March 30, 2013 |
Other states have long poached California manufacturers and jobs. Now they're coming for the cows. Seizing on the plight of the state's dairy industry, which is beset by high feed costs and low milk prices, nearly a dozen states are courting Golden State dairy farmers. The pitch: cheaper farm land, lower taxes, fewer environmental regulations and higher prices for their milk. At the World Ag Expo, a behemoth trade show held in Tulare County last month, nine states had recruitment booths on the ground's Dairy Center.
February 26, 2013
Re “ Business owners get vocal on immigration ,” Feb. 23 Although this excellent article clearly demonstrated what a tough issue immigration policy is, it failed to address the hypocrisy of business owners like dairy farmer Joe Wright. Here's a staunch Republican who would do away with the food stamps program, school lunches and unemployment insurance. But he sure needs his low-wage Latino workforce, the very same low-wage families who qualify for food stamps and subsidized school lunch programs.
February 23, 2013 |
AVON PARK, Fla. -- A dairy operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There's always someone needed to herd and milk the cows, tend to sick animals and clean up after healthy ones. The work must be done in the heat of a Florida summer and the chill of the early morning hours. When the economy is strong, farmer Joe Wright says it's nearly impossible to fill jobs on a dairy. That's why he's a vocal supporter of immigration reform; he says he needs a steady supply of workers from overseas.
February 13, 2013 |
TULARE, Calif. -- The annual World Ag Expo held in Tulare opened its gates to thousands of visitors Tuesday and organizers expect the three-day event to draw about 100,000 visitors, pumping millions of dollars into the Central Valley county's economy. Billed as the largest agricultural exposition of its kind in the world, the event is part county fair and part trade show. The massive event draws farmers and others interested in the latest cost-saving technologies or new agricultural practices. Vendors brought massive tractors, work trucks, tomato harvesters and all sorts of gadgets to the sprawling 2.6 million square feet of exhibiting space. "Not only do buyers and sellers come together at World Ag Expo to do business, but agricultural producers also attend the show to expand their knowledge of agricultural issues, production methods and international trade," said Jerry Sinift, the International Agri-Center's chief executive officer. One thing, however, was clear at the expo: Dairy is king.
January 23, 2013 |
For months, state dairy producers had urged the California Department of Food and Agriculture to raise prices paid for milk and dairy products. And on Tuesday, the state agency agreed to raise prices by as much as 30 cents per hundredweight for certain dairy products. That's roughly 3 cents per gallon as there are about 12 gallons in one hundredweight, as milk is measured in the industry. But farmers Wednesday said the new prices are still too low, calling the change "too little, too late.
October 11, 2012 |
An Idaho dairy farm linked to Burger King, In-N-Out and other food companies has been accused by an animal rights group of “some of the most abusive treatment of animals” it had ever seen. Undercover video footage (warning: images may be disturbing) provided by Mercy For Animals shows employees at Bettencourt Dairies, which has more than 60,000 cows, stomping on and beating cattle, twisting their tails and using a tractor to drag one animal by its chained neck. The Murtaugh, Idaho, dairy works with cheese producers and suppliers, which in turn have deals with fast-food chains.
July 19, 2012 |
Mayor Bloomberg strikes again. In his latest move to curb obesity, New York's mayor has asked grocers in the Bronx, where 70% of the residents are obese or overweight , to push the sale of fruits and vegetables over junk food. Instead of chips and candy at the checkout counter, customers at 80 participating stores will find healthy snacks. Bloomberg's new initiative comes on the heels of banning super-sized sodas and trans-fats before that. Next, he'll launch an ad campaign targeted at people who shop with food stamps.
July 13, 2012 |
Congress wants to ditch the usual subsidies for dairy farmers and replace them with a new type of insurance to protect farmers' bottom lines during hard times. But some California dairymen aren't lapping it up. The measure would replace outright subsidies with a voluntary insurance plan to pay farmers enough to maintain a profit margin when milk prices drop too low. Farms that opt into the insurance plan, however, would be required to produce less milk whenever prices fall below a certain point, based on the idea that a glut of milk forces prices down.
May 18, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO -- State agriculture officials have lifted a ban on sales of raw milk by Organic Pastures, a Fresno dairy. The California Department of Food and Agriculture imposed the quarantine May 10 after inspections found harmful bacteria in samples of butter, cream and cow manure from the dairy's herd. The prohibition ended Friday morning after the facility was certified as meeting all state food safety and sanitation requirements. Organic Pastures' website immediately announced that it would soon restart distribution to stores and told customers that they could come to the dairy to buy milk immediately.
May 2, 2012
Mad cow disease has the power to terrify, but at this point, U.S. consumers have far more to fear from other sources of food poisoning. There have been no human deaths from eating mad-cow-tainted beef in this country. Meanwhile, other food-borne illnesses kill 3,000 Americans a year; close to 400 die from salmonella alone, according to a 2011 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. That said, there's still reason for concern about this country's efforts to prevent mad cow - formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy - despite federal officials' rosy statements after a California dairy cow was discovered to have the disease.