News

YFVA announces date of 2017 Southwest Ag Summit
YFVA’s 2017 Southwest Ag Summit – February 22-23,2017
Don’t forget to register for YFVA’s 2017 Southwest Ag Summit scheduled for February 22th and 23th at Arizona Western College.  Exhibits, field demonstrations, workshops and keynote speakers provide educational and networking opportunities for agricultural industry members.  For more information, visit www.swagsummit.com

December 2015 – Labor of Love
Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association launched a project called “Labor of Love”. The Association hands out burritos and other acts of kindness in the fields to the farm workers during this campaign.  Contact us for details. Check out Labor of Love facebook page.

November 2015 – Arizona Leafy Greens Month!
Governor Doug Ducey officially proclaimed November as Arizona Leafy Greens month. November was the start of the Arizona leafy greens harvest and the promotion of the Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Committee’s food safety campaign. As part of the month-long celebration, the Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee hosted an inaugural Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Education Day in Yuma for members of the media, educators and state legislators. The program consisted of touring harvesting, packing and cooling operations plus sharing an overview of food safety training and the AZ LGMA program.

September 2015 –  YFVA Supports AZ LGMA Renewal
At the 9-10-15 public meeting, YFVA supported the renewal of the 2015 Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement. The original marketing agreement went into effect in 2007 and since that time the Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee has developed and distributed exceptional food safety training materials throughout the United States and internationally.

August 2015 –  YFVA Submits Comments to EPA about Bees and Pesticide Exposure
YFVA submitted 7 pages of comments to EPA about its proposal that would prohibit the foliar application of 76 active ingredients on crops when the plants are flowering and bees are under contract for pollination services.
With data developed by Yuma Ag Center Vegetable Specialist Dr. John Palumbo, YFVA lobbyist Shelly Tunis explained how Arizona melon farmers could suffer more than 70% yield losses if not allowed to apply the pesticides when the plants were susceptible to whitefly infestation and the resulting Cucurbit Yellows Stunting Disorder Virus.

According to USDA statistics, those yield losses could amount to a market value loss of $1.03 billion over a 10 year period (2004-2013). During that same 10 year period, according to AZ Department of Agriculture Annual Reports, the number of bee kill incidents for crops under contract for pollination services investigated by the Department of Agriculture was zero.

YFVA requested that EPA set aside this proposal and examine how Arizona and other areas successfully manage pesticide applications when bees are present.

July 2015 –   AILRC Approves Funding for 2015-2016 Research Projects
Members of the AZ Iceberg Lettuce Research Council approved funding for five projects totaling $89,120.00 at their July 14th meeting. All the approved projects are by University of Arizona researchers. They are:
Insect Management in Desert Head Lettuce – by John Palumbo – $20,736.00
Area Wide Monitoring for Lettuce Insects – by John Palumbo – $4,896.00
Validation of Iceberg Lettuce Stand Establishment Irrigation – by Charles Sanchez – $16,243.00
Evaluation of the Effects of Herbicides and Weeds on Soil Applied Insecticides in Lettuce – by Barry Tickes – $29,733.00
Biocontrol Strategies for Sustained Management of Fusarium Wilt of Lettuce in Arizona – by Barry Pryor – $17,512.00
Nine projects from the University of Arizona totaling $154,828.50 were presented for funding. This 2015-2016 fiscal year the AILRC research budget was set at $90,791.00 so the requests for funding exceeded the available budget.

June 2015 – ADA has a New Deputy Director
Jeff Grant has been appointed Deputy Director of the Arizona Department of Agriculture. The ADA has not had a Deputy Director since January 2002. Mr. Grant has previously worked with the new ADA Director Mark Killian in various positions. Jeff started in state government in 1987 when he was hired at the AZ House of Representatives to staff the Public Institutions Committee chaired by Mark Killian. When Mr. Killian moved into AZ House leadership, Mr. Grant served as Special Assistant to Majority Leader Killian and then as Chief of Staff for Speaker Killian. In 1997, Mr. Grant moved to the AZ Department of Revenue where he served as Deputy Director to Director Mark Killian.

From 2004-2007, Jeff Grant worked as the Director of Programs and Advocacy for the Arizona State University Alumni Association. In 2007, he became the Director of the Corporation Division at the AZ Corporation Commission where he served until 2011 when he was named Deputy Director at the Arizona Department of Administration. As the ADA Deputy Director, Mr. Grant will be in charge of ADA Administrative Services and he will be assigned special projects.

ALGFSC Releases 2014/2015 Annual Report
The AZ Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee released its 2014/2015 Annual Report. For the year, violations are down with no Flagrant or Major Deviations assigned. Compared to 2013/2014, the number of Field Observation violations decreased in the areas of improper labeling of chemical containers and harvest equipment cleaning. The number of Field Observation violations increased slightly in the areas of cleaning and maintenance of sanitary facilities, and improper worker practices such as inadequate glove use and prohibited items in workers’ pockets.

