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					                     STATE OF CALIFORNIA


                           AND NFACT

                     2002 FARM BILL FORUM

                    FINAL REVISION

                   TUESDAY, JANUARY 9, 2001


                      UKIAH, CALIFORNIA

                  Electronic Court Reporter:
                         Mary Ann Lutz
                       AAERT Cert 00139

              Lutz & Company, Inc.
                100 West Lemon Avenue, Suite 103
                    Monrovia, California 91016
                         (626) 303-1113
                       Fax: (626) 303-7883

Proceedings recorded by electronic sound recording, transcript
produced by Federally Approved transcription service.


                    State of California
                    Department of Food and Agriculture

                    KAY JOY
                    Confidential Assistant
                    Department of Food and Agriculture

PANEL:            LIN BROOKS
                    Assistant State Conservationist
                    USDA Natural Resources
                    Conservation Service

                    KATIE DELBAR
                    Mendocino County Executive Director
                    USDA Farm Services Agency

                    DAVID BENGSTON
                    Agricultural Commissioner
                    Mendocino County

                    DR. JERRY SIEBERT
                    Agricultural Economics Professor
                    University of California, Berkeley

                    DEBRA BLODGETT
                    Senior Consultant
                    Office of Assembly Member Pat Wiggins

                    KENDALL SMITH
                    Field Representative
                    Office of Representative Mike Thompson

                    GLENDA HUMISTON
                    Deputy Undersecretary,
                    Unites States Department of Agriculture


                    RAY MOSTIN
                    California Association of
                    Resource Conservation Districts

                    PAUL RICE
                    District Director
                    USDA Rural Development

                    HARRY BISTRIN
                    Field Representative
                    Office of Assembly Member
                    Virginia Strom-Martin

                    JENNIFER PUSER
                    Field Representative
                    Office of Senator Wes Chesbro

                    JOHN WESTOBY
                    Agricultural Commissioner
                    Sonoma County

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                   MEETING BEGINS AT 8:13 A.M.

            MS. ARELLANO:   My name is Vanessa Arellano.   I am the

Assistant Secretary of the California Department of Food and

Agriculture, and I'd like to welcome you here to our California

NFACT 2002 Farm Bill Forum.     Today, we want to hopefully generate

a lot of discussion on topics related to the Farm Bill, and we

want to hear from you about what your particular needs are in

regards to federal farm policy.

            At this time, I would like to introduce those seated

here at the head table, starting to my right, with Lin Brooks,

Assistant State Conservationist for USDA Natural Resources

Conservation Service, Katie Delbar, Mendocino County Executive

Director for USDA Farm Service Agency, then David Bengston, Ag

Commissioner for Mendocino County, Dr. Jerry Siebert, Ag

Economics professor from the University of California at

Berkeley.    Then on my far left, we have Debra Blodgett, Senior

Consultant, Office of Assembly Member Pat Wiggins, Kendall Smith,

Field Representative with the Office of Congressman Mike

Thompson.    And then we have Deputy Undersecretary Glenda

Humiston, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.     And at this

point, I would like to turn the mike over to Glenda for some

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opening remarks.

                   MS. HUMISTON:     Thank you, Vanessa.    I just want to

      say what a thrill it is to be here, not just because my, my

      home county is the next one to the south, so that's a, a great

      excuse to come home and visit from Washington, D.C., and

      although the weather here is a little cold, it actually is, I

      think, a hint warmer than what D.C. is not enjoying right now.

       But also, just to thank all of you for coming out here,

      because this topic is extremely timely, and extremely


                   I think a lot of us in California, as well as most

      of the western states, have been frustrated for a number of

      years over farm bill not necessarily dealing with the issues

      and concerns of agriculture and rural development out here in

      the west.    And this is an opportunity to really have a

      powerful influence on that.          Under the leadership of your

      state department of Ag, in cooperation with four other state

      departments of Ag, as you can see the states up there, this

      NFACT effort is really making a huge difference in Washington,

      D.C.   I've been there for two and a half years, now, watching

      these folks come into town, and when they come to town,

      they're getting meetings, and they're waking people up with

      their issues in a way that I've never seen in the past.             We

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certainly didn't see it during the discussions around the '96

Farm Bill.    So I think you really do have an opportunity here.

 I'm really excited about it, I know Vanessa and her folks

have been doing just a dynamite job here throughout California

with these hearings, and I think it really is going to make an


             I don't know what's going to happen with the Farm

Bill right now in D.C.       You could ask ten people, and you'll

get ten different answers.        Some folks think nothing will

happen until '02, when it's actually supposed to be worked on,

but there's a strong contingent pushing for it to be worked on

this very year.    And that's a strong possibility.      As a rather

divided Congress tries to find an issue to work on that they

might be able to work on in a bipartisan fashion, it may very

well be the Farm Bill.       The issues surrounding it have always

been much more of a regional fight with other regions than it

has been a partisan issue.        So that's why the timeliness of

these are so important, and I thank you all for getting up so

early in the morning and coming out here to join us, and I'm

looking forward to today.

             MS. ARELLANO:    Thank you very much, Glenda.   At this

time, I'd like to give you an overview of exactly what is

NFACT.    NFACT is a coalition of five state departments of

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agriculture.   The members are New Mexico, represented by Frank

DuBois, Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture,

Bob Crawford, Commissioner of the Florida Department of

Agriculture and Consumer Services, Sheldon Jones, Director of

the Arizona Department of Agriculture, Bill Lyons, Jr.,

Secretary of the California Department of Food and

Agriculture, and Susan Combs, Commissioner of the Texas

Department of Agriculture.    These five states were -- met

together in Washington, D.C. in February of 1999, during our

collective organization called the National Association of

State Departments of Agriculture.       And at that meeting, it

became extremely apparent that specialty crop and livestock

issues were not going to be dealt with at the national level.

So the five Secretaries, Directors and Commissioners got

together at that meeting and formed a coalition called NFACT.

 They felt that the purpose of this coalition should be to

bring due attention and notice to the coalition's views and

concerns regarding agricultural policy that's established by

Congress and implemented by USDA.

          To the table, NFACT brings over 25% of the entire

U.S. agricultural cash receipts, as well as representing over

27% of the entire U.S. Congressional delegation.       And that

includes several key chairmanships of different House

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committees and Senate committees.       Most specifically, in the

House of Representatives, the Chairman of the House

Appropriations Committee is Representative Bill Young from

Florida, and California has our own Congressman, Sam Farr, on

the House Ag Appropriations Committee.          In the Senate, U.S.

Senator Diane Feinstein, from California, is a member of the

Senate Ag Appropriations Committee.

           As a coalition, the five states have agreed that we

have five very important areas of interest that we all agree

on.   The first priority is animal and plant health,

specifically looking at pest detection and eradication efforts

as they're funded and implemented by USDA.          Conservation

issues, specifically looking at additional funding for

conservation programs and technical assistance.          International

and domestic markets.   We hope that there will be an expansion

of international and domestic markets, and the enforcement of

negotiated trade agreements.     Research.       We support additional

research efforts for specialty crops and livestock

agriculture.   And finally, risk management.         We support the

current reforms and efforts that have occurred in Congress,

and we also support the introduction of new programs that

would ensure a constant and safe food supply.

           Now, to prepare for these forums, we held a meeting

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of approximately thirty stakeholders to come together and tell

us how should we best get the public educated about the Farm

Bill and about its implications to California.          And as a

result, they recommended that we hold these forums up and down

the state.    And so that's why we're here in Ukiah today, to

hopefully get you motivated about informing us about what your

specific needs are for California agriculture.          The groups

that did come together varied from California Farm Bureau,

California Farmers Union, the Nature Conservancy, California

Women for Agriculture, and others.          We developed questions

that will be asked today, and hope that you will help us in

coming up with the answers.

             We also would like to thank at this time Willits and

Ukiah High School FFA chapters for being here to assist us

with our efforts.    We believe it's vitally important that we

get the young, the next generation prepared and ready to be a

full participant in government and assisting with the

development of agricultural policy.

             And with that, I'd also like to add to remember we

are accepting written comments up until February 15th, 2001 to

help us establishing the guidelines for what we are going to

be looking after for the 2001 Farm Bill.

             At this time, I'd like to introduce Dr. Jerry

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Siebert to get his overview of federal farm bill policy.


             DR. SIEBERT:   Thank you, Vanessa.    And I bring you

glad tidings from the People's Republic of Berkeley.        We are

very dependent upon one of your main crops here in Mendocino

County.   Sorry about that.      Maybe it's a little bit too, too

early for Berkeley humor.

             What I want to cover with you this morning, very

briefly, otherwise Vanessa said I can't ride back home with

them, is, is an overview of the 1996 FAIR Act, which some

people say wasn't so fair, but we'll, we'll leave that up to

your own judgment, and, and also your comments today.       So,

next slide please.

     If, if we look at California agriculture, we see that

California agriculture in 1999 was twenty-five billion dollars

($25,000,000,000), and out of that, government payments made

up around six hundred and fifty-one million ($651,000,000),

which was up from previous years because of the, the lower

prices that we'd seen around the world, as well as some

disaster payments.    That amounts to about 2.6%, if my

mathematics work out correctly, that's a little bit above the,

the usual.    Usually it runs under 2%, and in fact, some years

it runs under 1%.    But as you can see, the amount of money

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that comes in from government payments doesn't amount to a lot

in terms of the total gross income of California agriculture.

 However, as you will see from the, the remaining slides, it

does have an impact on, on a lot of crops that, that, and, and

income, as well as the economy of the state of California.

           Just by way of note, we see that the fruit and nut

sector was a leading sector in terms of, of income, followed

by livestock and dairy, and most of that was dairy, which was

about three point seven billion dollars ($3,700,000,000),

vegetables, field crops, and nursery and flowers.     I should

add that the programs impact the field crops sector the most,

and field crops amount to about two-thirds of the harvested

acreage in California.

           If we go on to the next slide, this shows you the

value of California exports.     And even though exports have

been down through 1999, they have begun to come back up as, as

we recover from the Asian crisis, the financial crisis, and

we're making some inroads into the, some of our export

markets.   But in terms of exports, that's fairly substantial,

six billion dollars ($6,000,000,000), it was as high as almost

seven billion ($7,000,000,000).      But a lot of our crops, for

example, almonds, or almonds, however you want to pronounce

the word, amount to over, over 60% of exports, perhaps even as

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high as two-thirds.    Cotton amounts to about 85% of its export

market.    Walnuts, if any of you are walnut growers, walnuts

amount to, have, have gotten as high as 45% of the, the total

sales.    So exports play a very, very large role for not only

California agriculture in general, but for some of the various

crops, as well.    Next slide.

            If we look at the Department of Agriculture, we --

and, and this is a series of two slides, we see that it covers

many, many different kinds of activities, Natural Resources

Environment, which include the Forest Service, Natural

Resources Conservation Service, Rural Development, which

really focuses in on the rural infrastructure.    The Farm and

Foreign Agricultural Services Agency, which, which include the

major commodity programs, as well as the Foreign Agricultural

Service, which promotes exports around the world.    It also

includes the Risk Management Agency, which, which is taking on

an increasingly greater role as we look toward, towards

providing a safety net for our farmers throughout the state.

Marketing and Regulatory Programs include the Agricultural

Marketing Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection

Service, and I know that, I'm, I'm sure that you're not as

concerned with the glassy winged sharpshooter, perhaps, as

your neighbors to the south in Sonoma and, and Napa, but

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that's a very important agency, coupled with our own CDFA

agency that's trying to keep this thing under, out of the

state of California, including other exotic pests and

diseases, as well as trying to control it.

          As we move on, the Food, Nutrition and Consumer

Services, that agency accounts for over 40% of the USDA

budget, and most of that is in the Food Stamp Program.        Food

Safety, the Food Safety Inspection Service, that takes care of

the meat and poultry inspection that, that we see throughout

the United States.   And then finally, Research, Education and

Economics covers the whole research and education

establishment, including the Ag Research Service, grants to

the experiment stations, as well as support for the

Cooperative Extension or the farm, home and 4H youth advisor

services that you see in your counties.         Next one.

          If we look at the 1985 and '90 Farm Bills, just,

just the structure, the thing I want to bring out here is that

-- well first of all, in 1985, we, we started what was called

a market orientation in, in farm programs.        But the other

thing I wanted to bring out is that farm bills cover more than

just subsidies and price supports, which you generally see in

those first ten titles and perhaps there are a number of you

honey producers up here, as well as wool producers which are

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covered under those, those titles.          But also, the, the other

titles which go all the way from conservation, agriculture,

trade and the research credit, promotions, and so on, are very

important.    So the, the Farm Bill covers much more than just

crop and, and price supports.        Next slide.

             If we look at the 1996 Act, what the 1996 Act did

was consolidate the '85 and '90 Acts and the same things are

there, there are just less titles.          And, and it covers the,

the full gamut of the, the other Acts that we've seen, but

with some major modifications.        Next slide.

             And this is what I'll finish up with.       If we look at

the policy changes, first of all, we saw decoupling of

productions decisions from program payments, which removed the

link between government payments and farm price.          We, we

retained the fixed payment yields.          Most of the planning

restrictions were eliminated so that farmers were free to

plant, except for fruit and vegetable crops, whatever crops

they wanted, but still maintain the, the, the income support.

 Maximum loan rates were specified for most crops, and the

marketing loan provisions were retained.          Next slide.

             If we look at the price supported commodity

programs, the dairy price supports were phased out by 2000,

dairy assessments eliminated, dairy marketing orders were

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consolidated and reduced, and then we saw a number of various

things that the sugar program, which impacts in California

some folks, and peanuts, we've got two peanut, we used to have

two peanut producers in California, but those are mostly,

mostly in the south.

            Let's look at the, the next slide, which are the

trade provisions.   And our export promotion, we, in, in the

'96 Act, emphasized markets with largest potential for gains.

 Emerging markets were targeted, high value products

emphasized.   That fits right within what, what California is

exporting, and, and basically helps strengthen our total trade

programs.   Then we saw -- the other thing I want to mention is

that the Market Access Program was changed with the funding

cut.   The Market Access Program started out as T, then MPP

and now is MAP.   It basically is a program that provides

matching grants to commodity organizations, and I know that,

for example, the walnut board gets about two and a half

million dollars ($2,500,000) and then puts up about another

three to four million dollars ($4,000,000) and uses that for

export promotion in emerging markets as well as to promote,

promote high value markets, such as Japan and other, and other

markets, in order to maintain a competitive edge, so that's a

very important program.

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             And finally, not finally, the, the next slide is on

environmental programs.       The programs were consolidated,

extended.    The, the, the Environmental Quality Incentive

Program, EQIP, consolidated the cost share and technical

assistance, and then the CRP program was extended, as well as

authorization for new enrollment, then conservation compliance

had provided more flexibility to producers.

             And on the last slide, it shows you the expected

impacts.    We expected agriculture to be more competitive in

world markets, we didn't expect the, the dollar to, to shrink

as, quite as drastically as, as we thought, as well as the

Asian flu.    But then we also didn't expect all of the

surpluses in the various commodity markets, as well.              So that

led to income becoming more variable and subject to market

shocks, because essentially what the '96 Act did was shifted

the, the income to producers away from government programs,

and placed greater reliance upon market programs.

             So that's where we are in terms of, of the 2002 Act,

or 2001 Act, however Congress will decide to deal with it, and

we are here to seek your input and advice in terms where you

would like to see this legislation go.              So with that, Vanessa,

we'll leave it for the rest of the program.

             MS. ARELLANO:    Thank you very much, Jerry.         At this

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time, I'd like to introduce Kay Joy, who works at the

California Department of Food and Agriculture, to give you an

overview of the rules and how we're going to proceed with the

forum.    Kay?   Oh, I'm sorry.      I, I’d also, at this time, we've

had an addition to the head table.            We've got Ray Mostin,

representing the California Association of Resource

Conservation Districts.       Ray, thank you for being here.

             MR. MOSTIN:   Thank you.

             MS. ARELLANO:    Oh, and we also have Paul Rice,

District Director for USDA Rural Development.            Paul, thank you

for being here.

             MS. JOY:   Thank you, Vanessa.         As Vanessa said

earlier, we used a stakeholder group when we decided we were

going to do these forums, and what we were told was people

were tired of the traditional listening sessions.            So with

that, we used the stakeholder groups to develop the focus

questions.    So I hope when you came in you all picked up an

agenda and the focus questions.          If not, please raise your

hand, and we'll have one of the FFA people please bring them

to you.    All right, just keep your hands up, and I'll bring,

they'll bring you an agenda and a set of focus questions.

             The process we're going to use today will be a

facilitated discussion.       The questions that are on that piece

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of paper we will ask one by one.         We need, need to make sure

you have the focus questions along with the agendas to hand

out.   So if you don't get two pieces of paper, keep your hand

up, and they'll bring you the other one.

           What we're looking for is we're looking for

recommendations or solutions.        So as I pose a question, and if

there's something you want to say, you raise your hand.         With

-- the FFA students we have, we'll have a hand held mike, a

corded mike, and a cordless mike.         And the process we're using

is you raise your hand, you'll be recognized by me, the

facilitator, and then you state your name and who you

represent, so I'd say, hi, my name is Kay Joy, I'm with

California Department of Food and Agriculture.         And the reason

we need to have you speak into the mikes, even though they're

not real loud, is that it's all being recorded.         We're making

transcripts from this, so we need to have you only speak when

speaking into a mike, so Mary Ann can pick it all up.         All

the, all the transcripts from all nine forums that we're doing

are being posted on the web after we've gotten a chance to

review them, so it is very important that you do speak into

the microphone.

           MS. ARELLANO:    Kay, I'm going to have Dave Bengston

introduce his colleagues, some of the other Ag commissioners

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here in California.   Dave.

          MR. BENGSTON:    Hello.     I want to welcome you to

Mendocino County.    Any of you who are from out of the area, I

hope you have time to visit some of our beautiful parts of the

county, the, the wineries, the coast, the redwoods, and I want

to introduce my colleague John Falkemstrom who is from

Humboldt County to the north.       Thanks, John.   Maybe you should

be up here.   Can I drag him up here?

          Well, I guess, I, I want to say something about

Mendocino County agriculture.       I, I heard some things about

the state, and I'd just like to mention for the edification of

those present that we're the third ranked county in the state

in terms of pear production, we're seventh ranked nationally

in terms of pear production, we're the ninth ranked county in

the state in terms of grape production, we are concerned about

glassy winged sharpshooter, and we rank sixteenth in the, in

the national rankings.    Overall, we're the thirty-second

ranked county in the country in terms of fruit and nut

production.   And timber's also important, it's still the

number one agricultural commodity in our county, and we're

ranked number two in the state, and the only one ahead of us

is Humboldt County, John's county, to the north.

          MS. JOY:    John, there is, there is room at the head

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table, if you want to join them.         Or if you're comfortable

where you're at, that's fine, too.

           Okay, back to our process.             As I said, we are

looking for recommendations and solutions.             So as we go along,

if you've got recommendations or solutions, raise your hand.

You'll be recognized and you'll be brought a microphone.              We

have a few ground rules we're going to use for today's

discussion.    First is, state your name and your affiliation

before speaking.    Second, only speak when recognized by the

facilitator.    Third, be respectful of others, no personal

attacks.   And fourth, no dead horses.            So with that, are there

any questions?    If not, I'll turn it over to Vanessa and let

Vanessa give us some opening comments for our first discussion


           MS. ARELLANO:    Our first discussion topic today is

animal and plant health.     And in that regard, NFACT supports

increased funding for plant and animal pests and diseases

currently affecting our states.        We are also concerned about

the potential for other pests and diseases being introduced

into the NFACT states.     Pest detection and eradication

programs should be effective.        Our resources are seriously

tested when infestation occurs, such as the red import fire

ant and the glassy winged sharpshooter.              NFACT has also been

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concerned about the adherence to Sanitary/Phyto Sanitary

agreements negotiated and utilized by our trading partners.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you, Vanessa.         Okay, we'll take the

first three questions that are listed, and as we go on,

Rebekah will have them up on the screen to keep our discussion

focused.    So let's start with animal and plant health issues,

and we'll take those first three questions.           What existing

animal and plant health policies and programs should be kept,

or what adjustments need to be made to existing policies and

programs to make them workable for you?            Second, what specific

animal and plant health policies and programs are needed that

do not currently exist?      And third, are there specific animal

and plant health policies and programs which are no longer

relevant?   Any comments?

            MR. BENGSTON:    Right back at me, I'll be the ice

breaker, I guess.

            MS. JOY:   Can you state your name, please?

            MR. BENGSTON:    Can I what?

            MS. JOY:   State your name, please, for the record.

            MR. BENGSTON:    Okay.     For the record, Dave Bengston,

Agricultural Commissioner, Mendocino County.           I think that,

that some of the problems we've faced in the past, Dutch Elm

disease, chestnut blight, some of the current issues we're

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facing with pine pitch cankers, sudden oak death syndrome,

glassy winged sharpshooter, these diseases are devastating.

And they cause economic damage and environmental damage all

out of proportion to what it would cost to exclude them.       I

think our, our quarantine system at the state and at the

federal level needs to be kept up and, and increased in any

way that we can increase it.     And I think when diseases or, or

insect pest pathogens, new pests are introduced into the

United States, or into California, I think that the, the Farm

Bill should have provision for putting money into research

immediately to combat these types of pests and find out

everything we can about them.

              MS. JOY:   Thank you.       Are there any other comments?

