WUD urges Speaker to act on immigration reform
Western United Dairymen joined with 636 business organizations this week to encourage House Speaker John Boehner to “seize this opportunity to fix our dysfunctional immigration system by enacting meaningful immigration reforms this year.”
WUD signed onto a letter sent to Speaker Boehner in which the national businesses and organizations said they were “encouraged by the House Republican Conference’s review of ‘Standards for Immigration Reform.’ We support Congress and the Administration moving forward on immigration reform using these Standards as the guideposts for action this year.”
The letter points out, “We are united in the belief that we can and must do better for our economy and country by modernizing our immigration system. Done properly, reform will deter illegal immigration, protect and complement our U.S. workforce, better respond to changing economic and demographic needs, and generate greater productivity and economic activity, while respecting family unity.
The letter concludes, “Failure to act is not an option. We cannot afford to be content and watch a dysfunctional immigration system work against our overall national interest. In short, immigration reform is an essential element of a jobs agenda and economic growth. It will add talent, innovation, investment, products, businesses, jobs, and dynamism to our economy."
Feb. 28, 2014 WUD Friday Update
San Luis Obispo welcomes WUD Convention March 5-7
San Luis Obispo, touted by the Travel Channel as one of the “friendliest towns in America” will welcome members of Western United Dairymen March 5-7 for WUD’s annual convention. The WUD convention theme is “Taking Action, Embracing Change.” The convention will be held at the Embassy Suites. Rooms there are sold out but accommodations are also available at two other hotels also located on Madonna Road. The Best Western Royal Oak has rates starting at $109.99. Call toll free 1-888-256-8028 or visit www.royaloakhotel.com. The Madonna Inn has room rates beginning at $189. Their toll-free reservation line is 1-800-543-9666 or visit www.madonnainn.com. “We expect a great turnout thanks to the popularity of San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly,” said convention coordinator Heidi Savage. “The forecast is for nice weather and along with a great lineup of dynamic speakers and interesting workshops, we expect a full house for all three days.”
Here’s a look at what’s on tap:
A full day of workshops open to members and non-members alike gets underway at 8:45 a.m. Topics range from “New Developments in Applied Reproduction Technology” to “Being an Effective Dairy Advocate” and “Healthcare Reform- Can it Help Dairies?”
In the afternoon, shuttle buses will depart the hotel for a tour of the Cal Poly creamery and dairy, and a wine and cheese tasting at the dairy. Buses will then shuttle attendees to the campus’ Performing Arts Center for the traditional membership dinner.
The annual meeting will be opened at 8:15 a.m. with welcoming comments by WUD President Tom Barcellos and CEO Michael Marsh. Then the members of Dairy Leader Class XXII will officially “graduate” and be recognized for their completion of the leadership course.
At 9:30 a.m., the challenges and opportunities of Federal and California Milk Marketing Orders will be the topic of a panel discussion. Those in attendance can expect an in-depth discussion as attorneys Chip English, a partner at Davis, Wright, Tremaine LLP and John J. Vlahos, Partner, Hanson Bridgett LLP, and WUD's long-time legal advocate, are joined by Dana Hamilton Coale, Deputy Administrator, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Dairy Programs. The panel will be moderated by WUD CEO Michael Marsh. Increasing attention is being paid to Federal Milk Marketing Orders as California dairy families face an ongoing economic crisis. The session will wrap up with a question and answer session allowing for audience participation.
Luncheon keynote speaker, former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, will offer his perspective on state legislative and regulatory issues of interest to the California dairy industry.
Afternoon panels are a 2:30 p.m. session on “Stewardship and Sustainability: The Need for a Unified Approach” featuring Erin Fitzgerald, Senior Vice President, Sustainability, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and Allen DuSault, Farm Smart Director, Sustainability, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. At 3:45 p.m. WUD Director of Economic Analysis Annie AcMoody will look at “Where in the World is California’s Milk Production?”
