October 20, 2021
This morning, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-19-21, which aims to alleviate congestion at California’s shipping ports and tackle the state’s truck driver shortage.
The Order directs state agencies to:
- Find state, federal and private land for short-term container storage.
- Identify priority freight routes to be considered for a temporary exemption to current gross vehicle limits to allow for trucks to carry additional goods.
- Create workforce training and education programs. This includes expediting AB 639’s (Cervantes, 2020) implementation.
Specifically, Governor Newsom’s Order states:
- “The Department of Transportation, in partnership with the California State Transportation Agency, within 30 days of this Order, shall, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, evaluate and identify priority freight routes to be considered for a temporary exemption to current gross vehicle weight limits.
- The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development shall identify non-state sites, including private, locally owned, and federally owned parcels, that could be available to address short-term storage needs to address the supply and distribution chain crisis.
- The Department of General Services shall complete its review of state-owned property in proximity to impacted ports that may be made available to address short-term storage needs to address the supply and distribution chain crisis by no later than December 15, 2021. To meet this deadline, all agencies under my direct executive authority shall support this effort by timely responding to all inquiries made by the Department of General Services.
- The Department of General Services shall collaborate with other state agencies to expedite leasing for the purpose of storing cargo containers on state-owned parcels identified pursuant to the Department of General Services’ review.
- The California Labor and Workforce Development Agency shall use existing resources to identify potential high road training partnerships to increase education, career technical education, job training, and workforce development opportunities for port workers and other workers across the supply chain. In identifying such opportunities, the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency shall first consider whether such partnerships can be funded through existing sources, such as the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
- By December 31, 2021, the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency shall take all necessary actions to constitute and announce the membership of the industry panel required by AB 639and codified at Government Code section 12893.1 (a). The Secretary of Labor shall convene the panel for its first meeting by March 1, 2022.
- The Department of Finance shall work with state agencies and departments to develop longer term proposals that support port operations and goods movement for consideration in the January 10 Governor’s Budget. Proposals may include port and transportation infrastructure improvements, electrification of the goods movement system from port to delivery, workforce development, and other actions to support goods movement.
- The Department of General Services, California Department of Food and Agriculture, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, California State Transportation Agency, Department of Transportation, and the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency shall use all existing legal and financial authority to expedite and prioritize these activities, including by giving them preference in the award of state funding, pursuant to my further direction. Agencies not under my direct executive authority are requested to do the same.
- The California State Transportation Agency, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, and the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency shall continue to execute actions in coordination with the Biden-Harris Administration Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force.”
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released the draft guidelines and Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP) for the Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGM) Grant Program’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Implementation Funding.
DWR plans to deliver the funding in at least two funding solicitations:
- Round 1 will provide over $150 million by spring 2022 to regional groundwater agencies in critically overdrafted basins for planning and implementation projects to help comply with SGMA.
- Future solicitation in 2022-2023 will provide over $204 million from various funding sources, including anticipated General Fund appropriations in Fiscal Years (FY) 2022/23 and 2023/24, remaining FY 2021/22 General Funds, remaining Proposition 68 Implementation funds, and any funds not awarded in Round 1, for planning and implementation projects to help comply with SGMA. If any funds are available after Round 2, future funding solicitations will be provided.
The public comment period began on October 13 and ends on November 29, 2021. Following the review and consideration of public comments, DWR will release the final 2021 Guidelines and PSP and solicit proposals for Round 1. A public meeting will be held on November 16, 2021 at 2:00 PM. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, DWR will host the meeting as a Zoom webinar. The meeting will be recorded and a link to the recording will be posted on the website and e-mailed to subscribers of the SGM Grant Program’s email list (see subscription option below to subscribe) as soon as possible following the webinar. Please register for the public meeting at:
For more information on document releases, new solicitations, upcoming workshops, and other grant-related announcements, subscribe to the SGM Grant Program mailing list. If you have any questions, please submit to: SGWP@water.ca.gov.
Thanks to a $100,000 philanthropic investment to the Ag One Foundation at Fresno State, the J. G. Boswell Foundation has established an endowment to support the University Agricultural Laboratory in memory of its longtime company farm manager, Dave Cosyns. Cosyns began a 45-year career with the company after he graduated from Fresno State in 1971, and managed its Kern County operations until his passing in 2016. He developed his love of farming at a young age in his family’s farming operation in Orange County and later in Tulare. The endowment will help to support the Fresno State farm, officially known as the University Agricultural Laboratory. Its 20 units and 1,000 acres provides students, faculty, staff and community members endless opportunities for hands-on training and research in areas that reflect and benefit the nation’s leading agricultural region. The Boswell company and foundation has contributed more than $1.5 million to Fresno State. Prior support also includes a $1.2 million endowment for an endowed chair position in the plant science department that is currently held by Dr. Sharon Benes. The company is a frequent employer for Fresno State graduates, including Jim Razor, a vice president for processing and the current Ag One Foundation president. “Dave Cosyns was the consummate farmer and an accomplished industry member,” said Razor. “He was known for his passion for farming, genuine character and vast knowledge of the agricultural industry. This fund is a tribute to his many contributions, which will help support and train new generations of agricultural leaders.”