         MS. HUMISTON:   Glenda Humiston, USDA.       Although it hasn't

    particularly hit Mendocino or north coast yet, I know a problem

    that southern California faced that I think is very pertinent to

    this is currently it's, it's easy, fairly easy, to get disaster

    assistance when you've lost your crop due to fire, flood,

    drought, whatever.   But if you've lost your crop and the revenue

    from it due to a quarantine, you cannot get disaster assistance

    right now without a specific act of Congress for that specific

    disaster, which is virtually impossible to get.        That needs to be

    built into the Farm Bill as just treated the same as any other

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disaster, when you've lost your revenue from a quarantine, and

not able to sell your crops.

         The second point, we just recently released a report on

invasive species that has a great deal of recommendations in it,

particularly related to animal and plant, but also to better

cooperation amongst a lot of agencies at border issues, and, and

preventing and dealing with invasive species of all types.             Those

recommendations need to be looked at as part of the Farm Bill.

         MS. JOY:   Thank you, Glenda.           Any other comments?

                 MR. FOWLER:      Yes, I'm Charles Fowler, I'm Fowler

      Ranch, Kelseyville.      I feel that we need to have provisions in

      the Farm Bill that when the pest problems, such as glassy

      winged sharpshooter appear that we quarantine movement of

      things, the pathogen, the pest by quarantines that go into

      place automatically.       It seems that the glassy winged

      sharpshooter is mostly traveled in nursery stock, and that has

      not been stopped.     I assume that's partly because of economic

      impact on southern California nurseries.            However, the whole

      state is going to suffer because of this, and we need to, a

      quarantine is the most effective method to contain pests to a

      small area.   Thank you.

                 MS. JOY:     Thank you.         Any other comments?

                 MR. BATES:      Tim Bates, vice president of California

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Certified Organic Farmers, and an apple grower in Mendocino

County.   I liked what Glenda had to say about no economic

resource if we're quarantined, so it would be especially

applicable to organic farmers, who may get sprayed on during a

glassy winged sharpshooter program, or other such programs.

And I'd like to see a refocus, and what I hear so far about

plant health is a defensive stuff, keeping pests out from

destroying our crops.      There's some rumors going around, I

have no idea how true they are, that some of the least damaged

grape, grape crops in the southern part of the state were

being farmed organically, and very healthy composting going

on, and the plants are very healthy, and they got, sustained

the least amount of damage.        I'd like to see us build a

stronger, healthier plants and orchards in our state, and I

think we'll survive some of this stuff a lot better.

             MS. JOY:   Thank you.     Any other comments?

             MR. MURPHY:   My name's -- hello.     My name is Michael

Murphy.   I'm the executive director of the Sonoma County Horse

Council, and also a certified arborist in the state.         And I

don't see much being spent right now on an oak problem, sudden

oak death.    We've got three oaks that are very vital to the

woodlands,    Live oak, your black oak, and your tan oak are

being affected by this, and there's not much money being spent

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on research to find out what's causing it, and how to stop it.

 It's essential, if we want to keep our farms and our rural

areas to, to attack this problem now.

             MS. JOY:   Thank you.     Are there any other comments

to this question?

             MR. ABELES:   Yeah, hello.       Is it on?   My name is

Keith Abeles, and I work with the Community Alliance of Family

Farmers, I'm the north coast representative, field rep.           And I

would like, or a lot of the people we're working with would

like to see more efforts put in towards ecological approaches

to dealing with the glassy winged sharpshooter.           Certainly in

Sonoma County there's a lot of potential opposition if they go

ahead with the plans to do forced spraying of Sevin in areas

where they find an infestation, and I think it could turn into

a really difficult situation.         So as much support and money

can be poured into ecological situations, and like Mr. Bates

said, building healthy soils and plants that can be as

resistant to the pests as possible would be really ideal.

Thank you.

             MS. JOY:   Thank you.     Any other comments?    If not,

we'll move on to the next question.           How should the government

assess the risk brought about by increased trade with

countries that have potentially devastating pests and

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diseases?   Any comments?     If not, we'll move on to the next

question.   What infrastructure is needed to comply with the

Sanitary/Phyto Sanitary requirements?              No comments, we'll

move --

            MR. BENGSTON:    I'll make one.          I'm not sure about

the exact --

            MS. JOY:   Can you state your name again, please?

            MR. BENGSTON:    Okay.     Dave Bengston, Agricultural

Commissioner, Mendocino County.         I'm not sure about what the

question is, but I, I think something that, that's missing,

maybe, from the infrastructure is, is that we don't have a, a

way to deal with problems on the weekends or, or holidays,

that when we get a shipment hung up in a, in another country

at the border on a Saturday or a Sunday or a, the holiday,

there's no one available to deal with that problem, and, and

since we're dealing with perishable commodities much of the

time, we need to have somebody on standby, or something, in

place to deal with those, those types of emergencies.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you.

            MS. HUMISTON:    Glenda Humiston.          Another issue, too,

that has been affecting the east coast and trade into Europe

more, but is rapidly becoming a problem on the Pacific Rim is

a lack of laboratory facilities that need quality standards to

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actually do the testing.      There, there's almost none in the

U.S. there's almost none in Europe, and there's virtually none

at all in any of the Asian countries to which I know the west

coast likes to ship a lot of product.              There needs to be some

mechanism to encourage development of these laboratories and

some agreements on standards that countries will all utilize


             MS. JOY:   Thank you.

             MR. JOHNSON:   I was going to kind of let this go by,

but I don't think I will.

             MS. JOY:   Could, could you state your name, please?

             MR. JOHNSON:   Is this turned on?          Yeah.    You know, a

lot of our products that we raise here --

             MS. JOY:   I'm sorry, can you state your name,


             MR. JOHNSON:   I'm sorry.

             MS. JOY:   We, we can hear you, but we need to state

your name.

             MR. JOHNSON:   My name's Bill Johnson, and I'm

speaking as an agriculturalist, right now.             I'm not

representing any, any organizations at this moment.               But, but,

you know, a lot of the imports into our country meet different

Phyto Sanitary, they have different standards with which

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they're raised, and we have to meet, here.          And I, I think in

all fairness on imports in, in, in the United States that we

need to, we need to take a look and make sure that, that these

products are meeting the same standards that ours have to

meet.   And it, and it's so hard to inspect all that comes into

our country.   And so we just kind of sweep it under the carpet

on imports.    So I would really like to see, you know, someone

kind of take that a little more serious.          Imports are making a

big dent in California Ag right now, so.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you.      Any other comments?     If not,

we'll move on to the next question.          What policies and

programs are needed to address the issue of human health

problems arising from imported pests and diseases?           If no

comments, we'll move on to conservation.          Vanessa?

           MS. ARELLANO:    Thank you, Kay.       In regard to

conservation, conservation programs are in constant demand by

producers in the NFACT states.        The existence of programs at

all levels of government to protect and enhance environmental

quality needs the development of an effective, coordinated

strategy to avoid conflicts and duplication of efforts.

Farmers and ranchers want to balance the environment's needs

with their economic needs.      We need policies and programs that

allow this to happen.

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            MS. JOY:    Thank you, Vanessa.        We'll do the same

thing we did, we'll take the first three questions under

conservation.   Looking at resource conservation needs for

California, what existing conservation policies and programs

should be kept, or what adjustments need to be made to

existing policies and programs to make them workable for you?

 Second, what specific conservation policies and programs are

needed that do not currently exist?           And third, are there

specific conservation policies and programs that are no longer


            MR. DIMOCK:    Michael Dimock, representing several

communities throughout the state who are working on

conservation issues.      I just have, I'm going to tackle all

three of these at once, all right, so I can make all my

comments at once.      First of all, that I think part of

conservation, what will help in this issue is that the federal

government, the, the public, the state government's recognized

that agriculture is a multi-functional industry.            It's

providing a lot of different paybacks to the people beyond

food and fiber.   So some sort of a policy statement that

recognizes that in the Farm Bill beyond, actually amplifies

what's in there, but not really clearly stated, would be

helpful from a policy perspective, and as a way to communicate

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to the public that agriculture is providing many, many

benefits to this United States.

             Okay.   The second thing I want to say is that EQIP,

WRP, WHIP, are great programs, but they are not funded to a

high enough level.     The funding allocations for those programs

are much too low, and specifically, some of them were designed

for the midwest, where land values and crop commodity prices

are lower, therefore the amount of money that is returned to

the growers in the midwest is not sufficient to make those

programs a real incentive here.         So we need to be able to

increase the per acre payments for some of those programs,

particularly the riparian corridor programs, things like that,

so this would require a larger allocation to those programs

and an adjustment to the requirements to participate.          Another

thing, I think that we need to connect conservation to

marketing.    What do I mean by that?         There have been a few

programs, pilot programs developing here in California that

link farmers' participation in a conservation program to some

sort of a marketing message.        I think it would be interesting

for the federal government to become participating.          Right

now, most of that money is coming through the state agencies,

oftentimes with EPA money.       USDA could have a role in

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providing incentives that, for instance, if a, a grower

participates in a conservation program, they could, in fact,

perhaps, or their commodity group could receive matching

dollars for marketing use to promote their conservation

practices in the marketing messages.              Okay, those are the

first two questions.

          MS. JOY:     Thank you.

          MR. SMITH:     My name is Steve Smith.           I represent the

Mendocino RCD, the California Association of RCD's Forestry

Committee, and the NACD Forestry Committee.             This is a very

important issue, dealing with forest incentives.             Forest

incentives are not available to forest landowners, especially

in the western states.    FIP, SIP, they've all basically

disappeared.   I think last year we had fifty thousand dollars

($50,000) come to California, which, if you put, put it in

perspective, the whole, the entire western states get 10% of

the pie that's given out.      Very little.         We have over 40% of

the private landowners.     EQIP does not address forestry issues

at all, not at all, but in a very, very minimal amount.               In

fact, in order to be considered eligible, you have to be a

producer of some kind, I mean, Ag producer, and forestry

commodities, timber, is often considered not a, you know, a

timber owner is not a producer.        This needs to be corrected.

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I hate speaking.

           We need more technical assistance.      When, if you

increase the programs, the incentive programs, they need to

have technical assistance that goes with them.       You can have,

there's a lot of money left on the table because there is

nobody to help them show how to implement these things,

develop forest management plans, or any kind of planning

issues, so that they can address the complicated path that

they must go.   Part of that complicated path is the regulatory

process.   There needs to be some mechanism with these

incentive programs to basically implement these through the

regulatory process.   There is overlaying regulatory

requirements in order to implement an incentive program, and

these need to be addressed with technical, additional

technical assistance.

           Of course, we always like to complain about paper

work, but there's a, a huge amount of paper work, and it's

building more and more for each time we try to encourage good

forestry, or that sort of thing.       And it's the Farm Bill, the

reason why I'm bringing up the assistance program, or, both

the technical assistance and incentive programs is that in the

last five years, or since the last Farm Bill, there's been an

incredible increase in regulatory dollars coming to the west

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states, with a decreasing amount of incentive money coming to

the western states.    It's not working.           We need to have it go

the other way around.    Incentive, more people will move toward

good stewardship using incentive monies, and this is where it,

the Farm Bill is where we can see that happen.             All right,

with that, I'll stop talking.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you, Steve.           Are there any other


            MR. BLENCOWE:    My name is Craig Blencowe.         I also

represent the Mendocino Resource Conservation District.             I'm

also a consulting forester from Fort Bragg who works with

small, non-industrial landowners.          I find it interesting in

our discussion this morning that you mention pears and grapes,

and all the other things, but the last thing that was

mentioned was the fact that timber is our number one crop

here, and that we are the number two producer in the state.

And I'm sure if you look at redwood values, and the money that

it brought into this county, they're, they are very, very high

at this time.   I want to echo what Steve said about the need

for forestry assistance relative to the cost share programs.

But specifically, I want to say this, that we do not

necessarily need more trees in this county.             There are plenty

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of trees out there.    But what I see on the lands that I manage

is that a lot of these trees are being suppressed by tan oak,

by brush, by competing vegetation.         And it's our job at this

point not necessarily to plant new trees, we don't need money

for that, but what we need to do is get the lands that we have

back into full production.     You know, we all know that a lot

of these lands have been over cut in the past.         We know that a

lot of burning has introduced a lot of this tan oak and brush,

competing vegetation.    And now it's the main job that we have

is to get these lands back into production.         So I very

specifically point to that issue, as a timber question, where

we want to increase the production of, of that agricultural

product in this county, that's a good place that we, that we

should think about putting our money right now.         We don't need

more trees, we need to get growing what we already have out

there on the ground.

          And speaking from the standpoint of the Mendocino

County Resource Conservation District, again, I want to echo

what Steve said.   You can throw so much money at a problem,

but if you don't have competent people to help you implement

those projects, it doesn't do too much good.         And that's the

problem that, that we've had.       We really, with Tom Schott

(phonetic) and his staff in, in the Ukiah office, we simply do

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not have the, the personnel, we don't have the people to get a

lot of the projects that we want to off the ground, and to

make these inroads with, in this non-regulatory fashion that

these landowners really want to respond to.             They like the

RCD, they like the projects we have.              They like the attitude

we have.   We simply can not deal with all the people we have

to deal with, because we don't have the technical expertise.

So money, yes, but really, we need bodies, and we need trained

bodies to help us get those projects going on the ground.

I'll stop at that point right now.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you.

           MR. FOWLER:    Yeah, yes, Charles Fowler of Fowler

Ranch.   I'd like to --

           MS. JOY:   Can, can you speak up, please?

           MR. FOWLER:    Yes, I'll try.           I feel that we need to

include water conservation and off stream water storage

facilities in the EQIP plan.       They foster wildlife flood

control, and a small, smaller, more friendly reservoirs on

private lands can be very beneficial to, to our ecology.             And

the other comment is that I feel that, also, that EQIP is

seriously underfunded.    Thank you.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you.

           MR. MURPHY:    My name is Michael Murphy, again, the

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Executive Director of the Sonoma County Horse Council.           I want

to reiterate, the gentleman that was saying these EQIP grants

are doing a fine job, but they are definitely, need more

funding.   Another thing that I deal with in the horse industry

is a, a problem that we have.         We're not eligible for these

EQIP grants, barns, fencing, riparian corridors, all the

things that dairies have to deal with, and other large animal

producers have to deal with are eligible.          So this needs to be

addressed.    We're talking about a hundred and eighty five

million dollar ($185,000,000) industry in Sonoma County, two

billion dollar ($2,000,000,000) industry in California that's

not even recognized and allowed to apply for EQIP programs.

And also, we, we deal with, I'm on an animal resource

committee, and we deal with a lot of ranch plans.         And I seem

them going so far and then the funding being dropped.           Right

now, the Water Agency is even limiting the, their

participation in the programs.         We need to encourage the state

to continue funding, people to come to these programs.           We get

great programs, and they just kind of peter out.         So I

encourage them to maintain and continue and enlarge the funds

available for producers to deal with conservation issues.

             MS. JOY:   Thank you.

             MR. JOHNSON:   My name's Phil Johnson, again, and

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this time I'd like to speak as Chairman of the Board of the

Resource Conservation District for Mendocino County.       I'd like

to say that, you know, in dealing with the program, we think

it's a great program, it's something that's got to go down to

the landowners, but at the same time, we're beginning to find

that it needs to be a little more flexible, that we think some

of the restrictions that have been put on it to begin with

have been kind of idealistic.     And you kind of marched the

halls of Congress in Washington, D.C. one time regarding the

other Farm Bills, I think it was 1990, '85 through '90, and,

and I remember that you did not get, you got a cold shoulder

when you said you were from California, and you grew specialty

products, and we did not use subsidies.        Most of that Farm

Bill, then, was kind of put towards those subsidies.       Today,

though, in that kind of area, where we actually work on a, on

a, at a cash flow basis, our commodities are suffering in

California, and sometimes you don't have the match, match

funds, you get a down dip in Ag like we are right now, and

you're going to find it slow up, I think, on what we can do.

So I think you need to recognize, too, that good healthy

conservation practices are going to be a direct result, also,

of how profitable we are, here.     And so we need to look

towards conservation, I think, and your Farm Bill has to look

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toward profitability in Ag in general, which are some of the

other areas that the Farm Bill addresses outside of the word

conservation.   But we would like, we need help in terms of

manpower and technical assistance to, to bring about the EQIP

program here.   And with, we've got some extra, extra problems

in our area with endangered species listing of salmon, and

this type of thing, it's going to bring some pressures on us,

and we're going to need help.        And we need money to correct

the problems, and we've got a lagging Ag economy.         I think

those three things you need to keep in mind when you're trying

to make changes this year that'll affect us.        So.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you, Bill.

            MR. ABELES:   Yes, Keith Abeles, with CAFF.      I would

like to echo what people are saying about supporting EQIP

programs.   I think they're really valuable to the people who

are, are utilizing them and benefitting from them.         A lot of

the word I do is through our Lighthouse Farm Network Program,

where we do education on these various conservation issues,

and generally they're very well attended, very well received,

and people go on to implement a lot of the ideas and projects

that we're working on.    So any opportunities to create more

education is excellent.     And then on the other end, more

support for the actual programs, where people are doing

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riparian revegetation, or setting up habitat via hedgerows.

It's really important to the success of the farmers in meeting

multiple, multiple goals of both healthier soil, healthier

air, healthier water, and at the same time dealing with fish

regulations and soil conservation issues.         It's, it, the more

support the better, as far as these types of programs.

           So, it, and also at any level that we can support

our RCD's better.     I'm always hearing people, different RCD's,

you know, wishing they had more money, struggling to get

money, spending too much personal time trying to raise grant

money.   They need all, all the support they can get, and more

personnel, as well.

           On a broader note, I would also like to see higher

conservation standards put in place for federal farm commodity

programs, so that people that benefit from them are

functioning also as their role as stewards of the land as well

as dealing with the crop they have to produce.

           MS. JOY:    Thank you.     Are there any other comments

for these three questions?

           MR. RAY MOSTIN:     I'm Ray Mostin.    I represent the

Westlake RCD in Lake County.       I also sit as the Chair of the

north coast area, which includes seven RCD's, nine RCD's,

seven counties, from Sonoma County to the Oregon border.

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There are a number of things that have been mentioned here, it

all comes back to money.     And I think that we on the west

coast, we're the furthest from D.C., and it looks like we are

the, the, the beggars of the west coast when it comes to

money.   It runs out before it gets here.         EQIP is a very good

program, but we need more funding.          The five-year program, I

feel, is too long.    It is a emergency process where it should

be down to a year or two, not five years, because you can not

reapply for those funds during that five-year program.

           Our technical assistance through the NRCS is very

lacking.   We have done a need study on this, all of

California, and they have been cutting personnel for years,

and the amount of work that we have to do out there, we need

more people, more money, to accomplish what is, is needed.

     The farmer, I feel, 97is the best area that he conserves.

 He can't see his land eroded away.          That destroys his, his

means of making a living.      So it comes back down to the area

in Resource Conservation Districts on the local level, where

these people can carry out the programs that are needed with

the agreement of their neighbors, I think is a very important

in that area.   Thank you.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you, Ray.

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          MS. HUMISTON:    I'd have to say ditto -- I'm sorry,

Glenda Humiston, I'm forgetting it, too.            Ditto to everything

said, but I'd like to go back to a point that Michael Dimock

made earlier, and expand on it for one second, the, the

concept of multifunctionality.       I think one of my concerns is

that even though all of us recognize these programs are

underfunded, the trends right now are not to significantly

just increase funds in these existing programs, unless you've

got a real good selling point for it.            Your colleagues in

Florida have spent several years working on a concept that I

myself am very excited about, and that Senator Harkin out of

Iowa is actually interested in trying to make a key piece of

the conservation in the next Farm Bill.           And that's the idea

of purchasing a variety of services from private landowners in

such a way that the urban public, that 80 or 90% of the public

out there who don't know anything about agriculture, can

understand that they're getting something for all the

literally billions of dollars that really need to be invested

to have a healthy landscape and a good economic stream in our

farmers and ranchers.   The idea there is the kinds of program

dollars we're putting out now to start purchasing these

environmental services such as things Steve was talking about

earlier, good sustainable timber management, wetlands, ground

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water recharge, flood plain reduction, so that you save your

cities downstream millions and millions of dollars of flooding

damage, air quality, carbon sequestration.         I mean, there's

just literally no wildlife habitat.          There's no limit to what

could be done there.    And by making it a purchase of services,

I think the public would be much more inclined to spend what

literally ought to be, we've, we've estimated nationally, to

really do the work the landscape of the U.S. needs for

sustainable agriculture and a good healthy economy and

environment, you're talking tens of billions of dollars.         And

that's money that's actually being spent out there now, but

it's being spent in regulatory programs, or commodity

programs, or a variety of other things, and it's not getting

where it needs to be, to the private landowners and the

farmers' and ranchers' pocket, typically, or getting

conservation benefit.

          MS. JOY:     Thank you, Glenda.

          MR. BROOKS:     Lin Brooks, with Natural Resources

Conservation Service.     I want to get some clarification on a

couple of, of the comments that were made.         One was on the

EQIP and streamlining, or giving more flexibility.         I'm, I'm

wondering if those that spoke on that, or any others, might

have some ideas of what we need to be doing in those arenas

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of, of streamlining or making it more flexible at the local

level, because I, another way that's been designed is try to

make it at the local level, under our local work groups, of

making decisions.    So it would be helpful to get that.

          MR. JOHNSON:    Lin, I mentioned that.      And from what

I understand, you know --

          MS. JOY:    Can you state your name, please?

