09 JUL

California Foie Gras Ban Turns Into a New Fight

When meat is outlawed — in this case fatty livers of geese or ducks — only outlaws will eat meat.
 
Foodies are hoarding all the fatty geese or duck livers they can find, while new foie gras farmers may be setting up right across the border.
 
Chefs are flaunting the ban on the fatty livers by serving the very French dish known as foie gras.
 
And California’s restaurant industry is in federal court, asking to have the ban on serving the fatty livers struck down for a long list of reasons.
 

goose_300x.jpg

All of this stems from a 2004 bird feeding law with a rather long trigger for a ban on serving foie gras, the French delicacy made from fatty livers of geese or ducks. The ban went into effect one week ago, on July 1, 2012. Read more
09 JUL

National Turkey Federation joins Smarter Fuel Future coalition

NTF joined the Smarter Fuel Future coalition that will continue to publicize the many negative effects of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and other biofuel polices.  The group launched an educational website, SmarterFuelFuture.org, which is intended to raise awareness about the economic, environmental, hunger and engine performance implications of the current U.S. biofuels policy.  This group adds another voice in calling on lawmakers to revisit the failed RFS and enact policies that are informed by markets, not mandates, and that crops are dedicated to providing food and feed, not fuel.

09 JUL

USPOULTRY announces 12th Annual Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award competition

U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is now accepting nominations for the 12th annual Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award. The award recognizes exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production. Those eligible for the award include any poultry grower or egg producer (family-owned) who supply product to a USPOULTRY member or an independent producer who is a USPOULTRY member. Nominations are due September 14, 2012.
The award is presented to superior family farmers in six regions of the country. One award may be presented for each of the regions: Northeast, Southeast, South Central, North Central, Southwest, and the remainder of the United States. Nominations must be made by a USPOULTRY member or a state poultry and egg association by completing the application provided by USPOULTRY. Read More

09 JUL

McDonald’s New CEO Focuses on Chicken Amid Shaky Economy

McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) (MCD)’s new chief executive officer is playing chicken with the menu.

As Don Thompson, 49, steps into the CEO role at the world’s largest restaurant chain, customers may see more new chicken items instead of beef. Thompson is pulling from McDonald’s 160- item recipe book, which includes bone-in chicken wings and cashew teriyaki salads with chicken, to sell new food and attract cash-conscious consumers amid a shaky global economy. It’s a “tremendous opportunity,” Thompson said during a consumer conference on May 30. Read More

09 JUL

Kansas Brother’s ranching ‘I’m Farming And I Grow It’ music video goes viral

Agriculture just became a little more entertaining thanks to a new music video by the Peterson Farm Bros, a pro-agriculture group from Kansas. Their parody takes on "I’m Sexy and I Know it" to show that they are "farmers and [they] grow it."

The mini-music video is the latest from the brothers, who have been posting pro-agriculture videos to their YouTube page since November 2011. "I’m a farmer and I grow it" is their first shot at parody fame. The video was posted on Monday, and between Tuesday and Thursday morning, views had jumped from 3,000 to more than 800,000. It has now also been posted on Facebook, Pinterest and featured on a multitude of websites. One of the comments left for the video even indicated that the user had submitted the video to "The Ellen Show," opening even more possibilities of pro-agriculture exposure. Read More

29 JUN

Another successful CPF Summer Meeting

Another successful CPF Summer Board Meeting was was held this past Monday and Tuesday, June 25 and 26. The event was at The Cliffs Resort in Shell Beach, California. Monday’s scramble-format golf tournament was very popular and had more golfers than past years. Participants enjoyed a day of beautiful weather and camaraderie. Monday night everyone enjoyed an outdoor reception and BBQ at the home of Richard and Kathy Zacky. The board meeting had a full agenda on Tuesday morning, starting with special guest speaker Karen Ross, California Secretary of Agriculture. Secretary Ross shared her views on the current state of agriculture and the many opportunities available to California farmers and ranchers. The meeting wrapped up by noon. Click here to see a variety of photos from the golf tournament and the BBQ.

2012ZackyBBQ Zacky2

2012 Bob Harrington

25 JUN

USFRA Food Dialogues in Los Angeles Today : The Great Debate – Science, Technology and Food

Karen Ross, California Secretary of Agriculture and Tim Nilsen, California poultry producer, participated in the panel discussion hosted by USFRA in Los Angeles

What technologies are farmers and ranchers using to produce food while protecting the environment? Is more research the answer to biotechnology in agriculture? Today’s panel of leading scientists, academics, farmers and ranchers and thought leaders staged a dynamic conversation about the role science and technology play in agriculture.  Click here to read more about it, and go back later to watch a video of the entire discussion. The event was hosted by US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.

Food Dialogs

20 JUN

Farm bill splits produce growers, food activists

Five years ago, California farmers were a powerful ally of the new food movement’s crusade to get Washington to stop subsidizing corn and start promoting the fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts that are the mainstay of the state’s huge farm sector. This year, Bay Area food activists are on their own.  The fight is over a new farm bill, now before the Senate, that will spend nearly $1 trillion over the next decade, set national nutrition policy for a country staggering under the rising cost of obesity, and determine environmental policy on the 40 percent of the U.S. land mass, including a quarter of California, that is farmed.  Read More

20 JUN

California foie gras ban ends farmer’s ‘American dream’

A looming foie gras ban in California is pitting animal rights protesters against high-end chefs. Squeezed in the middle is Guillermo Gonzalez, lamenting the end of his "American dream".

Gonzalez, the only foie gras producer in the famously liberal US state, claims ignorant activists and "special interests" are unfairly throttling the livelihood he has built since arriving from El Salvador in 1986.

"I feel that a big injustice has been committed. I feel that emotion and intimidation have prevailed over reason and science. But this is bigger than us, so I just have to comply," he told AFP.

"It is in a way an offense to honest work, and I don’t lose the hope that reason will prevail," added the 60-year-old, packing up his business before the July 1 deadline.

Gonzalez founded Sonoma Artisan Foie Gras 26 years ago, after leaving his homeland and spending a year in France’s southwestern Perigord region to learn the traditional culinary craft from the Gallic masters.

Read More

16 JUN

From hens to crop payments, Senate farm bill laden with suggestions

The egg producers and animal rights advocates who once battled over animal housing in California see a new farm bill as a chance to put an unusual alliance into action. If lawmakers agree, the bill would phase in the first national standards to include larger cages for egg-laying hens, stricter egg labeling and limits on ammonia buildup.

The farm bill, though, remains a work in progress for which 198 Senate amendments await action, any one of which could alter the legislation’s direction. Nor it is clear that the proposal for national henhouse standards, written by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, will last long enough to get a vote. Read More

Facebook