How We Grow

2019 July/Aug How We Grow

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 19

2 FROM LEADERSHIP On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy delivered a speech to Congress in which he said, "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon, and returning him safely to the earth." An ambitious goal, yes, but through determination, innovation, novel ideas and hard work, the United States achieved it just eight years later. Ambition, determination and success are also hallmarks of U.S. agriculture. As farmers, we represent 2% of the U.S. population, yet we grow enough food to provide for the entire nation — and our world. As we continue to produce more with less (including less water, land and labor), we must innovate to achieve our goals, just as NASA and private industry did during the space race. The California almond industry is second to none when it comes to advancing technologies to grow, harvest and process almonds. Over the last 20 years, our industry has adopted new irrigation technologies to decrease the amount of water it takes to grow a pound of almonds by 33%. 1 Integrated pest management in almonds has become the gold standard. Advances in farming equipment have allowed us to operate with more efficiency and less environmental impacts, and our commitment to honey bee health via research and best practices is highly regarded in the ag community. Almond hulling, shelling and processing operations have also increased their use of automation to deliver a healthy, safe, high-quality product to consumers. Now, ABC's Board of Directors has a new set of goals for our industry: the Almond Orchard 2025 Goals. The goals are ambitious and target reducing our water use, increasing our adoption of environmentally friendly pest management tools, achieving zero waste in our orchards and reducing harvest dust. Achieving these goals will require ingenuity and creativity. We must support research that looks for solutions that aren't necessarily mainstream and harness our knowledge from decades of almond growing, applying it to new concepts and philosophies to advance toward our goals. We should be proud of our accomplishments — and we can't afford to slow down. In this issue of How We Grow, you will read about how the industry is pressing onward toward our 2025 Goals. Over the last decade, I've been honored to chair or serve as a member of several committees and working groups at ABC. Industry involvement is key to finding solutions to challenges and is the force behind the success of our ever-expanding industry. I challenge you to get involved at the Almond Board: Be a voice for our industry and help us chart our course to achieving the 2025 Goals. Nick Gatzman Chair, Ag Regulatory Subcommittee Chair, Irrigation, Nutrients and Soil Health Workgroup 1 University of California, 2010. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2012. Almond Board of California, 1990–94, 2000–14. By 2025, the California almond community commits to: Reduce the amount of water used to grow a pound of almonds by 20% Achieve zero waste in our orchards by putting everything we grow to optimal use Increase adoption of environmentally friendly pest management tools by 25% Reduce dust during harvest by 50%

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of How We Grow - 2019 July/Aug How We Grow