The day concludes with the annual banquet held at the Embassy Suites. Comedienne and professional speaker, Jan McInnis, will provide the banquet entertainment at this year’s WUD convention. Inspired by fifteen years as a marketing director in the 9 to 5 world, Jan has spent the past sixteen-plus years on the full-time speaking circuit. She was featured in the Wall Street Journal as one of the top convention comedians whose material is clean and in the Washington Post for her clean comedy writing.
The convention wraps up Friday with two presentations. WUD’s Director of Government Relations Gary Conover will offer an overview of Sacramento issues of concern. Charlie Garrison of the Garrison Group, WUD’s legislative advocate in Washington DC, will offer up the national perspective. The day wraps up with the district delegate business meeting with a goal of adjourning by noon.
Feb. 29, 2014 WUD Friday Update
Convention entertainer sure to bring laughs
Comedienne and professional speaker, Jan McInnis, will provide the banquet entertainment at this year’s WUD convention. Inspired by fifteen years as a marketing director in the 9 to 5 world, Jan has spent the past sixteen-plus years on the full-time speaking circuit. She was featured in the Wall Street Journal as one of the top convention comedians whose material is clean and in the Washington Post for her clean comedy writing.
Jan is also a professional comedy writer who has sold comedy material to just about everyone from the Tonight Show monologue, to greeting cards, hundreds of radio stations and even guests on the “Jerry Springer Show” (yes, some of it is staged), and a syndicated cartoon strip. She is also the author of “Finding the Funny Fast: How to Create Quick Humor to Connect with Clients, Coworkers and Crowds.”
The WUD convention theme is “Taking Action, Embracing Change.” McInnis will share with the audience how we can all go about “Finding Funny in Change.”
Feb. 21, 2104 WUD Friday Update
Feds to Central Valley farmers: Expect no water this summer
Farm contractors on the federal Central Valley Project will get an unprecedented zero allocations north and south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta this summer, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced Friday morning. The forecast is the result of the driest winter on record so far in California. The Sierra snowpack is 29% of average for this time of year. Major reservoirs are less than half full. The announcement is no surprise to San Joaquin Valley farmers who use the water to irrigate more than 2 million acres in the nation's most productive agricultural region. It is the first time both the west and east sides of the Valley have been forecast to receive no water. (more) Feb. 21, 2014 Fresno Bee
WUD convention hotel sold-out
Due to a large volume of convention reservations, the Embassy Suites in San Luis Obispo has sold-out (except for those with a five-night minimum stay). Alternatively, convention attendees may make room reservations at two other hotels also located on Madonna Road. The Best Western Royal Oak has rates starting at $109.99. Call toll free 1-888-256-8028 or visit www.royaloakhotel.com. The Madonna Inn has room rates beginning at $189. Their toll-free reservation line is 1-800-543-9666 or visit www.madonnainn.com.
All of above hotel information is also available at www.WUDconvention.com.
Posted: Feb. 13, 2014
WUD board of directors election results
Election results for the Western United Dairymen board of directors were announced this week. New directors are: Devin Gioletti, District 5, Stanislaus County and Travis Visser, District 7, Madera and Fresno counties.
Re-elected directors are: Lucas Deniz , District 3, Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Marin counties; Luis Borba, District 6, Merced, Monterey, Santa Clara and San Benito counties; Tom Barcellos, District 8, Tulare County and John Goyenetche, District 11, Kern, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.
The new board members will be seated at the March board meeting to be held in conjunction with WUD’s annual convention in San Luis Obispo.
Feb. 7, 2014 WUD Friday Update
Abel Maldonado to keynote WUD convention
Former Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Sen. Abel Maldonao will offer the keynote speech at Western United Dairymen’s convention on Thursday, March 6. Maldonado is well known in California agriculture circles for his advocacy on behalf of the industry throughout his service in the California legislature.