          MR. JOHNSON:    My name is Bill Johnson, Chairman of

the Resource Conservation District, again.        That, you know,

some of the programs are a five-year program, and we sign up,

and we try to do certain things.        This economy and

agriculture's changing so quickly, especially in specialty

products, these things change, and what we might have thought

three years ago was a direction we'd be going and certain

practices that we would carry through our farms where you're

multi-commoditied, you might find that you can't necessarily

do something you signed up for in the beginning with a certain

commodity, where maybe in this other commodity that might be

flowing better, you could do other things.        So I think there

needs to be some flexibility that way, and that we can change

around our program a little bit, work with our, our


          I think also it's important that there's one other

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point, and I can't quite remember it, but if I do, I'll tell

you.   But the time duration of the five years, it might not

work in one specific plan, where another may not have rated as

high as we understand it in the ratings, didn't make it into

the program because of a limited amount of funds, but, but

with changes in some of the other commodities or farmers'

programs, we might be able to go back and pick some of those

ups.   And some of the watersheds that we have are kind of

limited to certain watershed, where you may have a, a rancher

on a side stream or an area that is a desert, that could be

doing some of these things, too that could qualify for the

program but it's not in the designated areas, or the

designated watersheds.     So we're kind of, we have a lot of

water up here in Mendocino County, we've got, we're at the top

of the mount, and everything runs downhill from here.

Mendocino County, we've got Eel River going that way, and

Russian this way, and the coastal streams that way, and I

don't think anything runs into Clear Lake.        But so all these

little streams and a lot of the watershed could, that aren't

listed as our major ones, may be able to apply.        And so those

were some of our thoughts on that.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you.

           MS. FAULKNER:    Hello.     I'm Ellen Faulkner.   I'm with

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the Acorn Growers Association.         I think it's a really good

idea to provide incentives for conservation for

agriculturalists.      The riparian corridors are going to cost

them some money, but it will pay off in the long run.           And we

all know this.    Another thing that will pay off in the long

run is to give farmers incentives for getting off the

pesticide treadmill and into integrated pest management

programs.   The RCD's, if they wanted to handle that, would

need a great deal more technical assistance for that, and I

think it would be money very well spent.           Thank you.

            MS. JOY:    Thank you.

            MS. WASSON:    Bev Wasson.       I've had a number of

different hats over the years, but one was as a county member

of FSA, and one of the things on qualifying, one of the things

that we kept arguing, is did they make enough money to qualify

to be a farmer?   Because we have a lot of hobby landowners out

there.   And they needed a lot of assistance.          And I thought,

if that wasn't a question for us to have to think about, it

would have been a lot easier in relations to horses that got

to be, is it really a farm, or isn't it, is it a commercial,

are they raising horses for riding, or for racing?           And again,

that was a complex question that we had trouble coming to a

conclusion on whether they qualified, or not.           So my feeling

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is, the land is out there, it can be used for agriculture, it

should be conserved, and those people that need assistance

should be able to get that assistance without having to jump

through a myriad of hoops.

            The other thing that I'd like to say is the, I'm an

associate director on the Sotoyome Resource Conservation

District.   We need more funds for the base funding of those

organizations, so they have the dollars to go out and get the

people to help write the grants to get the matching funds.

And there is, again, a lot of programs out there that, that

could be useful that aren't.       We need to do outreach to

landowners that are just landowners, they're not farmers, but

they own a lot of farm land.       I've seen a fifteen hundred acre

ranch that needs an awful lot of, of conservation, soil

conservation work.     These landowners don't even know that they

have a problem.   And we need to get out that outreach and, and

help those folks, as well.      I have other comments, but I can't

think of them right now, so move on.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you, Bev.

            MR. MURPHY:   To address what Lin was saying about

some of the things that we can do --

            MS. JOY:   Can you state your name, please?

            MR. MURPHY:   Oh, I'm sorry, Michael Murphy,

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Executive Director of the Sonoma County Horse Council.             I hate

that last statement you got in their ground rules, "no dead

horses".    So I'm going to plug away, here.

            DR. SIEBERT:    Mike, Mike, you ought to like that


            MR. MURPHY:    The, so I'm reviewing a document for

the Sotoyome Resource Conservation District.             It's a fantastic

document on horse keeping, a guide to land management for

clean water.    It was prepared by the Council of Bay Area

Resource Conservation Districts in partnership with the USDA

Natural Resource Conservation Services.             These are the kind of

things that I love seeing out there, because I feel most

people would love to do the best things for conservation, but

they're ignorant.      Not being, being facetious, or anything,

they just need some education.         And this document I'm

reviewing is going out to only libraries, because there's not

enough funding to produce it any farther than to, to a few

libraries in Sonoma County and the Bay area.             That doesn't

seem like enough follow through.

            MS. JOY:    Thank you.     Are there any other, any other


            MR. RUDDICK:    Hello.     Rick Ruddick, Russian River

Unlimited, and Russian River Carrots.              I, the watershed money

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is very important to develop these watersheds.       And what I've

seen is is that so much of it on a big scale being spent on

research and, and not so much stuff on the ground, not so much

with RCD.   But I would like to see small landowners and family

farmers getting some special programs and maybe with no

matching fund type of deals, because they're struggling

throughout California and throughout the United States, and

streamline it, and make it easy for the property owner to do

it, so he's not spending a lot of time doing the paper work

and wondering, you know, what the next step is.       And like, in

today's society, so much of the paper work is, is sometimes a

person will say, forget it.       I also see where it brings the

community, the rural community, and agriculture, the

agricultural belt together, and I think that this is a real

good area where the education of the city or the rural

community people can get a, a, a helping hand in Ag.       And it's

real important that we have good relationships.       I guess

that's about it.   Thank you.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you.

            MR. JOHNSON:   My name is Bill Johnson, Chairman of

the Resource Conservation District for Mendocino County.        I,

I'm sorry I didn't talk to the streamline issue, but

streamlining, in my mind, this, we're talking about the permit

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process.   And there's going to be so much work that needs to

be done on these streams and with the endangered species

listing we have, we really have to look at all the help we can

get on streamlining our permit process to get all these things

done.   And it's so difficult to go to six different agencies

to get any kind of work done, and then have them on your

farms, and work with them individually, meet with them, meet

with them separately, meet with them as a group.            It gets

pretty time consuming, and we just don't have the time.              And

the other thing is, it's expensive.         And, and, and the

agencies I see around, they're stuck with this problem and the

expense of permitting, and they don't want it either.              They'd

like to see it back on the landowner, if they could.            So, you

know, it's going to be an additional expense to them.              So

somehow, for both the agencies and the landowners, something

needs to be done to help streamline this whole permit process

so that we can get these things done.            There's lots of

projects sitting around this year that can't get permits.

And, you know, the conservation isn't happening.            So that's

not working to everyone's benefit.         So I think that that's

really something that we want to get into the record, and

that, that needs to be worked on.        Thank you.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you, Bill.

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             MS. JOY:   We're still, we're still on the first

three.   Are there any other comments, or are we ready to move

on?   One more comment, and then we'll move on.

             MR. FOWLER:    Charles Fowler, Fowler Ranch.       I wanted

to comment to Glenn's question.          I think the EQIP program

needs to be, needs flexibility to be more site specific, and

I, I think that we need to be, be able to respond to the needs

of the specific ranch better.          Thank you.

             MS. JOY:   Thank you.      All right, we'll move on to

the next question.      What incentives would you need to make

monetary commitments to conservation?

             MR. SMITH:    Steve Smith, Mendocino RCD.       One thing

that really would work is consistent funding.            You have to

develop an infrastructure to deal with implementation of, of

practice, with site trees and tree planting.            I'm in forestry,

obviously.    And, you know, you can't have lots of funding one

year and no funding the next year.            Who's going to get into

the business of tree planting if you don't have consistent

jobs for the next year?       So you've got to have, one of the

things that goes with the incentive programs is consistency,

and some long term consistencies, at least five year's worth.

 Again, I'd like to also, the incentives that you need to make

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things work, is you gotta deal with what we just got finished

talking about, dealing with the regulatory process.           It costs

as much to deal with the regulatory process as to implement

the practice.    So sometimes you're not getting anything by

using the practice.    You can almost do it on your own without

going through the regulatory process.            And of course, with any

kind of federal money or state money, you need to go through

regulatory process.    So you've got a Catch 22, whether to do

it on your own and kind of slip around it, and pay the same

amount of money you pay for getting the regulatory process and

the incentive money.   So it's a, it needs to be addressed, and

it needs to be addressed well.

          Another off base one, here, to, to most situations,

is we in forestry like to work with prescribed fire.            Of

course, that's a bad word, now, with things that are happening

with inconsistent implementation.        But it's one of those

things that are very important to forest management and

vegetation management, range lands, that sort of thing.              But

we need, that's a really highly technical field, we need

technical expertise.   That's not available, because they're

tied with the agency they're with.         And also, we need the

liability, and some sort of shared liability, when these

things happen.    Okay, I'm done.

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            MS. JOY:   Thank you, Steve.          Are there any other

comments?   If not, we'll move on to the next question.           How

should the Farm Bill address --

            UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:      There's one right here.

            MS. JOY:   Sorry, Michael.

            MS. JOY:   How should the Farm Bill address issues

such as agricultural land preservation, rural/urban interface

issues, and urban conservation?

            MR. DIMOCK:   Michael Dimock, representing the Ag

Futures Alliance in Ventura County, Santa Clara County Farm

Bureau, which is working on a project having to do with this

Sonoma county, and several different organizations.            I think

this is a really important issue.         Currently, many communities

in California, which is rapidly urbanizing, are trying to

figure out policies which will allow agriculture to survive in

the midst of that urbanization.        Often, there's conflict

between environmental groups, farm bureau, other advocates for

agriculture, regulators.     So processes have been developing up

and down the state where these groups are coming together to

build consensus on the future of agriculture.

            One of the struggles has been is how do you actually

fund that process, because it requires support.            Luckily, in a

few areas, we've been able to get county governments or

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foundations to kick in, but often we're thinking that it would

be nice to have some sort of a program from USDA so that USDA

could be represented, or that is, the idea of building a

public/private partnership could include USDA.           These would

not have be a large fund, funds.            They would have to be

matching funds, five, ten, twenty thousand dollars ($20,000)

as part of a match needed to take these processes from start

to finish.    And they're requiring from one to three years,

because these are very contentious issues.           And people need to

go through a long-term process.           And the first year has been

really developing trust.        So the, there needs to be some sort

of funding for those, those conflict resolution and kind of

envisioning process, consensus building efforts to take place.

             MS. JOY:     Thank you, Michael.

             MR. SMITH:    Steve Smith, California Association of

Resource Conservation Districts Forestry Committee.           One of

things that you're talking about here is agricultural land

preservation.    And it's gotten to be quite an important issue

as a way of dealing with preserving agriculture, or timber

lands.   But we need to have, again, regulatory recognition

that when these lands go into, like a working landscape, that

the next series of questions dealing with ESA, TMDL, and

wetlands also recognize the fact that these lands have been

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restricted to a working landscape and there has got to be a

separate regulatory process of recognition from the regulatory

process that these lands are focused on timber production or

agriculture, and that there's incentives to do this.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you, Steve.          Are there any other


            MR. FOWLER:   Charles Fowler, Fowler Ranch.            I feel

strongly that we need to have a price support program that

assists farmers, especially orchards type of agriculture, at

low, at low market points to keep them in business so that

these, these lands are not absorbed into the subdivision

sprawl, cities, and so forth.        We have nothing that really

supports a minimal level of income for farmers and some, some

crops are, have such low, low points in profitability that we

lose the farms, and that's very prevalent.            Thank you.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you.

            MR. ABELES:   Hello.     Keith Abeles, with CAFF.         I'd

like to echo what Michael Dimock said about supporting efforts

for communities to work through some of these issues with,

with different ideas about how land is used.            I think in

Sonoma County our biggest issue is around urban/rural issues

and the tensions that are there, and there's a very

contentious initiative that did not pass last November, and

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that got into that issue.     But just in general, things are

coming up at every end, get into that, that difference between

urban mind set and rural mind set, and the, the fights that

come with that, because a lot of the urban people, they don't

really understand the needs of farmers, they want to see

certain changes, and the farmers don't have time or money to

respond, and certainly not on the time line that a lot of

people expect that to happen.       So there needs to be efforts to

help those farmers accommodate the needs of the urban people

and vice versa.   The urban people need to understand and the

value and the hard work and the efforts that a lot of those

farmers might be willing to put in if the environment is right

to have that dialogue.

          On another side of it, I think more effort needs to

be put into working with the planning departments in areas,

because certainly in our area, there's planners that are

sympathetic to the agricultural community, but don't really

seem to have the skills or understanding of what it takes to

successfully run a farm and keep an agriculture area viable as

a, as a whole.    And we've seen some pretty, pretty off the

mark ordinances proposed, and things that just don't seem to

really address the real needs of everyone involved.       So if

there can be some way to link planners into understanding

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agriculture issues and the economics behind what's going on,

that, then maybe things can work better.           And also, I think

there's somewhat of a mandate of planners to help develop

Sonoma County, and a lot of that, the time that is in

agricultural areas, and there needs to be more emphasis to

work with planners and create plans that, that, that are


             MS. JOY:   Thank you.

             MR. RUDDICK:   Rick, Rick Ruddick, with Russian River

Unlimited.    I'm a farmer, too.       The urban growth issue and, is

big in California and throughout the United States.           What I

see, though, is, is locally and in, in general all over is

that we're seeing less diversification in, in our crops.           An

area will be cotton, and that's cotton.            And, and in this area

we have, we have grapes and pears.           It's, if we're going to

get into regional agriculture, where we're, we're, we're

feeding our community, and, and doing some vertical growth,

which is what I believe will keep the small family farms

functioning, that, that should be, you know, should be a

priority, because we'll see our communities are focused on the

agricultural crops, and when they take a dive, the community

takes a dive.    With diversification, generally you have a more

stable economic situation.       And it also enables the, the small

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family farm to experience both the processing and, and it also

gives the community a chance to come out to the farm, or, or

for the farm to go to the community and educate them.          And I

see this as regional Ag as, as a very important and, and it's,

you know, in a different area, as Alexander Valley was one

that was a, I had a ton of crops there, and it's all grapes,

now, and nothing against the grapes, but we do need food crops

to eat, and this enables, I see this as enabling my children

to have a chance and to keep the farm going on a small scale,

because today's, today's farms are pretty multi-big, and the

small farm is truly suffering throughout the United States.

Thank you.

             MS. JOY:   Thank you.

             MS. WASSON:   Bev Wasson, Sonoma, again, another hat,

I'm on the Ag Preservation District on their advisory

committee as the Ag Rep to Sonoma County.          And one of the

things that I see that we need to do and need to support is

this country, not just in California or Sonoma County, but all

over the United States, we need to target the land that we

need to set aside and reserve for agriculture.         It has a good

use, you know, good Class 1 and 2 soils, and not put shopping

centers on them, as we see in the central valley, going in

right and left.    Because some day we're going to need to use

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that land, whether it's today or in the future.          But to do

this, we have to have some type of tax or monetary incentive

for the landowner to do that.       And I think the, those tax

incentives are out there, and they need to be increased.          One

of them, and we don't use them enough, is that you can put

your farm into a conservation easement.          It may need to be

paid out to the landowner on an annual basis, not a one-time

lump sum.   The problems that I see that create this is that

the landowner is going out of ag because he can't make a

living, and, or doesn't know how, on that property, and so he

sells it to the highest bidder.       And that bidder may not want

to use it for ag, and may want to put that shopping center

there, because he wants to make income off of it.          And I see

us just losing our land right and left.          And somewhere in the

future, we are going to have to feed ourselves, and it would

be nice that we had that land out there to do that.           So I

think we need to really set aside lands and not let them be

developed in that type of way.       And I don't see we have a

mechanism that really works here in California, and I don't

think in the United States.      And again, I think that monetary

incentive can be developed out there that helps that along.

            One of the other things that, that we face is that

because the values of land in California have gone up, and

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it's to the highest bidder, it's making it very difficult to

transition lands from one generation to the next.        And I think

everybody needs to think about that, that the inheritance tax

is quite a hefty tax, and unless you take care of it before

family members pass, it's going to be very difficult to keep

that land in small family farmers.         What will happen is we

see, as we see in Alexander Valley, more corporate entities

are buying up the property.      And they don't have as much

compassion, history with that land.         And I think it'll, you'll

see a big change in that landscape, not only in California,

but the whole nation.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you, Bev.       We'll take one more

comment up front here, and then we're going to move on to the

next question.   We're, we're just, we have about fifteen more

minutes to cover the next two questions, so we'll move on.

           MR. MURPHY:   Michael Murphy, Executive Director of

the Horse Council.    I'd like to just emphasize the fact also.

 We got a planning department in Sonoma County that I think is

more into regulations and fees and fines than are, than, than

should be necessary when dealing with the conservation of our

land.   When ranchers do something to protect the environment,

they should not have to deal with major expenses for permits,

engineered plans, et cetera, and have more exemptions for

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agriculture and what Bev was talking about concerning

inheritance taxes and breaks for these people, these

landowners, they're struggling, and, and the more we can

preserve in agriculture the more we're going have for our


          MS. JOY:   Thank you.       And if there's comments you

want to make that we don't have time for, please write them

down, and give them to one of the FFA students or to one of us

in a red shirt.

          Let's move on to the next question.        What type of

assistance do you need to address conservation needs in light

of environmental statutory requirements such as total maximum

daily loads, Endangered Species Act, wetlands, et cetera?

          MR. DIMOCK:   Michael Dimock, representing the Fish

Family Farming Program and Farmer's Clean Water Initiative on

the, in the Monterey Bay region.         We do have great programs,

someone's talked about EQIP, WHIP, the other programs, the WRP

which need more funding.     One of the things that USDA does not

have that would be useful for these water quality programs is

money for feasibility studies having to do with how to

organize initiatives.   Currently, the state of California does

have a program to the Water Quality Control Board that we have

used, but again, USDA is left out of that relationship often,

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they're not, they, they come in later to the process.            When we

start to talk about maybe some conservation practices, we'll

have some NRCS, NRCS’ reps come in, and they always do a great

job.   But they come in later, because we don't have that

institutional baseline policy or program that allows them to

come in during the feasibility phase and, and be a player and

help fund it.   So again, these programs are hamstrung, and

they're delayed, and farmers aren't able to, they can get the

money to do the activity, but they can't develop programs at a

base level that have life, an institutional life, that

supports them for years going forward, because this, these,

these practices, and the TMDL and the water quality is going

to have to be, go on for a long time.            It's not a one time

thing.   So they need institutional support.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you, Michael.

           MR. RAY MOSTIN:    I'm Ray Mostin, RCD, Lake County,

North Coast Chair.    Endangered species.         I feel that it has

some real problems in it, and the first one, it fails to

recognize that the species and humans need to coexist.            The

other, there are certain provisions in the Act that gives the

ability to special interests to further their political

agendas, and not based on the endangered species.           I think

that's a, a real important factor.         I think we need sound,

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scientific bases for establishing a endangered specie, and at

the same time, we need the ability to take a endangered

species off that list.     And it's almost a impossibility.

           MS. JOY:    Thank you, Ray.

           MR. BLENCOWE:    Craig Blencowe, Mendocino RCD,

consulting forester.    With respect to the Endangered Species

Act, there are two elements to that that I, I think is real

important to understand.     Number one is the whole process that

you have to go through in order to even, even get to the

field.   And the second element of that is, is what kind of

resource or, or what kind of asset are you going to have to

give up because of the limitation?          So those are two things

that are going on here.      The, the second thing is what

happens in the field is not your business.          That's a rule that

you can't control.    But I want to talk to the first element of

it.   That's the process we have to go through.         You know, we

may have to go through two years of surveying for endangered

species to find we have none on the property.          And, and the

cost and the expense and the time loss and the loss of market

opportunities are the things that the process kills you on.

And that's what I want to talk about right now.          We have

talked about in our RCD the possibility of us being a

repository for data, so that every time you have to go cut a

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tree, I don't have to do the same report that Steve needs to

do, that Tom needs to do, that you need to do, and we have to

keep repeating this process.     The Department of Forestry has

all this information in their files, and yet every time we

want to do something, we have to go through the whole thing

all over again.   It's a total waste of time and, and money,

and it's a waste of effort that could be actually used on the

ground.   So what I'm talking about here is the possibility of

funding that would allow us to set up a data house, a place

where all this stuff could be obtained not only by people

that's in timber, but agricultural people of all kinds.      They

could come to one place and get all this stuff done at once,

and save a whole lot of money and time on this whole process

that is just killing us, worse than what the actual ESA does

in terms of limiting our, our movement in the field itself.

           With respect to the TMDL's, and we've dealt a lot

with that with our RCD group.      The key there, I think, is

education, dealing with the, the ranchers and, and the rural

landowners in a lot of these areas, particularly most recently

for us the Garcia watershed.     The key is education.   The key

is to teach these people about how to assess damage on their

roads, how to install culverts, how to install fencing, what

are the benefits of these things?       So in that respect, I think

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that, yeah, there's a lot of opportunity there that can be

done not necessarily by bringing in big pieces of equipment

and reorganizing the landscape, but simply communicating with

these people through a lot of educational type programs.       If

sediment is a concern in a lot of our salmon bearing streams,

like everybody says it is, because many of the coastal streams

are listed as impaired for sediment, then I think we need to

focus on the roads.   And, and that's what we've been trying to

do in the RCD, cost effective, relatively simple solutions

that we feel we can get a large bang for our buck.

