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» January 21, 2005 «
A delegation of California farmers who attended President Bush's inauguration say the events gave them an opportunity to raise the visibility of California agricultural issues in Washington. California Farm Bureau President Bill Pauli led a six-member group that attended yesterday's (Thursday's) events. Pauli said the inauguration gave the farm group a rare chance to meet with people from throughout the country, and discuss issues ranging from trade to taxes to environmental stewardship.
California-grown flowers played a prominent role in the official dinners, receptions and inaugural balls held in Washington this week. More than a dozen California flower growers and florists traveled to the capital to help with flowers and foliage for the inaugural events. They provided orchids, lilies, daises and other flowers used to beautify surroundings at the balls, and took extra steps to keep the blooms protected from the cold weather that hit Washington this week.
Estimates of storm-related damage to strawberries doubled in Ventura County, and a new report places the county's total crop losses from January rains at nearly $52 million. That's up nearly 40 percent from the original estimate. An initial report from Riverside County estimates crop damage at $5 million, with about half of that in losses to dairies. San Diego County reports about $1 million in crop losses, so far.
Encouraging nutritional news gives them a good story to tell, and California tomato growers say they will undertake new promotions this year, to make sure consumers get the word. Health studies have shown tomatoes to be a strong source of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps the body ward off disease. At the California Tomato Growers Association annual meeting, officials said they will work with celebrity chefs who will develop and endorse recipes using tomato products.
On the Calendar:
The annual Carrot Festival begins today (Friday) in Holtville.