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Drink Your Peas, Please!

USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist and director of the Western Regional Research Center (Albany, CA), Tara McHugh and her team in the Healthy Processed Foods Research Unit are experts at solving food-manufacturing problems. Using cutting-edge processing technologies, they have helped numerous small businesses, such as Ripple Foods, turn ideas into products for the consumer. ARS is helping Ripple Foods optimize its current pea protein drying process to …

National Cucurbit Project Reupped for $7.1 Million

The Cucurbit Coordinated Agricultural Project (CucCAP), a multi-institution, nationwide research and outreach initiative led by Michigan State University and dedicated to cucurbit crops — cucumbers, squashes, melons and watermelon — has been awarded $7.1 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative. The new funding extends the project that began in 2015 for four years. The goals …

Using Satellites to Improve Sustainability, Yield

Two of the nation’s great agricultural regions are the focus of new research that aims to head off emerging threats and improve sustainability. Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are joining colleagues to create and use artificial intelligence to help farmers in the Colorado River Basin and Salinas Valley, CA, improve their management of irrigation, fertilization, and pests. USDA’s National Institute of …

Western Growers Hires Robert Medler as New Arizona Government Affairs Manager

Western Growers (WG) is pleased to announce the addition of Robert Medler as Arizona Government Affairs Manager. Medler brings nearly 15 years of government relations experience and will represent the most influential specialty crop producers in the fresh produce industry in the Arizona State Capitol. “We are very excited to have Robert joining Western Growers’ State Government Affairs team,” said …

Western Growers Inaugurates Next Generation of Agricultural Leaders

To identify and prepare the next generation of Western Growers (WG) members for positions of leadership within the Western fresh produce industry, WG has inaugurated the sixth class of the Future Volunteer Leaders Program (FVLP). This year, for the first time in program history, the FVLP welcomes a future leader from Colorado, which became the third membership state in the …

Agriculture and Business Coalition Challenge Cal/OSHA Emergency Standards to Protect Nation’s Food Supply

A coalition of agricultural and business employers has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court challenging the COVID-19 related emergency temporary standards (ETS) recently approved by the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Board). The complaint alleges, among other things, that the Board lacks statutory authority to impose many of the sweeping measures of the ETS on California …

White Strawberry One of Two New Varieties Ready for Harvest Season

Enjoy the following article featuring two new strawberry varieties out of the University of Florida that may prove to be of value to West Coast growers in the near future. A white strawberry? Not red? Yes, you “read” that right. And it smells a little like a pineapple. It’s also novel in that it’s the first white strawberry to go …

The Health Benefits of Fermented Vegetables

Dr. Ilenys Perez-Diaz (IP) is a Microbiologist with the Food Science and Market Quality and Handling Research Unit in Raleigh, NC. Her work involves research into microbes present during the fermentation and acidification of vegetables, and had some interesting things to share with the USDA-ARS in their Under the Microscope (UM) Q&A blog. UM – As a microbiologist, how does your work …

GSA Expands Farm Worker COVID-Prevention Training Program to Yuma

Replicating another of its Salinas Valley programs, the Grower Shipper Association of Central California (GSA) has established a COVID-19 training prevention program for food facility and farm employees in the Yuma in cooperation with the Regional Center for Border Health clinic. The program brings health professionals directly to work sites to provide multi-lingual information on virus prevention practices while on the …

California Horticulture Sales Reach $2.63 Billion in 2019

On Tuesday, December 8, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the 2019 Census of Horticultural Specialties report, the only source of detailed production and sales data for floriculture, nursery, and specialty crops for the entire United States. The data show that horticulture operations in California sold a total of $2.63 billion in floriculture, nursery and …

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