          MS. JOY:    Thank you, Craig.

          MS. HUMISTON:    Glenda Humiston.      In the upcoming

Farm Bill, we need to incorporate very strongly within it

legislation similar to what Charlie Stenholm out of Texas

introduced this past year, protecting the privacy of the

conservation plan information.       And it needs to be protected

to the exact same level as Ag Census data is currently able to

be protected by NASS, the National Ag Statistics Service.          It,

to follow up on what Craig said, if we had better information

and better data, we could do a lot better planning, and

frankly, private landowners, I think, would be happy to have

that data available for research and study and regional type

planning efforts if they knew that it could be protected from

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a site specific use as, as information was processed and

handled.   We weren't able to get that out of Congress this

year, but I know Charlie's going to introduce it again, and it

needs to be a key part of the Farm Bill, or we're not going to

get the kind of information we need for good environmental

research and planning.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you, Glenda.          Any other comments?

           MR. RUDDICK:    Yeah, Rick, Rick Ruddick, Russian

River Carrots.   Well, the ESA deal's a hard to read thing,

and, and I didn't, you know, it's kind of a mess.            And it,

it's for sure, and I'm going to talk about the small farmer

again, a real negative for him.        It's, it's hard if you got

into some mitigation, or something like that, you wouldn't

have anything to mitigate.      A large corporate is, is, is, is

at an advantage at this.     The, I mean the federal government,

some of the agencies involved in it, I mean, you want to run

the other way.   They have bad PR.        They're hard to deal with.

 You don't know who's who.      There seems to be a lot of chaos

in it, and so people duck away from it and don't address it,

and so, again, I, I'd just like to see the small farmer, the

family farm be able to be a leader in this and, and show the,

the general public that, how important the, the family farm is

to America and its heritage, and also to feed, feed its

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people.     Thank you.

             MS. JOY:    Thank you.

            MR. JOHNSON:     Bill Johnson, Chairman of the

Mendocino County Resource Conservation District.            Because of a

listing of, you know, the, the Endangered Species Act and the

listing we have here, you know, I really think it's important

that we have some outreach that comes back in these areas,

anyway, and I think statewide, too.            It's been a very divisive

thing in agriculture here.       There is half the state that is so

afraid of having anything to do with this, with any kind of

conservation that may lead to a endangered species listing in

their areas.    And it's just a real polarization that's going

on in the state of California right now amongst those who are

in the area and have to abide by conservation practices that

we need to do to clean up this, these waters, or, and, and

those that aren't.       And there needs to be some outreach and

some give and take and, and reaching some of the, our own

farmers right now do not want anyone on their land.            They are

very afraid of having to do anything with any EQIP or any, any

one of these coming down, they just don't want any strings

attached.    And I think you're up against a, you know, that's a

real bad situation that we need to address, and, and get out

there and make people feel a little more comfortable either

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it's right, or it's wrong, or we need to address it in some

kind of outreach.       So I think that's real important for us.

             MS. JOY:    Thank you, Bill.           Let's move on to our

last question.

             MR. SMITH:    Oops.    I know you want to move on.         I'll

make it short, as usual.       Steve Smith, NACD Forestry

Committee.    The concern that has come up quite a bit is, is as

a endangered specie gets listed, all of a sudden, landowners

are in violation of particular items of that listing.                 They

also then become ineligible for incentive programs.               So you

have kind of a Catch 22.       If you had seen ahead of time to

address it with your incentive program, then you'd have taken

care of it.    But if you weren't educated enough, and then all

of a sudden you find yourself in violation, you can't use your

incentive programs.       So there's gotta be some sort of

interconnection between the two when endangered species get

listed or a TMDL is declared that you can use incentive

programs to help repair or take care of an ongoing problem.

Thank you.

             MS. JOY:    Thank you, Steve.

             MR. BENGSTON:    Dave Bengston, Agricultural

Commissioner.    I, I just had to jump in here.             I had a

conversation with a Fish and Game biologist yesterday about

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the red legged frog, which has been listed in California.                 And

it's most probably going to affect people in wetlands and

their property, and so forth.        And the real problem is that

we're dealing with an invasive specie, because the bullfrog is

invading the red legged frog's territory, and it's the real

culprit.   It's eating the red legged frog and making it an

endangered specie.    But yet, we're not dealing with that

problem, and I don't know how we do, or how USDA does, maybe

in an end run, not providing assistance, but through the

programs on research and through the invasive species programs

that they deal with.     But right now, we're not even really

answering the question and, and the problem in California,

which is the bullfrog.     But we're going to have an endangered

specie, and we're going to have land set aside, and it's going

to impact property owners.

           MS. JOY:    Thank you, Dave.           All right, let's move on

to the last question in the conservation.             What educational

curricula are needed to address conservation issues, policies

and programs at the high school and university level?

           MR. DIMOCK:    Michael Dimock.           This goes back to

something --

           MR. DIMOCK:    Oh, Michael Dimock, sorry.           The, the

concept of multifunctional agriculture is not really widely

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recognized.     If we began in high school curriculum and at the

university level discussing agriculture, or having classes on

the multifunctional component of agriculture, it would, it

would begin to create the perception that allows for the

policies and the politics that will allow for the revenue

stream to come from government to help farmers keep their

operations alive.       So I believe there actually should be

curriculum in the social studies portion of curriculum in high

school in which students who are not ag students, but are

general students, are educated in the multifunctional

contribution of agriculture as part of their course of study,

as they study governance, they study social health care

system, they study all these other things.          They need to study

agriculture in the same way, so that they have the, the

perception they need to support policy.

             MS. JOY:    Thank you, Michael.

             MS. MCALLISTER:     I hate talking.    I'm a ag teacher

at Kelseyville High School.         My name is Donelle McCallister.

We came here today just to learn a little bit more about the

Farm Bill.    I brought a couple of students, and some of its

over our heads, but the rest of it is there.         I believe that

actually this bill should not affect just high school and

university.    I think you need a little lower, starting at K,

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meaning kindergarten, and working your way to 12.             I always

say if farmers are stewards of the land, then teachers are

stewards of your future generations.             And I teach six

different classes with class sizes of, ranging from twenty-

five to thirty-seven students.       In the introduction to ag

class, out of those thirty-seven students, I'd say two come

from production agriculture, the rest do not.             So it's like

I'm fighting a battle in my classroom.             Here I'm the big ag

teacher in Lake County, and most of my students are not

interested in what's going on.       I also think that teachers

should have fund raising 101 in their education curricula as

they go through universities, because we're broke all the

time.   If the Farm Bill were to present dollars or money in

special mini-grants, something, for K through 12 instructors,

they're, they're cheap, they're going to go find it.               And they

can use that money to help develop educational curricula or

special projects, or something that's going to teach our

youngsters coming up through the system.             I found out some

facts, actually, we, we have a governor that's supposed to be

the education governor.    Well, I think he's killing vocational

agriculture and vocational programs as we know it.             We have

things like the X-exam coming to hit our ninth grade freshmen.

 They want to pay math teachers more money so that they can

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teach a student about algebra, increase our work load from the

180 days to 210 days.      This all looks good to the state of

California and its parents.         But I see the students in my

classes, and I figured, and there's a fact roaming out there

that 82% of our students do not make it to universities and

colleges.   And where are they going?              And I always tell my

kids, my job is not to turn you into a farmer, my job is to

hopefully educate you so you can support the farmer.              So I

think we have a lot of work to do there.

            MS. JOY:    Thank you.

            MR. RUDDICK:    Yeah.     Rick Ruddick, farmer.        The, I,

I think that education of the whole process of ag is very

important, because generally our population and the kids are

naive to the fact where their food comes from.              And I think

that also their ability to grow a tomato plant would be good,

because if, if everybody in Los Angeles had to grow a tomato

plant, the take wouldn't be too good.               And so I think just the

basic putting it into a science program, and the Farm Bureau's

done a lot of good stuff with, with their ag education

programs, and I'd like to see the kids get out to the farm

more, and for these, for the farmers to open up the farm and

let the kids out.      They, we had a tour, and, and they weren't,

they liked going out in the field more than the processing

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plant.   So I can't emphasize enough, here again, it's good for

the family farm, the small farmer and relations towards the

general public.   Thank you.

           MR. ABELES:   Yeah, Keith Abeles, with CAFF.    I think

every opportunity should be taken to get people out onto

farms.   There should be tours for, I mean, I know the question

is high school and university level, but certainly at any

level, getting people out to farms is, is invaluable, and it's

amazing to see what happens when, when you get someone who

isn't used to that environment out there, they can often

really turn into a different person for the better.   So any

opportunity to create tours, or internships for students, or

jobs, for that matter, at farms, would be valuable to the

process.   Certainly university level students should be

capable of working on restoration projects or on farms or do

research for their, whatever levels they're act, they should

be able to turn that into projects.

           At another level, there's a program being developed

in Los Angeles, and they're starting to do it in Ventura

County, and they're going to do it in Santa Cruz County,

called the Farms to School program, where they're linking up

small organic and small local farmers with schools and

institutions and selling them really high quality produce.

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And at school level, it's a real valuable opportunity, because

when the kids start eating it in their cafeteria, and they

start eating certain vegetables and fruits and things that

might not otherwise, because the quality is really good, but

there's an education component that goes with that, where the

farmers come to the school and work with the kids, teach them

what they're doing, let them know more about what their system

of agriculture is, and what the issues are, kids get more

interested.    And then sometimes if it's a good program, the

kids get out to the farms, they see it, and then there's a

whole other level of learning.         And if kids can start getting

this ideally from a really young age, there's going to be a

lot more interest in agriculture, potentially actually young

people moving into agriculture, if it can be economically

viable, and just in general a compassion and understanding for

agriculture that is, is lacking at the moment.

             MS. JOY:   Thank you.

             MR. HOWELL:   Dustin Howell, Ukiah FFA.     I'm just

going to think back on what they said about kids getting into

the field.    I, for one, loved the hands on way what we're

doing.   And this year, Ukiah High actually got a grant to do

an organic farm where we get to grow the vegetables and grow,

and possibly sell them to the public, where we get to have

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more of a hands on and get to realize what we're doing.

Whereas people in my own family don't even realize how much

time and how much experience it takes to get what we get from

the store, and how much money is in it, and how much you

actually can lose to, if you lose your crops.     So if we can

get it to the, actually just science labs, it would be much

better for this, Mendocino County in general, the county in

general.    So I want, I want, if we can get tours going for

different students, it would be much appreciated, because it

would be a headlong experience where they could learn more

about it.    And that's all I have to say about that.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you, Dustin.

            MS. WASSON:   Bev Wasson, grape grower, Alexander

Valley.    One of the things that I think would, it's, been a

big help is to educate not only the students from K through

college, but also the regulators that are already out there,

the agency people.     And the way to do that is to invite them

on your farm, let them see the day to day needs that you have.

 Because most of the time I've dealt with some that have never

been out of, you know, San Francisco, and they're making

policy about things that they have no concept of what it is

out on the land.    And I think we need to make a concerted

effort to get the agencies together, to get them out in, in

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the field.    Most landowners want to do the right thing.            We

need help, we need education.          One of the best things, we just

had a workshop on erosion control at my farm for about forty

people.   We need to be able to get those best management

practices into Spanish.       We need to get our farm workers into

those classes, as well.       There can be and should be a real

drive for education, because the information's out there.              We

just need to get it to the people that are doing the job.

             MS. JOY:   Thank you, Bev.

             MR. BATES:   Tim Bates, CCOF Vice President.           Boy,

I'm encouraged by what I've been hearing, and I hope that the

required course at Kelseyville, is that Ag Intro, no?              But you

have thirty-seven students.         I'm, I'm glad to hear that.        What

I'd like to see, I'm paraphrasing Wes Jackson's statements,

he'd like to start seeing degrees at the universities for

"homecoming", he's calling it, how to get back and set down

roots in campuses, rather than just degrees in upward

mobility, because there's only so much room at the top, and

people are going to have to get back.               And, you know, I'm, I'm

encouraged by what I hear.        Open up your farms, and let these

kids come and see what's going on.

             MS. JOY:   Thank you.

             MS. HUMISTON:    Glenda Humiston.          Michael was on the

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right track earlier about needing to weave agricultural

resource management to economic realities of working with the

landscape into high school curriculum.          And it ought to be

required.   But frankly, at the university level, it needs to

be a required component of degree programs in wildlife

biology, planning, regional planning, urban planning, et

cetera, just, just all the way across the board.          Because

these people are coming out of university and going into the

jobs as regulators, et cetera, and they've never been exposed

to the broader ecosystem or natural resource or agriculture or

economics of dealing with the landscape in a productive

capacity, be it ag or farming or fishing or forestry.          And

that needs to be a component of those curriculum.          And also,

we need to expand in high school and university the fact that

there actually are a lot more jobs related to agriculture than

just production agriculture.     And quite frankly, USDA, not

just NRCS, but ARS, Extension, et cetera, we can not find

enough good qualified people for jobs we've got out there.

And I know we're losing people, but still, what few slots we

have still, and we hope we get more slots, we can't find good

people that, that can take these jobs on without a lot of

remedial training in a variety of course work.          So we need to

start getting our young people to understand that there's

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actually a lot of job opportunity related to ag that isn't

just production agriculture.

           MS. JOY:    Thank you, Glenda.

           MR. CRAWFORD:    I'm Eric Crawford, from Ukiah High

School.   I'm, I'm also an ag teacher, and I'd like to

piggyback on what Donelle said, in that there's a really big

concern now with the high school exit exam coming up that a

lot of our kids, we're talking here about having more in

curriculum related to agriculture in the high school and

university level, a lot of the kids aren't going to be able to

take the courses, because they're going to be pushed out into

remedial classes to have to pick up their English, or math, or

whatever, to pass that exam.       So that's a point of concern

that's coming up.     One way that we're dealing with it at Ukiah

High School is we've been collaborating a lot with the science

department in that the science department is working with the

agriculture department to help us get our farm going.       We,

Dustin's one of my students, and so we're trying to get the

organic garden on campus going so we produce enough vegetables

on campus to provide it, or supply the cafeteria.      That's our

goal.   We're not there yet, but we're working on it.      Anyway,

the science department is working with us, we're going to put

in a pond so that we can have a small observation area for

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wildlife within our, on our agricultural land, and also

they're going to help us to different essays on how, you know

how the water temperature is, are affected, so if we wanted to

integrate aquiculture in, and stuff.              They're giving us the,

the technical expertise on campus to help make that happen.

So collaboration between department is, is a really good way

to help beef up the, the curricular component.

          MS. JOY:     Thank you.

          MR. CRAWFORD:     That's what we're doing.

          MR. MURPHY:     My name's Michael Murphy.           I'm also a

teacher at Santa    Rosa Junior College.            I teach two classes

right now on water quality, animal stewardship, and equine

facility planning.    And I'm encouraged by what I'm hearing,

along with Tim.    I think that not only do we need to have more

high school and college.     At Sonoma State, I got a degree in

environmental planning with not a single course in anything to

deal with agriculture in one of the biggest agricultural

counties in the state, and here nothing at all in my

environmental planning degree involved agriculture.              I learned

it on my own.   We have it, in the, in Sonoma County, we have

an Ag Day at the fairgrounds every year.              We have four

thousand kids come by, pet horses, cows, every kind of

agricultural animal.    They see, deal with the Resource

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Conservation District.     It's enlightening to see these kids

come through here and see what agriculture is on a hands on

basis.    I think it would be nice to have some incentives on

some of these, these petting farms and these places where

people go to -- we just lost one in Sonoma County, Westside

Farm, where I went to it on one of the last days, and people

told me that they had been going there for fifteen years, and

this is their experience with agriculture.              And when we lose

opportunities like this, we lose an educational component that

we need to encourage, not just high school, not just

universities, but from the beginning, because the kids need to

know where our milk comes from, and that, that a brown cow

doesn't produce chocolate milk.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you.

            MR. REDDEN:    My name is Judd Redden.           I'm from

Sonoma.   I raise sheep.     And the thing I would like to say is

from an educational standpoint, it seems like a lot of the

education has always been coming from private sources and

foundations, Ag in the Classroom, farms to school, the, the

Farm Day, that all comes from private sources.              And if the

federal government wants to help out, I think the way to do it

is don't start your own.      Take a look at the programs that are

already working, and work with them.               That will save everybody

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time and effort and money, and you're not recreating the

wheel.   It's working in places, but not in all places.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you.

           MS. FAULKNER:    I'm Ellen Faulkner.     I'm also from

Humans at Risk, an outfit recently organized to deal with

genetically modified organisms in agriculture.       It seems to me

that it's true that small farms really give a lot more

benefits to the community at large than just produce that they

produce.   However, in larger farming operations that we might

call mono-cropping, we have a lot of costs that get

externalized, that aren't borne by the mono-cropper, but by

the community at large.     One of them is, is large scale

spraying, which isn't, apparently, very good for our health.

If we are going to have a curriculum to attempt to give people

an understanding of what's actually going on economically,

then I think that we should be able to have a discussion, as

they do in Europe, about the externalized costs of large scale

corporate farming, as well as the benefits of small scale

diverse farming, which I understand very well, and appreciate.

 I'd like to see them both in the curriculum.        Thank you.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you.      One more comment over here?

           MR. JOHNSON:    We were talking the other day, and it

seems, and I, I would like, this is kind of speaking --           Bill

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Johnson, from Mendocino County RCD, excuse me.               We're, we're

made up of private landowners, and, you know, speaking from

our, our side of things as a private landowner, I think the

component that's kind of missing, often, in the word

conservation is private, what, how, how are we going to be

looked at in the curriculum in these schools, and where, what

role does private landowner play?          So often I think people see

the president sign off a bunch of land as, as a park to be

conserved, and they think that a lot of conservation is done

by conserving land in the national best interest.               But we're

talking about where is the private landowner, and we need to

outreach to these schools and have part of the curricula that

that small farms and the private landowners, you know, do a

tremendous amount to conserve their land.               And I know they

want to.   So that's where we, we were thinking that we'd like

to see some emphasis, private landowner.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you, Bill.            Any other comments?    If

 not --

            MS. ARELLANO:    We've had an addition to the head

table.    I'd like to introduce Harry Bistrin, Field

Representative with the Office of Assembly Member Virginia

Strom-Martin.   Thank you for being here.

            MS. JOY:   Okay.    With that, why don't we do a ten

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minute break.   We have coffee, and there's fresh fruit and

vegetables in the back.     But please make it a prompt ten

minutes, please.

            (The Meeting Recessed Until 10:22 a.m.)

           MS. JOY:    And please take our seats.       Hello.   Let's

please take our seats.     Let's go ahead and get started on our

next topic, please.    All right, we're going to go ahead and

get started with our next topic.         All right, let's go ahead

and get started with our next topic, which is international

and domestic markets.    Vanessa?

           MS. ARELLANO:    Thank you, Kay.       First off, I'd like,

we've had another addition to the head table.          That would be

Jennifer Puser, Field Representative from the Office of

Senator Wes Chesbro.    Jennifer, thank you for being here.

           In regards to international and domestic marketing,

NFACT concerns have been regarding the development and

adherence to international trade agreements and the

development of effective domestic nutrition policy for healthy

eating.   Current programs offered through USDA include the

market access program, which is a cost share program to

promote U.S. products and commodities abroad.          Another is the

USDA of commodities for surplus removal.          These purchases

assist growers by the removal from the market of excess

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commodities, as well as providing a benefit to students in

school meal programs and low income food programs.

            MS. JOY:    Thank you, Vanessa.         Okay, we'll take

those first three questions again, like we've done before.

Looking at international and domestic market needs for

California, what existing international and domestic market

policies and programs should be kept, or what adjustments need

to be made to existing policies and programs to make them

workable for you?      Second, what specific international and

domestic market policies and programs are needed that do not

currently exist?    And third, are there specific international

and domestic market policies and programs which are no longer


            MR. DIMOCK:    Michael Dimock.         I think generally, the

thing, I, I want to talk about, the week of Christmas, a New

York Times article came out, many of you might have read it,

which talked about the subsidy payments last year,

particularly in the grain belt.         I happened to be in San

Francisco that week, and went to three dinners with people

that are in finance, and other things.             That article did more

to damage the image of agriculture than anything I've seen in

a long time.   And if you notice, you know, Time has got a ton

of letters afterwards, people outraged by the domestic price

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support, commodity price support system program, really upset

about it.   So I think that that was an indication that has a

lot to do with what I'm going to say right now.

            Everybody believes that the market is the engine for

change, now.    Whether that's right or not doesn't matter,

because the perception is reality.         Therefore, I think that

marketing has to be an increasing focus, market systems have

to be an increasing focus of USDA, but following the trend

that was begun with the last Farm Bill, to get out of the

domestic, supporting domestic markets by paying price

supports.   I think we really have to think about innovation.

I was very, I was very sad that the, the, the farm program,

oh, my gosh, it just went out of my mind, but there was a

program that was started under the last Farm Bill which was to

really stimulate innovation.      The funding was cut after the

first year.    Does anybody remember the name of that?       Oh, God,

okay.   Anyway, so therefore, programs like the Federal State

Marketing Improvement Program, otherwise known as FSMIP, that

program is a really great program, it's what started Select

Sonoma County.    Select Sonoma County is a program that's now

being copied all around the United States.         A hundred and

eighty thousand dollars came from that program and started it.

