Food & Farm News
April 29, 2015
Water shortages to be on the agenda
At two different venues next Tuesday, California farmers will describe the impact of water shortages. In Fresno, the State Board of Food and Agriculture will host a “drought forum,” to hear from farmers, ranchers and farm employees. In Sacramento, the State Water Resources Control Board will discuss emergency urban water regulations, and the San Diego County Farm Bureau will describe potential effects on farmers who buy water from urban agencies and could face severe cutbacks.
Recycled water to be studied
A two-year project will look at how to make recycled water more useful on farms. The University of California, Riverside, will work with water districts in the region, to see if wastewater can be treated in ways that provide the nutrients needed by specific crops. The researchers will cooperate with colleagues in Israel, where farmers have used recycled water extensively, and where some production losses have started to occur as a result.
Conservation award accepts nominations
Nominations have opened for an annual award recognizing voluntary conservation by California landowners. The Leopold Conservation Award provides $10,000 in recognition of stewardship work by farmers and ranchers. The award will be presented at the California Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in December. The 2014 recipient, Full Belly Farm in Yolo County, stresses environmentally sound practices and conducts extensive outreach work.
More schools feature California-grown food
What started as a pilot project in Oakland last year has now spread to 42 school districts around California: School lunch menus feature “California Thursdays,” emphasizing foods made with ingredients grown in the state. Participating school districts include both large, urban districts and smaller suburban or rural schools. Sponsors of the project say schoolchildren prefer the locally grown, fresh food, and that the project also benefits local economies.