13 APR

Court vacates federal air emission reporting exemption for animal waste

On April 11, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated a 2008 federal rule that generally exempted livestock facilities from administrative reporting requirements for the release of hazardous substances to the air from animal waste (Waterkeeper Alliance, et al. v. EPA, No. 09-1017, April 11, 2017).  The court’s decision creates regulatory uncertainty for many large livestock operations across the country that may now be subject to annual reporting requirements for the release of hazardous substances from animal waste to the air under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) and the Emergency and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA). The decision may impact also state-based reporting exemptions to the extent they incorporate or are tied to the federal reporting requirements. Read more 

13 APR

Census Of Agriculture countdown begins for America’s farmers and ranchers

America’s farmers and ranchers will soon have the opportunity to strongly represent agriculture in their communities and industry by taking part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by theU.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census, to be mailed at the end of this year, is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them.  “The Census of Agriculture remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “As such, census results are relied upon heavily by those who serve farmers and rural communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, researchers, and farmers and ranchers themselves.”  Read more

11 APR

Assemblyman Gray: “Transportation Deal is a Game Changer for Merced and Stanislaus”

Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) issued the following statement today after lending his support to a transportation plan to raise new revenues for road maintenance and transportation infrastructure while asking voters to constitutionally safeguard these funds:

I have continuously highlighted the state’s underinvestment in rural California, especially in the San Joaquin Valley. Whether you are talking about infrastructure, doctors, jobs, poverty, or crime we have too much of the bad and not enough of the good. The state assistance and funding that flows so easily to the big cities and the coast dries to a trickle when it comes to helping the Valley.

The other parts of the state take for themselves, and leave us only what is left over the same way they drive through on Highway 99 leaving nothing but their exhaust behind. They forget about us when we fade from their rearview mirror. But when it came to mustering the votes needed to pass this transportation plan, they could not ignore us, as much as they may have wanted to. Read more

11 APR

Marin County decision to allow local slaughter fires up a debate

One vision of a progressive food system celebrates diverse local farms and an approach to meat production that reduces the suffering of animals eventually slated to be slaughtered. But another vision insists that animal slaughter will never expunge its inherently inhumane nature, and that only plants should feed a growing global population. Which is more progressive? And which is more sustainable? In many communities, food activists are too busy combating new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) or looking for alternatives to large-scale commodity crop production to debate the finer points of niche issues like local animal slaughter.

Read more 

11 APR

Vote to confirm Perdue as Ag Secretary delayed until lawmakers return from two-week Easter recess

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced this week that the chamber will vote on former Governor Sonny Perdue’s nomination for Secretary of Agriculture on April 24, after lawmakers return from their two-week Easter recess that begins today. Senate leaders scheduled Perdue’s confirmation vote this week after Democrats blocked action on Perdue’s confirmation, preventing him from assuming office before the recess. Read more

11 APR

Neil M. Gorsuch sworn in as 113th Supreme Court justice

Colorado appeals court judge Neil M. Gorsuch took his oaths to be the Supreme Court’s 113th justice Monday morning, first in a private ceremony at the court and later at a Rose Garden ceremony with the man who nominated him, President Trump. At the first, private event in a grand room inside the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administered the oath that all federal employees take. All eight justices and most of their spouses were on hand, as well as Maureen Scalia and Eugene Scalia, the widow and son of the justice Gorsuch is replacing, Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch’s wife, Louise, held a family Bible, and his daughters Emma and Belinda looked on. On a sunny spring day at the White House Rose Garden, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, for whom the 49-year-old Gorsuch once served as a clerk, led him through a second oath that justices take to impartially interpret the laws “and do equal right to the poor and to the rich.”  Read more

06 APR

CDFA hosts Career Fair April 7 9am – 1pm in Sacramento

his event is being hosted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture to introduce students, and/or career advisors to the ongoing career opportunities that exist within our department. Some of our positions are considered “entry-level” but many require formal college and university degrees or preparation.  Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with professional staff in the various programs and learn about the state civil service.
For more information we have posted the details including the event schedule to our CDFA website https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/employment/CareerFair.html and our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/618714221632181/


06 APR

Confinement of organic poultry due to risk of Avian Influenza

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) enforces the USDA organic regulations for organic poultry through the National Organic Program (NOP). The NOP has received questions regarding the confinement of organic poultry flocks due to recent outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI).

Certified organic poultry operations must establish and maintain preventative livestock health care practices, which may include temporary confinement under conditions where the health, safety, or well-being of the animals could be jeopardized. Read more

06 APR

Viruses, production trends set to shape future of poultry health

The future of global poultry health could be shaped as much production trends as viruses such as avian influenza and Newcastle disease, experts say.
In a report by Poultry International, scientists said the move towards cage-free and antibiotic-free production was likely to create health issues that could be as problematic to producers as viruses unless they were properly managed.
Dr. John Glisson, vice president of research programs at the US Poultry and Egg Association, said endemic disease would always be a major challenge to poultry health, with more intense variants of viruses such as avian flu expected over the coming decades.  Read more