Monterey County crops have never been worth more in history than they were last year, according to the county Agricultural Commissioner’s Office crop report released Tuesday.
Salinas Valley crops reached a value of $4.49 billion in 2014, increasing by $277 million over 2013, although gross values do not always guarantee profits because of other costs such as fuel, fertilizers and packaging.
Leaf lettuce unseated strawberries as the most valuable crop at a worth of $755 million.
“Today the ag sector continues to expand and remains strong even when faced with obstacles like labor and water,” said Norm Groot, executive director of the Monterey County Farm Bureau. “We’re lucky that we have a community of farmers … who have taken on new techniques and are moving on to soil sensors and climate change (data).
The most valuable crops after leaf lettuce and strawberries were head lettuce, broccoli, nursery, wine grapes, cauliflower, celery, miscellaneous vegetables and spinach.
Canada remained the biggest importer of Monterey County produce with 476 million pounds, followed by Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, China, South Korea, Singapore, Europe and Puerto Rico.
The report comes on the heels of an economic study released last week that found county agriculture generates $8.1 billion a year.
Read the full story online.
Beyond the numbers...
And, according to The Californian, there was a decidedly human approach to the agriculture industry’s perspective on Tuesday’s release of the 2014 Monterey County Crop Report.
During a press conference held at the Agricultural Commissioner’s office on Tuesday, it was the human value of the report that was most emphasized.
“We do the numbers with an eye to economic analysis of the industry, but it’s the people that really tell the story,” said Eric Lauritzen, county agricultural commissioner.
Last year, the Center for Community Advocacy forged a historic pact with the Ag Commissioner’s office to create a farmworker committee to address issues that arise in the fields, such as pesticide safety, housing and health-care concerns.
Jim Bogart, the president and chief counsel of the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California acknowledged the numbers in the report being “off the charts,” but also spoke to the people that are the face of the industry.
“The crop report is more than numbers,” Bogart said. “It’s about the people who work in this phenomenal industry. It’s a matter of understanding how valuable the industry is and how valuable the people who work in the industry are.”
Read The Californian's take on the human aspect of the 2014 Crop Report here.
MCBC co-hosts California Competes Tax Credit workshop in Seaside
Come learn how your business can apply for millions in available tax credits when the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) hosts a free workshop on the California Competes Tax Credit.
The workshop, "How Monterey-Area Businesses Can Apply for Tax Credits: GO-Biz California Competes Workshop," will take place from 10-11 a.m. Wednesday, July 22 at Oldemeyer Center, 986 Hilby Ave., Seaside.
The California Competes Program has approximately $200 million in tax credits available during the 2015-16 fiscal year for businesses that want to expand in or relocate to California. Small, medium, and large businesses are encouraged to attend and receive instructions on how to apply for this tax credit program.
Earlier this year, a Monterey Bay company announced that it would receive a $1.7 million California Competes tax credit from the state over four years.
Scotts Valley-based Fox Shox made the announcement this January during the Monterey Bay Economic Summit, hosted by the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership. The company, which makes high-end suspension systems for motocross, mountain bikes and all-terrain vehicles, employs about 600 people.
Monterey County Business Council executive director Brian Turlington arranged a meeting between Fox Shox executives and Kish Rajan, then-director of the state Office of Business and Economic Development, after a company executive told him they were considering leaving Watsonville and California because of labor costs and high taxes.
As a result of the income tax credit, Fox Shox has opted to remain in California.
Workshop co-hosts include the Monterey County Business Council, Assemblymember Mark Stone, Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, the Seaside-Sand City-Del Rey Oaks Chamber of Commerce, Monterey County African American Chamber of Commerce and Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce.
Check the website for details and registration info.
More California Competes workshops in the Monterey Bay region
Additional California Competes workshops are scheduled for Santa Cruz and Watsonville in the coming weeks.
"How Santa Cruz Area Businesses Can Apply for Tax Credits: GO-Biz California Competes Workshop" will take place 2–3 p.m. Wednesday, July 22 at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, 400 Encinal St.
Workshop co-hosts include Sen. Bill Monning, Assemblymember Mark Stone, Central Coast Small Business Development Center, Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce, Covered California and the Santa Cruz County Business Council.
Attendees are also invited to attend a workshop from 3-4 p.m. presented by Covered California on the numerous changes in the health insurance marketplace that will be implemented in 2016. This workshop is also free and will take place immediately following the CalCompetes workshop.
Details and registration or RSVP to Leslie Villegas at email@example.com or call 425-0401
An additional workshop will take place from 2-3 p.m. Thursday Aug. 6 in Watsonville, location TBA. Co-host is Assemblymember Luis Alejo. Get details and registration here.
The California Competes Tax Credit was created by Gov. Brown and is focused on helping businesses grow and stay in California. In the 2014-15 fiscal year, GO-Biz allocated approximately $150 million to 212 companies that are projected to create over 29,400 jobs and make over $7.1 billion in investments. Companies interested in applying for California Competes tax credits can apply during the next application round which begins July 20. Applicants complete a free, user friendly application available on-line at www.calcompetes.ca.gov.
Pre-registration starts at California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery
The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) has begun accepting pre-opening registration forms and documents for interment at the California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery (CCCVC).
“The community and the state are actively collaborating to make this long-awaited dream a reality,” said Keith Boylan, CalVet’s Deputy Secretary, Veterans Services. “The community’s rich military history and tradition will soon be forever memorialized through the construction of the California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery,” added Boylan.
Veterans and their dependents interested in interment at CCCVC after the expected opening in July 2016, should contact the Monterey County Military & Veterans Affairs Office for pre-opening registration forms at 647-7613.
Nearly 25 years ago, a group of Veterans and family members began a mission to honor veterans by establishing a veterans cemetery in Seaside, on the former Fort Ord. This first phase of the cemetery covers 17 acres and will offer columbarium interment only. Future phases will include casketed burials. In future phases, CCCVC will cover more than 78 acres on the former Fort Ord Army post.
For additional information about CalVet’s cemeteries, visit the website.
Fort Ord Reuse Authority photo.
New Presidio of Monterey barracks complex contract awarded
A $56.3 million contract has been awarded for a new barracks complex to house Defense Language Institute (BCM) students at the Presidio of Monterey.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Sacramento district awarded the design-build contract to Tempe, Arizona-based Sundt Construction, according to a Corps release. The complex will include a dining facility and general administration building, and is designed to be used to house service members in “sustainable, modern living spaces comparable to living standards in the private sector.”
“The increased number of beds provided to the Presidio will allow them to maintain a high volume of trainees taking part in the most recognized foreign language program in the world,” Corps program manager Capt. David McDonald said in a statement.
The complex is expected to earn LEED Silver certification by including sustainable construction elements such as rainwater collection and solar hot water heating. Construction is expected to start in the spring.
Read the full story online.
Source: Monterey County Herald
Join Facebook's 'Small Business Boost'
Just how useful is Facebook to a small business?
Plenty: There are over 1.44 billion people on Facebook. You just have to figure out how to target the right audience and turn them into loyal customers.
Join experts from Facebook's Small Business Team as they share best practices, success stories and strategies for how to grow, manage and understand your small business identity on Facebook, at "Facebook's Small Business Boost," 9:30-11 a.m. Wednesday, Jully 15 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1000 Aguajito Road, Monterey. Special guest will be Assemblyman Mark Stone.
The event is co-hosted by the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. RSVP online.
Supervisors OK effort to make county more transparent