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Agriculture briefs

A new California law requires farmers who sell crops directly to consumers through CSA subscriptions to annually register with the state and to inform consumer about where they have obtained their produce.

The new law, AB 224, applies to farmers who sell fruits and vegetables, shell eggs or other value-added farm products to consumers through a community supported agriculture, or CSA, program, according to the California Farm Bureau Federation.

The new law's provisions cover safe handling of farm products and includes trace-back requirements. Involved farmers will pay a $100 annual fee to the state Department of Food and Agriculture, the federation said.

The law allows farmers to gather produce from multiple farms into a single box, but it requires them to inform customers of the farm of origin for each item. Farmers also must maintain records on the contents of the items included in each consumer box.

Farm Bureau offers classes for management training, preventing sexual harassment

The Sonoma County Farm Bureau is offering separate classes Nov. 12 for management training and for preventing and properly addressing sexual harassment.

The two-hour sexual harassment avoidance training sessions will be given at 8 a.m. in Spanish and 1 p.m. in English. Cost is $65 for members and $95 for non-members.

The two-hour management training for foremen and supervisors will be given at 10:30 a.m. in Spanish and 3:30 p.m. in English. Cost is $95 for members and $125 for non-members.

All sessions will be held at the Farm Bureau office, 970 Piner Road, Santa Rosa. For more information or to register, contact Anita Hawkins at 544-5575 or info@sonomafb.org.

Brown vetoes funding to fight citrus disease

Gov. Jerry Brown last week vetoed a bill that would have provided $5 million a year to fight diseases that are threatening California's $1.8 billion citrus industry, including the tree-killing disease known as huanglongbing, or citrus greening.

The disease terrifies commercial citrus growers. They have watched the spread across Southern California of the Asian citrus psyllid, the insect that carries citrus greening.

Brown acknowledged the threat of citrus greening but suggested the better way to deal with funding is during the state budget process.

John Krist, CEO of the Farm Bureau of Ventura County, said the disease program's federal funding has been cut significantly by the so-called sequester and the industry can't afford to wait for the budget process.

— Staff and wire reports. Submit items to robert.digitale@pressdemocrat.com.

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