 Well, FSMIP's money has been, been cut.         That's a very

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powerful program, we need more money for FSMIP.

             The other thing I think that's important is the, is

the marketing, the market program that supports MAP, supports

exports.   That program is really most accessible to the larger

farms.   It would be interesting to toy with the criteria to

allow smaller farms, for instance, I'm thinking of,

specifically, we have one, well, the U.S.'s largest Belgian

endive grower is in Davis,       California.       He's competing with

Europeans.    Now, he's trying to get into Europe with his

product, he thinks it's better, but he's not quite big enough

to take part in that program.         So the criteria for that

program need to be looked at to allow smaller scale farmers to

participate.    And, I guess that's good for now, thanks.

             MS. JOY:   Thank you, Michael.

             DR. SIEBERT:   I'd just like to make a comment on, on

MAP.   Actually, a lot of the funding goes through marking

orders, co-ops, commissions, and so on.            And for example,

there, there's a Walnut Marketing Board, there is a provision

for people, firms to apply irregardless of size, but you don't

get the small, you don't get the smaller.           So what, what

you're really saying is, is that we need to look at how we can

make the program more accessible to smaller farmers,

producers, growers, irrespective of where the funding goes.

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             MR. DIMOCK:    That's, that, I think that is a big

part of the problem.       I just remembered, it was Fund for Rural

America which was cut.       Now, they, and in a couple of

instances, they've tried to throw money back at it, and

actually there's going to be an allocation for next year.                 But

the Fund for Rural America was actually part of the deal in

the '96 Farm Bill that there was going to be a hundred million

dollars ($100,000,000) invested in innovation in marketing in

the years following the, the last Farm Bill.                It didn't

happen.   I thought that was a real, actually, what it did, it

really undercut the trust that agriculture had for government,

because of that.    And it wasn't USDA's fault, it was the

Congress.    But I think it's really important that programs

like the Fund for Rural America, and if you don't know about

it, anyone, you should look into it.                It was really about

stimulating innovation, which is what we need right now,

because we're in a global market that requires innovation.

Thank you.

             MS. JOY:   Thank you, Michael.            Any other comments?

             MS. WASSON:    Actually, one comment.           This is as a,

Beverly Wasson, and this is as a consumer.                I would like some,

at some point labeling the point of origin of the products

that I buy in the grocery store.           I like to know where they

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come from.    I would like to support domestic producers, but

have no way of knowing that in the large supermarkets that we

deal with today.

             MS. JOY:    Thank you, Bev.       Is there another comment?

             MR. RENFREE:    Hi, I'm Mark Renfree, and I run a

agricultural service in Yuba City.            And I couldn't make the

January 30th one, so I'm here today.                And I just wanted to, to

make a comment.    It goes back to education.             The gentleman was

just mentioning about the perception in San Francisco about

the funding of the ag programs being negative.               It goes back

to education, because they truly don't, they truly don't

understand what the government is trying to do for everyone

here.   Jerry probably has better figures than I do, but the

last figures, I believe of the entire U.S. government budget,

25% goes to USDA.       Of that 25%, only 1% in the nation goes to

farm subsidies.    So if these people were educated in the fact

that, that we have the cheapest food in the world, only 1% of

the whole U.S. budget goes to maintaining that level, I think

they would understand that subsidies are not negative, it's a

necessity, because we compete in a marketplace in the world

that is subsidized.      And we are very lucky, because we haven't

had wars.    These countries have had wars, they realize how

extremely important it is to their society, to their people,

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to make sure that they never starve to death.           So they'll do

whatever it takes to subsidize their growers.           We haven't got

to that point here.    We're heading down the path of, of the

oil.   Years ago, the American people didn't step up and say

it's important that we keep our families and those drillers on

the platforms pumping our own oil.          They said, we want to go

with the cheapest price.     Agriculture is heading down that

road right now, and unless the American people and the

constituents that are passing laws understand agriculture,

then we're heading down that path to go to the cheapest price.

 And if it goes to the cheapest price, our farmers are out of

business.   We can not compete.       We are not the most, even

though it's presented that way, we are not the most efficient

farmers that everyone says we are.          The net income of farmers

has been decreasing the past ten years.           You can not be

efficient to decrease.     Yes, they've scaled larger farms in

order to make ends meet, but the net income has been

decreasing.   So again, it's back to education.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you.

            MR. ABELES:   Yeah, to, to answer that first

question on --

            MS. JOY:   State your name, please.

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            MR. ABELES:   Oh, yeah, sorry.         Keith Abeles, with

CAFF.   To address that first question.           I think what, what I,

what we see happening here is that agriculture is going down

the same road as people just mentioned, there's other

enterprises, and so we have a free market global economy, and

that's how more and more agriculture is being geared towards

that economy.   And I would say this one, one instance where

that's not what's best for agriculture.           There's a lot of

times where the free market global economy is good for a

certain product or, or service, but in this case, it's not

good for the farmers, especially small farmers, and it's not

good for conservation on the lands, it's creating a, a need to

have economies of scale and get bigger and bigger, and that's

going to create a lot of problems for small farmers who get

priced out, for, as farmers get less and less of the consumer

dollar that's being spent.      That, I think that's a real

problem for agriculture, and it's going to create a loss of

diversity and a loss of care for the land, and a loss of just

farming population, which I don't think any of those would be

our goal.   So I think this is an instance where it would be

real valuable for the government to play its role and deal

with this specific situation, being agriculture, and try and

promote policies that support local production, local

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distribution, local consumption of healthy food that was

produced with with a certain level of standards and the people

who consume it get the nutritional value, because it's raised

in proximity, plus, they are connected to the people who

actually produce it.    I think that's a valuable situation that

we're losing in the current trend.          So any opportunities that

the USDA can do to create policies and support for local

distribution to support small scale niche specialty product

types of farming, I think then we can have a vibrant small,

medium size agriculture that both creates a good product and

is able to foster a, a healthy treatment of the land.

          MS. JOY:     Thank you.

          MS. HUMISTON:     Glenda Humiston.       You're not actually

processing these comments till February 15th, right?

          MS. JOY:     You have until February --

          MS. HUMISTON:     Well, consider mine post-dated

January 21st, when I'm officially a private citizen, again.

It's current government policy to not, U.S. policy, to not

support the notion of multifunctionality in our world trade

discussions.   Multifunctionality, as the Europeans and

Japanese in particular support it of, as Michael's mentioned

earlier, and I also mentioned the environmental services,

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purchasing the services, et cetera.        We need to change that.

That's got to be, that needs to be a bedrock part of our

government policy in international trade agreements.         We need

to pursue the concept I mentioned earlier about purchasing

environmental services, since that way of investing a great

deal of money into private lands and rural landscapes falls

into the green box in the World Trade Organization, and does

not count against us in trade negotiations.         And, and last,

but not least, we need to, as a nation, just go ahead and

admit that we've got a cheap food policy and say that that's a

good idea, and start being willing to go ahead and freely

expend the billions of dollars to maintain a cheap food policy

and family farms and rural landscapes.          Right now, we like to

pretend that we don't do that, so we find a million and one

ways to play smoking mirrors with our budgets so that it looks

like we don't do that.   But it's okay to have a cheap food

policy.   We've had it for several decades, it allows consumers

to have all this great food at very little prices, and on top

of that, when you consider the percentage of working poor in

the nation, without a cheap food policy, and those prices so

low, you start knocking large percentages of people below the

poverty line, where they then become eligible for food stamps,

and Section 8 housing vouchers, and a whole host of other

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general assistance programs that cost a lot of money.            It's

better to invest the billions in keeping a healthy

agricultural landscape going than to go that route.            And, and

also, when you think about the fact that we have a consumer

economy, dollars that people don't spend on food are dollars

they spend on Microsoft upgrades, and Nike tennis shoes, and

all the other things that keep the economy chugging along.              We

need to get our large corporations and private sector

businesses to recognize that they, too, have a stake in

maintaining a cheap food policy, that it's a good national

policy.   And, I'm, that, please postdate that January 21st.

             MS. JOY:   And I'll, I'll just take the opportunity.

 We are taking written comments, so if there are things that

you haven't said that you want to say, or you know, people who

want to make comments and can't attend one of the forums, we

have set up a, an e-mail address, which is NFACT, N-F-A-C-T,    It's on the bottom of your focus questions,

also.   People can submit written comments to there and through

February 15th.    So with that, there's our, our commercial.

All right.    Back to our questions.          Are there any other


             MS. ARELLANO:    We've had another addition to our

head table.    At this time, I'd like to introduce John Westoby,

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Ag Commissioner for Sonoma County.            And I'd also like to

invite John to make any kind of comment he would like to in

regards to agriculture and the Farm Bill.

             MR. WESTOBY:    Thank you.       I'm sorry I'm late.     I had

an agenda item this morning before our Board of Supervisors.

And in looking at the program before I came up, I did have

some general comments related to some of the topics that were

given out.    Under animal and plant health issues, of course,

Pierce's Disease and glassy winged sharpshooter will continue

to be a threat to California agriculture.            There needs to be a

continued federal presence in, in the effort to control the

spread of it, and research cures for that disease.            Under

conservation, agricultural preservation is only possible if we

have agriculturalists to continue the effort.            We need to tie

preservation of ag lands and operations with opportunities for

aspiring young workers and farmers.            International and

domestic markets, support for local marketing organizations,

local marketing, to promote all aspects of local agriculture

and to help assure diversity by providing opportunities for

local citizens to support the efforts of local growers I think

is very important.    And in -- oh, okay, and we're still --

             MS. WASSON:    No, you're caught up.

             MR. WESTOBY:    And thanks for having me.

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          MS. JOY:   Thanks, John.

          MR. RENFREE:    Mark Renfree.           I, I did want to

mention one thing that hasn't been mentioned is that the

subsidies that have, generally have come have been to the

traditional subsidies of the wheat and feed grains.            And I

think it needs to be mentioned that all farmers are in a boat

right now that's, that's barely staying afloat throughout

California, throughout the nation, and that all crops should

be considered under some form of, of safety net to, to make

sure that they can make it to the next year, make it down the

road, so that they are not selling their land for development.

 It's an easy decision, when you've been losing money and, and

you owe the bank money, and it's getting worse every year, you

owe more money the next year, it's easy to sell out when

you're in that situation.     So I think some time needs to be

spent looking how do we protect all farmers, not just the

traditional wheat and feed grain farmers.

          MS. JOY:   Thank you, Mark.            All right, let's move on

to the next question.    How should the effectiveness of

marketing programs be measured?       All right, we'll move on to

the next question.   What programs should the Farm Bill

authorize to maximize opportunities to market U.S.

agricultural products globally via electronic technologies?

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           MR. RENFREE:   Let's go back to that last bullet,

because that's a, that's really important.             And I'm just going

to make a simple thing, and, and the effectiveness of any

marketing program should be the net income to the farmer.

That's how it should be measured.         Period.       End of story.    You

could have as many marketing programs as you want, if it

doesn't bring back more money to the farmer, we have all these

check offs, fees, assessments that they pay, if it's not

bringing the farmer more money, it's a waste of time, let's go

down another path.

           MS. JOY:   Okay, thanks, Mark.            Any other comments?

           MR. FOWLER:    Yes, Charles Fowler, Fowler Ranch.             As

far as measuring the effectiveness of a marketing program, I

also feel that marketing programs should be measured by how

across the board they serve farmers.              There's a lot of money

spent on marketing programs in this country who only benefit

really big corporations like, for instance, Gallo, who got a

lot of money, at least a few years ago, for marketing in

Europe.   I think that it needs to be set up so that the

smaller farms, farm producers get some benefit and that it's,

there's some equal distribution.         Thank you.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you.      Any other comments?        Okay,

let's move on to the next question.          How can the U.S.

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Department of Agriculture and the United States Trade

Representative better cooperate to ensure compliance with

previous and future trade agreements?             If you have no

comments, we'll move on to the next question.             What could be

done to advance a wider range of domestic market outlets for

California farmers, such as restaurants, school districts,

government contracts, farmer's markets, and others?

           MR. FOWLER:   Charles Fowler, Fowler Ranch.             I feel

we need to promote local food supplies.             We need to bring

regulation for small producers to the local level.             Meat,

milk, et cetera, need regulatory relief so that producers can

sell our products directly.       It shouldn't be against the law

to sell your neighbor milk or sausage, or a pie that you've

made from your own products, as it presently is.             Thank you.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you.

           MS. HUMISTON:    We've had authorities for a year or

two, now, to facilitate farmer direct sales into school lunch

programs, as well as Department of Defense facilities.              But

we've had almost no luck in actually getting that going,

because of a variety of issues.        And they mostly center on two

things.   One is local school boards and school management just

find it to be more of a headache than they want to deal with,

and so there's got to be some way to facilitate some grants or

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something, or people to help with the management of that.           The

other problem is, farmers often don't have enough volume to

actually make it worthwhile.       There needs to also be some way

to have expediters and consolidators for groups of farms.

Maybe this needs to be more focused on rural cooperatives,

rural businesses in smaller scales than we're used to.

Because it's been very frustrating.          That, that could be such

a wonderful revenue stream.       And, and myself and my colleague

at Food Nutrition Service desperately want to do this.           We've

actually recently started working with Resource Conservation

and Development Councils to try to use them as a facilitator,

but school boards and school officials have got to somehow be

brought on board, and, and to see the benefits of this and

want to do it.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you, Glenda.

            MR. ABELES:   Yeah, Glenda, those were really good

comments.   There's some real challenges --

            MS. JOY:   Could you state your name, please?

            MR. ABELES:   Oh, sorry.      I'm Keith Abeles, with

CAFF.   Those are really good comments.           I know it's a really

challenging situation, but yet I think it has to happen for,

for numerous reasons, both for the farmer and for the schools

involved.   And so however that can be supported.          I know that

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some places have done it by creating a food policy council,

and if you can get people from the school boards and the

public institutions, hospitals, wherever they might come from,

to sit on that.    But it, it's imperative that people have good

quality food from local suppliers, and, and better than the

quality of food that most school children certainly have been

offered most of their lives.       The opportunities, they're

there, and so I think whatever support can be given to create

personnel to create those programs, it, it needs to be done,

and, you know, if we start now, maybe in fifteen years, it

becomes the norm.    In the meantime, there's, they've started

doing it in Los Angeles.     There's a program, and CAFF is

helping with this, in Ventura County, and now they just got

some pilot project money to do it in Santa Cruz County.         Maybe

the USDA can really take a lead in creating pilot project

programs, creating assistance for people to, to, whatever

hurdles need to be leapt over, that, you know, to help do that

and get the right people at the table and to help support that


             And one other matter, farmer's markets are an

excellent outlet for farmers.        It's a lot of hard work, but

generally both the buyers and the farmers find it really

rewarding.     It can be difficult for someone to get into a

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market, some markets, you know, can be very hard to set up,

depending on the circumstances of where you're trying to set

them up.   But that's another area where every effort should be

made to support the development and ongoing execution of any

farmer's market wherever, wherever they can happen.           There's,

there's always going to be farmers and consumers interested.

           MS. JOY:    Thank you, Keith.

           MS. WASSON:    Beverly Wasson.         One of the things, I

think, on the school districts, and they're saying tough to

get it in there, maybe they need a monetary incentive.           And

schools need money.     They need it for a lot of reasons.        And

if they had a incentive to go local, I think they would.           It's

just, you know, give them a kick in the right direction, and I

think that's how you start it.

           MS. JOY:    Thank you, Bev.

           MR. SMITH:    Steve Smith, Scientific Certification

Systems, a forester.     Products include timber, of course, and

the government is one of the larger municipalities, and the

federal government, local governments, do a lot of building.

Those buildings are starting to use outside wood, wood from

outside, produced outside the country.            It'd be nice if there

isn't an incentive for at least public construction to use

wood from sustainable sources, such as Certified Sustainable

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Wood, or as, at least domestic wood of some type.

           MR. BATES:   Tim Bates, as a consumer.     I,

restaurants are, have started to take care of their own.

They've got a chef's cooperative going around that is doing

phenomenal work getting, you know, restaurants to go direct to

farmers.   The school, educational ones, I hate to say it, what

my experience has been just awful with dealing with them

trying to get fresh fruit.     I mean, they have these programs

where they get stuff shipped to them, and canned peach, you

know, canned cling peaches, and stuff that's just awful food.

 And experience has been a little different in my area.       I

understand the food program has an excess.       They put, are

socking away money every year, they're sitting on quite a few

thousands of dollars, but they just keep getting that stuff.

We tried to get an effort to have them buy some fresh fruit

form the local people, and they have a very negative attitude.

 They, they just, they're, they're sort of stuck in this rut.

 I think they need to go to some seminars, they need to go to

a, a thing like this.   They're the food programs in the

schools, and hear some of this stuff, because it's, you know,

the kids don't want, my kids don't want to eat any of that

food.   So we don't buy any, you know, no, my kids have never

bought a lunch at the, at the cafeteria.

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            MS. JOY:   Thank you, Tim.

            MR. DAVIS:   Yeah, my name is George Davis, Porter

Creek Vineyards.   I'm a wine grower, Russian River Valley.              I

think the best way to do things is like we've done in the wine

business, which is not try to push a product through the

system, but rather create a demand, so it gets pulled through.

I belong to an organization called The Slow Food Movement,

which originated in Italy.      It's a, it's an organization which

focuses a lot of attention on specialty foods, things that

bring a greater rate of return for the farmer, that focus on

the small farmer, and really create a demand by, by focusing

attention, focusing perception on the quality of the food.

You know, how many people have tasted a vine ripened tomato, a

tomato from one of these heirloom varieties?            It's really a,

really a, a wonderful experience.         And it's hard to go back to

the normal generic tomato after that.             This creates a whole

new focus on food, and a way of increasing profits, especially

for the small farmer.    Thank you.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you.     We've had a request -- as

people speak, especially when the heater is on, it's hard to

hear.   People have, from the front table can't hear people at

the back.   So please speak up loud, if you can.

            UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:      Standing up would help, too.

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            MS. JOY:    So with that, any other comments on this

question?   We'll move on to the next question.            What

incentives could be placed in the 2002 Farm Bill to ensure

that fresh produce and other California products are available

to consumers in economically challenged areas nationwide?

            MR. BATES:    Tim Bates, again, this time as a farmer.

 I've taken many years, but I'm developing a market for quote

"number 2 fruit".      And a lot of restaurants, that's, that's

all going to be cut up, and they don't need to have those

perfect ones, and that's one way to start.             Now, I've heard

some awful stories in the past here in California.                A peach

grower had hail damage, and he couldn't, they, they basically

stopped him from marketing any of his fruit, and he was

willing to just give it, I believe, to the Los Angeles public

at large, to help the, you know, poor people get food.               We

really need to look at this seriously.             You know, the

canneries, the, there's, you know, the prices keep dropping

generally at canneries, because we got, they got warehouses

full of apple juice, and in my case, it would be apple juice.

 This number 2 fruit should be able to go out, and we're

talking not these programs spending a whole heck of a lot of

their money to get their hands on that and pay a fair price to

the farmer, you know, a real fair, inexpensive price would be

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about five times what the canneries are paying for that same


             MS. JOY:   Thank you, Tim.        Any other comments?

             MR. FOWLER:    Charles Fowler, of Fowler Ranch.         My

observation is that many of the consumers in the economically

challenged areas do, do not look for fresh fruits and

vegetables because historically they just haven't eaten them,

and I feel like we need some programs to educate those

consumers and teach them that these are healthy, healthy

products and good for them, and promote their consumption.

Thank you.

             MS. JOY:   Thank you.

             MR. SMITH:    Steve Smith, forester, local, working

locally.   Just a quick note about the railroad that goes from

here to, from here to Eureka.

             MS. JOY:   You have to stand nearer.

             MR. SMITH:    Oh.   Stand up?

             MS. JOY:   Or speak out.

             MS. ARELLANO:    Stand up.

             MS. JOY:   Speak up.

             MR. SMITH:    I'm sorry.      I, I was just making a quick

comment about the, the railroad that is from here to Eureka.

It's not been working.       It needs to work in order to move

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timber products from here out to the rest of the nation.              And

Eureka and the Humboldt County is a big timber producer, and

it's, has to truck it all, and it's quite expensive.

          MS. JOY:   Thank you, Steve.           Any other comments?

          MS. SMITH:   Kendall Smith, from the office of

Congressman Mike Thompson.     One program that comes to mind

with the, getting products, agricultural products into

economically challenged areas would be the WIC Farmer's Market

Food Program, and I just wonder if there's any commentary here

or support for that program.      There's one that is currently in

place, I used to work for the WIC program several years ago,

and it's an excellent program.       There's an educational

component, it gets coupons for the local farmer's market into

the hands of low to moderate income women.           In my mind, this

program could be expanded in the state of California.            I

believe Virginia has an extensive program, and it might also

be in Tennessee.   Are you aware of --

          MS. HUMISTON:    Yeah.     The one problem --

          MS. SMITH:   -- which ones?

          MS. HUMISTON:    -- the one problem we have, though,

that we're fixing rapidly, is that most of the program

participants are moving to the electronic cards.           And a lot of

the farmer's markets aren't set up to handle those yet.              So

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that's, that's the effort we're working on right now, is to

get them more access to the electronic technologies.

