agriculture

The Sacramento Bee
Immigration crisis at border afflicts heartland harvest

The heated tempers of the nation’s border states are driving the debate over immigration policy. States farther away from the U.S.-Mexico border, though, are reckoning with a different set of challenges: a skimpy agriculture labor market and cumbersome immigrant-worker programs that go unfixed amid partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill.

The Sacramento Bee
Latinos move up, from picking in fields to running the farm

Latinos move up, from picking in fields to running the farm

When he was 15, an immigration raid at a Japanese flower nursery turned Arturo Flores’ life around.


Sergio Silva, left, and Adrian Espinoza, who are business partners at Rancho Espinoza in Salinas, examine a bouquet of flowers from their farm. Farming businesses in the United States are still dominated by whites,...

The Sacramento Bee
Long-standing marriage goes sour for UC Davis, strawberry industry

Long-standing marriage goes sour for UC Davis, strawberry industry

The imminent departure of UC Davis’ two strawberry breeders, who are forming their own company, has prompted a lawsuit over the future of strawberry research at the university.


Mary Delany, a UC Davis associate agriculture dean, and Garry Pearson, a superintendent, examine one of the 1,500 strawberry mother plants from...

Foothill Agrarian
Does Small = Sustainable?

Aug 14, 2014
Does Small = Sustainable?

Several weeks ago, a friend and farmers’ market customer brought someone to the ranch who is interested in starting his own sheep operation in Mexico.  As we were talking about production practices and animal husbandry, I asked him about how big his ranch was and about how many animals...

California Rice Commission
Cultivating new consumers in Japan

Cultivating new consumers in Japan

Several efforts are underway to attract more California Rice consumers in Japan. Chris Crutchfield writes about a chef’s competition starring Sacramento Valley Calrose Rice. Read his blog

The Sacramento Bee
Impact of Russia’s ban on U.S. poultry small, unless it’s your chickens

Impact of Russia’s ban on U.S. poultry small, unless it’s your chickens

Russian retaliatory sanctions announced this week against U.S. and European agricultural products are minuscule in the grand scheme of global trade but are hardly paltry for poultry producers in the Carolinas and across the South to Texas. Chicke...

Foothill Agrarian
El Nino – or La Nada – Preparing for a Fourth Year of Drought

Aug 7, 2014
El Nino – or La Nada – Preparing for a Fourth Year of Drought

Disclosure: I borrowed the term "La Nada" from a friend who heard a weather forecaster say that we have three winter weather patterns in California - El Nino, La Nina and De Nada.  To me, La Nada (the nothing) makes more sense than De Nada (litera...

Foothill Agrarian
Ernie’s Progress – August 3, 2014

Aug 3, 2014
Ernie’s Progress – August 3, 2014

Another installment in the ongoing saga of Ernie the sheep dog!Ernie put in a full day's work today.  We started by hauling lambs back to leased pasture (we'd sheared them yesterday).  Ernie brought them from the trailer to the paddock with n...

Foothill Agrarian
Bugs

Aug 2, 2014

I think it's impossible to work outdoors and not interact with bugs - insects, spiders, etc.  This week has been a reminder!Towards the end of summer, we start seeing praying manti - riding the sheep, climing the fences, perching on the tall grass...

The Sacramento Bee
USDA announces 1st update to poultry inspection rules since 1957

USDA announces 1st update to poultry inspection rules since 1957

The new rules require plants to conduct their own testing and sampling of birds for the first time for food-borne pathogens such as campylobacter and salmonella, at least twice during the production process. Chickens

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