Maldonado has an impressive political resume. He was nominated by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in November, 2009 as Lieutenant Governor to fill the vacancy created by John Garamendi's election to the United States House of Representatives. A State Senator from 2004 until his appointment as Lieutenant Governor, Maldonado ran unsuccessfully for California State Controller in 2006. He represented a swing district in the Senate and is considered a moderate. Prior to serving in the State Senate, Maldonado was a member of the California State Assembly and Mayor and City Councilmember of Santa Maria. Maldonado was defeated in the 2010 lieutenant governor election by Democrat Gavin Newsom of San Francisco.
He is the eldest son of immigrant Mexican-American farm workers. His family ran a small family farm, where they grew strawberries. After Maldonado graduated from Santa Maria High School, his family used their earnings from the farm to send him to California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where he majored in Crop Science. Maldonado brought his college experience back to his family's farm and helped his family grow the half-acre strawberry farm into a 6,000-acre farm, employing 250 people, with produce shipped around the world. He is married to Laura Maldonado and has four children.
State Water Project allocation cut to zero
The California Department of Water Resources has cut promised water deliveries from the State Water Project from 5 percent to zero. "The harsh weather leaves us little choice," says DWR Director Mark Cowin. "If we are to have any hope of coping with continued dry weather and balancing multiple needs, we must act now to preserve what water remains in our reservoirs." Except for a small amount of carryover water from 2013, customers of the State Water Project will get no deliveries in 2014 if current dry conditions persist and deliveries to agricultural districts with long-standing water rights in the Sacramento Valley may be cut 50 percent -- the maximum permitted by contract -- depending upon future snow survey results. It is important to note that almost all areas served by the SWP have other sources of water, such as groundwater, local reservoirs, and other supplies. (more) Jan. 31, 2014 Central Valley Business Times
CA, Federal milk marketing orders topic of WUD convention talk
The challenges and opportunities of Federal and California Milk Marketing Orders will be the topic of a panel discussion set for Thursday, March 6, at Western United Dairymen’s annual convention in San Luis Obispo. Those in attendance can expect an in-depth discussion as attorneys Chip English, a partner at Davis, Wright, Tremaine LLP and John J. Vlahos, Partner, Hanson Bridgett LLP, and WUD’s long-time legal advocate, are joined by Dana Hamilton Coale, Deputy Administrator, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Dairy Programs. The panel will be moderated by Michael Marsh, CEO, Western United Dairymen. Increasing attention is being paid to Federal Milk Marketing Orders as California dairy families face an ongoing economic crisis. The session will wrap up with a question and answer session allowing for audience participation. The panel begins at 9:30 a.m. on the second day of the convention Thursday, March 6.
To downlaod the complete WUD convention agenda, please click here.
Jan. 10, 2014 WUD Friday Update
Dairy Leader Program accepting applications until April 4
April 4, 2014 is the deadline to apply for Western United Dairymen's highly successful California Dairy Leaders Program. Designed to train the next generation of California's dairy leaders, the leadership program consists of several sessions devoted to developing a better understanding of the economic, legislative, marketing, and environmental issues facing the industry.
Eligible participants must be actively involved in milk production, be able to spend the necessary time in class, as well as studying resource materials, and be able to commit to visits to locations such as Sacramento and Washington DC. Industry members can download applications by clicking here.
The program application process this year is being opened up to individuals in allied industries. Allied member applications can be downloaded by clicking here.
The year-long program kicks off in the spring. Topics include environmental issues, the state and federal legislative process, dairy pricing and economics, biotechnological developments, marketing and promotion, and public relations skills. Participants will develop and enhance their leadership skills through communication, business etiquette, negotiation skills, time management, and team building workshops. Instruction will be provided by recognized experts in their field.
Class enrollment will be limited to ensure one-on-one instruction. The program enrollment fee of $750 should be submitted with letters of recommendation. Further information is available by contacting Western United Dairymen at (209) 527-6453.
Jan. 17, 2014 WUD Friday Update