Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Celebrate the Growing Network of Awareness this 4th of July.

There is a growing network working farmers, food producers, Ag industry professionals, and concerned consumers who are looking for or wish to share information about what they buy or what they sell.

The frustration of over legislation, taxation, wasteful government spending, congressional incompetence, urban sprawl, consumer ignorance, and more recently, an outright assault of a way of life may be causing the long reserved American Farmer to take action. Many of these things are shared in common with our Nation's Founders. Most people would never make the connection, but the reality is this country was founded by Farmers.

The Pilgrims on the May Flower, you know the ones we remember every Thanksgiving with a feast of all the things a good harvest provides. They did not come looking for a good place to construct towering glass and steel buildings. They came looking for land that would sustain them and allow a way of life they where persecuted for.

Our first president, then General George Washington led a rag tag group of citizen soldiers to run out the Red Coats, for much of the same issues California Farmers are dealing with today. Many of those soldiers were farmers themselves. What most people do not remember is that in the 18th century, George Washington, operated a state of the art farming operation. Some people would have call it a "Factory Farm" by today's standards. George Washington's role as a farmer and businessman is often over shadowed by his service to our country. Washington beveled that America's future economic success lay in agriculture was integral to his vision for the new nation. Like the modern Farmer, George Washington was always looking for ways to expand the productivity and profit of his farms. Washington built a gristmill and later a distillery. He sold flour, corn meal, and whiskey locally and overseas. This, by the way, is what some call the "American Dream" . Washington's farm was called Mt. Vernon and is today celebrated as a National Treasure.

(fast forward to the 20th century) Farmers have relied on food producers and distributors to convey the message that food grown and produced in the United States is good for the United States. Good for the consumer, good for the farmer, good for the U.S. economy. Somewhere along the way this system has gone a rye. My opinion is that food producers and distributors have been looking to creeper imports. One, to increase profits (it is a business after all), and two, to keep up with growing demand for easy to prepare meal products (who has time to cook dinner these days?). The American Farmer, as it seems, is getting a bad wrap for all of this. This is not the reality of the situation today, Farmers work daily to provide a quality product that they would, and do, serve to their own families without hesitation for quality and freshness.

This 4th of July Holiday, Please take time to think about this Great Nation, and who built it out of dirt! As the rest of the word is starved for American "Grit" and Freedom. I, like Gorge Washington believe that America's future economic success lay in agriculture and is integral to the vision for this nation. The American Farmer is the foundation if this country, and will be till the end of time. I should not have to remind you that there was a time that every kid in Russia wanted a pair of Levi 501's made with American Grown Cotton. Just the thought of good Ol' Fashion Apple Pie brings to mind the Freedoms we take for granted every day. (I challenge you to name one single ingredient in Ol' Fashion Apple Pie that a Farmer didn't provide). This truly is the Greatest Nation in history. God has Blessed America! From Sea to shining Sea! Now, It's time to pick up the slack and tow the line.

This growing network I speak of is a grassroots movement in the truest scene. Individuals are springing up as Bloggers, Tweeters, Facebook groups, MySpace sites, , YouTube Vloggers, and in other places where information can be shared conveniently.

They are Agivist. No, it not a typo, I said, "Ag-i-vist". An Agivist is one who emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial agricultural issue.

This seems to be the new generation of farming. Networking together and the willingness to sharing information is becoming an increasingly effective tool to educate consumers about misconceptions about what that eat and helping them to make better choices with how the spend their grocery budget. Allowing the Farmer to speak directly to those consumers who want to know what's in their food. Maybe more importantly, allowing the consumer to provide feedback and concerns directly to the farmer.

Be vocal, Farmers. Ask questions, Consumers. I did, and it led me right here! Because I eat, and I want to know where my food comes from. I am proud to say now, I am an Agivist!

Get to know your Farmer. Celebrate your Framer. Look for the product of USA label, even better , Buy California Grown!

Keep California Farming.

