Farmworker safety agency is needed in California, says report – October 19, 2021

Farmworker safety agency is needed in California, says report

The pandemic “simply became another life-threatening hazard” among many facing Indigenous farmworkers in California, said a report released on Monday. Based on surveys and interviews of more than 300 workers, the report called for the creation of a state agency dedicated to enforcing agricultural safety rules.

Batcha to leave OTA in early 2022

After seven years as chief executive, Laura Batcha plans to leave the Organic Trade Association next spring as the industry enjoys record food sales. With sales of $56.5 billion last year, certified organic food accounts for nearly 6 percent of the total U.S. grocery market.

Keep climate-smart agriculture in ‘Build Back Better’ bill, say lawmakers

While Democratic leaders in Congress are trying to scale down the cost of President Biden’s social welfare and climate change bill, it is important to make “bold investments … that expand climate-smart agriculture practices,” said two House Democrats. The members of the House Agriculture Committee said the money should be funneled through voluntary programs already offered by the USDA.

Today’s Quick Hits

Deere negotiations resume: Four days after union workers went on strike, negotiators from Deere and Co. and the UAW met to discuss a resolution of the strike and a long-term labor contract. (Quad City Times)

Controlling PFAS contamination: EPA administrator Michael Regan announced a “comprehensive roadmap” to curtail contamination by PFAS, the so-called forever chemicals, that includes drinking water limits and steps to reduce release of the chemicals. (EPA)

Driest in a century: California averaged 11.9 inches of precipitation in the water year that ended Sept. 30, making this the driest water year in a century with half of the usual amount. (Los Angeles Times)

HSUS sues Smithfield: Humane Society of the United States says in a lawsuit that Smithfield Foods, the country’s largest pork producer, misled consumers by failing to eliminate gestation crates at company-owned farms. (Farm Progress)

An almond joy: Years of work by USDA scientists paid off with Yorizane, an almond variety that is self-pollinating, unlike almost all other commercial almond trees. (ARS)

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