Agricultural Issues

Water and air quality regulations are the top two issues facing California agriculture today. They will be the focus of these presentations at the Seminar Pavilion. And there will be a free lunch to go along with a presentation on global beef production and marketing.

9:30-11:00 a.m.

Water Quality Update: “Don’t Let Water Quality Regulations Milk Your Dairy”

Daniel Merkley, California Farm Bureau Federation legislative director of water resources, believes dairy farmers deserve credit for protecting the state’s water quality through improved management, rigorous environmental sampling and testing, and careful application of manure nutrients to cropland.

He also will outline the critical roles of the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP) and other dairy industry organizations, including the California Farm Bureau and Dairy CARES (Community Alliance for Responsible Environmental Stewardship) in providing education and outreach to farmers and consultants in meeting these water quality regulation challenges.

This is an ongoing challenge that is being met by industry-supported research to develop even better management tools. He also will discuss the state’s Anti-degradation Policy (State Water Resources Control Board Resolution 68-16).

11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

BEEF magazine presents “Global Beef Systems – How Do We Compete?”

Clint Peck, Director of Beef Quality Assurance, Institute for Global Beef Studies at Montana State University, will be the keynote speaker.

Peck will evaluate the unique beef production systems utilized in the United States and Canada and how they differ from those in Argentina, Australia, Brazil and the European Union.

He will also focus on the definition of “quality beef,” specifically highlighting what today’s red meat-buying customers are demanding at the store.

Also BEEF magazine will offer all cattle industry seminar attendees an opportunity to “eat beef for lunch” as a part of the program and the World Ag Expo experience.

1:00-2:30 p.m.

“Agriculture and Air Quality: Challenges and Solutions”

Agriculture is continuing to face new air quality challenges, especially in non-attainment air districts. Solutions are critical. Are we making progress? Can agriculture meet new standards? Speakers will discuss these points in depth.

Peter Green is a professional research engineer with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Davis, where he studies air quality. He will discuss the challenges and solutions of meeting air quality standards in farm operations.

Frank Mitloehner is Director of the Agricultural Air Quality Center at UC Davis and Associate Professor and Air Quality Specialist in the Department of Animal Sciences. His research is in the area of air emission estimates from dairies and livestock, focusing on greenhouse gases, VOC, ammonia, and particulate matter. He will explore the challenges of air quality and possible solutions for livestock operations, especially the dairy industry.

Kerry Drake, EPA Region XIX, will discuss today’s air quality issues and tomorrow’s regulations impacting agricultural operations. He will explore opportunities to meet these challenges and how the regulatory community will adjust to advancements in science and industry adaptations.

2:30 - 4:00 p.m.

“California’s New Diesel Truck Rule”

Erik White, chief of the Heavy-Duty Diesel In-Use Strategies Branch at the California Air Resources Board (ARB), oversees the ARB’s diesel retrofit verification program and various demonstration programs for new and emerging diesel retrofit technologies, as well as the ARB’s heavy-duty diesel emission testing laboratory in downtown Los Angeles. He will discuss California’s controversial proposed diesel retrofit program.

White’s staff is responsible for implementing the statewide emission reduction strategies for fleet operators, including off-road construction fleets, transit fleets, refuse hauler fleets, and public and utility fleets. In addition, he has also had the opportunity to work on ARB’s emission reduction strategies for locomotives, ocean-going vessels, and harborcraft, as well as the development and implementation of California’s reformulated fuels regulations.

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