|Bill Mattos, former newspaper publisher and Stanislaus County supervisor who has been president of the California Poultry Federation since 1991, was presented the coveted Good Egg Award at the 56th annual Good Egg Breakfast in Modesto last week. Keynote speaker Marty Jakosa and master of ceremonies John Bedell presented the award. Jakosa credited Mattos for building the federation into a powerful entity in California and the nation, with accomplishments that include helping level the playing field with laws that eliminated taxes for litter, poultry barns, medication and hot dog casings. Read more
From left: John Bedell, J.S. West; Bill Mattos, CA Poultry Federation;
Marty Jakosa, Foster Farms (retired)
Almond producers in California are exploring the possibility of using almond hulls as feedstock for black solider flies, among other areas. The almond industry in California has been providing sthe hulls and shells from almond crops to dairy producers for several years, said Karen Lapsley, chief science officer with the California Almond Board.
The Trump administration is now allowing more chicken-processing plants to operate at faster speeds, a controversial move that some fear will hurt workers and chicken consumers by lowering safety standards.
Plants that receive a waiver from the Trump administration will be able to process up to 175 birds per minute, up from the old limit of 140 birds per minute. The administration recently published new criteria spelling out what it would take to get a waiver. The National Chicken Council, which represents the poultry industry, praised the move and noted that each individual plant must meet stringent criteria to obtain a waiver. But labor, consumer and animal rights groups decried the change as a capitulation to big business that will open the floodgates to most of the nation’s more than 200 poultry-processing plants operating at the faster rate. Read more
Willie Benedetti, the lifelong Sonoma-Marin rancher and greater than fiction, cigar-puffing country character perhaps best known for his enormous, smoked-then-grilled turkey legs, died Friday at 69.
Benedetti, a partner in Benedetti Farms and in the Willie Bird’s Restaurant consistently praised as one of the region’s greatest old-school bars and dining spots, succumbed to an aggressive abdominal cancer.
“You’re talking a legend,” John Zimmerman said Friday from behind the bar at Willie Bird’s in Santa Rosa. A bartender there for 31 years, Zimmerman said Benedetti was beloved by legions and was renowned for falling asleep from apnea without a Dutch Master cigar falling from his mouth. Read more
Law enforcement officials arrested 67 animal rights activists who raided a California poultry plant and allegedly stole chickens on Saturday. About 200 activists broke into McCoy’s Poultry Services in Petaluma, according to a statement from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. “Initial responding deputies entered the property and were confronted by approximately 70 protesters, who were wearing white protective clothing, many of whom were carrying chickens they had stolen from within buildings on the property,” the statement said. “Deputies also learned that the owner and an employee of the company had been assaulted by a protester during the event. Due to the amount of protesters on the property and on the street in front of the business, approximately 40 deputies responded to assist, along with the Sheriff’s helicopter.” Read more
United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed three additional cases of virulent Newcastle disease in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, California, last week.
Live bird market
One of the three cases was at a live bird market. Birds from the affected live bird market have been depopulated and the market has been cleaned and disinfected to prevent additional spread of the disease. As a precautionary measure, all 34 markets in the Los Angeles area have also been cleaned and disinfected. Read more