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Carolinas receive nearly $2 million in specialty crop grants

North and South Carolina farmers trying to combat pests and diseases attacking their blueberries, sweet potatoes and other specialty crops are getting help from the federal government. The U.S. Agriculture Department has provided nearly $ 2 million for a total of 35 programs in the Tar Heel and Palmetto states to research or promote home-grown fruits, vegetables and nursery plants.

The money will go to universities, local agencies and nonprofit organizations.SPECIALTY-GRANTS11213-SWEET-POTATOESGrowers of sweet potatoes, North Carolina’s number one produce crop, would benefit from a specialty crop grant project to eradicate the sweet potato weevil in North Carolina. It’s part of a $ 118 million national effort funded by the farm bill approved earlier this year. Its goal is to boost specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, horticulture and nursery crops. North Carolina received $ 1.175 million for 15 projects; South Carolina received about $ 602,000 for 20 projects.

North Carolina projects include assistance to specialty crop growers through a partnership with the Carolinas Farm Stewardship Association to develop a food-safety support program and to establish community-based, sustainable food-safety systems. And in a second project with the Farm Stewardship group, offer specialty crop producers seeking to take advantage of the high-value market for organic produce by helping them transition to certified-organic production.

Other North Carolina projects include a partnership with North Carolina State University to identify, collect, virus-test and propagate old and new cultivars in order to provide growers with a reliable source of productive muscadine grape plants and to establish baselines for an integrated pest management program to eradicate the sweet potato weevil in North Carolina.

South Carolina projects include partnering with the South Carolina Fruit, Vegetable and Specialty Crop Association to increase the visibility of the state’s specialty crops by rebranding the association and refocusing its media presence. Also, in cooperation with Lowcountry Local First, to increase the number of consumers eating specialty crops and increase the number of specialty crop growers by promoting the Growing New Farmers program.

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the South Carolina Watermelon Association, will seek to increase the consumption of watermelon by providing education regarding its health benefits while promoting the South Carolina watermelon industry to retailers, wholesalers and the public through an extensive industry spokesperson program. Also, in cooperation with Clemson University, to develop a larger peach by using a wide and diverse set of germ plasm to accumulate many traits together into a single cultivar and distribute these findings to producers.

Also, in cooperation with the Coastal Conservation League, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture will try to create a stronger rural economy by increasing the volume of specialty crops distributed through local food hubs and managing the greater number of specialty crop farmers participating in the food hubs.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Carolinas receive nearly $2 million in specialty crop grants

North and South Carolina farmers trying to combat pests and diseases attacking their blueberries, sweet potatoes and other specialty crops are getting help from the federal government. The U.S. Agriculture Department has provided nearly $ 2 million for a total of 35 programs in the Tar Heel and Palmetto states to research or promote home-grown fruits, vegetables and nursery plants.

The money will go to universities, local agencies and nonprofit organizations.SPECIALTY-GRANTS11213-SWEET-POTATOESGrowers of sweet potatoes, North Carolina’s number one produce crop, would benefit from a specialty crop grant project to eradicate the sweet potato weevil in North Carolina. It’s part of a $ 118 million national effort funded by the farm bill approved earlier this year. Its goal is to boost specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, horticulture and nursery crops. North Carolina received $ 1.175 million for 15 projects; South Carolina received about $ 602,000 for 20 projects.

North Carolina projects include assistance to specialty crop growers through a partnership with the Carolinas Farm Stewardship Association to develop a food-safety support program and to establish community-based, sustainable food-safety systems. And in a second project with the Farm Stewardship group, offer specialty crop producers seeking to take advantage of the high-value market for organic produce by helping them transition to certified-organic production.

Other North Carolina projects include a partnership with North Carolina State University to identify, collect, virus-test and propagate old and new cultivars in order to provide growers with a reliable source of productive muscadine grape plants and to establish baselines for an integrated pest management program to eradicate the sweet potato weevil in North Carolina.