            MS. SMITH:   And it is an excellent program.        I, I've

seen it in action.     It puts, it puts the coupons into the

hands of, of those individuals that may in the past not have

visited farmer's markets, so it expands their awareness of

fresh fruits and vegetables, it's great for the local, the

local producers of those products.           It's an excellent program,

and I believe that there was an excellent federal match in

place, and I believe it was a year or so ago the governor

vetoed one of those programs.         And perhaps if there was more

support and more coordination, something like that could be

expanded, because in an agricultural state such as California,

it seems that that's a, a perfect avenue to expand both

nutritional quality and support for local growers.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you, Kendall.         Any other comments?

If not --

            MR. CRAWFORD:    Eric Crawford, from Ukiah High

School.   In order to help get the fresh fruit into the

disadvantaged areas, I'm thinking if there is some way

possibly to help encourage farmers to do CSA's, and maybe link

it with the WIC thing, or, you know, to get other federal

programs that help get individuals who can't afford the fresh

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vegetables or they don't feel they have access to it to help

get that into the program, that may be a way to help the

farmers in the area, and they, they'd be making more money,

and they'd get more fresh fruits and vegetables into the

houses of people who need them.       So that may be a way to do


          MS. JOY:   Thank you, Eric.            Any other comments?

We'll move on to the next question.         How could a bonus added

incentive for food stamps redeemed for the purchase of

domestically grown products be implemented?

          MR. BENGSTON:     I don't -- excuse me.          Dave Bengston,

Agricultural Commissioner, Mendocino County.             I don't really

have a good idea for, for how a bonus could be added, but I

think it's necessary, it's something that's needed.            But

before that happens, I think, I think that something that

would probably help, and I'm being redundant for people that

read the local newspaper last night, but doing away with some

of the stigma for using food stamps and, and doing away with

the California requirement that requires fingerprinting, I

think, would, would help.     And having some kind of a shortcut

system, instead of taking a, an average of, what is it, five

visits, and two and a half hours to get food stamps, I think

it should be much more easier for these people to get food

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stamps.   And there needs to be some kind of educational

outreach program to people that, that qualify for food stamps,

because a lot of people don't even know that they are

qualified.    So we have hungry, I'm sure all over the country,

I know we do in our county in in the north coast, they're not

using the food stamp program, much less for domestically grown

products, because they don't know that they qualify for the

food stamp program.     But I think we, and I don't know if the

federal program could do anything about fingerprints, but

that's something I think I wish California would do away with.

             MS. JOY:   Thank you, Dave.

             MS. MCALLISTER:    Donelle McCallister, Kelseyville

High School.    Can I talk to marketing issue real fast?    One

more thing I thought of.       I am a physically challenged cook,

okay?   I, I'm really good at teaching, but I'm very poor in

the kitchen.    And as I think back, it's easier for me to go

shopping for my family in a store and open a can of peaches

that it is to figure out what to do with all this beautiful

fresh vegetables and fruit that are sitting on the stands.

It's too bad that we couldn't, in terms of education, teach

all of these people who are in challenged areas and some of

the other things that are in the programs what you do when you

see that squash sitting on the, on the shelf.      I think that's

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a huge educational benefit to what you're going to do with the

food products once we pick them up.              And I'll tell you, it's

easier for a family to stop at McDonald's than to go in that

store and prepare it.

             MS. JOY:    Thank you.       Vanessa, can I do a commercial

for one of our --       there's, there's a company that Vanessa has

been doing some work with called Freida's.              And actually, if

you buy a Freida’s squash, on it, it tells you how to cook it,

it gives you recipes.         She's doing a fabulous job.       And it,

it's an idea that maybe others could expand on, but she is

doing a wonderful job of doing, doing just that.              What do I do

with this squash?       So.    Look for her products.       And, and her

recipes.    Any other, any --

             MS. MAHONEY:      I'm Terry Mahoney.       I'm with the USDA

Farm Service Agency.       And on the issue of bonus for --

             MS. JOY:    You, you need to speak up, please.

             MS. MAHONEY:      On the issue of a bonus for food

stamps.    If they're going to electronic cards, why couldn't

this be just like when you go to Macy's, or something, and

they have a 15% off sale, they ring up the regular price in

the cash register gives you a 15% off, and it comes up with

the total.    On the food stamp thing, if they had a, some

button on the cash register they could push for a domestic

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product that would then rebate whatever agreed on amount it

was, 10%, 15%, for that, the price of that product, and when

they swipe their card through, their total, a hundred dollars,

or something, and then they would get their 15% rebate, it

would credit fifteen dollar ($15) back to their account, so

that they would have more money on their account, you know, at

the end of the month, or to use during the month, the more

they bought domestic products, the more money they would get

credited to their account.      And I think it would be very easy

to, to do with the cash registers and such that they have now.

           MS. JOY:    Thank you.

           MR. FOWLER:    Charles Fowler, Fowler Ranch.      I would,

on this line, I would like to see a mandatory labeling law

that identifies domestic products.          This kind of a program

could not be done without something that truly identifies what

is a domestic product.    Thank you.

           MS. JOY:    Thank you.     Are there any other comments

under international and domestic markets?

           MR. SACK:    Gary Sack, with the California Farm

Bureau.   I'd like to jump back, if I could, to the question,

how can the United States Department of Agriculture and USTR

better cooperate to ensure compliance with previous and future

trade agreements?     One of the things that we're hearing from

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our members is that they feel as though that agriculture has

been traded away in the trade negotiations, where they would

give agriculture, and particularly specialty crop agriculture,

away so we could get more high tech or other commodities in

there, then we would not be as persistent in trying to make

sure that the specialty crop agriculture was protected.       And

as most of us know, about everything we grow in California is

considered a, a specialty crop.      So being a little more

persistent and not trading away agriculture could do a lot.

In addition, we are being asked to compete with a lot of other

countries when our regulations are more stringent, when we

have higher labor costs, where you have at least a seven

dollar ($7) an hour minimum wage, we're competing with other

folks with a, maybe a dollar a day, air quality regulations,

labor regulations.   I'm not sure how it would work, but

somehow this has to, to fit up in the mix when we do

international trade negotiations.       And enforcing the

unfairness that's out there, I think we've heard this last

year, the government's been a little slow to enforce sanctions

on other countries when it's found out that they're not

playing by the rules of the game.       So enforce the rules, the

sanctions, a little more swiftly, would be of benefit.


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          MS. JOY:   Thank you.      Any other comments?     All

right, we'll move on to research.        Vanessa?

          MS. ARELLANO:    Thank you, Kay.       NFACT supports

increased research in the areas of pest detection and

exclusion, integrated pest management, sustainable

agriculture, and agricultural labor issues.         Public

investments in agricultural research have been significant in

several areas, with the exception of specialty crop and

livestock agriculture.    In particular, given the global and

high tech era we have now entered requires additional support

of public and private research.       Food and fiber are essential

all people, and we must ensure our productive capacity is


          MS. JOY:   Thank you, Vanessa.         And we'll take these

first three questions again.      Looking at agricultural research

needs of California, what specific research policies and

programs are needed that do not currently exist, or what

existing research policies and programs should be kept?

Second, what adjustments need to be made to existing policies

and programs to make them workable for you?         And third, are

there specific research policies and programs that are no

longer relevant?

          MR. RAY MOSTIN:     I'm Ray Mostin, Resource

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Conservation.   The scientific needs of research, I think, is a

very important one to the farmer.         You can look at the, the

back trail quicker and see how successful we have been.            Going

back to the cranberry problem, you broke a lot of small

farmers.   If you look at the Alar problem in apples, and it

all proved to be a tremendous burden, slowing down of sales of

crop, and the breaking of a lot of farm, small farmers.            If

you look at, at Cyclamate, the sugar additive that busted up

Cal Can, who went upside down.        Many of the growers that had

stock in that lost it.     If you look at the changes that have

taken place, I think that there has to be sound, scientific

knowledge on these things that are used, and not a snap

judgment to say that you can't use them, blah, blah, blah. A

few years later, they change their mind, and in the meantime,

the small farmer has, has, has gone away.         The crop insurance

that we operate under is a complete waste of time, because it

is focused on tonnage yield.       We, it has to be focused on net

proceeds of the grower to cover his expenses.         What, these

are, we have to do good scientific base research in order that

we don't repeat the errors that we have had in the past.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you, Ray.        Any other comments?

           MR. BENGSTON:    Ray Bengston, Agriculture

Commissioner, Mendocino County.

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          MS. JOY:   Can you speak up, please, Dave?

          MR. BENGSTON:    Dave Bengston, Agricultural

Commissioner, Mendocino County.       You're into one of my

favorite subjects, now.    In think there's several research

programs that need to be continued and, and maybe expanded.

One, I think, is wildlife services.         The Denver Wildlife

Research Project in Denver, and the satellite research station

here at UC research facility, I think those should be expanded

to deal with problems with animals.         I don't think those

animal problems are going to go away, and I think that the,

the public is going to continue to move to ban methods that

they don't like.   And I think research is needed to replace

and, and find new alternatives to, to what the public finds to

be unpleasant.   I think the current problem that we're dealing

with with Africanized honey bee in California needs to be

researched more.   I think the the Carl Hayden Bee Research

facility in Tucson needs to be kept in place, and, and maybe

expanded to deal with AHB problems.         I think the, the federal

government needs to continue support for glassy wing

sharpshooter and Pierce's Disease research, and, and that

should continue.   I think they need to throw as much money as

fast as they can into sudden oak death syndrome, which right

now is a problem in California, but oaks are, you know, a

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major part of our environment all over the United States, and

that is something we can not afford to lose.           And as far as

adjustment to some research policies, I think the IR-4

program, which finds and deals with pesticides for specialty

crops, I think that program needs to be speeded up, and I

think some of the research needs to go into finding organic

pesticides.   I talked to organic growers time and time again

who are growing an organic crop, and then they run into a

problem where they have to give up their organic status, and,

and they either give up growing it altogether, or they, they

go to some other crop, because there is no organic pesticide.

 I think maybe the IR-4 program could incorporate looking for

organic pesticides within that program.           And I think right now

in California with the Glassy Wing Sharpshooter problem, we do

not have an organic material or, or method registered that we

can use right now at this time.

           MS. JOY:    Thank you, Dave.

           MR. BATES:    Tim Bates, CCOF and farmer.        Yeah, Dave,

good, I hope they do.    Well, they're going to have to, I

think.   There's going to be some civil disobedience coming up

on Glassy Wing Sharpshooter if we don't allow some organic

controls to be initiated.      But I really want to talk to some

of this other stuff.    One of my pet peeves all along has been

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I have a basket full of proposals for research grants that

they're never been finished.      I got the first five paragraphs,

and I gave up when I saw all the other hoops I was going to

have to go through to get it.        So I was always hoping, and I

keep telling these organization, they, you know, they, they

send out all this paper work, and, and you get all excited

with a lot of ideas, and I got a million of them, what they

need to do is send a person out there and, and help me write

that, or write it for me, and I'll sign it, because I'd never

get them done.   I can't find the time, I'd rather be in my,

well, my wife says I'd rather be in my tractor than anywhere

else, but it's, it's not really true, I want to be on my farm

getting my work done.

          I had another one, let's see.             Oh, FSA, and that

kind of stuff, the crop insurance thing.            They need to, I know

you can only qualify for certain crops in certain counties.

So they need to get rid of that and let all farmers that are

growing whatever they're growing qualify for some of that

relief if they need it.    And there's a pistachio grower, of

all things, here in Mendocino County, I'm sure he's not listed

to get any kind of relief.     So I've been hearing this.          I'm

not quite sure how true that all is.             I wouldn't mind hearing

somebody answer that one a little bit.            But I guess it's, you

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know, the County's main crops are the only ones that get it.

I believe probably twenty years ago, a pinot noir grower

probably didn't qualify for any of this money, and my fear is

pretty soon apple growers, walnut growers and pear growers

won't qualify for the money, so.          We want to keep a broad

spectrum focus on the disaster programs.

             MS. JOY:   If I could remind the audience, right now

we're talking about research, risk management is the next

subject.   So.

             MR. ABELES:   Yeah, Keith Abeles.       In want to comment

a little bit on, well, on research.           I think it's, it's pretty

clear that farmers need more support and more research on

biological farming system methods, and that includes cover

crops, pest and weed control, soil health, composting, using

beneficial insects, organic approaches, enhancing non-crop

vegetation such as riparian restoration, and, and putting in

hedgerows.    I do education on this, and I'm one of the only

people doing it, and for every course I offer, there could be

a lot more, but as I go and I talk to researchers and I get

help for my presentations, there is a real lack of it.           And

what In see is a lot of the research, or most of the research

is put into large scale agriculture needs, and it's being put

more and more into biotechnology, especially the production of

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genetically engineered, the use of genetically engineered

organisms.   And these basic, these basic needs, like I said,

that list, from cover crops to compost, that type of thing,

there's just a huge need for it.       People want it, people will

use it, it creates a healthy farm, creates a healthy crop.

And we need to support more of that, and there needs to be

more research coming at every level.            The University of

California could step up with their Extension Service.              But

any, any, anybody that's doing research needs, we need more

encouragement, more money for people who will research these

types of things, because while everything else is still

important, this is getting lost, and the small farmers and the

farmers who want do it in this style just aren't really

getting the support, so they're constantly having to invent,

invent the wheel, and talk to each other, and meanwhile, other

industries, or other aspects of the industry are getting a lot

more support.   And while something like genetic engineering is

obviously something important to look at and investigate, and

it offers some interesting possibilities, to, to be putting

such an emphasis on a technology that is largely open to free

market processes and which is showing huge risks, potential

risks to the environment and to the farmers who use those

technologies, should problems arise, which, as we know with

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new technologies, they usually do, I think there's a place to

research that, to be carefully researched, and at the same

time, that should not be the emphasis of where research

increasingly seems to be going, because farmers need basic

hands on information on all these pragmatic skills to, to

grow, to grow their crops in a healthy way.

          MS. JOY:   Thank you, Keith.

          MR. MURPHY:   Michael Murphy, Executive Director of

Sonoma County Horse Council.     And I just recently participated

in a research study with UC Davis concerning the pathogens in

horse manure.   And I think there's a lot of fears in, in the

public and these, these studies and these research procedures,

once they're completed, need to be advertised, or need to be

put out to the public, instead of just being in scientific

documents tucked away in, in universities and in libraries,

because I'm looking forward to the results from this study.

They were going to do pathogens, noxious weeds and several

other ones involving equine manure.        And, I mean, you talk

about a watched pot, trying to get samples on twenty-five

horses, waiting for them to defecate, it's definitely a

watched pot waiting to boil.

          But I think also we need to deal with ranchers

monitoring, making it easier for ranchers to monitor their

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water quality, and issues like that.              Right now, there's some

pretty relatively easy tests that you can put in and color

comparison for, for ammonia concentrates in your, in your

local water.   But there's other, other forms that are so much

easier, you put a little cathode in a, in a sample, and you

get a, an automatic digital readout.              But they're three

thousand dollars ($3,000) for one of these little, one of

these tools.   We need to make these things more affordable,

and I'm sure through research and technology, they should be.

           MS. JOY:    Thank you.

           MR. WESTOBY:    John Westoby, Sonoma County

Agricultural Commissioner.      In believe it's important to offer

incentives to growers to attempt new strategies in controlling

pests.   It's difficult economically to adopt a new strategy

that has not been shown to be practical through the, through

the test of time.     So I think it would help to have economic

incentives or other incentives that would promote those


           MS. JOY:    Thank you, John.           Glenda?

           MS. HUMISTON:    Glenda Humiston.           Most of the

agencies within the Department do not have their own

authorities to conduct research and, and to a certain degree,

that makes sense, because you consolidate it into a couple

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entities.   On, on the scientific side, that's actually been

working fairly well.   Ag Research Service, NRCS, Cooperative

Extension, a land grant system on science and technical issues

are working together pretty well. And they make sure they take

care of needs of agencies in the Department.            On the economic

and social issues, there's a huge problem.         Economic Research

Service and, and related entities within the Department have

either got to allow other agencies to have authorities to do

research when it's needed, or they have to be guided by

research needs put to them by other agencies.           For example, I

know that's a complicated thought, but for two years, I've

been trying to get some research to show, some numbers to show

that a voluntary technical assistance approach to

environmental issues works as well, and I personally think

better than, a regulatory approach.      I can't get any

researcher numbers to back me up when I'm in fights with EPA

and Interior and Army Corps, because Economic Research Service

doesn't consider that a high priority.       But they won't allow

our agency to do the research.    And I've even got money for

it.   But I don't have authorities.     Food Nutrition has tried

to deal with some of the problems of Food Stamps, they've got

the same problem.   They, they've got the money, they want to

do the research, they can't get it on a priority list.           That,

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there's a lot of examples throughout the Department on social

issues, economic issues, where the Department is not able to

help the Ag industry or the consumers or the public, because

we can't get the tools and messages and numbers and facts we

need to actually go into the basic negotiations strong.

          MS. JOY:   Thank you, Glenda.

          DR. SIEBERT:    I would just say, Glenda, that if you

have trouble with ERS, come to Berkeley.         We, we do

contracting all the time.    In fact, we have a small working

group of which I'm, I'm a part which does exactly the kinds of

things you're talking about.

          MS. HUMISTON:     You, know, I don't have the authority

to even spend dollars on certain types of research because ERS


          MS. JOY:   You need to be on the microphone.

          MS. HUMISTON:     -- because we -- oh, I'm sorry.   No,

the thing I'm talking about for the Farm Bill for research

needs is you've got to loosen up the authorities of agencies.

 We actually have very tight authorities that do not allow us

to expend some dollars we may even have on certain forms of

research without going through another agency, such as ERS,

and it's, it's a problem across the department.

          DR. SIEBERT:    Again, what, what, what I'm trying to

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suggest, I don't necessarily want to take USDA on on this one,

but it, it's a matter of communication.        And, and if we got

the research project going through our experiment station

projects, or with an EPA project, it may be a very simple

matter of, of just trying to incorporate your questions with

ones that we're answering, so.    There, there are many ways of

doing this, but, but what I'm saying, and again, no, no, no

slam against USDA, but I, I think Glenda's hit upon a very

important question, which is that agencies become very

compartmentalized and they don't really talk with each other.

 And so that, that has to be loosened up, and you're exactly

right.   If it takes a Farm Bill to do it, which unfortunately

it shouldn't, but if it takes a Farm Bill to do it, that's,

that's a good, that's a good inclusion as part of the research

and education section.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you, Jerry.

           MR. REDDEN:   Yes, my name is Judd Redden.      I'm from

Sonoma County, and I raise sheep.     And there's one commodity

that really has not been mentioned as far as research or

anything else, and that's, that's a little thing that we get

off the sheep, it's called wool.     And somehow, we have figured

out how to make fleece out of plastic bottles, and yet we

haven't figured out how to get our wool into clothing or other

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uses for us to use.   Right now, we have tons of wool sitting

in warehouses, and the people that are producing this wool

aren't getting paid for it because they don't have any uses

for it.   So what I would like to see is more research being

done for a commodity we already have and is available, and yet

we don't really have any practical uses for it that can be

done economically.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you.    Any other comments on any of

these three questions?

           MR. BENGSTON:    Dave Bengston, Agricultural

Commissioner, Mendocino County.      I, I almost forgot the first

time.   One other research facility that In think is very

important to California is the Albany research lab which does

biocontrol work for invasive species, specifically weeds.       And

I would like to see that lab continue to be funded and

expanded whenever possible.    And then one specific program

that I would like to see incorporated into the 2002 Farm Bill

would be the international broom initiative, which is a

comprehensive program or effort to find biocontrols for brooms

and, and gorse, specifically Portuguese broom, French broom,

Spanish broom, and Scotch broom.       It would cost approximately

two hundred and sixty five thousand dollars ($265,000) per

year for about ten years.    This would be in conjunction with

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the state of Oregon and, and CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific

and Industrial Research Organization)          The Commonwealth of

Australia and the Government of New Zealand).For a very

minimum amount of money, we could probably get millions of

dollars worth of control back over the next, you know, hundred

years or so, with ten years of research.           So I would like to

throw that forward as a specific project that I would like to

see incorporated into the Farm Bill.

             MS. JOY:    Thank you, Dave.     All right, let's move on

to the next question.       How could pest management alternatives

be better addressed, i.e., methyl bromide alternatives?           No

comments.    Move on to the next question.         Are there special

needs for research in animal agriculture that are not being

addressed?    Okay.     Other than our lamb, I, I guess we'll move

forward.    Are there other financial resources, other than

financial resources, what are the small farmer research needs

not currently being addressed?

             MS. HUMISTON:    Glenda Humiston.       In think one thing

in the small farmer and even medium size farmer research needs

is the importance of agricultural support industries, both at

the input and the output thing.       We don't really have a strong

feel for how to make the economic streams work for small and

family farmers in a lot of ways.        It gets back to the other

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point that I was making earlier.        We need to do more research

into that.    What, what really are the tools these people need

to be able to market products, to be able to process, perhaps,

to form small cooperatives in different ways than they do now,

new business practices, new business reengineering?              There's,

there's very little research on that type of, part of the


             MS. JOY:   Thank you, Glenda.

             MR. ABELES:   Yeah, Keith Abeles.        I'm going to

repeat the short list I mentioned before, just because it fits

well under this question.       I think specifically farmers are

interested in such things as cover crops, pest and weed

control without harsh chemicals, soil health, compost, using

beneficials and maintaining them on their farm, enhancing the

non-crop vegetation, and all sort of help with organic

management techniques.     These are all things that could be

researched to no end and would be of great value to the


             MS. JOY:   Okay.   Thank you, Keith.          Any other

comments on this question?      So we'll move on to the next

question.    How should USDA research be coordinated with

appropriate federal agencies to be more effectively utilized

by agriculture?     Okay, we'll move on to the next question.

