Sugar & Splice
The Capital Region offers everything nice for ag-bio companies like Stevia First
A Capital Region startup is striving to be among the first in the nation to produce the zero-calorie, natural sweetener stevia on an industrial scale. An agricultural biotech company, Yuba City-based Stevia First is bolstering its chances of success by actively collaborating with experts in the
Laurie Lauletta-Boshart
Land of the Fee
Can micro loans dig farmers out of their financial holes?
It’s 1771, five years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. John Adams has something more important on his mind: compost. He jots down a home-grown recipe that includes “20 loads of sea weed … 20 loads of Marsh Mud, and what dead ashes I can get from the Potash Works and what dung
Jeff Wilser
Root Cause
The campaign behind Sacramento’s foodie identity
It was the last farmer’s market of the season, and the photo-op recalled The Last Supper. Standing in Cesar Chavez Plaza, Mayor Kevin Johnson spread his arms behind two tables piled high with fresh fruits and vegetables. And with scores of white-aproned restaurateurs to his right and left, he
Allen Young
Tough Nut to Crack
Almonds bust then boom in China
Richard Waycott says there are no silver bullets in the remarkable double-digit growth of California almond exports to China but rather a carefully honed strategy built on introducing almonds to a “pre-existing snacking culture.” Although almonds are grown “on a very small scale in far, far
Sigrid Bathen
Rearing an Industry
Solano County is taking steps to develop a new agricultural hub that farmers and economists hope will someday house facilities to process raw ag products into purchasable commodities. Currently, in-county processing facilities needed to keep commodities local exist only for sheep, lambs and
Paul Hagey
Slim Pickings
Coasting through the sweeping fields of California’s Central Valley, it’s not unusual to spot collections of crouching figures diligently tending crops. These primarily Hispanic immigrants prune, thin, harvest and grow much of California’s renowned produce. But over the past decade or so, hundreds
Andrea Kennedy
Digging for Development
Remember comedian Rodney Dangerfield’s famous catchphrase, “I don’t get no respect?” I’m reminded of that quip when I think about the status of agriculture in California, a state that each year produces more than $36 billion worth of food and fiber and generates another $100 billion in related
Age of Ag
When Eric Hart ended his eight-year military term, he felt like he was missing a sense of purpose. He tried a few corporate jobs, but he didn’t feel at home. He preferred working outside with his hands, and he wanted his job to serve something higher than a paycheck. Now 26, he has completed
Linda DuBois