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September 6, 2009 | Mike Madison, Mike Madison operates a family farm in the Sacramento Valley.
The mechanization of farming, which has been chugging along for about 200 years, continues in its slow and irregular way. A few crops -- blueberries, olives, pomegranates -- have recently been added to the list of those that can be harvested by a machine instead of by human hand. A few tractors have been rigged with steering that is guided by satellites. But for the most part, the technological revolution that has affected so many other professions has bypassed farming. This is not because there aren't clever people working on farming technology or because farmers are too conservative to adopt new devices.
April 16, 2014 | By Brady MacDonald
A long-overdue renovation of the Calico Mine Ride will introduce state-of-the-art technology to the first major Knott's Berry Farm attraction while preserving the groundbreaking work of a legendary theme park innovator. Photos: Calico Mine Ride at Knott's Berry Farm After transporting more than a million riders a year over the past half century, the 1960 Calico Mine Ride at the Buena Park theme park is undergoing a complete overhaul that will see the addition of nearly 50 animatronic figures as well as technical and structural upgrades to the seven-story manmade mountain.
January 6, 2010 | By Russ Parsons
One of the more pleasing developments of the last decade has been the long-overdue beginning of a national conversation about food -- not just the arcane techniques used to prepare it and the luxurious restaurants in which it is served, but, much more important, how it is grown and produced. The only problem is that so far it hasn't been much of a conversation. Instead, what we have are two armed camps deeply suspicious of one another shouting past each other (sound familiar?). On the one side, the hard-line aggies seem convinced that a bunch of know-nothing urbanites want to send them back to Stone Age farming techniques.
April 11, 2014 | By David Karp
DOS PALOS, Calif. - Bagged rice may look like a mundane commodity, a bit incongruous at a local farmers market. But one taste of the variety grown by Koda Farms - with attractive, uniform kernels, alluring fragrance, soft texture and a rich, sweet flavor - makes clear that rice can be a delicacy well worth pursuing. "Their brown rice is different from what is produced in Japan, but has its own unique, nutty flavor," said Sonoko Sakai, a locally based cooking teacher who frequently travels to Japan and represents traditional Japanese rice growers in the United States.
July 6, 2010 | By Mary MacVean, Los Angeles Times
After Colin Archipley and his wife sold their tiny Venice house and bought 2 acres of land in Escondido in 2005, he started caring for the 200 avocado trees on the land just because they were there. That turned out to be a catalyst for a new life for the Iraq war veteran. After leaving the Marines in 2006, Archipley, 29, had a vision of replicating the teamwork and proficiency of his military colleagues. He found that business: Archi's Acres now grows herbs and greens — and avocadoes — on 6 acres, some of which he owns and some of which he rents, selling at farmers markets and to Whole Foods and other retailers.
December 6, 2010 | By Kenji Hall, Los Angeles Times
Yoshikatsu Mochida strolls between the long, green rows of his field, pausing occasionally to inspect the mustard spinach and garland chrysanthemums that have grown shin-high. They are ready to be harvested. But the 66-year-old Japanese farmer won't pick them. That's because the field is his, but the crops aren't. For more than a year, Mochida has divided some of his farmland on the outskirts of Yokohama into 8 feet by 40 feet plots, renting 70 of them to urbanites who come once a week to tend their crops.
March 14, 1999
Re "Pesticides and Public Health," letters, March 7. I find myself thoroughly confused. People vote for Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources (SOAR) laws to preserve open space and farmland, then want to shut down the agriculture business to "protect" themselves from farming, because farmers use pesticides too close to residential communities. Non-farmers know pesticides are unnecessary because they have read papers on organic farming and are now experts in agriculture. I'm sure farming is difficult enough considering the vagaries of weather, irrigation concerns, maintaining arable soil (plus a host of other things to which I plead ignorance)
April 27, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Analyzing DNA from four ancient skeletons and comparing it with thousands of genetic samples from living humans, a group of Scandinavian scientists reported that agriculture initially spread through Europe because farmers expanded their territory northward, not because the more primitive foragers already living there adopted it on their own. The genetic profiles of three Neolithic hunter-gatherers and one farmer who lived in the same region of...
May 19, 1989 | From Reuters
The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday proposed a bold plan that aims to make farming less harmful to the environment by halving the use of pesticides and insecticides within 10 years. Agriculture Minister Gerrit Braks said he wanted to steer Dutch farming away from the use of chemical fertilizers toward organic, ecologically friendly techniques. He said the use of some chemicals will be taxed, and the more toxic ones will be banned. The government plans to double spending on ecologically safe agriculture to $215 million a year in the next five years.
