Published: Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 4:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 4:01 a.m.
Seminar for employers
The Sonoma County Farm Bureau will hold a seminar for agricultural employers on Jan. 22 on how to comply with California law.
The seminar will cover mandates ranging from the office to the field, including wages, hours, work weeks, meal and rest periods, exemptions, payroll documentation, housing and transportation, occupational safety and health programs, equipment and prevention standards, and more.
The seminar also will include regulation from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, I-9 form completion, document verification, E-Verify, audit procedures and investigation expectations.
Experts from Barsamian and Moody Law Firm and Farm Employers Labor Service will present.
The seminar will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. The fee is $25 for Farm Bureau members and $55 for non-members. Non-members joining Farm Bureau can attend this first seminar free. Seating is limited, so please make reservations by Jan. 11. For reservations, please contact Anita Hawkins: 544-5575 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
USDA seeks census forms
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service is urging farmers to complete and return their 2012 Census of Agriculture form.
Conducted once every five years, the census provides a snapshot of the agriculture industry in every county of the state, including land use and ownership, production practices and expenditures. The information can affect policy decisions and community growth and development.
"The results of the census are used by companies, cooperatives, planners and lawmakers who serve California farmers and communities," Vic Tolomeo, director of the NASS California field office, said in a statement. "Farmers and ranchers also use census data to help make informed decisions about the future of their own operations."
All California farmers and ranchers should receive a census form in the mail by early January.
Completed forms are due by Feb. 4. Farmers can return their forms by mail or online by visiting a secure website, www.agcensus.usda.gov.
Record olive crop outlook
California olive growers are expecting a record crop from the just-completed harvest.
Mike Coldani, with Calivirgin-Coldani Olive Ranch in Lodi, told the Stockton Record that some of his orchards are producing nearly 7.5 tons per acre. Last year, he got up to 3.5 tons per acre on his ranch, which has never produced more than 5.5 tons per acre.
Olives are alternate-bearing plants, meaning they tend to produce a small crop one year, then a large crop the next. In 2009, California produced a meager 46,300 tons of olives for oil and canning. That soared to a record 195,000 tons in 2010, only to plunge to 71,200 tons last year.
With the good growing season and many orchards planted for oil in the past several years now reaching maturity, the state is poised for a record harvest, said Paul Vossen, a University of California farm adviser for Sonoma County.
"We've got the biggest crop ever in California," Vossen said.
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