WG&S: September/October 2017

The number of people using social media around the world officially passed the three billion mark just last month. With one million new social media users every day, it makes good business sense to leverage platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to gain insight into your target market, as well as influence public opinion.

Stephanie Metzinger

By Terry O'Connor

It is the rare employer who has not had a terminated employee claim untimely payment of a last check, or failure to pay expenses. In response, most employers will insist that the employee got all of their pay and vow to fight the claim as legal extortion. However, when dealing with the California Labor Commissioner, the law and the enforcement personnel usually guarantee a bad result.

While telemedicine technologies have been around for decades (NASA started delivering health care remotely to astronauts in the early 1960s), the use of telemedicine or “telehealth” as a health care delivery option has hit the mainstream only in the past few years.

Telemedicine gives employees a more convenient way to connect with a doctor to treat common health conditions using their smart phones, tablets and computers. If you don’t currently offer a telemedicine program, you may want to consider this “new” form of health care delivery for your workers.


David Zanze

Not many companies—let alone a startup!—can tout that they have the ability to help farmers grow eight to 12 times more produce per acre, while using 95 percent less water. PowerGrow, one of 45 start-up companies housed in the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology, builds patented, renewable energy-powered, high-tech glass commercial greenhouses that give growers the opportunity to maximize yield, conserve capital, preserve natural resources, solve labor problems and earn greater profits.

Washington is abuzz with the prospect of passing comprehensive tax reform legislation later this year. The last time Congress passed a major overhaul of the tax code was in 1986, and while the political climate in D.C. will make enacting tax reform a difficult task, Republican leaders in the House and Senate, along with President Trump and his administration are committed to making this their top priority the remainder of 2017.

Ken Barbic

Over the years, the Western Growers Science and Technology department has served as the tip of the spear in advancing common sense and practicality on big issues impacting the industry.

Hank Giclas

With more than 10,000 publicly-traded mutual funds and more than 6,000 exchange traded index funds (ETFs), our choices as investors have never been greater. From traditional benchmark index funds like the S&P 500 to sector-specific funds that track individual industries like solar and infrastructure, the abundance of options can make the process of investing feel a bit overwhelming.

What are mutual funds and ETFs, and what mix of investments is right for you?

Matt Lewis

You were born and raised in Oklahoma, but you have lived in Arizona most of your life. Tell us a little bit about how you ended up in Arizona and what it means to be an Arizonan.

I am a Vietnam-era baby and like many other marriages that had a husband who served in the military during that conflict, my parents’ marriage did not last. Following the divorce, I moved with my dad to Arizona where he worked as a purchasing agent at one of the copper mines. Arizona is a lot like Oklahoma, it’s just a little farther west, so the transition was not difficult.

When the accounting firm K·Coe Isom takes on a new client it begins with a meeting designed to delve deep into the company’s operations and culture.

“We approach our clients and the industry a bit differently,” said Laura Sands, a principal in the firm who spearheads the company’s food and agricultural initiatives. “We take a full immersion approach.”

Tim Linden

By Jason Verhoef

It’s no secret that healthcare costs are rising at a rapid pace. How do we help reduce costs? We should be turning to innovative and technological solutions.

In the 1970s, Western Growers had about a dozen attorneys on staff mostly handling labor law.  Today, agricultural lawyers have gone well beyond labor law and specialize in a wide variety of business decisions from wage & hour concerns to water law and even to issues surrounding cannabis production. Currently 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).

P.J. O’Rourke, who is known for his razor-sharp insights on national and world affairs, is considered one of America’s premier satirists on the conservative end of the political spectrum. His comments on the inner workings of Washington bureaucracy and the shifting political and economic landscape have been known to leave readers and audiences, alike, in tears from laughter.

Stephanie Metzinger


In his seminal essay, Civil Disobedience, the American philosopher Henry David Thoreau stated, “That government is best which governs least.” Written 168 years ago—after spending two years, two months and two days at Walden Pond—Thoreau was expressing the belief that governments are typically more harmful than helpful, and that people are at their best when they are self-reliant and independent.

Tom Nassif

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