Monday, June 29, 2009

California Dairy Industry Facts *

California Dairy Industry Facts *

  • California has been the nation’s leading dairy state since 1993, when it surpassed Wisconsin in milk production. California is ranked first in the U.S. in the production of total milk, butter, ice cream, yogurt, nonfat dry milk, and whey protein concentrate. California is second in cheese production. (CDFA)
  • California leads the nation in total milk production. In 2008, California produced a record 41.2 billion pounds of milk – one-fifth of the nation’s total production.
  • Dairy farming is the leading agricultural commodity in California, producing $6.9 billion in annual sales in 2008. (CDFA)
  • Forty-three percent of all of California milk goes to make California cheese. (CDFA)
  • Currently there are 1,950 California dairy farms that house 1.83 million milk cows. Approximately one out of every five dairy cows in the U.S. lives in California
  • California milk production is expected to exceed 50 billion pounds by 2020.
  • The average California dairy cow produced 22,344 pounds of milk in 2008.
  • Currently, 35 percent of the total U.S. exports of dairy products are coming from California.
  • California’s dairy business generated $61.4 billion in economic activity and 435,000 full-time jobs in California in 2007. (CMAB, J/D/G Consulting)
  • California’s milk standards exceed federal standards because California processors add nonfat milk solids which offer improved taste and nutritional benefits. California milks exceed the federal guidelines for the amounts of calcium and protein in each serving.
  • Real California Milk can be found at Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, Target, 7-Eleven, Vons, Albertsons, Ralphs, Stater Bros., Food 4 Less, Superior Grocers, Lucky, Longs Drugs, Nugget and O’Brien’s.

*All data provided by the California Milk Advisory Board, except as noted.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Do you like olives on your large family style pizza?

If you do, odds are your are eating California Grown Olives.

California produces over 95% of the olives grown in the US--but that doesn't mean we're all big business. Ours are not mechanically run, industrial farms, but multi-generational orchards powered by hardworking American farmers and their families. Plots come in all sizes and they are individually serviced by some of the finest stewards of our land. They range from small 5-acre lots to 1,000-acre multi-crop farms, but strict growing and handling standards remain consistent.
Read More

California Ripe Olives are grown on family farms in the inland valleys of California from San Diego Country to north of Sacramento. Our biggest growing regions are Tulare County in the San Joaquin Valley, and Glenn and Tehama Counties in the northern Sacramento Valley.
Read More

Can you use Olives for more than just pizza? I guess that's up to you...
Read More


Keep California Farming

Wednesday, June 24, 2009



Rural Crimes Task Force – 525-7050
Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department
NON-EMERGENCY – 552-2468

Here is some updated information covering three neighboring counties – San Joaquin, Stanislaus & Tuolumne. The San Joaquin information is the Net Alert attachment and a bit dated but is a good example of their farmers and ranchers reporting all incidents.

REMEMBER: The Sheriff’s Department can’t help if they don’t know!

Please feel free to pass it on.

First, a success story from Barmont Neighborhood Watch!

ü The Sheriff's Department was dispatched to a residential burglary on Downey just south of Whitmore Road. The suspects were described as two White Male Juveniles wearing cut off shorts, and T-shirts. Two persons matching that description had been seen parking a red Ford Probe on the canal at Whitmore Road approximately ten minutes before the call was dispatched. After hearing the call, a BNW member stood by with the car. Prior to deputies going on-scene, neighbors placed the two suspects under citizen’s arrest for burglary. The BNW advised deputies of the location of the suspect’s car. The car was searched, and stored. The suspects were booked into Juvenile Hall for Burglary (459 P.C.).

Now for the active cases …

ü June 14th or 15th 2009. Theft of 17 trees for a wind break stolen sometime either Sunday or Monday on Turlock Road just east of Dry Creek. Thieves entered property through the almond trees and pulled the trees right out of the ground.

ü Possible mail theft – Keyes Rd. east of Hickman Rd. area. Be aware of a pick-up with two occupants stopping at rural mailboxes. Check your accounts to make sure nothing unauthorized is happening to your accounts.

ü Tuolumne County - Kennedy Meadows Pack Station had two saddles stolen. They are described as “Vern Morris made” with “Vern Morris” stamped into the latigo keeper. One is a 15.5” seat and the other is a 16” seat – serial #387 and #389.

Rural Crime Alert Network sponsors:

Chuck’s Auto Parts - Conlin Supply - Farmer’s Livestock Market - Oakdale Auto Parts – Oakdale Feed & Seed - Oakdale Irrigation District - Oakdale Recycling Center - Oakdale Tire - R&T Power Equipment - Stanislaus Farm Supply - Stanislaus Implement & Hardware - Waterford Irrigation Supply, Inc.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Young Farmers Use Ag Tweets?

From http://capitalpress.com/

Networking news
Student group uses Facebook, Twitter to garner support for ag

Cecilia Parsons
Capital Press

A non-traditional approach to promoting agriculture is taking place on the Internet. The message isn't new - the vehicle is.