The Annual Report details the ALGFSC efforts at training and outreach. ALGFSC staff distributed 895 training materials and had 444 individuals participate in Train-the-Trainer workshops during 2014/2015.  Another 340 workers were trained by Campesinos Sin Fronteras as a part of the ALGFSC Third Party Training Pilot Program. During 2014/2015, Public Relations efforts involved social media campaigns and increased media outreach for industry trade shows.

 
May 2015 –  CFV Advisory Council Discusses Governor’s Executive Order; Elects Officers
The Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Council met on May 6, 2015 for its quarterly meeting. Members received updates on the CFV programs and discussed Governor Ducey’s Executive Order relating to reviewing rules and implementing electronic reporting and payments.  Council member Steve Alameda pointed out how the fruit and vegetable industry was “out in front of the Governor’s request when the industry initiated the repeal of outdated Standardization rules in March 2014.”  

Council members voted to elect YFVA President Steve Alameda of Top Flavor Farms as the CFV Advisory Council Chairperson and they selected Lance Eggers of Briggs & Eggers Orchards in Wilcox as Vice Chairperson.

April 2015 – Governor Ducey Names Director of the AZ Department of Agriculture
On April 10, 2015, Governor Doug Ducey appointed Mark Killian as Director of the Arizona Department of Agriculture.  Killian has been a member of the Arizona Board of Regents since 2010 and currently serves as its Chairperson.  He has also served as the Director of the Arizona Department of Revenue under Governor Jane Hull.  For 14 years, Killian served in the Arizona House of Representatives where he was selected as House Majority Leader and Speaker of the House.  During his tenure in the AZ House, he supported bills that created the Arizona Department of Agriculture. 

Mr. Killian has decades of private sector experience.  He is a licensed commercial real estate broker of more than 32 years specializing in the management of commercial real estate.  He also is involved in family farming and ranching enterprises, overseeing the stewardship of 1,700 acres of farmland in Arizona, and is the current chairman of the Green Reservoir Flood Control district and the Santa Cruz River Alliance. 

The ADA Director position was filled by Interim Director Jack Peterson since October 2013 when the ADA Director Don Butler retired after 10 years’ service.

ALGFSC Appoints New Member and Selects New Officers
Arnott Duncan of Duncan Family Farms has resigned from the Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee. Duncan, who had served as Chairperson of the ALGFSC, no longer qualified as a signatory shipper since his company did not ship leafy green products from Arizona during the 2014-2015 growing season.

At their March 30, 2015 meeting, the remaining ALGFSC members appointed YFVA member C.R. Waters of Duda Farm Fresh Foods to complete Duncan’s term that expires this fall.  Waters had previously served on the ALGFSC for over 5 years. Committee members were pleased that Waters agreed to rejoin the ALGFSC.  

At the meeting, ALGFSC members selected YFVA Board member Jerry Muldoon of Dole Fresh Vegetables as Chairperson, along with YFVA members Tom Russell of Pacific International Marketing as Treasurer and Vicki Scott of Amigo Farms as Secretary.

YFVA thanks Arnott Duncan for his many years of service on the ALGFSC.

March 2015 – AILRC Selects New Officers

Members of the Arizona Iceberg Lettuce Research Council selected officers at its March 17, 2015 meeting. YFVA member Marvin Marlatt of Marlatt Brothers was once again elected Chairperson of the AILRC. Council members chose Chris Clayton of Mission Ranches as Secretary and YFVA member Chase Tew of Four Little Devils Farms as Treasurer.     

Yuma Showcases Vegetable Production at Arizona Legislature – YFVA Board members Jeff Johnson and John Boelts along with YFVA Executive Director Bruce Gwynn and YFVA Lobbyist Shelly Tunis helped distribute Yuma vegetables to legislators, staff and the Governor’s Office during the 35th Annual Agricultural Legislative Luncheon at the State Capitol on March 10th.   Yuma vegetables took center stage at the event sponsored by 11 agricultural associations.  A number of legislators remarked that this legislative luncheon was their favorite event because of the Yuma vegetables.

February 2015 –   AZ and CA Joint LGMA Meeting
The Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee met with its California counterpart, the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, for their annual joint meeting on Friday, January 30, 2015 in El Centro, CA.  The two programs discussed their collaborative efforts on training and public relations. AZ and CA plan to have a joint booth at the upcoming Southwest Ag Summit that will showcase their training materials. 

January 2015 –   ALGFSC Video Release Party
The AZ Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee (ALGFSC) held a Food Safety Video Release Party on Thursday, January 29, 2015 in Yuma. Signatory shippers and growers picked up an entire Food Safety Training Kit and heard about future plans for ALGFSC training materials.  

ALGFSC Food Safety Training Sessions Available
The Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee (ALGFSC) has partnered with Campesinos Sin Fronteras to offer free food safety training sessions for field employees. Campesinos trainers will come to your field or your office to teach the one-hour training session.  Each trained participant receives a Food Safety Training Verification Card that is valid for one year.  For more information, contact the ALGFSC office at 602-542-0945.  

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