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Ag Today April 19, 2018

House panel moves to curb food stamps, renew farm subsidies BY ANDREW TAYLOR Associated Press April 18, 2018 03:20 PM WASHINGTON A bitterly-divided House panel Wednesday approved new work and job training requirements for food stamps as part of a five-year renewal of federal farm and nutrition policy. The GOP-run Agriculture Committee approved the measure strictly along party lines after a contentious, five-hour hearing in which Democrats blasted the legislation, charging it would toss up to 2 million people off of food stamps and warning that it will never pass Congress. The hard-fought food stamp provisions would tighten existing work requirements and expand funding for state training...

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Ag Today April 18, 2018

Environmentalists plan logging to restore California’s redwood forests By PAUL ROGERS | progers@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group PUBLISHED: April 17, 2018 at 4:05 pm | UPDATED: April 18, 2018 at 2:05 pm Environmentalists who have fought loggers for generations have a surprising new strategy to save California’s storied old-growth redwood forests: Logging. Save the Redwoods League, a venerable San Francisco organization that has preserved more than 214,000 acres of redwood forest since it was founded in 1918, is embarking on a $5 million plan to thin out 10,000 acres of redwoods, Douglas fir, tan oaks and other trees. The logging will begin at...

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Ag Today April 17, 2018

Urban, rural interests collide, confounding California’s most vulnerable Republicans BY KATE IRBY, The Sacramento Bee kirby@mcclatchy.com April 17, 2018 12:01 AM WASHINGTON Help the farmers or help the poor? The farm bill House lawmakers will consider Wednesday forces vulnerable Republicans in contested House races in largely rural districts to make a difficult, perhaps politically lethal choice between the two constituencies. Reps. David Valadao of Hanford and Jeff Denham of Turlock are California Republicans from such areas. Democrat Hillary Clinton won their districts in 2016. They’re districts that are largely rural with high rates of unemployment and poverty but also rely on Washington’s farm subsidies to help...

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Ag Today April 16, 2018

News Analysis: Why big-city politician Villaraigosa is spending so much time in farm country By Dan Morain | April 16, 2018 | ELECTION 2018, POLITICS, CAL Matters Antonio Villaraigosa is not the sort of politician who would scuff his well-shined shoes with the dust from San Joaquin Valley farms, or so you might think. And yet the natty former Los Angeles mayor and Assembly speaker is going beyond traditional Democratic sources of money in Hollywood, San Francisco and the Silicon Valley to the Central Valley as he fights for his political life in the race for governor. The one-time union organizer and Southern California...

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Ag Today April 13, 2018

More local students look to careers in agriculture Calley Cederlof, ccederlof@visaliatimesdelta.com Published 8:58 a.m. PT April 13, 2018 El Diamante High School juniors Makayla Avila and Michelle Imre spent Wednesday morning talking all things agriculture at the third annual Ag Career Expo. Avila, who wants to be an ag educator, and Imre, who has her sights on animal science, spoke with local professionals, learned about college programs, and discovered the diverse career opportunities offered in the field of ag. "Diverse" is the keyword event coordinator Kerissa Chapman hoped students walked away with. "A lot of students previously thought, 'I don't have a farm, how can...

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Ag Today April 12, 2018

Federal judge hears Klamath Basin tribes, irrigators arguments on dam water releases By Will Houston, Eureka Times-Standard San Francisco >> A federal judge heard arguments from attorneys representing Klamath Basin tribes, irrigators and government agencies on Wednesday in a case that is challenging the need for dam water releases meant to protect threatened fish species on the Klamath River from deadly parasitic outbreaks like those that occurred in 2014 and 2015. The same judge that ordered two federal agencies to make the yearly dam water releases in 2017 — Judge William H. Orrick — also presided over Wednesday afternoon’s hearing at the U.S....

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Ag Today April 11, 2018

White House invites farm state lawmakers to discuss tariffs BY LINDSAY WISE, The Sacramento Bee lwise@mcclatchydc.com April 10, 2018 01:01 PM Updated April 10, 2018 02:51 PM WASHINGTON Members of Congress from farm states have been invited to meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday to discuss the impact on rural America, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts said Tuesday. The meeting comes amid fears from American farmers and ranchers that their very livelihoods could be in jeopardy if a trade war erupts. China announced last week it would impose retaliatory tariffs on soybeans, corn, and more than 100 other U.S. products in response to tariffs the...

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Ag Today April 10, 2018

Vote on Southern California's investment in delta tunnel project could be a nail-biter By BETTINA BOXALL APR 09, 2018 | 6:25 PM The Los Angeles Times With the city of Los Angeles and Orange County on opposite sides, Southern California's role in financing a massive water delivery project is likely to hinge on a few smaller agencies. In what will be a crucial decision, the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is expected to vote Tuesday whether to approve nearly $11 billion in financing to help build two giant water tunnels in the center of the state's waterworks or $5.2 billion to...

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Ag Today April 9, 2018

Southern California might pay for two Delta tunnels after all BY DALE KASLER AND RYAN SABALOW,The Sacramento Bee April 06, 2018 03:05 PM A powerful Southern California water agency has breathed life back into the twin-tunnels Delta water project, a plan that appeared dead just a few days ago. In a dramatic 11th-hour pivot, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is considering again whether to finance the lion's share of the entire Delta tunnels project instead of supporting the scaled-back, single-tunnel approach. The district, in a memo Friday to its board, said board members will vote next week on supporting one of two options...

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Ag Today April 6, 2018

Trump faceoff with China exposes GOP weakness in rural US BY NICK GERANIOS, STEVE PEOPLES AND STEVE KARNOWSKI Associated Press April 05, 2018 09:48 PM SPOKANE, WASH. Gary Bailey is certain China is trying to rattle Donald Trump voters with its threat to slap tariffs on soybeans and other agriculture staples grown in rural America. The wheat farmer in eastern Washington, a state that exports $4 billion a year in farm products, is also certain of the result. "It's a strategy that's working," he said. If farmers are worried, so are Republican politicians, who depended on small-town America to hand them control of Congress and know how...

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