Asm. Blanca Rubio Tours Almond Huller

California Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D-48) joined the Western Agricultural Processors Association and other members of the Agricultural President’s Council on a day long tour of agriculture in the Central San Joaquin Valley. Rubio, who represents areas including Baldwin Park, Covina, Glendora and Azsu, had the opportunity to visit Minturn Huller Coop, The Specialty Crop Company, Fowler Packing as well as Dos Palos Coop Red Top Gin. The Assemblywoman was joined by Association President/CEO Roger Isom, Director of Technical Services Chris McGlothlin, Director of Regulatory Affairs Jodi Raley, and Safety Specialist Priscilla Rodriguez. The primary issues discussed were water availability, necessary oversight from legislature over regulatory agencies, along with discussing the impacts operations are beginning to feel from the ag overtime and minimum wage bills. The Association looks forward to building our relationship with this Assemblywoman and future opportunities to bring southern California representatives to the Valley!

 

Association Continues Work for Electric ATV Incentive Program

Last month the Association, in working with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD), solicited potential participants for an Electric ATV Incentive Program, in which the SJVAPCD would pay 75% of the cost of an electric ATV to replace old fuel fired ATVs. The list of participants was submitted with the District’s application for funding and the funds are anticipated to be approved next month with the hopes of issuing vouchers for the replacements at the beginning of 2018. The Association continues to see this project through. President/CEO Roger Isom, Director of Technical Services Chris McGlothlin and Director of Regulatory Affairs Jodi Raley met with an ATV dealer to learn more about how electric ATVs operate and the feasibility of electric equipment on a farming operation. After lengthy discussion and a demo, it seems incredibly promising! We will continue to be engaged in seeing this program come to fruition so stay tuned!

    

WAPA Continues the Fight on Tractor Rule

This past week, WAPA President/CEO Roger Isom testified before the California Air Resources Board touting the success of the incentives approach to replacing tractors and harvesters in an effort to stave off a mandatory replacement regulation for tractors and harvesters.  It was yet another hearing/meeting in a two-year process for CARB and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.  CARB announced they are now looking at putting a firm date in place by which all Tier 0 and Tier 1 engine equipped tractors and harvesters would have to be replaced. Those dates were not announced and Isom encouraged the board to allow the incentives to work. Isom also briefed the board on the huge influx of money coming from the recent Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) budget bill that was passed that will being $135 million in incentive funding for agricultural equipment. This is very significant and should be allowed to be utilized first, Isom stated. The latest timeline has the Air District adopting the State Implementation Plan (SIP) in December and CARB will consider the plan in March. 

Association Engages with Ray Starling, Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Trade and Food Assistance

The Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA) participated in Ag Industry meeting with Ray Starling, Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Trade and Food Assistance at the Fresno County Farm Bureau yesterday. Representing the Association at this meeting event were Director of Technical Services Christopher McGlothlin and Safety Specialist Priscilla Rodriguez. Issues discussed include regulatory reform, labor, trade, water, infrastructure and food safety. Special Assistant Sterling is on a several day tour of California Agriculture and was eager to hear our concerns. WAPA Safety Specialist, Priscilla Rodriguez, was called upon to provide an overview of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  Rodriguez discussed the difficulties and confusion surrounding applicability of the rules to the various agricultural facilities and businesses that would be subject to Preventative Controls Rule versus the Produce Safety Rule. She also explained the urgent need for the issue to be resolved and for draft guidance of the Produce Safety Rule to be issued as the initial compliance date is only four months away. Special Assistant Sterling was very understanding of the confusion regarding the rule, and vowed to look into this issue and how the administration can help.”