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International Friends Visit the Central Valley

To aid in opening and maintaining global markets, Almond Board of California (ABC) often hosts delegations from overseas. Visits provide an overview of the California Almond industry and often include tours and meetings with the board of directors, ABC staff, almond growers and processors.  Two such visits recently occurred. In one, Almond Board was contacted by Club DEMETER, an association founded in 1987 by the agriculture and agro-food sector in France, whose annual travel seminar brought them to California this year. During their stay in the Central Valley, facilitated by the California Farm Bureau, they visited with individuals in the wine, dairy and almond industries as well as with government officials, including CDFA Secretary Karen Ross and Representatives John Garamendi (D) and Ami Bera (D).       Julie Adam, vice president, global technical and regulatory      affairs, with the Egyptian delegation. During Club DEMETER’s visit with Almond Board, they met with Bob Curtis, director, agricultural affairs, and Spencer Cooper, senior manager, irrigation and water efficiency, to learn about the California Almond industry and our successful irrigation practices. ABC board member Dave Phippen and Sarge Green of the California Water Institute met with them as well. Finally, the 50-member delegation finished their almond visit with an orchard tour. During the second visit, the Almond Board hosted a group of Egyptian tree nut import companies, bakeries and confectioners as part of the USDA Cochran Program. They, too, came to learn about the almond industry and the other tree crops grown in California. After meeting with ABC board members and staff, they met with Daniel Bays, a grower from Patterson, and visited his orchard.
Meeting with the Egyptian delegation
Newsletter Item
// Government Affairs

New CASP Modules Online and at Workshops

The California Almond Sustainability1 Program (CASP) is introducing three new modules with the start of the year, focused on sustainable management practices for growers, huller/shellers and processors in the areas of financial management, ecosystem management, and workplace and communities. The Almond Board of California (ABC) will host a series of self-assessment workshops on the new modules throughout almond production regions during 2015. For growers and processors in the Sacramento Valley, a Sustainability Event will be held immediately following the Almond Institute at the Chico Masonic Family Life Center, 1110 W. East Ave. in Chico, on Jan. 27 from 12:15 to 2 p.m. Additional workshops will be announced on the Almond Board website under the “Getting Involved” tab as they are planned. As with previous modules, ABC’s Gabriele Ludwig said industry participation through module self-assessment will be key to gathering meaningful data on industry practices. The Almond Board has relied on CASP data to dispel myths about almond irrigation and fertilization practices that appeared in news stories about the drought. “The data we have gathered through the California Almond Sustainability Program was critical this year as we worked to counter often erroneous reporting on water use in almonds,” Ludwig said. “As we roll out these new modules, participation in CASP by a broad cross-section of California Almond growers, huller/shellers and processors will continue to be important in managing the reputation of California Almonds among buyers and consumers in the future.” Participation also provides the industry with continuous feedback on how operations align with successful management practices and industry standards. The new CASP modules, which will add to existing modules on irrigation management, nutrient management, energy efficiency, air quality and pest management, have been through peer and external-expert review. The new modules are also available for online assessments. The new modules are: Financial Management Developed with funds from a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, the Financial Management module highlights management practices, such as a succession plan, to help ensure an economically sustainable business. Ecosystem Management Also developed with funding from a Specialty Crop Block Grant, this module looks at surrounding landscapes associated with orchards, huller/shellers and processor operations. An ecosystem is a complex of living organisms and the physical environment interacting and functioning together. Properly managed agricultural ecosystems can provide a win-win for agricultural productivity and the environment, according to Dr. Joe Browde with SureHarvest, which has helped launch and direct the Almond Board’s Sustainability Program. Included practices capitalize on these interactions by optimizing water availability and water quality, nutrient availability as well as nutrient cycling, and biodiversity. Workplace and Communities Funded by the Almond Board’s Environmental Committee, the Workplace and Communities module focuses on management practices for ensuring a safe, healthy and satisfactory environment for neighbors and employees that helps drive business success. 1. Sustainable almond farming utilizes production practices that are economically viable and are based upon scientific research, common sense and a respect for the environment, neighbors and employees. The result is a plentiful, nutritious and safe food product.
Newsletter Item
// Environmental Sustainability

Undersecretary Ibach’s First Visit to California in New Role

Undersecretary Ibach visits with California FFA students at the Almond Board booth at The Conference.   Almond Board of California (ABC) was very pleased to welcome the newly appointed Mr. Greg Ibach, undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to the 2017 Almond Conference. In addition to attending Conference, Mr. Ibach visited the University of California Agricultural Issues Center (AIC), both stops being part of what was his first trip to California as undersecretary.  ABC, a Federal Marketing Order, is under the supervision of the USDA, specifically, the Agricultural Marketing Service agency. Mr. Ibach toured The Almond Conference trade show floor, meeting with industry members at their many booths and viewing new harvesting equipment. He also attended the luncheon featuring Steve Forbes, after which he met with ABC Board of Directors and other industry members. Their meeting provided an opportunity to talk about the Almond Board’s programs, its partnership with USDA and key issues facing the California Almond industry. The undersecretary was pleased to see many FFA students who volunteer each year at The Almond Conference, and he met with them to discuss their futures in agriculture. Mr. Ibach also met with some 2017 Almond Leadership Program participants, who explained how the program prepares individuals for leadership positions in the California Almond industry. ABC looks forward to working with Mr. Ibach and his staff both in California and Washington, D.C.
Undersecretary Ibach visits with California FFA
Newsletter Item
// About the Almond Industry
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