Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, April 01, 2016, Page 9, Image 9

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April 1, 2016
Grants to help counties implement Calif. groundwater regs
Capital Press
agencies trying to implement
California’s new groundwater
regulations are receiving $6.7
million in state funds for their
The state Department of
Water Resources has an-
nounced grants to 21 counties
for planning projects that will
benefit disadvantaged com-
munities, address critically
overdrafted and stressed ba-
sins and develop ordinances
to preserve groundwater lev-
While matching funds
were required, the grants ad-
dressed concerns among local
officials that the 2014 Sus-
tainable Groundwater Man-
agement Act would amount to
another unfunded state man-
date on counties.
“That’s a lot of the con-
cern that we’ve heard,” DWR
spokeswoman Lauren Bisnett
Tim Hearden/Capital Press
Willows, Calif., rice farmer Larry Maben prepares to check water levels in his well in this 2014 file pho-
to. Glenn County is one of 21 that are receiving grants from the state Department of Water Resources
to plan for administering new groundwater regulations.
said. She added that Propo-
sition 1, the $7.5 billion wa-
ter bond passed by voters in
2014, sets aside $100 million
for groundwater management.
“Proposition 1 will be re-
ally one of the major mech-
anisms for funding those ef-
forts,” she said. “This is just
the tip of the spear in terms of
financial assistance.”
The planning grants to
counties with high and medi-
um priority groundwater ba-
sins included $500,000 apiece
for Fresno, Kern, Kings,
Madera and Tulare counties,
whose aquifers have receded
at alarming rates as reduc-
tions in surface water supplies
have forced growers to rely on
A National Aeronautics
and Space Administration
study last summer showed
land in the San Joaquin Valley
is sinking by nearly 2 inches
per month in some places. A
“great majority” of the sub-
sidence is caused by agri-
culture, DWR director Mark
Cowin said at the time.
Other grants will include:
$499,942 to Merced Coun-
ty; $250,000 each to Colusa,
Humboldt, Monterey, San Di-
ego, San Luis Obispo, Sono-
ma, Stanislaus and Ventura
counties; just under $250,000
apiece for Butte, Glenn, Plac-
er, Santa Barbara, San Joa-
quin and Santa Cruz counties;
and $200,000 for Mendocino
The grants come as local
governments face deadlines
of mid-2017 to set up ground-
water management agencies
and 2020 for the 21 most criti-
cally overdrafted or important
basins to have sustainability
plans in place.
Plans for other high- and
medium-priority basins must
be established by 2022 and
sustainability in all high- and
medium-priority basins must
be achieved by 2040. The
state has designated 127 of
California’s 515 groundwater
basins and sub-basins as high
or medium priority.
The funding announced
March 23 will help counties
with long-term planning and
to better understand “what’s
coming in and going out of
their aquifers,” state senior
engineering geologist Lau-
ra McLean said in a news
release. More funding will
go out as groundwater sus-
tainability agencies move
forward with their plans, she
Kansas State president Amalgamated hires communications specialist
tapped to lead WSU
Capital Press
Capital Press
Kirk Schulz, the president
of Kansas State University, has
been chosen as the next presi-
dent of Washington State Uni-
Schulz was announced as the
new president during a March
25 meeting of the WSU board
of regents in the Tri-Cities.
Schulz replaces Elson Floyd,
who died of colon cancer in June
2015. Floyd was well-regarded
by farmers for his commitment
to agricultural research.
Representatives of Washing-
ton’s agriculture industry said
they were happy with the re-
gents’ choice.
“This is a win for WSU, for
the state of Washington and ag-
riculture,” said Glen Squires,
CEO of the Washington Grain
Commission. “He’s extremely
well-qualified, good leadership
experience. (He) will be able to
carry on what President Floyd
started and really help to build
WSU in many ways.”
Schulz is coming from the
nation’s first land-grant univer-
sity, according to Kansas State.
Squires believes Floyd’s em-
phasis on agricultural research
will continue under Schulz.
“I’m sure he understands
the land-grant mission, com-
ing from a land-grant school,”
Squires said. “We’re excited to
have him.”
“It’s good to see the uni-
versity moving forward with
its leadership transition,” said
Jon DeVaney, president of the
Washington State Tree Fruit
Association. “We are pleased to
see it’s someone familiar with
the land-grant university envi-
the Washington Apple Com-
mission, Washington Fruit
Commission and Northwest
Horticulture Council spoke out
in October to ensure that their
industry’s voice would be con-
sidered in the selection process.