South Carolina projects include partnering with the South Carolina Fruit, Vegetable and Specialty Crop Association to increase the visibility of the state’s specialty crops by rebranding the association and refocusing its media presence. Also, in cooperation with Lowcountry Local First, to increase the number of consumers eating specialty crops and increase the number of specialty crop growers by promoting the Growing New Farmers program.

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the South Carolina Watermelon Association, will seek to increase the consumption of watermelon by providing education regarding its health benefits while promoting the South Carolina watermelon industry to retailers, wholesalers and the public through an extensive industry spokesperson program. Also, in cooperation with Clemson University, to develop a larger peach by using a wide and diverse set of germ plasm to accumulate many traits together into a single cultivar and distribute these findings to producers.

Also, in cooperation with the Coastal Conservation League, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture will try to create a stronger rural economy by increasing the volume of specialty crops distributed through local food hubs and managing the greater number of specialty crop farmers participating in the food hubs.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

USDA Awards $24 Million in Food Safety Research Grants

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced it will award $ 24 million to research projects for improving food safety.

The grants were awarded to 35 projects at 26 schools across the country through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s (AFRI) Food Safety program.

The categories of projects address critical and emerging food safety issues like the role of pigs in foodborne zoonotic transmission of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, effective mitigation strategies for antimicrobial resistance, improving the safety of fresh and fresh-cut produce, and the physical and molecular mechanisms of food contamination.

NIFA director Sonny Ramaswamy called the agency’s investment in food safety science “a high priority that will have direct impact on thousands of lives.”

Separate from the NIFA announcement, Barabara Kowalcyk discussed the need for publicly-funded food safety research during last week’s National Food Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the new innovations and cost-saving measures research can lead to, “the next generation of our food safety workforce comes from dealing with researchers at academic institutions,” said Kowalcyk, CEO of the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention. “If we’re not funding research, then the academic institutions can’t train people to replace the brain drain that we’re facing in public health and in science.”

She cited a 2012 report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) that said of the $ 14 billion spent on agricultural research in 2009, $ 3.8 billion came from the federal government while $ 8.7 billion came from industry.

“I’m all for private industry putting money into research, but then you get research that the private industry needs,” she said. “We do need publicly funded research in food safety and agriculture.”

And of agriculture research in general, “food safety is a very, very, very tiny part,” Kowalcyk said. “Food safety, I say, is the poor stepchild of the poor stepchild.”

Food Safety News

Raley’s to award grants for ecology-friendly ideas

Raley’s Supermarkets said it plans to give away 10 grants totaling $ 30,000 for the best ideas to improve communities and make the planet a healthier place.


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The program — called “Healthy planet, healthy you” — was launched in commemoration of Earth Day. It will award grants from Raley’s Reach to the top 10 ideas that receive the most votes, with the top vote-getter receiving a $ 10,000 grant; the next two ideas getting grants of $ 5,000 each; the fourth- and fifth-place qualifiers receiving grants of $ 2,500 each; and five additional grants of $ 1,000 each.

Organizations can submit ideas through May 2, with ideas being posted for online voting May 5; voting is scheduled to end May 16, with winners announced sometime later, the company said.

“Raley’s has a long history of working to improve the environment in the communities where we do business. Given that commitment, we wanted to focus our Raley’s Reach program to help put 10 earth-friendly ideas into action,” said Jennifer Teel-Wolter, community relations manager for the West Sacramento, Calif.-based chain.

Raley’s said its environmental efforts including the following:

• Recycling more than 680 tons of store waste— aluminum, glass, plastic containers, cardboard, plastic shopping bags and expired food products — rather than dumping it into landfills.

• Making expired produce and other edibles available to local farmers as a food source for livestock.

• Installing a solar plant on top of the chain’s 400,000-square-foot distribution center in Sacramento to provide nearly 20% of the facility’s energy and supplemental power.

• Upgrading store refrigeration systems to be more energy-efficient and installing “night blankets” on refrigeration units to limit energy loss during evening hours.

• Using natural lighting from skylights in stores to reduce energy consumption; and installing more efficient light bulbs that use motion sensors to turn off lights automatically to reduce energy costs.

