in the KNOW

January 20, 2012

Annual Meeting

Assemblyman Henry Perea to be Keynote Speaker at Annual Meeting Dinner

Ag Council is pleased to announce Assemblyman Henry Perea (D-Fresno) as the keynote speaker at Ag Council’s Annual Dinner on March 5th during the Annual Meeting at Estancia Hotel in La Jolla, CA. Perea represents the 31st Assembly District comprising Fresno, Dinuba, Fowler, Kerman, Mendota, Sanger and other San Joaquin Valley communities.

Perea is Chair of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, and he is a member of the following committees: Agriculture, Banking and Finance, and Governmental Organization. Prior to his election to the Assembly, Perea served on the Fresno City Council and is a co-founder of the Latino Water Coalition.

Join Ag Council for the dinner and other events during our Annual Meeting. For further details, and to register for the Annual Meeting, see below.

Register Now for Ag Council’s Annual Meeting

Ag Council’s 93rd Annual Meeting will be held March 5-7, 2012 in beautiful La Jolla, California at Estancia Hotel. The Annual Meeting and Golf Tournament are held jointly with CoBank’s 2012 Pacific West Customer Meeting.

We encourage you to join us in La Jolla. Click here for more Annual Meeting details and to register online. To view the tentative itinerary, click here.

This year, Ag Council’s golf tournament and PAC fundraiser is at the picturesque Torrey Pines, North Course overlooking the Pacific Ocean and is held during the Annual Meeting on March 5th. Click here for further information about the tournament. Ag Council is also seeking sponsors for the tournament. The benefits of sponsorship can be found by viewing the brochure here.


State of the State

Governor Brown says “California is on the Mend” during State of the State Address

Governor Brown delivered the annual State of the State speech on Wednesday, as required by the California Constitution, to a joint session of the Legislature. He discussed budget cuts and advocated for the passage of his tax initiative on the November 2012 ballot to temporarily raise taxes, which he said will prevent further cuts to education and public services.

At the same time, the Governor touted large infrastructure projects such as High Speed Rail and efforts to increase the state water supply. On water, Governor Brown said he and U.S. Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, are working to complete the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and “agreed that by this summer we should have the basic elements of the project we need to build.” He also said, “This is an enormous project. It will ensure water for 25 million Californians and for millions of acres of farmland as well a hundred thousand acres of new habitat for spawning fish and other wildlife.”

In addition, the Governor encouraged the Legislature to consider his pension reform plan. He also touted renewable energy projects and AB 32, the state climate change law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Click here to read the Governor’s speech.


Climate Change

Cap & Trade Registration Deadline is January 31st

The deadline is nearing for companies, with over 25,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually, to register for the cap and trade program with the California Air Resources Board. The deadline, January 31, 2012, is the first step in mandatory compliance set to begin in 2013.

If you have questions regarding compliance, reporting requirements or other detailed information related to implementation, please call ph. (916) 322-2037.

Click here to register. For answers to frequently asked questions, click here. To read about Ag Council’s advocacy actions pertaining to cap and trade, click here.



Phytosanitary & Master Certificate Fee Increase

The comment period is open for the draft regulation to increase fees for phytosanitary certificates and master certificates at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Under the draft regulation, phytosanitary fees increase by $5.30 per certificate and the master certificate increase by $125 annually. The fees sunset on July 1, 2015.

As background, due to the state budget deficit, $31 million in General Fund budget reductions are being made to the CDFA budget (in addition to the $32 million in reductions to fairs) through the current and next budget cycles. The reductions include approximately $27 million in reductions to programs at CDFA. About $3 million must be generated in industry fees in an effort to protect the remaining programs vital to agriculture in conducting business throughout the U.S. and globally.

The comment period on the draft regulation to raise phytosanitary certificate and master certificate fees closes on January 31, 2012. Ag Council is coordinating comments with a stakeholder group of its members. Should you wish to be involved, please contact Emily Rooney at ph. (916) 443-4887.

The draft rule is available by clicking here.