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CDFA Now Accepting Applications For State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP)

by CDFA

Posted on Thursday October 24, 2019, 7:15 pm

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), a competitive grant program that incentivizes farmers to invest in irrigation water and energy efficiency. Agricultural operations can apply for up to $100,000 for projects that involve improvements to irrigation systems, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save water.

Projects funded through SWEEP commonly include elements such as soil, plant or weather sensors; micro-irrigation systems; pump retrofits or replacements; renewable energy; and variable frequency drives – among others.

Applications are due Monday, December 16, 2019 at 5 p.m.

Potential applicants should review the application materials posted on the SWEEP webpage at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/sweep. A list of CDFA-contracted technica...

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Hemp Education & Marketing Pavilion to debut at 2020 World Ag Expo®

by World Ag Expo

Posted on Thursday October 24, 2019, 7:12 pm

Used in more than 25,000 products globally, industrial hemp was reintroduced to US agriculture thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. Interest in hemp has grown nationwide, and according to a December 2018 Forbes magazine article, is a “potential economic dynamo for American farmers.”

World Ag Expo®, one of the largest ag trade shows in the world, is taking on the hemp conversation in cooperation with Plant Growth Group, a consultancy in the hemp marketplace. A 9,400 square foot tent will house thirty 10’x10’ exhibitor spaces, and a seminar stage, on the south east side of the grounds at the February show.

World Ag Expo® kicks off the growing season for the world, so it’s the perfect time to get everyone focused on ag and finding the best options for their crops,” said Jerry Sinift, International Agri-Center® CEO. “This year, that includes educational se...

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Organic Farmers Foundation Works to Promote a New Generation of Growers

by USDA

Posted on Thursday October 24, 2019, 7:06 pm

Once a niche product, organic farming is the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. food industry. In fact, organic food today is a nearly $50 billion industry, employing 1.4 million people nationwide and more than 400,000 in California alone, according to the California Certified Organic Farmers Foundation (CCOF).

Driving that growth is rapidly growing consumer demand, noted Jessy Beckett Parr, the foundation’s director. She said four out of five American households today buy organic food each year, and the market is expected to grow because millennials make up 42% of organic consumers.

But despite the industry’s growth, farmers, processors and consumers still need to be educated about organic foods – how to grow and handle them, how to meet USDA certification and about the benefits of eating organic. Which is the mission of CCOF.

“Our organic ...

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California Dairy Families Celebrated American Cheese Month by Declaring State "Cheese & Wine Country"

by California Milk Advisory Board

Posted on Thursday October 24, 2019, 7:02 pm

October was American Cheese Month and California's dairy farmers renamed the state "Cheese and Wine Country" in recognition of the award-winning cheesemaking heritage that grew alongside its wine industry and pairing the state's most noteworthy specialties formally together in a new way.

While California is widely known for its winemaking roots, its history as a top cheesemaker is just as strong. The state's rich cheese history started 250 years ago when Friar Junipero Serra introduced cheesemaking to the missions in 1769. Today, California is the nation's number one producer of fluid milk, butter, ice cream and Hispanic-style cheeses and is the second largest producer of all cheese.

"Cheese and wine are a match made perfect in California," said Jennifer Giambroni, Director of Communications, California Milk Advisory Board/Real California Milk. "Like California ...

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USDA Provides Tips and Resources for a Bacteria-Free Thanksgiving

by USDA

Posted on Thursday October 24, 2019, 6:59 pm

More than 45 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving Day, with a never-ending list of side dishes and desserts. The Thanksgiving meal is by far the largest and most stressful meal many consumers prepare all year, leaving room for mistakes that can make guests sick. But never fear, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is available with tips and resources to make this Thanksgiving safe and stress-free. “Turkey and other meat and poultry may contain Salmonella and Campylobacter that can lead to serious foodborne illness,” said acting FSIS Administrator Paul Kiecker. “By properly handling and cooking your turkey, you can avoid these harmful pathogens and ensure your family has a safe and healthy Thanksgiving feast.” Begin by following these five steps: Wash your hands, but not your turkey Washing your hands before cooking is the si...

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