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What is the right blend between private initiative and public

resources in research?

          DR. SIEBERT:   If I might add to that, it's, it's

really academic in, in the way it's phrased.           But what I've

heard today, and by the way, my, my role in this whole thing

is that after all these hearings are said and done, I get the

pleasurable task of, of reading all your comments in, in the

formal record and writing it all up.      I've, I've set aside the

month of March to do this.   But what we're really driving at

here is, is that, you know, we've got the, the USDA agencies,

we've got the State Experiment Station, Cooperative Extension

on the University of California, we've got a growing

initiatives by the state universities like Fresno State, Cal

Poly, and so on, but what I've, what I've also heard here is

that there is also interest on the part of growers and other

organizations, such as California Association of Family

Farmers, organic farmers, and so on, to actually perhaps

conduct research initiatives.   But what I've also heard is, is

that there's a lot of red tapes, there's a lot of paper work.

and In, In can appreciate that, because I came from a small

farm family, and, but in days when life was a lot more

simpler, but we still, we were, we still had some of the same

kinds of pressures.   And you just don't have the time, after

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spending all day trying to deal with the issues and, and night

with your book work, paper work, and dealing with the tax

persons, and all the other regulations to, to undertake these

things.   So what we're looking at is, is from the private

standpoint, what is the best blend then, towards trying to

develop some things where the private sector, which may be

more hands on, in, in perhaps either in cooperation or versus

the, the public sector, which may be more academic and

theoretical in nature.    So that, that's really the intent of

that, that question.     In just wanted to clarify it a bit in

case you want to comment on it.

           MR. MURPHY:    In don't know if that clarified it at

all.   My name is --

           MS. JOY:    Please --

           MR. MURPHY:    -- Michael Murphy, the Executive

Director of the Sonoma County Horse Council.              But In know we -


           DR. SIEBERT:    Michael, I'm from Berkeley, and In

have a little difficulty in making myself clear, so.

           MR. MURPHY:    We did an, speaking what Glenda was

referring to in research, we did an economic survey of the

horse industry in Sonoma County, helped by funding with the

Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner, there, John.             And we

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showed in our county that we had a major economic impact on a

lot of peripheral industries that were involved in this equine

industry.   And I think that, I mean, it's, it was very

expensive to put the survey together.          We used, we utilized

the services at Sonoma State, and we're trying to put one

together now, and we're running into the same hurdles.          It's

very economically challenging to raise ten thousand dollars

($10,000) for a non-profit organization to put together a

survey showing your impact.    And I think these, these surveys

and these research projects that shows the different things

that are impacted with our agriculture commodities are

essential for continuous growth, marketing, development, and

agrotourism, just countless other aspects dealing with the,

the progress of agriculture.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you.

            MS. WASSON:   Beverly Wasson.       On an interesting

note, we did have at one point a, a, the gal that works at the

UC Cooperative Extension, Rhonda Smith, was offered private

monies to do a study by a large winery, but they wanted to

keep the results proprietary for a number of years after the

data came out, to make it, you know, to unlevel the playing

field, is the way I look at it.       So In think we need to be

very careful where those research dollars come from and if we

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do get it from the corporate end, sometimes there's a concern

that they keep the information to themselves for a period of

time to give themselves an economic advantage.              So In think we

want to see dollars out there that, that go to the general

community of farmers and, and give us all a fair shake, so to


             MS. JOY:   Thank you, Bev.

             MR. FOWLER:   Charles Fowler, Fowler Ranch.          I have a

concern --

             MS. JOY:   Charles, can you speak up, please?

             MR. FOWLER:   I'll try.     I have a concern, when we

have private funding of research to the, the universities, to

institutions to do research, that sometimes the research tends

to be biased.    For instance, the instance of pesticide

manufacturers planning pesticide research.             In think when the,

when the dollars come from a certain source, the results are,

tend to be suspect.     Thank you.

             MS. FAULKNER:   Ellen Faulkner, Humans at Risk.          I

wanted to expand on that a little bit by mentioning the

agreement that Novartis has with UC Berkeley to do

investigations into genetic engineering, is what they're

doing.   And not only does the public not ever find out, even

though this is done at a university, what this genetic

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engineering is all about, and what kind of research is

actually being done there, the scientists that are involved in

it are required to sign a confidentiality agreement, because,

I guess the feeling is that the products of genetic

engineering are, are, are patentable and ownable, and the,

Novartis wants to keep that information as its sort of a trade

secret.   That seems to be a little bit at odds with it, the

research being done at a public university.               So the, so the,

the right blend between private initiative and public

resources certainly hasn't been reached in that program, and

in fact, to a dangerous degree, since genetic engineering is a

dangerous process, and can produce things that are actually

very deleterious to the rest of the life forms on earth.               So

we haven't quite gotten anywhere near a solution for this

problem, although In listened very carefully to what Keith had

to say, and In do agree.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you.    Are there any --

           DR. SIEBERT:    Yeah, if --

           MS. JOY:   -- any other comments on this question, or

are we ready to move forward?

           DR. SIEBERT:    -- yeah, yeah, if In could comment on

that.   I, I think you touched upon some very valid concerns.

And I, I've been involved with that issue over probably the

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last ten years, including a survey of a number of universities

throughout the United States in the late 1980's, which showed

that that a lot of, a lot of these, these kinds of

arrangements are going on.   That doesn't make it right or

wrong.   But if, if you go into physics, engineering, all, all

sort of business schools, and so on, outside of colleges of

agriculture, these kinds of arrangements have not only been

commonplace, but, but they've been growing.             But what, what's

really touched upon that is highly important is the, where is

the public interest in, in all of this and, and for land grant

universities such as the University of California, which is,

which was founded on the basis of teaching research and

extension and public outreach, are we getting away from that?

 And, I, I suspect that in many, in many senses we are, when

we sign these, these confidentiality.       If it makes you feel

any better, there are a number of us, and I say us, who have

the same kinds of concerns within the University of

California, challenged it, and will continue to have those

same kinds of concerns.   And there's a huge internal debate

still going on within the University of California and other

universities as to what, what the appropriate stance should be

in this regard.   So.   And the genetic engineering is, is a

whole another set of issues that, that certainly needs to be

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addressed in, in, in the public forum and not, not necessarily

a private forum, so that we all understand the issues that are

involved from the standpoint of genetic engineering.          But, but

I think you touched upon some very important issues, and that

debate is not dead, it continues to go on.

          MS. JOY:   Thank you, Jerry.        Let's move on to the

last question.   What additional extension programs and

activities do you need for the crops you produce?          We'll go

ahead and move on to the, to our last category, which is risk


          MS. ARELLANO:   Great.     In regards to risk

management, NFACT has supported the recent congressional

action to reform and introduce new programs to provide a

safety net for agricultural producers and ensure that a stable

and safe food supply is abundant for consumers.           However, with

the development of new federal farm policy, NFACT has the

opportunity to recommend effective changes and reforms to our

congressional delegations.

          MS. JOY:   Thank you, Vanessa.         We'll go ahead and

take the first three questions, again, under risk management.

 Looking at risk management needs for California, what

specific risk management policies and programs are needed that

do not currently exist, or what existing risk management

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policies and programs should be kept?       Second, what

adjustments need to be made to existing risk management

policies and programs to make them workable for you?       And

third, are there specific risk management policies and

programs which are no longer relevant?

          MR. DAVE MOSTIN:   Hi, I'm Dave Mostin.       I'm the

Chairman of the Lake/Mendocino FSA County Committee, and

having been on that committee since early 90's, I've seen a

change in the, the, the direction.      We started out with the,

the disaster programs and several years of, of that, we went

into the insurance side of it.    At that time, we were informed

that the, the move was to get away from the disaster programs.

 After a year or so of the insurance side of it, we started

seeing the disaster programs added on top of our, our

insurance program.

          The, the other problem I've seen is when we started

the CAT coverage, it was administered by our county offices.

After a year or two of that, it was changed, and it was put

into private insurance hands.    In have a problem with that.

It seems that from what we heard, that the federal money was

being used to pay commissions on these insurance policies.

Tens of hundreds of millions of dollars have been paid as

commissions to insurance agents, instead of covering the

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farmers, which was basically the whole idea is, as a risk

management tool, instead of having a disaster program, you

have a fairly constant, stable insurance program.        In my view,

this does not work, because of the, the funding level, the, to

cover the losses that farmers incur under disaster programs.

It was not adequate.   Yes, you can buy additional coverage,

however, the prices that we are faced with for returns do not

justify the insurance coverage.

          The other comments I'd like to make is when we did

see a, a disaster, the, the CAT coverage, you'd, you'd see

hundreds of thousands of dollars of, of losses, and you would

see perhaps maybe one, or maybe two or a half cents on the

dollar, as far as insurance coverage.        Clearly, granted, it's,

it's a very low cost policy, but still, it, it was very,

there's, the discrepancy between what the farmer experiences

as far as losses and the insurance coverage is, is too far


          The other, and last problem I've seen, is in '98,

when we had El Nino, I myself incurred severe losses, and for

the first time qualified under this program, and as, like I

said, received one or two cents on the dollar for the hundreds

of thousands of dollars of losses.       At that time, a Risk

Management Agency person, Mr. Ron Lauderdale, came and talked

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to us, and we were talking to him in Lake County about the

policy and the disparity between the policy and what the

actual practices are, and he said at that time, in '98, that

USDA did not want to prop up declining markets.            And we're

telling him no, we just want coverage for environmental

disasters, weather disasters.       We did not want to see our

markets, our prices propped up under this program.           And yet,

this last year, I read in the paper that the northwest apple

industry is receiving a disaster program because of several

years of low prices.      Now, I don't understand how they can

receive something like that when, in fact, we were told a

couple of years before that it's not to prop up prices,

commodity prices, it's for weather related damage.           Thank you.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you.    Any other comments?

            MR. FOWLER:    Yes, Charles Fowler, Fowler Ranch.          I

think it's imperative that the safety net address market

conditions.   Specifically would comment that the bankruptcy of

Tri-Valley Growers cooperative has had a devastating effect on

farmers and that sort of market problem should be, is a

disaster and it should be covered under the market support

programs.   Thank you.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you.

            MR. MURPHY:    Michael Murphy, Executive Director of

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the Horse Council.      In think we need a, some, some form of

limited liability.      In the horse industry, you've got massive

amounts of insurance coverage to put on any event.              I mean,

I'm also a director of the Sonoma County Fair.              We had to have

a three million dollar ($3,000,000) coverage to put on an

event at the fair.      I mean, that just raises insurance rates,

it just, most people that are involved with the equine

industry know it has an inherent risk, they're willing to take

that risk.    So we basically need to alleviate the pointless

lawsuits, unless there's some proof of negligence.              And I, the

only way I could see that would be possible was to go up

against the consumers' attorneys, and try to alleviate these

strict liability issues.

             MS. JOY:   Thank you.

             MS. DELBAR:   Katie Delbar, Farm Service Agency.

             MS. JOY:   Could --

             MS. DELBAR:   In just wanted to comment, Tim, on your

comment --

             MS. JOY:   Can you get the microphone a little closer

to you, please?

             MS. DELBAR:   Oh, yeah.     Sorry.     On Tim's comments

earlier that were before crop insurance, on apples and pears,

the, the crop insurance coverage, and Mendocino and Lake

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County is apples, pears, grapes.     And I haven't seen through

my time with Farm Service Agency and through those programs

that they've been helpful to any of the producers, which is

very discouraging for the person on, on my end of it, and from

my office who's administering it, because the last thing I

like is, is to announce a program and take it out to the

public and not have it workable.     And the crop insurance

policies are not workable for the pear growers that we have

set right now.    And, and neither are the disaster programs

that we've come up with to try to help in the programs and in

their problem, when they're having, you know, disasters.

            So we really do need to look at the policies, crop

insurance needs to be looked at.     I have some real concerns

with it, as do the producers, and trying to come out with a

way to look at economic loss, as well as, as their, their

production losses, and we're not able to do that.       There is a

NAP program, what we called non, non-insured assistance

program.    It's not been a good program.      I, I always have to

say that about a lot of our programs, unfortunately.       I think

when they get to California, they don't fit the farmers.       And

so everybody that comes through the door says, well, I have a

program.    It's not the greatest program, but we'll try to work

with you.    And we try to, you know, do and make it as painless

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as possible, and get through the morass of government paper

work and, and hopefully get something out to you.       And so

under that program, there, they are redoing it this year, and

there's going to be NAP covers, all the other crops that crop

insurance doesn't cover.   It, like in the past, has been an

impossible program to get started in this county, because

you've had to have so much million dollars worth of loss, so

many acres, and so many producers.      And when you have one

pistachio producer in the county, it doesn't work.      Or, you

know, two cherry producers, or three plum producers, it just

hasn't worked for, for us here at all.       But we're hoping with

the, with the newer programs, you always hope when we get a

new program it's a little bit revised, that it's going to help

you out some more, and we try to work, work that through.        So

hopefully, you know, with the crop insurance, the new Farm

Bill, there can be more discussions on the policies and

revamping the policies, because I have not seen these policies

changed at all, you know, in the last ten years, they haven't

changed.   Before they became CAT, that's how they've been run.

 So maybe we can see some changes that will benefit the

producers and make it more worthwhile to, to go through the

paper work to fill out.

           MS. JOY:   Thanks, Katie.

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           MS. HUMISTON:   Glenda Humiston.        A couple of

different things.   One, following up on Katie's comments, is

almost all of the current risk management tools are a one size

fits all sort of thing.    And there definitely needs to be some

flexibility built in for regional tailoring of these programs.

  And, and that's long overdue.     Secondly, Michael brought a

good point about the horse industry, but in reality, I don't

know if these should be potential risk management tools, but

certainly an analysis, a study needs to be done.            As we push

more and more farmers to look at things like onsite sales and

putting trails and other activities on their farm land as part

of their economic revenue streams, we need to look at whether

or not liability should perhaps be one of the tools in the

risk management portfolio available to them.             We've been

experimenting with a lot of new risk management tools for

environmental purposes, and that needs to be really looked at.

 We've, we've developed several tools specific to farmers who

are implementing new technologies that aren't proven yet, to

cover them in case that, you know, the technology just doesn't

pan out.   We also are interested in looking at the possibility

of whether or not, and I hate to say this, but it,

unfortunately it's true, whether or not we need to look at the

possibility of risk management tools for when regulations are

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changing so rapidly, i.e., if you go and build, spend a

hundred thousand, two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000) on a

manure containment facility, and then all of a sudden it's not

engineered adequately for a brand new rule, how do you deal

with that?    So these kind of creative new risk management

tools are coming up from a lot of different angles, and thee

needs to be some study on whether risk management as it

currently is, or could be changed, might be able to solve some

of these needs.

             MS. JOY:   Thanks, Glenda.

             MR. LAUDERDALE:   I'm Ron Lauderdale, with the Risk

Management Agency, and we are currently working (static))

association on changing the policy on going to a revenue type

program.   And we're still waiting for some (static) we will be

working with the Pear Advisor Board, also.

             MS. JOY:   Thank you.

             MR. REDDEN:   Yeah, my name is Judd Redden.    I'm a

sheep producer.    And back to the point I think Glenda kind of

touched on is in the sense everybody thinks it's a good idea

for educational purposes to bring people out to the farm and

show them what you do, and yet when you're dealing with

animals, my personal insurance agent says you've got to be

really careful when you bring in the Girl Scouts, or the Cub

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Scouts, or the FFA members out to the farm, dealing with the

farm animals, whether it's sheep, or swine, or cattle, because

all of a sudden the risk is on your property.               And it really

is a scary type of thing, and, and maybe something the USDA

can address if they want more education to go on these type of

activities.    And in one instance, the state park system asked

me to come out and could I do some shearing demonstrations, to

show the public what happens with shearing, and where wool

comes from, and how it comes off the animal, without hurting

the animal.    In mean, this is a product that doesn't hurt the

animal.    And In said, sure, I'd be glad to.              He called me back

two days later and said, you have a million dollar insurance

coverage, don't you?      And I said, no way.

            MS. JOY:   Thank you.    Any other comments?           If not,

let's move on to the next question.         What type of safety net

fits the needs of your operation?

            MR. MOSTIN:    I'm Ray Mostin, RCD.            The farmers are

being faced with higher costs of energy.           By the end of the

year, we'll see 44% increase in PG&E costs.                We have lost the

insecticides that we have been using.          We're trying other

methods.    Some work, some don't.      We are faced with a problem

of trying to finance our next year's crop.            The outcome is

that we have waited for some changes that never occurred, and

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our government acts very slowly.       Is it going to be too late?

 Is the two hundred and fifty thousand tons of Bartlett pears

in California going to be lost?       The dozers are working now.

There will probably be at least a thousand acres pushed out

because of lack of financing.    And then we have the problem of

those orchards that will not be cared for, and we have pests

that we can't control.    So I think it's very necessary that we

try and, and expedite this on a emergency basis of some type

of crop insurance that really deals with our specialty crops

in California.   I don't want to wake up in a few years living

in California, the food comes from Mexico, overseas, China,

and such.   I think that is a wrong way to go.           Thank you.

            MS. JOY:   Thanks, Ray.    Are there any other


            MR. FOWLER:   Charles Fowler.     In think the safety

net for agriculture needs to be one that is aimed to keep the

farmer in business.    I, we have lost too many farmers in the

last twenty years, and I, I've heard the comment that, oh,

well, if you, if you farmers were good businessmen, you'd be

able to stay in business.    I think the, I think the bad

farmers were gone years ago.    A lot of good farmers are

failing, and a variety of, of factors have caused, caused

this.   But I think that the, the farmer resource needs to be

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preserved, and I think there's a duty to build a safety net

that really supports those farmers.       Thank you.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you, Charles.       Any other comments?

If not, we'll move on to the next question.              What crop

insurance provision would be important to your operation?                  Is

your mike on?

           MR. BATES:   It was already said earlier, and I can't

remember who said it --

           MS. JOY:   Can you state your name, please?

           MR. BATES:   -- somebody up -- oh, Tim Bates, apple

grower, that it ought to be based on your market, not so much

the bottom line numbers of how many tons per acre, it should

be based on what's going on in a reality kind of a check to

pay.   As, as I recall, when I did get some money from FSA, it

was very, it was very much welcome back in '92, or so, based

on, it drove me nuts for a while.      60% of 50%, right?            All

right, if you got less than 60%, then you got paid for 60% of

the 8% below the 60%, you know.     And I talked at length with

the, the person who came out to the farm, and, you know, the

reality was from, it, comparison, it was much welcome, the

money, but and it really helped that year, but the reality of

how, based on what my market was, and the prices I was

getting, it was, it was, way, way off.        So somewhere, tailor

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it, or, well, just look at your, you know, they want the, my

last five year numbers, but they're just basing it on acres

and tons, but, you know, one year I might have sold three

quarters to the cannery because there was no fresh market, or,

or might have reversed that.    And you need to base it on real


           MS. JOY:   Thank you, Tim.    Any other comments?

           MS. WASSON:   Beverly Wasson.     I've had the good

fortune of not needing to have the crop insurance.             I did

qualify once, but it was 35% loss, and you have to have so

many years history of tons per acre.       And again, that doesn't

address, really, the cost of the operation.             And the, and

that's, that's what keeps you in business.         So I think maybe

we need to look at basing it upon cost of operation and taking

a general average, so it's, you know, not skewed any one way,

and everybody should be using good management to make it the

least costly.   But it certainly would make more sense that you

look at the cost of operation.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you, Bev.    All right, let's move on

to our last question.    How should the Farm Bill address

special transportation insurance for farm worker


           MS. WASSON:   What we have done is, we have our --

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Beverly Wasson.   What we have done our our ranch is that we

have all our employees drive themselves in their own vehicles.

 I'm not sure that that's the safe way to do it, but it's one

way in which we haven't had to have transportation insurance

on our employees, other than those that are driving our

equipment, which we do handle.    But one of the other issues,

I, I think, not just transportation, but health insurance and

housing issues, and also having a supply of farm workers to

work for us.   In think these are all issues that the USDA

should be looking at in trying to help with those.      And I know

some of it's an immigration issue.      They go into other

agencies within the federal government, but it certainly, I

know my operation couldn't exist without the farm workers I

have working for me.   They do work year round, and we do

provide housing, and a lot of times we don't get credit for

what we do do for our farm workers.      And so those, you know,

in the grape business, starting salary is usually between

seven and eight dollars ($8) an hour, that's, you know, when

you first come on the job.   And we do provide housing.      So I

think, again, information out there on what we do do, and what

our true costs are to have that, if it can be reduced by

having better insurance at a better price, we'd sure

appreciate it.

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           MS. JOY:   Thanks, Bev.   Any other comments?

