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in the KNOW

October 21, 2015

Ag Council Member Meets with Pres. Obama & Signs Climate Pledge

President Barack Obama meets with business leaders, including Ag Council member Jeannine Campos Grech, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Oct. 19, 2015. Photo credit: AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais

President Barack Obama meets with business leaders, including Ag Council member Jeannine Campos Grech, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Oct. 19, 2015. Photo credit: AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Jeannine Campos Grech with Ag Council member Campos Brothers Farms was among other business leaders from across the U.S. who met with President Obama on October 19 to sign the American Business Act on Climate Pledge. The pledge shows support for carbon reductions prior to the finalization of a global agreement on climate change in Paris this year.

Since 2009, Campos Brothers Farms has been actively focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, realizing a reduction of 19.7 million pounds of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. This is in addition to other work to lower the business’ overall impact on the environment.

Building on its existing efforts, Campos Brothers will make further progress on greenhouse gas emissions as well as reduce its environmental footprint through the following actions: taking additional steps to lower carbon emissions, increase solar power utilization, reduce waste, improve the recycling rate, and lower water usage even further, among other activities.

To read more about the climate pledge, click HERE.

State Sen. Glazer Tours Blue Diamond’s Almond Innovation Center

From L-R: Blue Diamond’s Director of Research and Development Steve Morgan speaks with Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) during a tour of the Almond Innovation Center.

From L-R: Blue Diamond’s Director of Research and Development Steve Morgan speaks with Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) during a tour of the Almond Innovation Center.

Ag Council appreciates Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) for visiting Blue Diamond Growers and its Almond Innovation Center in Sacramento on October 7. Senator Glazer was elected during a special election this year and is a former city council member and mayor of Orinda.

During the visit, Senator Glazer met with Blue Diamond Public Affairs Director Alicia Rockwell and talked about the cooperative’s leadership role in the industry, the various operations and also discussed water issues relating to the almond industry.

Senator Glazer toured the Almond Innovation Center with Director of Research and Development Steve Morgan. The Innovation Center is a research facility working to initiate new almond product concepts. Morgan showed Senator Glazer the state-of-the-art 6,500 square-foot facility, including a laboratory, dedicated to almond research and development.

Ag Council thanks Senator Glazer for connecting with Blue Diamond to learn more about its role in the almond industry, and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the State Senate. Click HERE to learn more about Senator Glazer.

Ag Council Comments on Air Resources Board 2030 Target Scoping Plan

On October 16, Ag Council submitted comments regarding the Air Resources Board’s (ARB) 2030 Target Scoping Plan presented in early October.  The effort is a follow up to the 2013 Scoping Plan Update and reflects Governor Jerry Brown’s Executive Order to establish greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets for California of 40 percent below 1990 GHG levels by the year 2030.

This is the very beginning of the process, and Ag Council will be working to ensure our members’ views are heard as the ARB moves forward to create a 2030 Scoping Plan. Ag Council will remain involved as the Scoping Plan is developed throughout the next year and will provide regular updates to our members.

Click HERE to read our initial comments in an informal letter to the ARB.

Upcoming Stakeholder Meetings on Groundwater

The Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board are holding stakeholder meetings to provide details to the public on the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which was signed into law in 2014.

Stakeholder meeting dates and locations include: Visalia on October 22, Sacramento (meeting & webinar) on October 27 and Redding on November 5. For each stakeholder meeting, technical sessions geared toward local public agencies and organizations begin at 1 p.m. and the public forums begin at 6 p.m. For the agenda and further details, click HERE.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Workshops

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is holding workshops and webinars in early November on the 2016 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The program funds projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. The workshops and webinars provide an overview of the program, a review of the concept proposal questions and grant writing advice. Applicants are urged to participate. Click HERE to view the locations and dates and for registration information.