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» February 4, 2008 «
Directors of the California Farm Bureau met in Washington, D.C. last week. They visited members of Congress. Various issues were discussed with congressional representatives such as the farm bill, immigration, and measures in the Economic Stimulus Bill that could help farmers. Directors pointed out that for farmers and other small businesses to benefit, Congress must extend tax incentives far enough into the future from when the bill becomes law so equipment could be purchased and installed and businesses receive benefits.
Agricultural researchers have launched a five-year program to improve honeybee health. It is in response to a fast-spreading syndrome called colony collapse disorder that's striking honeybees nationwide. Honeybees add about $15 billion a year to the value of American farm crops. Scientists in four laboratories are studying various aspects of the problem. By the end of the coordinated effort, scientists hope to have specific recommendations for beekeepers regarding how to manage their bees' health.
Bonnie Fernandez has been selected as the executive director of the Center for Produce Safety at UC Davis. Fernandez has been the executive director of the California Wheat Commission for the past 15 years. The Center for Produce Safety was established in April 2007 and is a clearinghouse for research related to produce safety. The center will also help fund and coordinate research, training and consumer education. Fernandez begins her new job March 1.
Fresno County held the opening ceremonies for the blossom trail Friday. It is the 20th annual event. Even though the trees aren't blooming yet, the Fresno Farm Bureau and other organizations involved with the blossom trail hold the opening event early in February to activate the Web site and other events associated with the trail. Potential visitors can check the Web site at www.driveblossomtrail.com. Photos of trees in blossom will be posted as soon as the trees bloom. That is expected to happen in a week to 10 days.Top