"I Love Farmers ... They Feed My Soul" is youth-to-youth, edgy and not always politically correct. Its sole purpose is to support all American farmers and ranchers. The website puts a young face on food and fiber production and with links to Facebook and Twitter, reaches out to youth more comfortable with social networking than traditional media. The idea is to get the word out about where food comes from and how it is produced.

The five young people who are the current face of the campaign are passionate about agriculture and eager to speak with their urban counterparts about farmers and ranchers and what they do.

"We wanted to create a conversation among friends in the electronic world," said Scott Vernon, the creator of the project. "If we're consistent and constant we'll begin to have a subtle impact."

So far, numbers show the message is spreading. As of June 12, there were more than 7,000 followers on the social network Facebook.

The I Love Farmers ... They Feed My Soul site is also evolving. Annalisa Clarke, website manager said as more funding becomes available the site would become interactive.

Currently shirts and caps with the I Love Farmers logo are being sold on the site to keep it operating. When the web site becomes interactive, she said they would do their best to answer questions and explain farming and ranching practices.

Though Vernon is a professor of agriculture communication at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, the website isn't affiliated with the school or any particular segment of the agriculture industry. Clarke said if it is believed that "Big ag" backs the campaign they'll lose some of the trust that has been building with the followers.

"That's what makes us tick - they trust those young people to speak from their hearts," said Clarke.

Traditional agriculture interests might not trust the way they are going about supporting agriculture, but they will have to trust the people on the website.

The young people, all students at Cal Poly, are more approachable, Vernon believes, because this isn't a high-powered advertising campaign. It is also important the students put a young, hip face on an industry that is mostly "all old white guys" said Vernon.

"They're good-looking, and image is powerful," he added.

I Love Farmers' messages are aimed at a world that has little day-to-day contact with the people who grow their food, but the students are also having some fun. Vernon said they've been able to toy with the animal rights group Humane Society of United States by posting a video that shows how money donated to the group is used more for political purposes than saving animals. With the release of the movie "Food Inc." last week they have another hot discussion topic.

Clarke said they have been experimenting on Facebook with current issues, posting topics and asking for feedback. The catalysts in this have been the students who encourage two-way communication.

Farmers and ranchers are great a talking to each other about agriculture issues, but they don't have a pathway to the general public, said Clarke, who also participates in the conversations.

They don't want to bombard people with information.

"We're seeking a social level, adding some fun but bringing ag to the forefront of the conversation," Clarke explained. "This is a good opportunity to clear up misconceptions."

Facebook Group: I Love Farmers...They Feed My Sou

Valley Farmer, Brad Goehring Announces Candidacy in 11th Congressional District

Brad Goehring Announces Candidacy in 11th Congressional District
San Joaquin businessman and Ag leader jumps into race against vulnerable Congressman Jerry McNerney.

Stockton (CA) –Brad Goehring, a leader in the San Joaquin County agricultural community and small businessman from Clements has entered the race for the Republican nomination in the 11th Congressional District. The 11th Congressional District is currently held by vulnerable Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton).

“I am running because I believe it is time for our representatives in Washington to show some responsibility. The solutions put forward on the critical issues we face in our country today seem to lack any responsibility. I want to go to Washington and stop the bailouts and attacks on free enterprise and hard working taxpayers,” said Goehring.

“Everyone knows that Washington is broken. There are solutions that can be found without raiding the treasury and making our kids and grandkids pick up the tab,” continued Goehring. “I want to find solutions that put families back to work and channel our energies into creating good paying jobs in the private sector. Without a healthy, growing private sector we cannot move America forward.”

Brad Goehring was born in 1965 in Lodi into a fourth-generation San Joaquin Valley farm family. He was raised in Lodi and graduated from Lodi High School. After attending San Joaquin Delta College, Brad majored in Business Administration at CSU-Chico, all while learning the value of hard work as a farm laborer in his family's orchards and vineyards from the age of 11. He has owned and operated Goehring Vineyards, Inc. since returning from school.

Brad and his wife Kristin were married in 1997 and they have three children, Lexus, Bryson, and Brielle. They make their home in Clements in northern San Joaquin County.

Brad currently serves on the Board of the Lodi Woodbridge Winegrape Commission and the California Association of Winegrape Growers. Recognized statewide as a leader on agricultural issues, Brad serves as Director at Large for the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau and as national spokesman for the California Farm Bureau's work on the Clean Water Act.

Goehring’s website is now active at www.goehringforcongress.com