Western Agricultural And Conservation Groups Form A New Coalition
Representatives from agricultural and conservation groups
have formed a coalition to advocate for balanced management of
resources in the Western United States. Known as the Western
Agriculture and Conservation Coalition, the new group will
focus initially on advocating for measures in the federal Farm Bill
Steering committee members include the California Farm
Bureau Federation, Trout Unlimited, Wyoming Stock Growers
Association, The Nature Conservancy, Arizona Public Lands
Council, Environmental Defense Fund, Family Farm Alliance,
Public Lands Council and the Irrigation Association.
The goals of the coalition are to support the common interests
of agriculture and conservation through education, advocacy
and outreach, and to engage decision makers and resource managers
in the spirit of collaboration to further a shared vision for
a rural West that is economically and environmentally sustainable.
In Farm Bill discussions, the coalition will advocate to maintain
funding for priority programs such as the Environmental
Quality Incentives Program, Agricultural Water Enhancement
Program and Grasslands Reserve Program, among others.
Although the current Farm Bill debate is the priority of the
coalition, members of the Western Agriculture and Conservation
Coalition said they look forward to potentially expanding its
focus to include other areas of importance to Western agricultural
production and conservation efforts.
“Successful conservation depends on collaboration,” says
Chris Wood, President and CEO of Trout Unlimited.
“In the West, many of our conservation projects wouldn’t
happen without two things: Agricultural producer partners and
Farm Bill support,” he says. “We urge Congress to act quickly to
ensure a Farm Bill that continues to provide vital tools for private
Bill Berryhill Wins Sushi Contest
In a competitive, yet friendly, culinary competition, Assembly
Member Bill Berryhill rolled his way to victory as Capitol Roller,
signifying California’s top legislative sushi maker.
Assembly Member Berryhill defeated California Resources
Secretary John Laird, Assembly Member Richard Pan and James
Gore, Assistant Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s
Natural Resources Conservation Service during the 11th annual
California Rice Commission (CRC) Circle of Life Reception,
held March 6 at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento.
In winning the 2012 Capitol Roller award, Assembly Member
Berryhill receives a framed Samurai sword until next year’s
competition. He was presented the award by Assembly Member
Fiona Ma, who had won the two previous competitions.
The three competitors received expert coaching in making a
California roll from Billy Ngo, Executive Chef of Kru Restaurant
in Sacramento. More than 100 people attended the reception.
The California rice industry includes 2,500 family farmers
and handlers who grow and process virtually all of the nation’s