March 2019 - 31

nominated for more senior roles
than the ones Perdue initially
selected them to fill in their
respective mission areas at USDA.
Brashears, Earp and Hutchins
began working at USDA on Tuesday,
Jan. 29.
Brashears is a professor of food
safety and public health and the
director of the International Center
for Food Industry Excellence at Texas
Tech University. Earp is a retired
career civil servant with more than
20 years of experience in federal
equal opportunity policy, charge
processing, complaint handling
and employment law. Hutchins
formerly served as the global
leader of integrated field sciences
for Corteva Agriscience and as an
adjunct professor at the University
of Nebraska. Previously, he served
as president of the Entomological
Society of America.
Ag labor proposal
receives support
Three Democratic lawmakers
from California have presented
new immigration legislation that
would create an opportunity for
undocumented agricultural workers
to apply for legal status.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein,
Congressman Jimmy Panetta, and
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren
introduced the Agricultural Worker
Program Act of 2019 (H.R. 641) on
Jan. 17. The bill would allow
immigrant farm workers who have
worked at least 575 hours or 100
work days over a two-year period to
apply for " blue card status. "
Michael Marsh, president and
CEO of the National Council of
Agricultural Employers (NCAE) said
the bill " would provide a pathway to
citizenship for certain farmworkers.
" This is a very important piece
of the puzzle for fixing the chronic
labor shortage U.S. agriculture
faces, " Marsh said. " Senator
Feinstein and Representative
Lofgren, as well as many other
members of the House and Senate,
have long been champions in the
attempts to address the severe
labor shortage impacting U.S.
production agriculture. "
" Our members recognize the need
for solutions to the agricultural labor
challenges facing them on their
farms, " Marsh said. " This bill is an
important first step toward resolving
the ability of growers to retain their
long-time skilled workers, which is
paramount to helping to solve this
issue. Farmers also need to secure
a future flow of temporary foreign
workers into critical agricultural
jobs that most Americans choose
not to do. We look forward to
working with Senator Feinstein,
Representative Lofgren, and their
colleagues in Congress to achieve a
solution that addresses the entire
agricultural labor problem. "
Germains Seed opens
new Gilroy facility
Germains Seed Technology held
a grand opening to celebrate the
completion of its new organic,
automated processing facility and
research and development lab in
Gilroy, California.
Germains invested over $7
million in the construction of the
37,500-square-foot, certified organic
facility. Germains said in a news
release the new processing facility
would allow for greater production
of ProBio SafeGuard will be available
to more organic growers throughout
North America. The product,
launched in 2017, is an organic seed
treatment for spinach targeting early
plant protection against pythium
(a soil-borne fungus disease) even
before the plant emerges.
In addition to the new processing
operations, Germains purchased
and renovated the former Farotte
Construction building in Gilroy as its
second research lab.
Germains Seed's new facility in Gilroy,
California. Photo: Germain Seed Technology
Germains has 49 full-time
employees of which eight are fulltime
scientists and research support
staff. Germains now has two
laboratories dedicated to research
and development of new organic
and conventional seed treatments
for vegetables and sugarbeets that
will benefit farmers throughout the
U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Established in Los Angeles
in 1871, Germains now has
eight locations in both North
America and Europe. Acquired
by Associated British Foods
in1990, Germains Seed Technology
provides seed pellet and treatment
technologies for both organic and
conventional growers.
The Valley® ICON®
series of smart panels gives you ultimate
control of your pivots and time. This smart irrigation technology
comes with an intuitive, full-color touchscreen and the option to
program your pivots from the edge of your field*.
Plus, it comes with AgSense®
already built in and ready-to-use.
Easy to use and an easier decision to make. Contact us today!
* Sets plants through plastic mulch
* Water system available
* For cells or plugs up to 2-1/2 " in diameter
* No more setting plants in wet, cold mud by hand
* Twin row available for row spacing as close as 12 "
* Plant spacing starts at 10 " in the row
Phone: 800-757-5268 or Fax: 616-396-3619
Michigan Valley Irrigation
4802 W. Caro Rd.
Vassar, MI 48768
14265 Beadle Lake Rd.
Battle Creek, MI 49014
2071 E. Main Street
McBride, MI 48852
VGN | MARCH 2019 | 31

March 2019

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