"WAPA is a proactive, professional organization that focusses on continuous improvement, protection, and promotion of the ag industry. For Valley Harvest Nut, WAPA has assisted us in setting up our LOTO program, updating our SOPs, and even connected us with proper attorneys for legal matters. They have helped by offering informative workshops from labor laws to forklift training and their well-organized annual conference is full of top-notch presenters who provide current industry information. Roger and Elda are prompt to return calls, eager to assist in solving work issues, and willing to meet with politicians to educate them about our ag industry."

- Janine Runnels, Valley Harvest Nut Company

"We have been members for 3 years and have found WAPA a very useful tool. They have assisted us in several ways over the years and are truly appreciated. Recently we utilized Safety trainings such as Heat Illness, First Aid/CPR and Lockout/Tagout. WAPA Team are very professional, knowledgeable and exceptional trainers. Not only does WAPA care, its been our pleasure to be Members."

- Jeff Capra, Heart Ridge Farms & Elk Ridge Almonds

"Roger Isom and his staff at WAPA are a TREMENDOUS help to us with local and state regulatory issues, air permitting, safety training and documentation. They keep us updated on the forever changing governmental rules and regulations. WAPA staff is very professional and courteous at all times. Thank you Roger, Elda and everyone else at WAPA!"

- Ron Leach, The Hulling Company

"We are proud members of WAPA and recognize Roger and his staff as the "go to" organization addressing any and all issues effecting almonds and all other tree nuts in California.Their representation, when advocating on our behalf in Sacramento and at the Federal level, is critical for our success and I feel our future existence. Additionally, their vast expertise on safety, air quality and burdensome over regulation is without comparison to any other organization representing our industry. They do an exemplary job!"

- Michael Kelley, President & CEO, Central California Almond Growers Association

"I first became aware of WAPA in 2010 while working on the permitting of a new walnut hulling facility. San Joaquin air quality district became bogged down in their attempt to understand the new equipment. Roger Isom took over worked with the manufacturer and the agency to resolve the stalemate, within weeks the "Authority to Construct" was issued. I also received several thousand dollars back form the agency due the fact that the staff at WAPA did much of the permit calculation for the air district"

- Mark Kazarian, Tule River Cooperative

"Just a short note to tell how much we appreciate WAPA's help in our propane project. Without WAPA's help and direction we very well may have failed. Our whole almond industry and JBT will be able to provide a safer food for consumers of our products thanks to WAPA's help."

- Martin Pohl, President, Hughson Nut

"Becoming a member of WAPA has been some of the best money we ever spent. WAPA has saved us a great deal of money as well as saving us from the headaches. For example, our walnut dehydrating season is Sept.-Oct., which our engines have to be tested in two separate quarters. WAPA succeeded in negotiating with the SJVAPCD to a season basis, which is a big saving. Just in this past year, WAPA will have saved us around $5 to $7 thousand dollars"

"Being a member of WAPA has given processors such as us somewhere we can go to when there is a problem or question. Outside sources are changing the regulation and laws each day. Being associated with WAPA has given us the confidence that we will continue being in business. Thank you WAPA for being there for us!"

- Jim Hamilton, Owner, Hamilton Ranches, Inc

"I may be new to the Almond Industry but I will never cut my ties with your group.” “Roger you and your staff continue to pull the rabbit out of the hat. This is why all almond hullers should be members.” “Do take credit for all your work on the YARD TRUCKS and see that every almond huller knows what you and your staff have done."

- Don Van Schuyver, Manager, Semi-Tropic Coop Gin and Almond Huller

"Fantastic work. Awesome! Thanks so much for your outstanding work on behalf of your members."
"I really enjoyed the board meeting yesterday. As always, it was very informative and helpful. I just wanted you and your staff to know how much I appreciate all of you and your Herculean efforts. I don't know how you guys do all you do with such a small staff, but your efforts are both worthwhile and vital."
"I'm very grateful we are WAPA members!"

- Don Barton, Partner, Gold River Orchards

"Having a partner like WAPA is a big help when it comes to OSHA compliance and safety training. You guys are doing a good thing. Keep it up."

- Jonathon Hoff, Monte Vista Farming Company

"I love the services WAPA provides!"