DeVaney said the organiza-
tions urged the search committee
to select someone who would
reach out to key agricultural
stakeholders in a manner similar
to Floyd to maintain WSU’s ser-
vices and partnerships.
“We’re looking forward to
meeting with him and building
that same kind of relationship,”
DeVaney said. “We are optimis-
tic we will be able to work with
President Schulz in his new po-
“The agricultural commu-
nity could not have done any
better on the search,” said WSU
interim president Dan Bernardo,
provost for the university and
former dean of WSU’s College
of Agricultural, Human and
Natural Resource Sciences. “He
certainly has a great reputation
as a transformational leader at
Kansas State University.”
Bernardo previously worked
at KSU, and said he was hearing
“impeccable” reports on Schulz
from contacts at the university in
Manhattan, Kan.
“Coming from Kansas State,
where agriculture is the number
one industry in the state, I’m
sure he has great rapport with
agriculture, and I’m sure he un-
derstands agricultural research
and its importance to any state
and the land-grant university’s
role in provid-
ing research and
information to
agricultural pro-
ducers,” Bernar-
do said.
Justin Gilpin,
CEO of the Kan-
sas Wheat Com-
mission in Manhattan, Kan.,
said Schulz has been a “good
friend and supporter” of produc-
tion agriculture and research ini-
tiatives to benefit stakeholders,
while working to find funding
for research.
“President Schulz was will-
ing to be creative when we need-
ed to find ways to fill positions
that were very depended upon
by wheat farmers of Kansas,”
Gilpin said. “I believe (Wash-
ington wheat farmers) are
going to get a strong leader.
I hope we are able to replace
him with somebody who sup-
ports agriculture research like
he did.”
WSU entomology associ-
ate professor Richard Zack
was the representative for
CAHNRS on the advisory
committee for the presidential
BOISE — As Amalgam-
ated Sugar Co.’s new com-
munications specialist, Jessica
McAnally will use social media
to represent the sugar industry
and to respond to what the com-
pany sees as misinformation
about agriculture.
Amalgamated President and
CEO John McCreedy said the
company had considered creat-
ing the position for the past cou-
ple of years, but recently opted
to go forward with the plan to
give members more input in
the public dialogue about their
“We’ve seen so many people
take positions on issues import-
ant to us on social media and
we’re not seeing our voice rep-
resented accurately and consis-
tently,” McCreedy said. “People
are having conversations about
us, and we’re not participating.”
Duane Grant, chairman of
the board of Snake River Sugar
Cooperative, which runs Amal-
gamated, considers social media
to be “the new morning paper
and the way communities talk
now.” He believes McAnally
will help the company educate
consumers with scientific argu-
Photo submitted
Jessica McAnally, the new communications specialist at Amal-
gamated Sugar, Co., holds a container of sugar March 24 on her
second day on the job. She’ll help provide her company with an
increased social media presence and will help with other aspects
of community outreach.
“They’re talking about us
and they’re talking about wheth-
er our product, sugar, is good or
not, whether we’re mistreating
the environment by planting
biotech seeds, and in general,
they don’t understand who we
are, what we do and even the
fundamentals about what sugar
does in the diet,” Grant said.
McAnally will also help
manage the company’s re-
vamped website, attend job
fairs on behalf of the company,
assist in drafting the company
magazine and newsletter, take
promotional photographs and
videos and assist in community
“I think it’s important for
businesses to guide the story
that’s being told about them in
the public,” McAnally said.
McCreedy said the com-
pany sends confidential com-
munications to growers on a
password-protected site, and
McAnally will be responsible
only for updating content on the
public site. She’ll also improve
Amalgamated’s Facebook pres-
ence, and will gradually help the
company expand into other so-
cial media outlets.
“We’ll have appropriate
links to national organizations
and updates on what we consid-
er the truth about sugar and the
role of biotechnology in feed-
ing the world and reducing our
environmental footprint,” Mc-
Creedy said.
He said she’ll also represent
the company at state fairs and
other functions, explore oppor-
tunities to offer scholarships
and internships and will “work
closely with our human resourc-
es department to make sure we
have the right presence in the
right places.”
McAnally has a bachelor’s
degree in communications from
Boise State University and grew
up on a Canyon County sugar
beet farm. She’s eager to work
with 4-H and FFA chapters in
her new role.
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