#Fan2Farm video series – Wine in Santa Barbara County

California Grown and Visit California are teaming up to produce the #Fan2Farm video series, profiling farms throughout California and fans of those farms who stop by for a visit.

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Great California Shakeout builds earthquake awareness

CDFA employees participated this morning in the Great California Shakeout, an annual event urging people to “drop, cover and hold-on” to build awareness about earthquake safety techniques.











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CDFA and Governor Brown’s 2016 ZEV Action Plan


2016 ZEV Action Plan_FINAL_101116.indd

CDFA’s Division of Measurement Standards (DMS) is pleased to play a key role in Governor Brown’s 2016 ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) Action Plan.  ZEV technologies include hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), which include both pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

The 2016 Action Plan contains six broad goals for the advancement of ZEVs:

  1. Achieve mainstream consumer awareness of ZEV options and benefits
  2. Make ZEVs an affordable and attractive option for drivers
  3. Ensure convenient charging and fueling infrastructure for greatly expanded use of ZEVs
  4. Maximize economic and job opportunities from ZEV technologies
  5. Bolster ZEV market growth outside of California
  6. Lead by example integrating ZEVs into state government

Specifically, DMS will  support  road-scale commercialization of zero-emission fuels to increase access, consumer awareness and confidence in ZEV technologies;  maintain infrastructure support through ongoing oversight of the retail fueling businesses serving ZEV owners and operators; help to ensure a network of hydrogen fueling stations to support the commercial launch of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and continue to certify the accuracy of hydrogen fuel dispensers.  Additionally, DMS will assist the Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission in the development of standards and protocols, the sharing of standards and best practices, and the building of coalitions collaborate with governments and public-private partnerships in other jurisdictions leading on hydrogen and fuel cell deployment, such as Japan’s Research Association of Hydrogen Supply/Utilization Technology and Germany’s National Organization Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology.

Today, California is one of the world’s largest markets for light-duty ZEVs.  Californians drive nearly 50% of all the ZEVs in the U.S. and the U.S. comprises about one-third of the world ZEV market.  California also leads the U.S. in number of ZEV fueling outlets, with nearly 3,500 PEV charging stations and 11,000 outlets, and 26 hydrogen stations for public use.  To date, DMS has been the only U.S. weights and measures jurisdiction to test hydrogen for dispenser accuracy and fuel purity.  California is also the first state to research wide-ranging measurement standards that will be suitable for testing of electric charging stations.  For additional information on the DMS ZEV Fuels Program, visit https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/dms/programs/zevfuels/.

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California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones Honored by USDA

Doc Jones with Administrator Award

California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones received the USDA APHIS Administrator’s Award this week at the annual meeting of the United States Animal Health Association. Also pictured, from left; Dr. Jere Dick, Associate APHIS administrator; Kevin Shea, APHIS administrator; and Dr. Jack Shere, APHIS deputy administrator.

California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones has been honored for her extensive contributions to animal health and animal agriculture with a 2016 USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Administrator’s Award, recently bestowed by APHIS administrator Kevin Shea at the annual meeting of the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA).

Dr. Jones, who serves as treasurer of USAHA, was honored for a long list of accomplishments in public service, including directing the state and federal partnership to eradicate an outbreak of exotic Newcastle disease; successfully directing the response to detections of avian influenza; and consistently demonstrating an ability to work cooperatively with other government agencies, the public, and industry in emergency animal disease planning efforts at the local, state, and federal levels.

“This is a very prestigious award at USDA, and no one is more deserving than Dr. Jones,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Dr. Jones is a dedicated public servant and an outstanding leader on the many complex issues affecting California’s farmers and ranchers.”

Dr, Jones began her career at CDFA in 2001, was named director of the agency’s Division of Animal Health and Food Safety Services in 2004, and was named State Veterinarian in 2010.





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Video – National Farm-to-School Month

Note – October is Farm-to-School MonthCDFA’s Office of Farm to Fork works to connect consumers, school districts, and others directly with California’s farmers and ranchers. The office also is committed to reducing food insecurity.   

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A Promising New Technique for Controlling Spray Drift

CDFA’s Office of Pesticide Consultation and Analysis (OPCA) is a division of the agency’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation. OPCA works with scientists in California’s academic community to provide unbiased consultative and economic impact information to the Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR) on potential pesticide regulatory impacts and pest management alternatives. The program also funds research to fill important data gaps. Controlling pesticide spray drift has been an important topic in California given the potential human health impacts and new practical solutions are always in demand.

