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September 24, 2015

Assemblywoman Irwin Visits Rice Harvest in Butte County

Asm. Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) visits BUCRA’s facilities with Pres. & CEO Carl Hoff and VP of Drying/Storage Steve Birdsong

Asm. Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) visits BUCRA’s facilities with Pres. & CEO Carl Hoff and VP of Drying/Storage Steve Birdsong

Ag Council member, Butte County Rice Growers Association (BUCRA), hosted Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), in Richvale for a tour on September 17 during rice harvest. Assemblywoman Irwin graciously spent an afternoon learning about the rice industry ranging from harvest to drying to the milling process.

Assemblywoman Irwin toured BUCRA’s drying and storage facilities with President & CEO Carl Hoff and learned about the cooperative, which began 100 years ago to meet the needs of farmers planting and harvesting rice. The drought was a particular area of discussion during the tour. Hoff discussed water conservation, showed Assemblywoman Irwin fallowed fields due to water cutbacks and talked about the critical importance of rice fields to 230 species of wildlife, including waterfowl along the Pacific Flyway.

The legislator also visited Gorrill Ranch, one of BUCRA’s over 400 members, where she took the opportunity to demonstrate her rice harvesting skills by driving a harvester in the field. Before leaving Richvale, she also viewed the milling process at Far West Rice.

As background, Assemblywoman Irwin is a member of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture and Chair of the Committee on Veterans Affairs. We appreciate her strong interest in agriculture and thank her for taking the time to learn more about the rice industry.

Ag Council extends a special thank you to the following individuals for their help during the tour: BUCRA President & CEO Carl Hoff, BUCRA Chairman Carl Lindahl, BUCRA VP of Drying/Storage Steve Birdsong, Gorrill Ranch CEO Daniel Robinson, Gorrill Ranch Farm Manager Mark Breckenridge, and Far West Rice CEO Chris Davis.

In Case You Missed It – That’s a Wrap for the Legislature

With the California State Legislature in adjournment, Ag Council recently provided members with a wrap-up of 2015 legislative activity and the status of specific bills important to our members, including key measures that landed on Governor Brown’s desk. The governor has until October 11 to sign or veto legislation pending before him. In case you missed Ag Council’s summary from the previous newsletter, click HERE to read about the status of legislation in crucial issue areas.

CDFA Announces Vacancies on the Market Enforcement Committee

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is looking to fill vacancies on the newly created Market Enforcement Committee (MEC).  The MEC is an ad hoc committee that will advise the Market Enforcement Branch (MEB) on various issues within the administration, as well as enforcement functions of the branch.

The MEB enforces laws created to ensure stability in the agricultural marketplace and protect against unfair business practices between producers, handlers, and processors of California farm products.

To obtain further information and details on how to apply, along with the deadline, click HERE.