in the KNOW

February 15, 2013

World Ag Expo Breakfast a Success

Former Assemblyman and current state Senate candidate, Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), spoke to over 40 Ag Council members and friends at Ag Council’s breakfast at the World Ag Expo in Tulare this week.

Mendoza termed out of the Assembly last November and is now running for state Senate in 2014 in a legislative seat comprising Artesia, Cerritos, Whittier, Downey and Buena Park among other cities outside of Los Angeles.  Mendoza is the former Chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus.

With the changing demographics of the state, Ag Council is focused on building bridges with elected officials to help educate them on agricultural issues. Given this, Mendoza discussed how the agricultural community can best work to reach out to Latino legislators, as well as urban and suburban elected officials.
One of Mendoza’s suggestions was to extend an invitation to the families of legislators when they are invited on farm tours. This resonated with the audience because our families are a core part of the farming business.
In addition, he spoke about the party-politics that come into play in the Legislature and the political realities faced by elected leaders. Mendoza, who is a teacher, also discussed his core values, including family, as well as his desire to continue in public service.

We appreciate Tony Mendoza for sharing his insights, and we thank our members and friends for their attendance.  We look forward to returning to the Expo in 2014.


Mendoza Visits Ag Council Members

Earlier this week, prior to the World Ag Expo breakfast, Tony Mendoza toured two family farms and a processing facility.

Mendoza started the day at Chandler Farms in Selma, which is a family farm growing for the following Ag Council members: Sun-Maid Growers, Blue Diamond Growers and Central California Almond Growers Association. John Chandler–who is a next generation farmer following in the footsteps of his parents Bill and Carol Chandler–introduced Mendoza to the farmworkers who were pruning vineyards on the farm. Mendoza spoke with the workers, learned many had longstanding jobs with the farm, and they talked about how their children are now in college. Mendoza also toured the farm’s almond and citrus crops and learned how they are grown.

Mendoza then visited Rib-Arrow Dairy in Tulare owned and operated by the Ribeiro family, which is a farmer-owner of Land O’Lakes. Dairymen Dave and Tyler Ribeiro graciously showed Mendoza the milking facilities, where the cows rest and eat, and discussed the various feed that is provided to the cows. Importantly, Mendoza learned about the current difficulties facing the dairy industry, including high feed, energy and regulatory costs, among others.

During a brief lunch stop at Superior Dairy in Hanford, Mendoza met local Land O’Lakes dairyman Dino Giacomazzi who discussed the reasoning for opposition against high speed rail among the ag community in Kings County.

Mendoza then finished his day of ag tours at Valley Fig Growers in Fresno where he learned how the farmer-owned cooperative processes locally-grown figs. In addition, Mendoza learned about the wastewater and anaerobic digester facility at Valley Fig Growers, which serves as an environmentally-friendly model in the food processing industry. The digester uses wastewater to produce renewable energy, reduces disposal costs for the plant and frees up energy needs for thousands of homes. Gary Jue and Jim Gargiulo of Valley Fig Growers also discussed food safety and other issues with Mendoza.

The day concluded with a dinner in Fresno with Ag Council’s local board members in the area who talked with Mendoza about labor, education and other key policy issues.

We greatly appreciate Tony Mendoza’s time and interest in our industry.  Also, a special thanks to all of our members and farmer-owners involved with the coordination of the tours.


Join Us in Napa for our 94th Annual Mtg.

Ag Council’s 94th Annual Meeting is just around the corner, March 18-20, 2013, at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa. To register for the Annual Meeting, please click HERE. Information regarding hotel reservations is below.

Ag Council’s annual dinner will feature Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) as the keynote speaker. We also have a great line-up for the General Session this year, including: David Garfield, Managing Director at AlixPartners, who will discuss the recent consumer study “Trouble in Aisle 5” and Kish Rajan, Director for the Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development (GO-Biz), who will discuss Governor Jerry Brown’s prospective on boosting business in California.

To make your hotel reservation online, please click HERE. Ag Council’s special group code is automatically entered when you use this link. Or, you can call the Meritage Resort and Spa for reservations at ph. 866.370.NAPA. Mention “Ag Council” to receive the preferred room rate of $179. After the reservation deadline of February 22, 2013, the group rate will no longer be available.

If you have any questions, or if you need registration assistance, feel free to contact Rebecca Osumi at ph. 916.443.4887 or email: rebecca@agcouncil.org.

Ag Council looks forward to seeing you in Napa.


2013 Golf Tournament in Napa

Ag Council’s 2013 Golf Tournament and PAC Fundraiser will be held in conjunction with our Annual Meeting on March 18 at the Chardonnay Golf Club, set among the vineyards in Napa’s Jameson Canyon. Registration for the golf tournament can be completed when you register for the Annual Meeting HERE.

Ag Council is also seeking sponsors for the tournament. The benefits of sponsorship can be found by viewing the brochure HERE.

Rebecca Osumi is available to answer questions about the tournament at ph. 916.443.4887 or email: rebecca@agcouncil.org.