Orchard growers have a new practice that can reduce spray drift from their orchards. The technique involves driving two spray rigs in-parallel on either side of the outer row of trees, with the outside rig spraying only air inward to contain the spray within the orchard. A separate pass with one sprayer is required for proper coverage of the outer row, this time with only the inward-pointing spray nozzles turned on. The technique is being called “interference perimeter spraying” and was developed by researchers from University of California and the Coalition for Urban & Rural Environmental Stewardship (CURES). Funding was provided by OPCA.

“While the practice still needs further evaluation to ensure that control of the targeted pests is maintained, we have confidence that the inference perimeter spraying can be used effectively now by orchardists, especially if spraying occurs near sensitive sites such as waterways or public roads,” says Parry Klassen, Executive Director of CURES. “Many growers already have multiple sprayers in operation so using this technique is very doable at no added cost.”

The research was part of a project that tested spray drift management techniques for protection of surface waters. The project also included a number of publications on spray drift stewardship and a video (below) showing interference perimeter spraying.

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#Farm2Fan video series – pears in Clarksburg (Yolo County)

California Grown and Visit California are teaming up to produce the #Farm2Fan video series, profiling farms throughout California and fans of those farms who stop by for a visit.


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Continuing the fight against the Asian Citrus Psyllid – from Bakersfield Now

AsianCitrusPsyllid1By Kristen Powers

The fight continues to protect Kern County’s (and California’s) citrus trees.

On Wednesday, over 100 students and community members went to the Bakersfield College Farm to learn how they can help keep trees safe from the Asian Citrus Psyllid.

The Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program partnered with Bakersfield College to host the free event. It informed community members about the citrus tree pest and how the county is working to eradicate it.

One of the speakers was Victoria Hornbaker, who is the Citrus Program Manager for the Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

“The more people that we get trained on what the Psyllid looks like and what the symptoms of the disease look like, the more eyes we have out there looking for it and the better control we can get,” Hornbaker said.

Taytanya Smith, an Agriculture student at Bakersfield College, said she came to the event because she is concerned about the citrus trees in Bakersfield.

“We eat a lot of citrus and there is a lot of citrus growing here and we can’t live without it, so it is really good to know what is going on with the plants,” Smith said.

Here are tips from the CDFA to keep citrus trees safe:

  • – Inspect trees for Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing
  • – Do not move citrus or citrus plants between different communities
  • – Do not move things specifically from Los Angeles because the disease has been found in Los Angeles county
  • – Buy citrus plants locally and from a reputable nursery
  • – Continue to work with the county Agricultural Commissioner’s Staff and the CDFA staff when out hanging traps, surveying trees or doing the treatments to prevent the pest from building up

The CDFA said they will send an inspector to your home to look at your trees or you can contact your local county agricultural commissioners.

If you spot pests or disease on your plants, or want your trees checked, call 800- 491-1899.

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Three key reasons why farmers support free trade – from Ag Alert

By Kari Barbic and Veronica Nigh of the American Farm Bureau Federation

America’s farmers and ranchers support free trade. And when you look at the numbers, it’s not hard to see why.

Between 2003 and 2015, U.S. agricultural exports to countries with which we have trade agreements increased more than 136 percent—from $24.1 billion to $57 billion. During the same time period, U.S. agricultural exports to countries where we don’t have trade agreements (excluding China) only increased by 84 percent.

Here are three key reasons farmers support free trade:

  1. Trade agreements generate more agricultural business—a lot more.Farmers and ranchers do more business where the U.S. has established free-trade agreements. More customers equal more business: Logic alone makes that case. But the numbers backing up the facts and logic are staggering.

    In the 20 years following the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement, our total exports to Canada and Mexico have quadrupled, growing from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $38.6 billion in 2015. The U.S. enjoys a 65 percent market share in the NAFTA market, compared to our market share in countries where we don’t have a trade agreement, 11 percent.

    Before NAFTA, Canada was the fourth-leading U.S. market. It is now the No. 1 market for our agricultural exports, and by far the largest U.S. market for high-value, consumer-oriented products. Mexico’s imports of feedstuffs from the United States are closely linked to its quickly growing poultry and pork industries. It is the top market for U.S. corn, soybean meal and poultry, as well as the second largest market for U.S. pork.

    But North America isn’t the only place agricultural business has picked up, thanks to free-trade agreements. In Asia-Pacific countries such as Singapore and Australia, where we have trade agreements, U.S. agricultural exports have more than doubled and tripled, respectively.

