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You can watch the full story on Good Day Sacramento.
The warming climate is bad news for all of us. In Ventura County, however, few are as vulnerable to its dangers as farmers and farmworkers.
The reason is pretty simple. With few exceptions, farming takes place outdoors. And although there are many agricultural jobs inside packing and processing facilities, greenhouses and industrial settings, most agricultural labor is likewise performed outside, in our rich landscape of fields and orchards.
You can read the full story in the VC Star.
Amid Sacramento’s annual Farm to Fork celebration, a glaring contradiction remains: The pandemic and this summer’s ransomware attack on JBS (the world’s largest meat processor) disrupted the four industrial processors centered in the Midwest and South. Together they supply the vast majority of California’s meat.
California’s small- and mid-scale livestock and poultry producers lost access to local processing as large-scale producers that usually export animals to the industrial plants took over the state’s small processors. COVID-19 sickened thousands of plant workers, hundreds died and tens of millions in lost wages resulting from the closures, particularly harming rural communities.
These events showed that the concentration of processing is dangerous. California must act to increase our own meat supply chain resilience, protect workers and aid rural communities.
You can read the full story in the Sacramento Bee.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the future of the Cannard Family Farm—whose organic vegetables supplied a single Berkeley restaurant—was looking stark.
Ross Cannard is the son of an iconic leader in the local organic movement in California. “Iconoclastic,” Ross says with a chuckle. Bob Cannard built his 30-year career by rejecting organic certification in favor of his own “better than organic” breed of “natural process agriculture,” enriching the soil on his Green String Farm with crushed rock and compost.
He and his son have long sold the fruits of their labor to the famous restaurant Chez Panisse, where, since 1971, chef Alice Waters has pioneered an elegant cuisine based entirely on fresh, local foods straight from the farm.
You can read the full story in yes! Magazine.
In the coming days, our Legislature has the opportunity to pass a budget that would reduce hunger, improve health and support California agriculture. Assembly member Phil Ting and state Sen. Scott Wiener, both Democrats from San Francisco, each have put forward budget proposals that would dedicate state funds — in a year in which we have an ample budget surplus — to making healthy food more affordable for low-income Californians while also supporting California farmers.
This is in stark contrast to what’s happening in Washington.
You can read the full story in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Farmers Can Put Themselves On The Map If They Complete The U.S. Agriculture Census By February 5
The USDA Census of Agriculture is a giant data-gathering effort that happens once every five years. It collects information about who’s growing what, how much and where. The census also tracks the age and gender of farmers, and whether they are veterans. (Farmers, ranchers and livestock managers can submit the questionnaire by mail or online.)
Michael Dimock is president of Roots of Change, a group that’s backed efforts to boost access to local produce for low-income Californians. In Dimock’s view, it’s critical for smaller farmers, like those who sell at farmers markets, to be counted by the census.
“The agriculture census is critically important because it helps the USDA and Congress determine how resources given to the agency are utilized and distributed,” he says.
Dimock says the census data will have a ripple effect on what programs the USDA will fund, what loans it will give and what research it will support.
Photo credit: Loren Kerns, flickr
You can read the full story on Capital Public Radio.
You can read the full story on Food Tank.
Farm to Table Talk interview with @MichaelRDimock related to the food movement (by Rodger Wasson). What is it? How did it begin and grow? Where is it today? Michael puts the focus on the need for more effective policy work by connecting grass roots communities to policy organizations working the halls of capitol buildings across the land.
You can read the full story on Farm to Table Talk.