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Sun World grants producer rights to Central American and South American companies

Sun World International LLC has appointed two companies in Central American and South American agriculture as grape producer-marketer licensees.

Camposol S.A. of Peru and Grupo Alta of Sonora Mexico have been granted rights to produce Sun World grape varieties in their respective countries, to distribute and market their fruit and to use Sun World’s brands in the marketplace, David Marguleas, executive vice president of the Bakersfield, CA-based company, said in a press release.

Grupo Alta was established in 1989 by its original founders, Enrique Camou, Carlos Bon and Alan Aguirre, who is its current chief executive officer. Located in the state of Sonora, Mexico, Grupo Alta farms several products in seven different ranches, mainly stone fruit, melons, pecan, hot-house vegetables and table grapes. It prides itself on its commitment to innovation, food safety, ethical standards and packing quality.

Camposol was founded in Peru in 1997 and currently owns more than 25,000 hectares (61,000 acres) throughout Peru’s agricultural regions. It is one of the world’s larger asparagus exporters, one of the world’s larger avocado producers and is a leading grape producer-exporter. Its grape operation is managed by Manzur Fegale, fruit division general manager.

“Grupo Alta’s specific attention to producing and marketing quality fruit makes them a compelling partner and a great addition to the Sun World licensing family,” Marguleas said in the press release, adding, “Camposol’s broad-based involvement in the Peruvian fruit industry and its singular commitment to grape production in Peru’s Piura region will bring even greater strength to our aim for truly year-round supply capability.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Sun World grants producer rights to Central and South American companies

Sun World grants producer rights to Central and South American companies

Sun World International LLC has appointed two companies in Central and South American agriculture, as grape producer-marketer licensees.

Camposol S.A. of Peru and Grupo Alta of Sonora Mexico have been granted rights to produce Sun World grape varieties in their respective countries, to distribute and market their fruit and to use Sun World’s brands in the marketplace, Sun World Executive Vice President David Marguleas said.

Grupo Alta was established in 1989 by its original founders, Enrique Camou, Carlos Bon and Alan Aguirre, its current CEO. Located in the state of Sonora, Mexico, Grupo Alta farms several products in seven different ranches, mainly stone fruit, melons, pecan, hot house vegetables and most important, table grapes. It prides itself on its commitment to innovation, food safety, ethical standards and packing quality.

Camposol was founded in Peru in 1997 and today owns more than 25,000 hectares (61,000 acres) throughout Peru’s agricultural regions. It is one of the world’s largest asparagus exporter, one of the world’s largest avocado producers and a leading grape producer-exporter. Its grape operation is managed by Manzur Fegale, fruit division general manager.

“Grupo Alta’s specific attention to producing and marketing quality fruit makes them a compelling partner and a great addition to the Sun World licensing family,” Marguleas noted, adding that “Camposol’s broad-based involvement in the Peruvian fruit industry and its singular commitment to grape production in Peru’s Piura region will bring even greater strength to our aim for truly year-round supply capability.”

For more information:
David Marguleas
SunWorld
Tel: +1-661-631-4156
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 10/1/2013


FreshPlaza.com

California Table Grape Growers offer teaching grants to local educators

deadline October 11,2013
California Table Grape Growers offer teaching grants to local educators

On behalf of California’s table grape growers, the California Table Grape Commission is offering teaching grants worth up to $ 750 each to educators in the table grape growing regions of California’s San Joaquin and Coachella valleys.

The “Innovation in Teaching” grants support creative classroom projects in the areas of agriculture, math, science, California history, art and health. Previously funded projects include weather forecasting, school-based gardens, a re-enactment of California history, robotics and afterschool cooking classes.

Elementary, junior high and high school teachers in California’s table grape growing regions are urged to apply, with applications available. The deadline for submissions is October 11, 2013.

In the 2012 school year, the education grants program reached over 5,000 students. The education grants are part of a community outreach program that also includes table grape field worker and agricultural scholarships.

For more information:
Jeff Klitz
Grapes From California
Email: [email protected]
or contact the commission directly,
Tel: 559.447.8350
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 9/20/2013


FreshPlaza.com