April 29, 1987 | CARL INGRAM, Times Staff Writer
State Food and Agriculture Director Clare Berryhill, a charter member of Gov. George Deukmejian's Cabinet and an aggressive promoter of California farm exports, resigned Tuesday, effective May 22. Deukmejian, who made the announcement in a prepared statement released by his office, did not name a successor to the 61-year-old Berryhill, a rough-hewn grower and former state legislator known for his candor.
April 10, 2014 | By David Pierson
More than two months after declaring the outbreak over, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said an additional 43 people have been sickened by strains of salmonella linked to Foster Farms poultry. The new cases were reported between late February and March 18, bringing the total number of people sickened by the year-old national outbreak to 524, the CDC said Wednesday . The outbreak first surfaced last October when the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a health alert warning consumers of salmonella linked to three Foster Farms processing facilities in Central California.
April 10, 2014 | By Shan Li
Swedish home goods giant Ikea Group is investing in its first wind farm in the U.S., joining a parade of other companies that are venturing into the renewable energy sector. The company purchased Hoopeston Wind, an energy project under construction in Illinois. The wind farm is expected to be up and running by the first half of 2015. Apex Clean Energy, a green power company in Charlottesville, Va., is building and running the project. PHOTOS: World's most expensive cities Steve Howard, chief sustainability offer at Ikea, said the investment will be good for the company's business and the nation's energy independence.
April 5, 2014 | By Noelle Carter
Dear SOS: At Mendocino Farms, they make this incredible cold couscous salad that's out-of-this-world yummy. I don't usually like couscous, but there is something great about this cold yet tangy summer salad. If possible, could you track it down? Doris Perl Sherman Oaks Dear Doris: Even if we haven't formally hit summer just yet, this brightly colorful and refreshing couscous salad from Mendocino Farms is a perfect way to celebrate the warmer weather we've been experiencing lately.
March 26, 2014 | By David Pierson
The Food and Drug Administration said 25 of 26 drug companies that were asked to phase out antibiotics to promote growth in farm animals have agreed to comply with the agency's voluntary plan. The development announced Wednesday clears a major hurdle in the FDA's push to combat growing human resistance to antibiotics because of their overuse. Farms use about 80% of the nation's antibiotics supply, sometimes in healthy animals to speed up growth or prevent illness in unsanitary conditions.
March 25, 2014 | By Diana Marcum
FRESNO -- More than 1,000 farm workers are expected in Delano on Tuesday night to watch the first feature film about Cesar Chavez. The film, directed by Diego Luna and starring Michael Pena as Chavez, is set in the 10 years surrounding the grape boycotts that began in the Kern County farm town in the 1960s. The film will screen outdoors at the Forty Acres , a parcel of land on Delano's outskirts that is now a National Historic Monument. It was here that Chavez's 1968 fast drew national attention to harsh working conditions in the fields.
March 20, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
SURPRISE, Ariz. - For Mike Scioscia , one question was enough. The Angels had just traded his son, in a headline-grabbing deal. They sent Matt Scioscia to the Chicago Cubs for Trevor Gretzky , son of Wayne Gretzky, the greatest player in hockey history. Scioscia offered a brief reaction to the trade on Thursday, after the Angels' 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals. "It's part of baseball," Scioscia said. "It's a good opportunity for Matt. " Scioscia cut off a follow-up question, about whether General Manager Jerry Dipoto had discussed the trade with the manager or simply informed him after its completion.
September 26, 1987 | BRUCE KEPPEL, Times Staff Writer
For the second time in a week, Castle & Cooke Inc. has agreed to buy the California agricultural operations of an oil and gas producer eager to pull out of farming and get back to its primary business. The parent of Dole Food Co. said Friday that it will pay Denver-based Apache Corp. $68 million and assume $24 million in farming debt. The deal will give the Westwood-based food and real estate holding company one of the state's largest independent processors of almonds and pistachios, T. M.
March 15, 2014 | By David Pierson
FALLON, Nev. - The dairy plant with its tangle of stainless steel pipes rises out of the parched landscape here like a beckoning oasis. Perched on the outskirts of this desert town dotted with small churches and roadside casinos, the factory represents a potential lifeline for nearly two dozen nearby dairy farmers. In a few weeks, every drop of milk collected from the surrounding farms will be brought to the plant and converted into fine powder inside a towering heating chamber specially made for the $85-million facility.
March 14, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
When you shop for food, are you thinking of your devotion to the environment or to animal welfare? Do your primary concerns involve allergies or genetically modified (GMO) ingredients? Even as the federal government is working to simplify food labels, manufacturers and marketers are increasingly adding icons to appeal to shoppers' priorities. Those efforts were front and center at the mammoth Natural Products Expo West, held last week at the Anaheim Convention Center, where tens of thousands of convention-goers examined thousands of products, ranging from those invented in home kitchens to items produced by major companies.
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