- Lisa Robles, Turkhan Foods

"This particular HACCP class was invaluable to me for the establishment of a fundamental understanding of a HACCP plan. Cliff Pappas presented the material in an organized, concise manner. His years of experience contributed to the wonderful wealth of information. I appreciate WAPA for providing opportunities for professional growth that I have been unable to find elsewhere at the time I really needed it. Thank you."

- unknown survey respondent from WAPA/AIB HACCP Class

Welcome to WAPA

Governor Signs Ag Overtime Bill

Ignoring the pleas of real farmworkers and the agricultural industry, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed AB 1066, the ag overtime legislation. This means that California will have the most stringent trigger of any state in the country for overtime for farmworkers, with 45 states having no overtime protection at all. The Governor signed this bill, supposedly to bring “equality to all workers”, yet taxi cab drivers, commercial fishermen, car salesmen, student nurses, computer programmers, and carnival workers all work without any overtime provisions whatsoever. The Governor signed this ag overtime bill in the same year that minimum wage legislation was also passed that will take California to the highest minimum wage as well as legislation forcing California to adopt additional greenhouse gas regulations for businesses in California. California is the only state in the country subject to such regulations. Today’s signing occurred despite numerous requests by the agricultural industry to meet with the Governor to discuss our concerns. The message is clear. California simply doesn’t care. These provisions will be phased in over the next few years ending with the overtime provisions to be triggered at 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.

In the Beginning As folks transitioned out of cotton and into tree nuts, the industry recognized the need to have active and effective representation at the local, state and national levels. Having enjoyed such effective representation over the years from the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations, these folks yearned for the same representation in the tree nut processing industry. Issues such as air quality, food safety, labor, taxes, employee safety, and environmental concerns are at the forefront, and there is a significant need for an aggressive and dynamic Association to lead the industry into the next decade and beyond. In recognition of this, the Western Agricultural Processors Association was created in 2009. The Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA) shares staff and office space with the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations taking advantage of a unique and opportunistic situation. WAPA is a voluntary dues organization with four shared staff and one dedicated staff person. Regulatory, legislative and legal issues fall under the purview of this new organization for the tree nut processing industry, which includes almonds, pecans, pistachios and walnuts. From air quality permits to conditional use permits, from regulatory hearings on greenhouse gases to federal legislation on food safety, and from OSHA violations to assisting members on hazardous materials business plans, no issue is too small or too large for WAPA. WAPA has assembled one of the best and most capable staffs in the industry, and the results are already starting to show Membership The Western Agricultural Processors Association represents facilities involved in the processing of almonds, pecans, pistachios and walnuts.Membership in the Association is classified as Regular memberships are limited to almond hullers or processors, pecan and pistachio processors, and walnut dehydrators and processors. Associate memberships are limited to any individual or business entity which is not engaged in agricultural processing, but which provides products or services directly related to the agricultural processing industry. WAPA Associate members include, but are not limited to, commodity brokers, accounting firms, and insurance brokers. Organization The Western Agricultural Processors Association is governed by a Board of Directors, elected by its membership.The Board consists of up to 15 members from throughout the state, and throughout the industry.The Board meets on a quarterly basis and conducts an Annual Meeting in the spring of each year.WAPA, in conjunction with the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations, conducts a special training school for its members focused on safety.In combination with the school, the Association holds a Labor Management Seminar for all of the managers. Consulting Services In researching and considering the concept of forming a new organization, the Boards of Directors for the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations instructed staff to perform some of the work on a consulting basis first. The point was to determine the workload from consulting and to determine if there was sufficient interest. In November of 2007, the Association began conducting services under consulting contracts for such services as air quality permits and safety plans.The effort has been so successful that demand has progressed outside the tree nut industry into other agricultural processing facilities, including vegetable dehydration facilities, tomato processing facilities, and wheat mills, as well as cotton gins in Arizona.It was determined by the new Board of Directors of WAPA, that WAPA would maintain the consulting services to provide offsetting income to help with the expenses of getting the new organization up and running.Today, WAPA provides for a long list of satisfied clients in the agricultural processing industry, by providing critical services such as air quality, safety, food safety, and environmental issues (Hazardous Materials Business Plan, Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plans, etc.).