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JANUARY 2018 NEWS

 

 In this Newsletter  

New Project for Cal Ag Roots

CIRS Announces New Board Member

CA Announces Unique Investments to Drive Community-Driven Transformation

Gail on EcoFarm Panel

Rural California Report Blog

"Health Disparities by Legal Status Among Immigrant Farmworkers in the US," Feb 5, Davis

Save the Date! – 3rd Rural Justice Summit, March 21st, UC Merced

"Borderlands of the San Joaquin Valley," March 21st, Merced, March 21st, Merced

California Institute for Rural Studies (CIRS) is the only California non-profit with a mission to conduct public interest research that strengthens social justice and increases the sustainability of California's rural communities. 

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New Project for Cal Ag Roots

Cal Ag Roots is excited to announce the launch of a new project: The Animated Atlas of California Farming History: Expanding Imaginations about Turning Points in California Agriculture. The project received seed funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities for 2018. We're starting by convening an interdisciplinary group to explore the development of a digital atlas that encourages public thought and dialogue around key historical moments in the development of an industry that has shaped the way America – and the world—eats. This project will create a series of online maps that complement an existing collection of stories collected on our Cal Ag Roots Digital Story Hub. As you might know, these stories dig into what may seem like a straightforward subject—California agriculture—to uncover often surprising tales of human triumph, loss, ingenuity, abuse and connection. The Story Hub collects, curates and organizes wide-ranging knowledge from recognized academic experts in California farming as well as from people who built the industry, including farmers, farm workers, politicians, journalists and activists. Each digital story is framed and narrated by someone who lived through the featured event and can connect their story to the California landscape. The Animated Atlas will add an important new functionality to this story hub: users will be able to literally connect the dots of the stories themselves, opening up new ways of thinking about California's agricultural past, present and future.

We are thrilled to be working with a power-house advisory team that includes Glenda Drew, Mike Ziser and David de la Peña from UC Davis, Mario Sifuentez and Erin Mutch from UC Merced, Chris Benner from UCSC and independent scholars Nina Ichikawa, Annie Lorrie Anderson-Lazo and Richard Walker along with cartographer Molly Roy.

CIRS Announces New Board Member

CIRS is excited to announce our new board member, Dr. Chris Benner, of University of California, Santa Cruz. Next month we will share a profile of him. Welcome, Chris!

CA Announces Unique Investments to Drive Community-Driven Transformation

The Strategic Growth Council has just recommended a $70 million investment in the City of Fresno through the Transformative Climate Communities program.

The investments will fund affordable housing, a grocery store, parks, trails, electric vehicle charging stations, solar panels, a community college campus in Southwest Fresno and surrounding neighborhoods and economic opportunities for the area. Community leaders from Southwest Fresno developed the proposal in partnership with residents from neighboring areas.

The Council's recommendation notes that The City of Fresno and Fresno stakeholders will need to improve certain components of the project implementation plan including the Displacement Avoidance and Workforce Development plans, and the Memorandum of Understanding for the Collaborative Stakeholder Structure. From their statement, "We look forward to working with the City and our partners to strengthen the proposal and move toward implementation."

A Resilient Eastern Coachella Valley

The state also recommended a $170,000 planning grant award for the Coachella Valley Association of Governments, the City of Coachella, and Riverside County to develop the Eastern Coachella Valley Climate Resilience Action Plan.

The plan will enhance existing planning documents by combining the Eastern Coachella Valley's vision into one comprehensive climate resilience plan with expanded programs and policies designed to further equity and sustainability in the city of Coachella and the unincorporated communities of Thermal, Mecca, Oasis and North Shore. Plan implementation will facilitate development of and investment in community priorities such as affordable housing, transportation, green infrastructure and parks.

This is a unique application that proposes to improve planning, development, and investment activities in a rural area of the state, and can serve as a model for similar regions.

Gail on EcoFarm Panel

If you are at EcoFarm next week, make sure to head over to the “Chasm Widens between California and Mexican Farm Wages” workshop on Friday at 3:30pm, where Gail will moderate the panel. This will be a conversational and educational panel with Dave Runsten of Community Alliance with Family Farmers, Jose Covarrubias of Wholesum Harvest, and Juan Oliva of Del Cabo Organic. From the description: “Our organic community is largely unaware that Mexico’s national minimum wage for an eight-hour-day amounts to $4.38 in U.S. dollars. Baja California's Del Cabo cooperative once represented the only significant volume of Certified Organic produce imported into the United States. That situation has changed dramatically over the last five years, with dozens of low-wage Mexican Certified Organic producers supplying U.S. big-box stores' newfound passion to market low-cost organic produce. California’s certified organic farmers, by law, will soon be paying field hands $15.00 per hour. How will California's traditional high-diversity, labor-intensive organic farms be able to weather such competition? Can they do it?” Find out!

Rural California Report Blog Round-Up

Farmland Conservation: New Awards Give Ag Climate Strategy a Boost by Jeanne Merrill, Farmworker Visa Update by Philip Martin, State Supreme Court Rules Against Gerawan Farming in Dispute With United Farm Workers, and our feature, Teenager Develops App to Protect Farmworkers from Heat-Related Illness both by Robert Rodriguez.

All the articles are featured on our website and are available as free downloadable files.

Teenager Develops App to Protect Farmworkers from Heat-Related Illness

by Robert Rodriguez

A high school senior with farmworker roots may have found a way to keep workers safe when the weather is scorching hot.

Faith Florez, 17, has created an app that alerts workers when temperatures reach 95 degrees. It also gives tips for keeping cool and serves as a direct link to first responders in case of emergency.

Currently in the crowd-funding stage, the app, called Calor, has nearly reached its $60,000 goal (update: the app has been successfully funded). It also has begun to attract social media attention. Continue Reading

"Health Disparities by Legal Status Among Immigrant Farmworkers in the US," Feb 5, Davis

Erin Hamilton, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology at UC Davis studies when, why, and how people migrate, and with what consequences for migrants, their families, and the communities they leave and enter. Most of her research has focused on Mexico-U.S. migration, with studies of why and how rates of emigration vary across communities in Mexico, how the migration of family and community members affects the health of children in Mexico, and children’s role in migration. She also has studied the family structures of Salvadoran deportees, the indebtedness of Cambodian migrants, and the health of immigrants of all backgrounds in the United States. She is currently working on two projects – a book about population health in the United States and a series of research papers on child and family migration. More information here

"Borderlands of the San Joaquin Valley," March 21st, Merced

Photo Credit: Ariana Barreto

As a companion to our annual Rural Justice Summit, which will be held during the same day, we’re also planning an evening live story-telling event that challenges the common misunderstanding that the Central Valley is an agricultural wonder of the world because of a magical mixture of technology, capital and land. We will be shining a light on the communities of people who have come to the Valley from around the world with cultural, social and ecological farming knowledge that has helped to build the farming industry—and who skillfully criss-cross cultural borders dozens of times a day as they shape the landscape of the San Joaquin Valley. “Borderlands” will present stories, performances, music and food from this wide variety of immigrant communities. As performers are confirmed, we'll post it here .

Thank you for your continued support!

Gail Wadsworth

 Executive Director,

California Institute for Rural Studies

____________________________________________
 
 California Institute for Rural Studies
P.O. Box 1047, Davis, CA 95617
(530) 756-6555   www.cirsinc.org

  

 


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