NRCS Receives CRC’s Circle Of Life Award.
Top leaders from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation
Service (NRCS) were on hand recently to receive the California
Rice Commission’s Circle of Life Award for their pioneering
work to help improve wildlife habitat in the state’s rice fields.
The Circle of Life Award recognizes people and organizations
that provide outstanding assistance to California rice. This
year’s honor involves the NRCS’ partnership and collaboration
with family rice farmers to initiate a California pilot version of the
Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative Program.
“Conservation is a significant part of California rice farming,
and the NRCS is one of our strongest partners,” says CRC President
& CEO Tim Johnson. “We commend Chief Dave White and
State Conservationist Ed Burton for working quickly and effectively
to establish this program.”
In 2011, California rice growers successfully utilized $2.7
million in special NRCS funding to launch a new pilot conservation
program suited for flooded agricultural lands such as rice.
The NRCS, in collaboration with PRBO Conservation Science,
Audubon California and other conservation partners, provided
planning, technical assistance and outreach to rice farmers
to develop conservation practices that are expected to further
enhance the value of rice fields as wildlife habitat. CRC helped
coordinate and administer the program, which was offered on
some 100,000 acres of rice and resulted in about 70 contracts
on 28,000 acres. All of the funding will go directly to growers participating
in the program over a three-year period.
This program will soon be open to most rice areas in the Sacramento
Valley. The newest effort is known as the Waterbird Habitat
California ricelands are home to some 230 wildlife species
and provide nearly 60 percent of the food for the seven million
ducks and geese that migrate along the Pacific Flyway each winter.
Diesel Prices Impact Farmers
According to the CFBF, the increasing price of gasoline is
pinching the bottom line for Americans, and farmers are feeling
the same squeeze. The price of diesel fuel used in many farm
activities, from field preparation to planting and harvest to delivery,
has increased to nearly $4.50. The price California farmers
pay for farm-use diesel is significantly higher than the national
average, and some farmers anticipate that consumers will be
affected as costs are absorbed at the retail level.
Lundberg Family Farms Celebrates 75 Years
Lundberg Family Farms, a leading manufacturer of organic rice
and rice products, celebrated its 75th anniversary. The occasion
arrives three-quarters of a century after Albert and Frances Lundberg
fled the ravages of the Dust Bowl for the fertile soil of the
“For a company that’s very focused on the future, it’s important
that we take opportunities like our 75th anniversary to celebrate
our past,” says Grant Lundberg, CEO of the company. “As a family business, the history of Lundberg Family Farms is
really the history of our family, so celebrations like this take on