Ag Today February 12, 2021

Local ag looks to spotlight its climate-friendly profile [Bakersfield Californian]

The Kern County Farm Bureau issued a “call to action” this week asking local growers and ranchers to participate in a series of upcoming meetings that will influence the role California’s agricultural lands will be expected to play, or continue to play, in fighting climate change. Besides asking members to speak up at a series of online meetings the state is hosting this month, the bureau is collecting data it hopes will illustrate local ag producers’ “climate-conscious nature” with an eye toward ensuring private industry will continue managing its property “on a voluntary basis,” bureau President John C. Moore III said by email. … The president of the California Farm Bureau, Jamie Johansson, warned in a post Wednesday that anyone not at the table during the state meetings is “probably on the menu.”


US agency cancels Trump policy on conservation purchases [Associated Press]

U.S. Interior Department officials on Thursday canceled a Trump administration directive that gave local and state officials power to block purchases of land and water for conservation under a longstanding federal program. Acting Interior Secretary Scott de la Vega rescinded a November order from former Secretary David Bernhardt that had been criticized by Republicans and Democrats, who said the Trump administration ignored their wishes when it changed a program that’s paid for billions of dollars in conservation work over more than five decades.


County supes plead to governor for more Covid-19 vaccines [Hollister Free Lance]

San Benito County is home to some of the most vulnerable residents when it comes to the health impact of Covid-19—specifically, Latinos and farmworkers—but has received fewer vaccine doses per capita than most other counties in California, according to a Feb. 11 letter from the board of supervisors to Gov. Gavin Newsom. In the letter signed by all five supervisors, the county asks Newsom for “immediate assistance” from the state in allocating more vaccines to San Benito County. … “As a rural agricultural county, we expect an influx of migrant agricultural workers coming to our community shortly.”


County to open vaccines to teachers, police, farmworkers [Half Moon Bay Review]

San Mateo County announced Thursday it will open vaccine eligibility to the next phase of residents starting Feb. 22. That includes first responders, food and agriculture workers and teachers and child care providers. … At this week’s Board of Supervisors meeting, county officials called for high-risk essential workers to get vaccines as soon as possible. … Supervisor Don Horsley advocated for a targeted approach to reach farmworkers living in rural areas.


Shasta Livestock Auction Yard to hold last weekly sale [Klamath Falls Herald and News]

Livestock producers are witnessing the end of an era as Shasta Livestock Auction Yard in Cottonwood, Calif., — a legendary mainstay in the cattle industry for producers in locations throughout several western states — announced Feb. 2 that it will hold its last regular weekly sale at 9 a.m. Feb. 12. The Peek family, which owns the operation, stated in a press release that the shift away from regular weekly sales is “certainly not the end of Shasta Livestock’s involvement in livestock marketing.” Western Video Market has become a bigger part of the business over the years, offering customers the option of attending and bidding in livestock auctions virtually.


Opinion: Burgers are great. But make no mistake, they’re killing the planet [Los Angeles Times]

… I’m not a vegetarian or vegan, I enjoy a good burger or steak, and I remain unpersuaded by the emerging business of plant-based meat substitutes. Yet I couldn’t help but smirk when I read a recent report commissioned by the industry-funded Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board. Titled “Impacts of New Plant-Based Protein Alternatives on U.S. Beef Demand,” the report finds, not surprisingly, that “beef has a good image,” and that “consumers’ perceptions of taste, appearance, price and naturalness of beef greatly exceeds that for plant-based proteins.” … Hypocritical though it may seem, I want to take a moment to spell out why plant-based meat alternatives are a good thing and why they represent an important step toward addressing climate change and protecting the planet.


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