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» July 23, 2008 «
Locally grown eggs will become virtually a thing of the past for Californians, if voters approve an initiative on the November ballot. That's the conclusion of a University of California study released yesterday (Tuesday). Proposition 2 would ban cages to house egg-laying hens. The U.C. study says California farmers couldn't compete with out-of-state farmers who wouldn't face the same restrictions. The study's lead author says that would eliminate almost all California egg production.
Entire towns have been hit by the impact of farm water shortages, causing an economic downturn in many Central Valley counties. Without water, farmers cannot produce a crop. Without the crops, farm jobs evaporate and workers move on. That hurts businesses, schools and churches in rural communities. Local officials made that point this week at a congressional hearing in Fresno. Today (Wednesday), they will join farmworkers and farmers at a rally outside the state Capitol.
The nation's leading farm county set a new production record last year … but water shortages will likely prevent a repeat. The Fresno County agricultural commissioner reported yesterday that the on-farm value of the county's production reached nearly $5.4 billion dollars. But officials said water shortages have already caused $88 million dollars of losses this year. The Fresno County Farm Bureau said farmers, ranchers, farmworkers and rural communities all face hardship.
Not all Olympic athletes are human, and two University of California veterinarians will travel to Hong Kong to coordinate care for horses. Hong Kong will host the equestrian events for the Beijing Olympics. Husband-and-wife team Jack Snyder and Sharon Spier will oversee the veterinary facility caring for the 280 horses competing. Both Snyder and Spier are professors of veterinary medicine at U.C. Davis.Top