Here’s your insider look into the programs and events taking place at the 2016 Cirus Showcase, March 3 at the Visalia Convention Center!

7:30 a.m. – Doors Open

8:00 a.m. – 2016 and Beyond:  Grower Requirements under the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program 

The Irrigated Lands Program Could Get Worse…

The Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program has been expanded and become significantly more important for growers to attend. The Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program will undergo major changes in coming months as a result of the State Water Board’s Proposed Order Revising Agricultural General Waste Discharge Requirements.

The opening session has been expanded to cover the State Water Board’s proposal UNDOING over seven years of program development by industry working with the Regional Water Board.  Casey Creamer, Coordinator, Kings River Water Quality Coalition, will go through what growers need to know and do right now.  Additionally, and new to the program, Lauren M. Noland-Hajik, attorney with Kahn, Saroares & Conway, LLP will summarize how the State Water Board’s proposed changes would negatively impact growers in several very significant ways.  The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion where questions will be addressed and growers will have the opportunity to express concerns that will help support opposing the proposed changes.

CCM is already working on the industry’s behalf, organizing opposition to the most egregious of the proposed changes and scheduling meetings with Water Board members to argue against those changes.  Following the workshop attendees will have an opportunity to sign onto a letter from the citrus industry to the Stater Water Board, opposing the changes to the Agricultural General Waste Discharge Requirements.

9:00 a.m. – Trade Show Touring

10:00 a.m. – The “Social” Farmer

Documentary Highlights how the Endangered Species Act is Jeopardizing Agriculture and how Farmers can Fight Back

The highly anticipated documentary No Water. No Farmers. No Food. by outspoken ESA critic David Spady highlights the injustices made to California agriculture as a result of unbalanced policies that grant priority to species such as the Delta Smelt and the Chinook Salmon above the needs of agriculture and people.  Spady argues that collectively agriculture has been too quiet and that farmers need to become engaged on social media as a means to share their stories and the impacts that government regulations are having on the sustainability of California agriculture.

The “Social” Farmer workshop will delve into the hows and whys of social media.  Spady will share his experiences as a public affairs specialist and documentary film producer  in generating public awareness about the political drivers that have exacerbated drought conditions and why, unless changes are made to the Endangered Species Act, public policy and perception will continue to be negative for agriculture. Attend this workshop and become convinced that now is the time for farmers to speak out and share their stories with consumers and policy makers.

The second presenter, Amanda Patterson is the Director of Interactive Services for AdFarm, a unique public relations agency that specializes is telling Ag’s stories.  Their connection to agriculture runs deep; in fact, the agency itself operates three farming operations located around the world. Amanda will share how growers can take advantage of social media to shape public perception.  She’ll offer examples of growers who are currently making waves on social media by simply sharing about life on the farm.

You’ll walk away from this workshop with the inspiration and tools to become an agvocate on social media!

11:00 a.m. – Trade Show Touring

12:00 p.m. (Luncheon Program) – Huanglongbing:  Lessons from the Frontline

It has always been the position of CCM to support any effort to prevent Huanglongbing from taking hold in California.  Over the past decade, it’s become clear that the disease is decimating the Florida citrus industry and now Texas detected the disease in commercial groves.

Here are some of the sobering facts.  The Florida Citrus Commission was once an enviable program designed to promote consumption of Florida orange and grapefruit juice. Their success on behalf of the Florida industry was comparable to what Sunkist, Wonderful Citrus, Sun Pacific and many others have achieved from a promotional standpoint for CA citrus.

In Fiscal Year 03-04, the Florida Department of Citrus had a budget of $65 million.  For fiscal year 08-09, the budget was $53 million.  The estimated budget for the current year is $25.6 million, a sharp drop of 60%.  The Commission is proposing a $7.25 million budget for FY 16-17 and a reduction of staff from 43 to 10.  All of this negativity is a direct result of HLB!  Think about our industry’s investment into brands such as Sunkist, Cuties, and Halos.  Think about the asset we call 271,000 producing acres of fresh citrus.

Exercising psyllid control, communicating with the general public about the seriousness of the disease and encouraging their partnership to stop endemic populations from spreading the insidious disease has to be an industry priority for this $3 billion commodity.

Florida citrus growers Larry Black and Ric Freeman and Texas citrus grower Dale Murden will join CCM President Joel Nelsen on-stage for an in-depth discussion about how their respective industries are responding on the ground to mass HLB infection and how California can avoid a similar fate.

Now more than ever, it is imperative that the California grower is engaged and diligent in their efforts to stop the psyllid.  Attend the Showcase Luncheon to hear more from those on the frontline about what California growers can do to protect their trees and their livelihood from the devastation caused by HLB.

The luncheon program is presented in partnership with the Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program.

1:30 Trade Show Touring

Press Conference for Media – San Joaquin Room A

2:30 p.m. – Labor Laws and Regulations: What you need to know in 2016

This workshop will concentrate on two major developments in labor regulations for the citrus industry.  Last fall the California legislature passed a law that shapes piece–rate compensation and joint liability. AB 1513 created an optional program in which agricultural employers may enroll.  With enrollment, employers would have an affirmative defense in exchange for retroactive payments to employees.  The bill attempts to define how piece-rate employees should be compensated going forward, beginning January 2016.  There are numerous obstacles involved in logistically completing the retroactive payments.  CCM has actively investigated potential paths forward both legislatively and legally. This workshop strives to clarify some of the ambiguities and discuss a way forward for the industry.

Piece-rate compensation and joint liability are only two labor obstacles that the agricultural industry is struggling to understand and implement.  Regulatory compliance is constantly evolving and the challenge of maintaining compliance with both state and federal regulations is taxing.  To meet this challenge, the citrus industry has created the California Agricultural Labor Association (CALA) which will serve farm labor contractors, growers, and packinghouses alike.  When it comes to regulatory compliance, it is imperative that all parties involved in contract employment comply with the laws and regulations in the same manner.    Come and learn about the resources and education that will be made available to both farm labor contractors and agricultural employers.  If the industry can collaborate and protect itself, it will continue to be successful.

Spanish translation will be provided.

The 2016 Citrus Showcase is made possible thanks to our generous sponsors:

2016 Showcase Sponsors