  2. We need trade agreements to level the playing field for our goods abroad.Though American-grown food, fuel and fiber are prized around the world for quality and value, high tariffs and non-scientific trade barriers place our products at a disadvantage in countries where we have no free-trade agreement. Why buy the best, when you can get second-best at half the cost?

    We don’t have to look far from our shores to see how this plays out. In Cuba, financing restrictions on U.S. products have placed us behind other countries in trade there. The U.S. share of the Cuban market has slipped dramatically, from a high of 42 percent in the 2009 fiscal year to only 16 percent in fiscal year 2014. The United States is now Cuba’s third-largest supplier, after the European Union and Brazil.

    Without agreements that look out for American business, other countries quickly turn to more accessible markets. Other countries will, and do, trade freely without us. The negotiating table, not the podium, is the place for tough talk that protects American businesses and increases our reach to markets abroad. But it’s harder to be taken seriously in those negotiations if we don’t swiftly pass deals that have been hammered out for the overall good of the U.S. economy.

  3. Agricultural exports support jobs on U.S. soil, beyond agriculture itself.Increasing trade is good for U.S. farmers and ranchers, as well as for the jobs and industries agriculture supports. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that every $1 billion in exports supports 7,550 American jobs throughout the economy. That means increased exports to FTA partners have added nearly 250,000 jobs to the U.S. economy.

    Agriculture is not an isolated industry: It’s integral to thousands of businesses. Consider a bottle of Kentucky bourbon. Beyond the farmers growing the corn from which bourbon is distilled, there’s white oak barrel construction for aging the spirits, and glass-making for the final bottling and distribution. Each is a separate industry representing skilled workers—workers who probably wouldn’t identify themselves as part of the export business. But that’s just what they are as soon as a batch of Maker’s Mark is shipped to Japan.

    Increasing international trade also benefits consumers, with access to more competitively priced products, new varieties of food and offseason supplies of fresh produce.

    Farmers and consumers alike can look at the numbers and do the math. Free-trade agreements make sense if we want to see more competitive prices, a variety of goods in our own marketplace and greater yields for American-grown businesses.

Link to article on California Farm Bureau federation web site

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National School Lunch Week celebrates progress in farm-to-school efforts


Note – October is Farm-to-School MonthCDFA’s Office of Farm to Fork works to connect consumers, school districts, and others directly with California’s farmers and ranchers. The office also is committed to reducing food insecurity.   

This is National School Lunch Week 2016, as proclaimed by President Obama, a time to reflect on the positive steps our nation has taken to make nutrition a priority in every U.S. school. This also coincides with the month-long celebration of Farm to School Month, which recognizes efforts to bring local foods into schools and onto students’ trays.

The more than 50 million children who attend schools that participate in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs are experiencing school environments that are healthier than ever. These students have access to balanced meals that reflect the latest nutrition science in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as well as recommendations from pediatricians and National Academy of Medicine. The meals feature more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat milk. Many of these items can be locally-sourced through farm to school programs.

The fresh, local foods offered through farm to school programs help school meal programs provide healthy, appealing, and diverse offerings. Results of the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census show that more than 42,000 schools nationwide have a farm to school program. These schools report reductions in food waste, higher school meal participation rates, and increased willingness of the students to try new foods, notably fruits and vegetables. In the 2013-14 school year alone, these programs invested nearly $800 million back into local economies, helping 23.6 million students develop healthy eating habits and learn where their food comes from.

Building on the progress around the country, this summer, USDA issued two additional final rules: Smart Snacks in Schools and Local School Wellness Policy. For the last few years, schools have been serving breakfasts and lunches that meet the updated standards under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010; in fact, more than 99 percent of schools nationwide currently report meeting those new nutrition standards. The recent regulations put in place by the Smart Snacks in Schools Final Rule and Local School Wellness Policy Final Rule take healthy school environments one step further by holding snacks served in schools and food or beverage marketing students are exposed to during the school day to standards that are consistent with those for school meals.

Healthy school meals are particularly important for the more than 13 million U.S. children who live in food insecure households; for some, school meals may be all nutrition they receive in a day. To help reduce hunger, USDA’s Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), an optional cost-sharing partnership between the federal government and school districts in high-poverty areas, allows eligible schools in lower income areas to serve nutritious lunches and breakfasts to all students at no cost. Not only does CEP help break down barriers that can prevent children in need from accessing school meals, it also greatly reduces the administrative burden on schools and families. Close to 8.5 million students from more than 18,000 schools across the country participated in the program in school year 2015-16.

Link to USDA News Release

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