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California Launches Food and Farming Blog

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The California Department of Agriculture and Food today announced the launch of a new blog intended to keep the public updated on what's going on at the state agency.

"We plan to use Planting Seeds to introduce you to as many staff members and programs as we can," wrote Karen Ross, California Agriculture Secretary, in a post introducing the blog. "We'll also take every opportunity to highlight what is happening today in farming, and the farmers and ranchers who make California special, and we'll share things that we think are interesting, informative and entertaining."

A few posts already published cover community-based food systems, raw milk and invasive light brown apple moths.

Other state-run food and farming blogs of note include those from University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Make sure to check out their food, green and news blogs, as well as the ones dedicated to strawberries and caneberries, rice and bugs. The blogs homepage can be found here.

Rachel Surls, a member of the UC cooperative, was interviewed last year for KCET's Departures in an installment about Richland Farms in Compton.

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A Food 4 Less employee pushes carts past supermarket workers gathered to protest in front of the supermarket in Long Beach, California on February 3, 2021, after a decision by owner Kroger to close two supermarkets rather than pay workers an additional $4.00 in "hazard pay" for their continued work during the coronavirus pandemic.

$5 'Hero Pay' for L.A. County Grocery Workers Passed, but Not Unanimously

The urgency ordinance requires that national grocery and drug retail employers in unincorporated areas of the county pay frontline workers an additional $5 per hour hazard or “hero pay” for the next 120 days.
Family daycare provider Lucre-ce Lester takes a student’s temperature as he arrives for the day at her home-based daycare in Antioch on February. 17, 2021.

Burgeoning Child Care Union Secures COVID-19 Relief Funding Approval

The state Senate budget committee approved disbursement of $144 million in federal funds to give child care providers some financial relief in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. If approved by the Legislature, it will be a major win for Child Care Providers United, which is still negotiating a master contract with California.