           MR. BISTRIN:   I'm Harry Bistrin.       I represent

Virginia Strom-Martin, the Assemblywoman up in the north coast

here.   I've been listening, and I hear this, what we have to

do, what we haven't been doing, what incentives are necessary,

the public interest isn't being served, a cookie cutter

doesn't work, you've got to be more creative.           And I'm only

speaking for myself as far as Virginia.        I want to laud, of

course, Carrie, who represents Mendocino Farm Bureau and Chuck

Marsh as doing an effective job in lobbying for their

respective organizations.    But I believe that it's a

collaborative effort that's necessary.       I, in my eleven years

representing three legislators, if ever, seldom hear from

individual farmers and ranchers.     And I believe my colleagues,

and I don't speak for them, but I believe my colleagues would

say that if you want to impact legislation, impact your

legislator, you, as an individual, go to them.           Be a

collaborative effort with the Farm Bureau here and in

Sacramento, but the attention by a legislator, in my

experience, has always been if the individual farmers,

ranchers make their point to the legislators.           Virginia

carried two major bills this year.      Both of them was from

individual driven.    One was a packer in Lake County, and

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Chuck, you know who I'm talking about, and another one was a

rancher in Humboldt County, about transportation.              So if you

want your message heard, my suggestion to you, please, contact

us.   That's what we're there for.        That's why we are paid to

bring your message to Virginia and to the other legislators,

and you do it well, and give us, don't bring us problems,

bring us the problem and then solutions, and you'll merit high

with us, and we'll be advocates for you, because we know, at

least I do, in my area, Mendocino, which I work with Cathy,

back there, and Lake County, how important agriculture is to

the economy and every facet of all our lives.               So make your

point to us, we wait for your comments, we need your comments.

 Thank you

             MS. JOY:   Thank you, Harry.       Any other comments

under risk management?     If not, we can look at the, the back

pages, overarching questions.        Are there any of those that we

haven't covered that somebody would like to address?

             MR. ABELES:   In just want to say on behalf of myself


             MS. JOY:   Can you --

             MR. ABELES:   Oh, Keith Abeles.        On behalf of myself

and CAFF, we thank you very much for hosting this, and giving

people a chance to speak to these really important questions,

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and we hope we can continue to have a constructive dialogue in

the future, so thanks to all of you on the panel as well as

everybody here for doing this, and to NFACT, for putting it

all together.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you, Keith.

           MR. FOWLER:     Charles Fowler.      I, I'd like to address

number one, the top priority for changes in farm policy.           The

top priority should be to keep farmers in business.          And

number 7, should the Farm Bureau make a distinction between

the small family farmer and large farm operator?           In think

absolutely.   I, I don't, I don't feel that the, the large,

large corporate farmer, farmers face the same risks that small

farmers do.   Thank you.

           MS. JOY:   Thank you, Charles.         Are there any others?

 If not, we can move on to the open comment period.           Charles,

you were the only one.     Did you want, do you want your three


           MR. FOWLER:     Yes, okay.    My three minutes.

           MS. JOY:   You can come up and, and we'll, we'll give

you a sign when there's one minute left.

           MR. FOWLER:     Okay.   Well, again, I have a specific

issue.   In came here today to ask for the right to sell red

meat products without USDA inspection under an exemption

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similar to the exemption for the poultry industry, which

allows the slaughter of a limited number of birds by family

members.   The reason I make this request is that there's a

shortage of small local slaughter facilities, and every year,

a few more close.   There are no USDA slaughter packing

facilities in Lake or Mendocino counties.         Apparently it isn't

practical to open a new facility because of regulatory

pressures and expenses.   As everyone probably knows, cattle

producers are in an economic disaster.       Many operate at a

loss, and certainly no one can earn enough in the state of

California raising cattle to purchase the land.         This results

in the demise of family ranches and splitting up of larger

ranch properties into many ranches that do not produce any

food product.   In the early 1970's, the sale of ten steers

would buy a mid-priced automobile.      At today's prices, it

would take fifty to sixty steers to buy the same vehicle.        At

this time, the three largest packers are reported to slaughter

about 8% of all beef.   This situation will no doubt be made

worse by the acquisition of IBP by Tyson Foods.         31% of cattle

are owned by producers with herds under one hundred head.

They are the ranchers who would be most helped by regulations

that would allow them to sell their product locally in their

own communities.    I have been attempting to direct market my

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beef.   It takes me about ten hours of driving time to haul the

animals from the ranch to the slaughter house, and the

slaughter house to the processor, and then to the cold storage

facility.    I have never heard any report of food borne

elements from custom cattle slaughter.          However, e coli and

other contamination by large packers are reported regularly by

the press.    I do not believe that USDA inspections make these

products any safer that being processed in small quantities by

people who can be inspected by the local health department and

will be held directly accountable to their customer.         Thank


             MS. JOY:   Thank you, Charles.      Is there anybody else

who didn't sign up who would like a three minute time slot?

             MR. MURPHY:   My name's Michael Murphy.      I'm the

Executive Director of the Sonoma County Horse Council.          I'm

sure you've all heard enough about horses today from me.            But

I want to, want you to realize that I'm a one commodity in

here that's not even represented in the state of California as

a part of agriculture.      And I think horses ought to be

accepted as part of agriculture.       A planning commissioner

recently asked me, don't people consider their horses as pets?

 My reply was, every horse is, in fact, somebody's pet, but

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his, his pet can not be allowed in city limits, can not jump

into the bed with you, or greet you when you come home from a

hard day at work.   Horses take acreage, four to six tons of

hay, and a manure management plan.      As a horse owner, we love

our horses, and include them in our families.           These horses

are indeed pets.    They weigh up to fifteen hundred pounds, or

more.   You keep them in barns, stalls, or pastures.         You ride

them in arenas, round pens and tracks, and on trails.          Horses

should be considered as livestock, an agricultural commodity

worth a hundred and eighty five million dollars ($185,000,000)

in 1999, according to the agricultural crop report and

economic survey, second only to viticulture in dollars in

Sonoma County.   Yet we have very few benefits that the

agricultural community is afforded, such as loans to repair

fences, restore riparian areas, seed pastures, provide shelter

that diverts fresh water from paddocks, and equipment to

manage manure and, and the property.       Also, federal grants and

state grants to protect watersheds from silting and pollution

are excluded from horse operations.      Horse owners would be

included in the Right to Farm Act.      This would protect them

from any complaint from neighbors.      We, as horse owners, would

be allowed low interest loans and state and federal grants.

My horseshoer told me he spent hours convincing a woman that

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horses being considered being part of agriculture wouldn't

mean that they were slaughtered.     Please remember that horses

are a part of agriculture, and in our history have been a part

of agriculture.    We no longer use them for, for tractor use,

but they are still a part of our agriculture scene.        Many

states already recognize horses as part of agriculture in

their element of the general plan.      Riding a horse is an

inherent risk.    People that participate in this activity know

about this risk.   It is necessary to create limited liability

legislation to lower the insurance costs, and stop pointless

lawsuits, and allow private property owners the, the safety

net that we are not going to sue them to come on their

property and ride our horses.    Horses should be considered a

part of agriculture.    People involved in equestrian activities

need to know that limited liability would exist.        Farm

programs should include horse operations with educational

support.   This should include grants to community colleges,

grants to community colleges and learning opportunities and

funds to deal with environmental issues such as clean water,

erosion and sediment.    And thank you for your time.      Given the

substantive contribution to the state's economy, two billion

dollars ($2,000,000,000), equestrian activities help to

sustain the rural ambience of the country endangered by

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industrial and population growth.

             MS. JOY:   Is there anybody else to wanted to make,

have a three minute slot for some public comments?

             MR. BATES:   Hi, I'm Tim Bates, Vice President of

California Certified Organic Farmers.         I'll try to get through

this.   I only scrawled this up at about 10:30 last night.

What the organic farmers want in the future from our

government, we want to be recognized and treated fairly for

the extra effort we put in to bring our crops.            We are tired

of being talked down to, as if we are an aberration or stupid.

 The new organic federal law uses the term "conflict of

interest" to pretty much put our organizations, grass root

organizations out of business.      They don't want us sitting on

our own board of directors.     They want us to hire, and we

don't have the money to do this, for one thing, third parties

to sit on our boards.      So this is now currently the new law

that just came out, and we're going to fight what we can to

change it.    I mean, I can't understand where this thinking

comes from.    Who sits on the medical, medical, the American

Medical Association Board?     Doctors.      Who sits on the legal

bars?   Lawyers.   Who sits on the Farm Bureau Board?         Farmers.

 Who sits on consumer boards?     Guess?      Yet we're being told

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farmers can't be on their boards of organic farming groups.

Are we too stupid or dumb to run our own groups?           I think not.

 The Natural Resources Conservation Service programs for

erosion control do not recognize organic farmers.           They insist

that we have to use chemical weed killers, and stuff, in order

to, to qualify for any money.    They insist on it.         I, I think

we can get around some of that if, if your local agent will

work with you, but it doesn't look like I could qualify for

anything on there.    And one of my pet peeves, several years

ago, I was asked to petition for, in California, for the SAREP

program and BIOS.    SAREP was Sustainable Ag Research and

Educational Program, and it's still in existence.           I'm not

sure about BIOS, any more, and I forget what it stood for.

But I joined in naively, thinking there might be programs I

might use.   Aphids was a particular problem for me then.             As

it turned out, the funds were only available to conventional

growers who were trying to reduce chemical use, or ones who

were "thinking", in quotes, of going organic.           I was

disqualified from getting any research or funds because I was

already organic.    I and my fellow growers were played for

fools. Oh, did I write that?    I'm sorry.      All I ask is that we

organic farmers be kept in the loop and given our share of

recognition and funds commensurate with what we are doing and

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our status in the agricultural community, which is growing

steadily every year.    We're in the billions of dollars, now,

in the, in the industry, and it's time to divert a fair

percentage to organic research so we can complete, we're

always, you know, we're like everybody else, we have pest

problems that keep rising up, and things we need to solve, and

we've been doing it on our own, and we'd like to be a, into

the community and into the loop.

           MS. JOY:    Was there anybody else?

           MR. FRY:    I won't need very much time.       Okay.    Thank

you.   My name's Eric Fry.   And I'm farming at Primavera Farms

in Yorkville.   And I guess what I'm asking for is, like, like

what Tim has been saying, that the research, that there be

commensurate research money go to organic operations, so that

the hard science can, can be there to control the glassy

winged sharpshooter.    Because it's not there right now.         I, I

think that, personally, In think it would be effective to

spray soap on the overwintering sites this time of year on

citrus, but there's no research out there.          I looked in vain,

because the hard science isn't there.        And the kind of work in

organic research needs to be done is not big science.         It

doesn't require changing the genetic code, it doesn't require

splitting the atom.    It's just, it's the kind of thing that

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takes years to do, and it's a lot of researchers don't do that

kind of work.   A lot of the money's going to be spent, it's

not as flashy as, as some of the other areas of ag research.

But it's, it's still, it is the area of growth in, organics is

growing at 20% a year, and so the, the research should be

going there.

           MS. JOY:    Thank you.    Any other comments.      If not,

I'd like to have all of the FFA students come to the front and

quickly introduce themselves.

           MR HOWELL:    Dustin Howell, Ukiah.

           MS. MUHLHAUSER:    Mavis Muhlhauser, Willits.

           MS. HALL:    Lourance Hall, Ukiah.

           MS. FOSTER:    Jennifer Foster, Ukiah.

           MR. JOHNSTONE:    Anthony Johnstone, Willits.

           MS. WHITBY:    My name's Katherine Whitby, and I'm

also serving in North Coast Region, as well as our chapter in


           MS. JOY:    Okay, let's give them another big hand.

We're glad they could join us and help us today.           So with

that, I'll turn it back to Vanessa.

           MS. ARELLANO:    Thank you very much, Kay.        At this

time, I'd like to give the head table an opportunity for some

closing comments, and we'll start at my far right with Lin

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            MS. BROOKS:   Thanks, Vanessa.      First of all, I want

to thank and congratulate you and Bill Lyons, Jr. for getting

ahead of the game and, and doing what you're doing, and

networking with the other states with the coalition.             And I'm

sure that this go around of Farm Bill, we will be there.               I

appreciate all of you and the time you've given to give us

comments, and in particular on conservation issues that our

agency works on.    I really appreciate the comments.           Your

voice does count.    I would point out, one of the things that I

heard was the need of more technical and financial in the

existing programs, in the existing Farm Bill, and this past

year, the President did have in the budget an increase in both

of those areas.    So your voice is being heard, and I would

just encourage you to continue to make sure your voice is

heard.    I also heard a need for more flexibility, and I think

the present EQIP program has some flexibility.             So I plan to

work with the district conservationists here in the north

state that I have the privilege of working with, taking a look

at where there's maybe some areas that we might think we may

have barriers, and maybe they aren't there.              So I'm planning

to go in the mode of looking at our existing as the next Farm

Bill is being worked on, to see what we might do in working

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with you on those things.       So thanks again.

             MR. RICE:    My name's Paul Rice.       I'm with Rural

Development, and none of the issues that my agency deals with

was on the agenda here.       But I, one theme that went through

all of the, the talk here is the fact that as a percentage of

the population, the farmers are getting smaller and smaller.

Excuse me.    And the ages of the farmers are getting older.          I

think the average age of the farmer in the United States is

something like 55.       And so I think the real theme here is to

have, is for you to make sure your issues are put out there to

the public through education, through publicity, so that you

do have a voice.    Because this country really has a heritage

of the agriculture, and really needs it.           I mean, in the

midwest, many of those small towns that we're involved with

depend 100% on agriculture, and without agriculture, they'd

just dry up and blow away.       That's not quite the case out

here, and that's one of the problems.          But I think it's really

important that you make sure the public, who is, becomes more

and more ignorant of what it really takes to produce their

food products, really hears your message and, and, and that it

stays, you know, as an important issue in front of people, and

they understand what's going on.        So anyway, thank you.

              MS. DELBAR:    Katie Delbar, Farm Service Agency.

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And there was a couple of things.        I want to thank everybody

for coming today.   It's cold outside, and maybe that's why

we got you guys inside, which is nice.              I, I want to say

that I cover Mendocino County, Lake County, Humboldt, Del

Norte counties for the Farm Service Agency.             I have an

office in Ukiah with one employee, an office in, in Humboldt

County with one employee.     It's a three hour drive for me to

go one way, and a full day to travel back and forth.             And

one of my concerns is, is that as we get new programs that

are desperately needed, also we, we need some help on the

staff end of it.    And so everybody sits and talks about

programs, and I sit here and think, yes, I've got five or

six on my plate right now, and we need more and we need

better.   But on the other hand, we also need somebody to

administer those programs.     And being, you know, a rancher's

daughter and growing up in the community, I also know that,

that it's, you know, everybody always thinks there's a lot

of people in government.    So, I, I hit it from both sides,

and I just want to stress that I'm not always in the office,

but I'm always, I always try to return calls and get back to

people, and answer your questions on the programs that we

handle and what's coming up.      And, and that's getting harder

and harder to do with less time and less people around to be

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     able to help me do it.     So be patient, and, you know, if, if

     you do talk to your Congressman or your legislators, there

     also has to be staff.     And that's an important part of, of

     the whole process, is someone to help you when you walk

     through the door.      And we definitely want to be there, but

     it's just not, lately, it hasn't been as possible as it used

     to be.   So thank you.

            MR. WESTOBY:    John Westoby, Sonoma County Ag

Commissioner.   I really appreciate the invitation to be here, and

to speak.   I think it's really important that agriculture has a

voice in our area.   It's getting more and more so, as these folks

have said, that agriculture is a small percentage of the folks

that make up the, our communities, and the more information that

we can hear about all of agriculture, the, the better it is.      So

thanks for the opportunity, and I really was happy to hear a lot

of the comments, and there's a lot of problems out there, and I

hope we can find some solutions.

            MR. BENGSTON:    Dave Bengston, Agricultural

Commissioner, Mendocino County.      Following up on John's comments,

I really appreciated all the comments today, and I think

following up on what Harry said earlier, people in agriculture

have to contact their elected representatives and, and, you know,

make their voice heard.     The elected representative will listen

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if you go to him and, and, and tell him what your thoughts and

ideas are.    And one idea, I don't know if he's still here,

Michael Dimock, I really appreciated his idea that USDA should be

present at the planning level when, when local groups are getting

together and discussing ag land preservation and rural/urban

interface issues.    I think that they should be at the table, you

know, matching funds, and participating in that process.

             DR. SIEBERT:    I always appreciate getting into the

country and, and listening to you folks express your, your

viewpoints and ideas.       And I think this, this program today was

excellent.    I forget which number in the series of these, these

local hearings that, six?

             MS. ARELLANO:    Five.

             DR. SIEBERT:    Five.    I can't count.          But put it in an

equation and I'll figure it out.           But the, the ideas that came

out today, I always learn something new whenever I come to these,

these listening sessions, and today was no exception.                And so In

do appreciate the fact that you came forward, you're creative,

you put your ideas out, and as I said, it's going to be my task

to pull all this together and put it into a meaningful document,

and today certainly helped me in meeting that goal.

             MS. ARELLANO:    Harry?     Closing comments?

             MR. BISTRIN:    Just thank you for improving my learning

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           MS. ARELLANO:    Microphone, Harry.

           MS. ARELLANO:    Oh, okay.

           MS. PUSER:    I'm Jennifer Puser, with Senator Chesbro's

I’m here== on behalf of Senator Chesbro.         I appreciate the

opportunity to be here and learn about your concerns.              I wanted

to mirror Harry's comments on getting in touch with us.              There

are four field staff.    We are all here.       We're all based out of

Mendocino County, three of us out of Ukiah.              Our office has been

working on some of the statewide issues of Pierce's Disease, we

have legislation this session for sudden oak death, but we really

would like to hear from the individual farmers, organic farmers,

the people who don't have time to follow legislation, or have

lobbyists, or have organizations in Sacramento.              So our doors are

open, and I have business cards with me, if you'd like to talk to

me.   We're also willing to work with you on programs with local

groups, like the school districts, and open up contacts, if you

want them to, if you want to work with them on, you know, getting

your food into the school lunch program, or similar things that,

that you've talked about today.     So thank you.

           MR. MOSTIN:   I'm Ray Mostin, RCD's.            I really think

this is a great opportunity to share our needs to the people that

have the big hammer over us.    As you know, that farmers only used

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to be 2% of the population, and it's shrinking, it's probably 1-

1/2%, or less.    And we need the help of everybody to continue the

production of food and fiber that all of us needs.         And thank you


             MS. BLODGETT:    Hi, my name is Debra Blodgett.      I work

with the Assembly member Pat Wiggins and her select committee on

California wine.     And I want to thank you, as well, for the

opportunity to be here and listen.         In want to echo my

colleagues' voices that this is where the change begins.          This is

where we come up with, with our ideas to help make your lives

better.   So thank you for letting me come and listen.

             MS. SMITH:    Kendall Smith, with the office of

Congressman Mike Thompson.      And first of all, I'd like to thank

USDA and California Food and Agriculture for putting together

this hearing.    I think it shows a great deal of effort and

forethought.    The fact that there were focus groups ahead of time

to get the questions organized.       So I really want to thank them.

 The fact that it was on the ground and up and running before

even 2001 shows that California is not going to be left behind in

the 2002 Farm Bill.       So I think that's very, very important.     And

I would like to thank all of you for your comments.         The

diversity and the quality of the comments, I think were, were

excellent.    And I will take those back to Congressman Thompson in

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the notes that In took.    And as you know, those will be put into

the record with the other hearings in California.       So thank you

all very, very much.

           MS. HUMISTON:   I think the comments that have been made

about contacting your elected representatives can't be emphasized

enough.   And, and not just simply Congressman Thompson, although

we're very, very fortunate to have him serving on the Ag

Committee, that, that is definitely a powerful benefit to the

north coast.   But our other folks here at the state legislature,

too.   The National Council of State Legislators is weighing in

more and more about their concerns with Farm Bill, and how USDA

and federal programs need to interact with state programs better

and better, as is National Governor's Association.       And you're

very fortunate in that Governor Davis is currently the chair of

the Democratic Governor's Association.       National Governors is

going to be doing a large, national summit in March on private

lands conservation issues, which even though it says

conservation, it'll actually touch pretty much all these issues

you've raised.   There, there's a strong and better awareness

throughout the country that you can't have good environmental and

conservation programs without revenue streams, marketing

opportunities, economic activity tied to it, as well as some of

the social and cultural issues related to rural development in

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our rural communities.       They've got to interlink, they've all got

to be working, and this coming Farm Bill, it is crucial that we

start having those discussions and that debate.               And it's, it's

to CDFA's credit, as well as NFACT in general to have this kind

of conversation.    It's, I think it's going to greatly improve the

level of discussion and debate on the Farm Bill from what we've

seen in the past.     And in the past, issues have tended to be very

commodity oriented, very regional oriented, whereas I think

sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we all, we are a nation,

we're part of the world, this global economy, the urban/rural

interface issues, all of that needs to be discussed.               Do we, as a

nation, want a cheap food policy?        How do we best get programs

delivered?    How do we keep family farming viable?             Those have not

been part of the discussion in the past, and I'm real pleased to

see through this effort that they are finally getting to the

forefront, and I think it's going to make for a very much better

Farm Bill than we've had in the past.

             MS. ARELLANO:    Thank you, Glenda.           On behalf of the

California Department of Food and Agriculture, I'd just like to

thank all of you for attending and for your very thoughtful

comments.    We look forward to reading the transcripts, and

looking at the documents.      I'd like to thank the staff who are

here from the Department of Food and Agriculture, Rebekah Wagner,

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who's over there on the power point presentation, Heather Arias,

who's helping to coordinate the volunteers with FFA, and Kay Joy,

who acted as our facilitator today.       You guys did a really good

job, and I appreciate it.   And, and once again, thank you again,

very much.   We are accepting additional written comment up until

February 15th for our document.     And if you have any other

questions, please don't hesitate to, to come up and see us.

Thanks again.

                THE MEETING ADJOURNED AT 12:28 P.M.

                        * * * * * * * * * *

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