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When it Comes to Water Conservation, How are Californians Measuring Up?

As the State continues to experience near-record and record hot conditions, increasing the severity of the drought’s effects on communities, agriculture, and the environment, California’s urban water suppliers reported the highest level of conservation achieved to date for the month of May. The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) announced today that statewide…

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Federal ‘Local Foods, Local Places’ Program Enters Second Year on a High Note

Today, the Obama Administration invited communities to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative providing direct technical support to build strong local food systems as part of a community’s emerging economic action plans. Under this effort, a team of agricultural, transportation, public health, environmental, and regional economic experts will work directly with local communities…

MillerCoors’ Milwaukee Brewery and Corporate Offices Are Now Landfill-Free

MillerCoors, an American brewer with more than 450 years of combined heritage, today announced that its Milwaukee Brewery and corporate offices are landfill-free. The brewer eliminated 65 tons of waste that was previously sent to landfill each month from its brewery and corporate offices, logging its first landfill-free month at the brewery in December 2014. This…

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Target Told Campbell’s, General Mills, and Kellogg that they’re no Longer a Priority

Consumer demand for fresher, natural, organic, and locally sourced foods and beverages is reaching a crescendo and big box retailers are taking notice. Earlier this month, Target informed top suppliers Campbell Soup, General Mills, and Kellogg that the retailer intends to deemphasize these popular—but comparatively less healthy— processed brands in favor of products more in harmony…

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USDA Offers $11.9 Million in Organic Certification Assistance Funding

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced today that approximately $11.9 million in organic certification assistance is snow available to make organic certification more affordable for organic producers and handlers across the country. The funding will be available through local state government departments. “The organic industry saw record growth in 2014, accounting…

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USDA to Offer a Voluntary GMO-Free Certification Program

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released information regarding the first government certification and labeling process for non-GMO foods. The USDA’s program would be voluntary, and would require participating companies to pay a fee in order to undergo USDA review. Following approval, the companies would be able to label their products as “USDA Process…

Suggested Read: How One California Farmer is Battling the Worst Drought in 1,200 Years

While many writers have focused on the scientific and political aspects of this prolonged dry spell, few have taken a look at how the permitting and riparian rights processes have played a hand in causing many farmers to go fallow. For an excellent read on these issues and an inspiring story about what one farmer is doing to overcome the system’s shortcomings, check out Sena Christian‘s latest piece here. It’s always great to see a fellow Sacramento native in the big leagues.

Suggested Read: The Quinoa Quarrel

I am a bit late to the table when it comes to reading this piece by Lisa M. Hamilton. Although the article focuses on the intellectual property rights associated with Quinoa, the legal implications of how this story eventually unfolds will have repercussions for the food and agriculture industry as a whole. There are few lawyers who have not been affronted with the phrase “possession is nine-tenths of the law” at least once during their careers. Despite the widespread misunderstandings surrounding the meaning and use of this, possession sometimes really is everything. I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.…