Special Sections

Central Coast Agriculture Winter 2022 FINAL

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We switched all our banking to Santa Cruz County Bank, which was smooth and easy. They listen and truly understand Agriculture and the needs of our business. ~ Dane Scurich, President, Scurich Berry Farms, Inc. S A N T A C R U Z C O U N T Y B A N K As a community bank, our objective is to help local businesses thrive, even as economic seasons change. We're a community bank, staffed with local market experts and decision makers. So we can dig into your business and create a plan that works to your advantage. No waiting for approvals from "the folks at HQ." If you'd like some fresh ideas on how to grow your business, call us or stop by. Our team is ready to serve you with resourceful, relationship-based expertise. Like a greenhouse for business growth. S C C O U N T Y B A N K . C O M ■ 831. 457. 5000 Transportation Excellence Honorees Norm Groot, Ex- ecutive Director of Monterey County Farm Bureau, is nominated for his support of the South of Salinas (SOS) Traffic Safety Alliance's mission to improve traffic safety along the US 101 corridor south of Salinas. Mr. Groot has supported the Alliance since the group formed in 2018 Provided photo of Norm Groot, Executive Director, Monterey County Farm Bureau Winter 2022 Central Coast A Special Advertising Supplement to Monterey Herald and Santa Cruz Sentinel. February 25, 2022 and officially endorsed their mission with a letter of support in March 2019. Since that time, he has made the Farm Bureau's conference room available for countless meetings to discuss short and long- term improvements along the corridor. He has partic- ipated in on-going public outreach campaigns to ensure Farm Bureau mem- bers are informed about traffic safety improve- ments and potential long-term projects so that they have opportu- nities to share feedback. Mr. Groot has been available during and after business hours to share insight and guid- ance with SOS's found- ing members to inform their advocacy efforts to improve traffic safety. Groot's continued support of these efforts has contributed to securing support and offer priceless feedback on agriculture's trans- portation needs – both human and goods/ services – to inform any short and long-term im- provements along the highway. Without his leadership and support, public outreach, the awareness of chang- es along the corridor would not be as robust as it has been. He is truly a forward-thinking and progressive indus- try leader who genuine- ly cares about Monterey County residents and travelers arriving safely to their destinations. For more information about TAMC, please visit www.tamcmonterey. org. Research Foundation Releases Agenda Organic Farming Re- search Foundation (OFRF) is releasing the Nation- al Organic Research Provided photo Agenda (NORA), a report conducted approximate- ly every five years to examine current organic farmer challenges across the U.S. and to provide policy and research recommendations to address identified farmer issues. The 2022 NORA report compiles data collected from over 1,100 organic and transitioning farmers and ranchers and 16 listening sessions in 2020. The report will be available online for free in March 2022. Participants of the 2022 National Organic Re- search Agenda provided input and perspectives on their current organic production systems, including the use of regenerative soil health management practic- es, water conservation, organic inputs and organic seed. The NORA report details challenges for farmers and ranchers both on and off the field, and provides a compar- ative analysis of farmer responses based on geo- graphic/regional location and farming experience, and race/ethnicity. The NORA report high- lighted the top five pro- duction challenges stated by organic farmers and ranchers; approximately 67% of surveyed organ- ic farmers stated weed management as their top production challenge. Accessing labor proved to be the leading non-pro- duction challenge among NORA respondents. Report findings conclud- ed that an overwhelming number of U.S. producers (roughly 74% of farmers and ranchers surveyed) expressed a technical assistance need for the organic management of weeds, pests, and disease. Nearly 80% of survey respondents were concerned about organic fraud and the integrity of the USDA Organic label. Farmer demographics for the NORA report were reflective of the National Agricultural Statistics Services (NASS) 2019 Organic Survey. NORA findings also concluded that farmers identifying as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), experienced higher rates of farming production and non-production chal- lenges than their White counterparts. In addition to identify- ing gaps in current or- ganic and transitioning to organic farmer challeng- es, the National Organic Research Agenda also provides comprehen- sive recommendations to guide the Organic Farming Research Foun- dation's research and pol- icy initiatives. Proposed investments and focus Needs assessment examines organic farming challenges and research and policy recommendations areas included but were not limited to: technical assistance, organic research, and equity programming. OFRF is a 30+ year nonprofit based in Santa Cruz that's invested in support- ing organic farmers and fostering the widespread adoption of organic farming systems. The NORA report is a critical document that has been widely used to promote organ- ic research, farmer education, policy and advocacy work, and public outreach. The 2022 National Organic Research Agenda will be released alongside the Organic Seed Ag company announces promotions Ocean Mist Farms, a fourth-generation Grower Shipper located in Castroville, announced earlier this month the promotion of Bobby Bellew to Director of Farming, Serafin Ruiz to Director of Harvesting, and Glen Alameda to Director of Supply Chain and Compliance. In Bellew's new role, he Provided photo of Bobby Bellew will oversee and guide Ocean Mist Farm's North- ern California farming operations and work to increase cost efficien- cies, quality, and yield. Bellew's expertise and detailed focus on farming will allow him to contin- ue building and coach- ing talent across the Production and Farming Department and focus on areas where Ocean Mist Farms can utilize science and technology to foster efficiency. "We couldn't be more pleased with the per- formances of these three individuals," said Chris Drew, President and CEO of Ocean Mist Farms. "Bellew, Ruiz and Alameda have all shown growth in their individual areas of expertise year over year. As a result of this development, the promotions of these three key figures at our company positions Ocean Mist Farms for a new era of continued success." Ruiz's background and experience with Ocean Mist Farms harvesting operations and equip- ment engineering have propelled him to lead the way to increase effi- ciency, minimize product loss, capitalize on higher yields, and place a stron- ger focus on mechanized harvest opportunities. In his new role, Ruiz will manage the Commodity Management Depart- ment including both internal and external harvest companies and procurement operations across Ocean Mist Farms' different production regions. Alameda's past role as Logistics Manager has allowed him to glean knowledge of Ocean Mist Farm's entire supply chain, how it works, and where we have the opportunity to improve. In his new role, Alameda will oversee all our post-harvest supply chain operations including inventory management and flow, packaging, QA, as well as Customer and Regulatory Compliance. "We look forward to seeing the shining future these three individuals hold at Ocean Mist Farms and greatly anticipate their work ahead," said Drew. Ocean Mist Farms is the largest grower of fresh ar- tichokes in North Amer- ica and is committed to delivering the highest standards in the industry for food safety, product quality, customer service, innovation and sustain- ability. The company's full line of over 30 fresh vegetables includes the award-winning Season & Steam and Ocean Mist Organic product lines. To stay up to date on the 2021 artichoke season, follow Ocean Mist on Instagram. To learn more about Ocean Mist Farms, visit www.oceanmist. com/. For recipe inspi- ration and preparation tips, follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Provided photo of Serafin Ruiz Provided photo of Glen Alameda Continued on page 2

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