News Archive

Sec. Ross orders temporary change to Class 4b pricing formula

November 19, 2015On Friday, CDFA Secretary Karen Ross announced she has ordered a temporary change to the dry whey scale of the Class 4b pricing formula, effective August 1, 2015 through July 31, 2016. The decision comes after a milk price hearing on June 3 in Sacramento where Western United Dairymen and dairy producers voiced the desired direction the industry hoped CDFA would take. "Western United Dairymen is encouraged by the Secretary's…Read more

Enrollment for 2016 Dairy Margin Protection Program Open

November 19, 2015Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced that starting July 1, 2015, dairy farmers can enroll in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating dairy operations when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.…Read more

Congressmen blast revised tunnels plan

November 19, 2015The new draft environmental documents on the governor’s twin tunnels plan are getting a cold reception from at least two Valley congressmen. “This project is not about restoring the environment,” says Rep. John Garamendi, D-Fairfield. “California law requires meeting the co-equal goals of providing a reliable water supply and preserving the environment. The twin tunnels are about building a plumbing system that will suck the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta dry and…Read more

Take two on Delta tunnels project

November 19, 2015Grab those reading glasses —again. State officials on Thursday released a 9,276-page report detailing the latest version of Gov. Jerry Brown’s $15 billion twin tunnels plan. Public comments are accepted through the end of August. The original 34,000-page plan, released in December 2013, generated thousands of comments, an indication of the amount of controversy generated by Brown’s proposal. A modern-day variation of the peripheral canal plan that voters defeated in…Read more

F.D.A. Extends Deadline for Calorie Counts on Menus

November 19, 2015The Food and Drug Administration has delayed by a year the deadline for the nation’s chain restaurants, pizza parlors and movie theaters to post calorie counts on their menus in what some consumer advocates said was a setback for public health but others contended would simply give companies enough time to comply. Pressure had been growing to delay the rule, which was proposed in November and would have taken effect…Read more

Final deadline in July for funding through USDA-NRCS EQIP program

July 17, 2015Western United Dairymen partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Sustainable Conservation to secure an additional $3.5 million for Merced and Stanislaus County dairy producers for water quality/conservation projects. The process to apply for the available funding is the same as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and will be submitted with NRCS. EQIP has changed from one deadline and funding cycle per year to five. Applications are…Read more

Water rights ruling is setback for California drought regulators

July 10, 2015In a potentially major setback for California’s efforts to handle the drought, a judge Friday blocked the state water board’s decision to curtail the water rights of four irrigation districts. The judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing the State Water Resources Control Board from enforcing a curtailment order against the West Side Irrigation District, Central Delta Water Agency, South Delta Water Agency and Woods Irrigation Co. The judge said…Read more

Panel acts to delay beef imports, protect food companies

July 8, 2015House appropriators have agreed to block imports of fresh beef from regions of Brazil and Argentina until the Agriculture Department does further study on the potential risk from foot and mouth disease. The House Appropriations Committee, acting on its fiscal 2016 spending bill for the USDA and Food and Drug Administration, also agreed to provide food companies some protection from lawsuits over trans fat. An amendment approved by the panel…Read more

Drought Sends U.S. Water Agency Back to Drawing Board

July 5, 2015Drew Lessard stood on top of Folsom Dam and gazed at the Sierra Nevada, which in late spring usually gushes enough melting snow into the reservoir to provide water for a million people. But the mountains were bare, and the snowpack to date remains the lowest on measured record. “If there’s no snowpack, there’s no water,” said Mr. Lessard, a regional manager for the Bureau of Reclamation, the federal agency…Read more

Farming honors for Paul Martin

July 5, 2015Paul Martin has trouble retiring. Every time he thinks he’s out, either the county or the state ask him to work for them on behalf of the dairymen and farmers of Petaluma. “These days I’m working with my grandkid’s cows,” he said. “They’re prepping the cows for the fair. I like helping the kids, it keeps me busy.” Martin, a former dairyman, Vietnam veteran, beef rancher, spokesman for Western United…Read more