley in the business world.

Tim Linden

By Michael C. Saqui

 

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) General Counsel is attempting to bring back the dead by advancing a joint employer standard that hasn’t been used in 30 years. This threatens not only big franchisors like McDonald’s, but also processing plants, coolers and companies that use temp agencies, farm labor contractors, or other labor suppliers.

The Harold Crawford Company

Bakersfield, California

Member Since 1978

 

Harold Crawford has been an integral part of the Southern San Joaquin Valley produce industry since he moved the headquarters of his Northwest firm to Bakersfield 55 years ago.

Today he still comes into the Bakersfield office on a regular basis and is chairman of the board of the company, but, in fact, he sold the firm to his partners as of January 1 of this year and has basically hung up his boots after a 69-year diverse produce career.

Tim Linden

It’s music to many desperate ears:  El Niño is coming!

Meteorologists are almost uniformly predicting a major El Niño event this coming winter.  El Niño refers to a weather phenomenon that features warming waters in the tropical Pacific combined with a shift in prevailing winds that can send a steady stream of warm and wet storms into California in winter and spring.  The 1997-98 water year was an El Niño year, resulting in an onslaught of massive rain storms that overwhelmed the state’s water infrastructure, unleashing floods and mudslides.

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