More than 70 workers attended the Cotton Harvest Safety Training Event at the Westside Field Station in Five Points this past week. The event was co-hosted by Fresno County Farm Bureau, California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association and The Zenith. Hands-on and in-classroom training was provided by The Zenith.
The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol (USCTP) will be hosting a Grower Enrollment webinar tomorrow September 29, at 8:00 a.m. CST for growers interested in learning more about signing up for the USCTP.
The virtual session is a wonderful opportunity for producers to learn how the Trust Protocol helps U.S. growers verify their sustainable production practices that are already being incorporated on their operations to meet the changing demands from their end customers. The webinar will also detail how the program enables U.S. cotton growers to prove their sustainable stewardship and drive commitment to continuous improvement.
You can click the following link to register for the session. Please feel free to share with fellow producers or members who may be interested in enrolling in the USCTP. Please contact NCC staff if you have any questions.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will soon publish Requests for Applications (RFAs) for new grant programs – the Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant program to support agricultural stakeholders who haven’t yet received substantial federal financial assistance in responding to the COVID-19 crisis. These grant programs will provide assistance to small businesses in certain commodity areas, including small scale specialty crop producers and processors, shellfish, aquaculture and other select producers, meat and other processors, distributors, farmers markets, seafood facilities and processing vessels.
Specialty crop producers, meat processors, and famers markets will be able to seek reimbursements for pandemic-related expenses, such as workplace safety improvements, medical costs (i.e., for vaccines/testing), retrofitting facilities, transportation etc., through this program. Find the full list here.
USDA released grant forecast for these new programs to help potential applicants determine their eligibility and to prepare to apply for funding. Approximately $650 million in funding is available for the PRS grants and $50 million is available for SPRS. The new programs are funded by the Pandemic Assistance provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
For the PRS grants, eligible entities are detailed in the Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program forecast. Eligible entities should visit the PRS grant portal at https://usda-prs.grantsolutions.gov/usda for complete information on the program. Applicants will be required to have a DUNS number to apply, to obtain a free of charge DUNS Number from Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) for USDA PRS Grant Applicants click here.
The application period will open on September 23rd and close on November 8th; entities will need their DUNS number to submit an application.
The California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations (CCGGA) and the Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA) participated in, and supported, the 2021 AgOne Foundation BBQ held at the Panoche Creek River Ranch. The very successful event was held this past Sunday, September 12th. The Associations hosted State Senator Melissa Hurtado, along with several members from both Associations. Joining the Association was CCGGA Chairman Bryan Bone and his wife Linda, CCGGA 2nd Vice Chair Gary Martin and his wife Mari, CCGGA Board Member Wade Van Hooser and his wife Josie, WAPA past Chairman Butch Coburn and his wife Lori. Also in attendance was CCGGA Board Member, and current AgOne Chairman, Jim Razor from the JG Boswell Company, WAPA Board Member and AgOne Board Member Jason Baldwin, and WAPA past Chairman Mike Kelley. The Association was represented by President/CEO Roger Isom and Director of Technical Services Christopher McGlothlin, both of whom were put to work at the event manning the bar! All proceeds from the event go to fund scholarships to ag students at Fresno State. This year, AgOne will provide more than $950,000 in scholarships!
In 2019, a cotton seed bug was found and identified in Los Angeles, California. At the time it was a single find, and no other specimens were found in the vicinity. Unfortunately, in 2020 the cotton seed bug was found and identified in five more locations across three counties, including Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties. While the locations remain more than 100 miles from the nearest cotton fields, we are concerned with the potential spread of this devastating pest to cotton fields in California.
This pest, as the name suggests, attacks the cotton seed, but damages the lint on its way into the seed. More importantly, if this pest were to be found in cotton it could end the shipment of cotton planting seed out of California as more than likely a quarantine area would be established. We are currently working with USDA and CDFA to find a way to trap the pest and possibly keep this pest in the LA Basin, maybe even eradicate it. In the meantime, we are asking growers and PCAs to be on the lookout for this pest. Attached is a technical bulletin that describes the pest in detail and includes pictures of the pest in various life cycles. Should you see one of these bugs, please contact your local county ag commissioner or the local CDFA Field office. It is imperative that we stay ahead of this devastating invasive pest.
Cotton Seed Bug Technical Bulletin
the Association submitted comments on the Biden Administration’s proposal to reconsider the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rulemaking. The Association expressed concerns with reopening the rulemaking, stating that under the Trump Administration the Navigable Protection Waters Rule (NWPR) brought clarity to a regulation that had caused consternation and conflict for years. The NWPR finally eliminated debate and questions on issues like whether drainage ditches were navigable waters, and numerous other contentious examples of inconsistency with implementation of the rules. The NWPR finally brought the clarity and understanding necessary for farming to move forward. The Association expressed concern that reopening the regulation would only serve to bring back the inconsistency and questions.
No Cost to attend. Registration is Free!
Date: Thursday, September 23
Time: Check-in at 8 a.m.; Training from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Location: UC West Side Research and Extension Center, 17353 W. Oakland Ave., Five Points
The training will cover equipment safety (preparation and operation), electrical hazards, heat illness prevention and road safety. All information will be provided in English and Spanish. Certificates will be given upon completion. The training will be provided by Zenith Agribusiness Solutions.
The training is sponsored by California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association and FCFB.