in the KNOW

April 13, 2013

Ag Council Hosts Dairy Lobby Day

Asm. Adam Gray (D-Merced) & Asm. Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley)

This week, fifteen dairymen and staff from Land O’Lakes, California Dairies Inc., and Dairy Farmers of America joined Ag Council for a Dairy Lobby Day at the state Capitol to support AB 31, which is a measure regarding dairy pricing authored by Dr. Richard Pan (D-Lodi).

The dairymen convened in Sacramento on Wednesday for a morning briefing with Ag Council staff before heading into the Capitol for meetings. The farmers met with legislators who sit on the Ag Committee, as well as others, to urge their support for AB 31. The meetings included visits with: Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Susan Eggman (D-Stockton), Assemblymember Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), and Assemblymember Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto), among others. In addition, Assemblymember Adam Gray (D-Merced) and Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley) stopped by to meet the dairymen during lunch, and Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) swung by to say hello as the farmers wrapped-up their day.

As background, AB 31 would implement needed changes in the Food and Agricultural Code to set a minimum price for California milk sold to cheese manufacturers and would also provide a credit to the cheese makers. The bill is being opposed by some entities in the cheese processing industry. Ag Council and our dairy members support AB 31 given that California has not kept pace with price opportunities in the formula used to price whey (a protein created when cheese is produced).

The measure is scheduled to be considered in the Assembly Agriculture Committee on May 1st.

CA Trade Office Opens in China

Governor Jerry Brown is in China this week on a trade and investment mission, and he spoke at the opening of the California-China Office of Investment and Trade in Shanghai. It is California’s first foreign trade office in China since the state closed 12 offices in 2003.

The privately funded office, which will operate via resources from the Bay Area Council, will serve as a central place for California-based companies to seek advice and assistance in order to expand in China. It also will work with Chinese companies looking to invest in California.

The creation of the office was made possible after legislation by Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles), AB 2012, was signed into law last year. The bill authorized the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development to establish a public-private partnership in order to open trade and investment offices.

Read more HERE on Governor Brown’s website.

Impact Report

Ag Council believes it is vital that we keep you apprised of the legislative, regulatory and political issues we’re engaged in on your behalf. With this in mind, if you haven’t had a chance to review our Impact Report, please click HERE.