Food & Farm News
July 8, 2015
Level of control over farmland is at issue
Farm groups will ask Congress to block implementation of a rule to expand federal authority over "waters of the United States." The rule would interpret the federal Clean Water Act in a way that farm groups say would allow federal agencies improper levels of control over farmland. Several lawsuits have also been filed, challenging implementation of the rule.
Dairy farmers diversify
Dairy farmers have been branching out into other crops, to help them cope with the volatility of milk prices. It once was considered somewhat unusual for a dairy farmer to grow something other than feed crops for cows. Now, more have planted grapes, almonds and other crops, or started side businesses, to help them earn money when milk prices aren’t profitable. Farmers say the trend accelerated six years ago, when low milk prices forced many dairies out of business.
Gelato made with water buffalo milk
The high butterfat content of water buffalo milk results in creamy products, according to the owner of Double 8 Dairy in Sonoma County. Andrew Zlot’s dairy produces water buffalo gelato for Bay Area restaurants and stores, and Zlot said he knows of no other dairy making gelato from water buffalo milk. The animals have distinct, crescent-shaped horns and a more robust build than typical dairy cows.
Teaching youngsters about farms and food
The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture now offers a learning kit for pre-K to first graders called “Farm a Month: Where Does Our Food Come From?” The kit is available online and includes 12 activities that highlight various foods. Homeschool parents and teachers can also turn to California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom for many free online resources at learnaboutag.org.