about airqualityguy

I live in the country and breathe our lousy air like everyone else.  I like reggae music.  I used to teach math in high school and coach the soccer team.  I currently farm 36 acres of almonds here in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley.   I grow a lot of my own food in a large backyard (and front yard) garden.

We will have air someday that meets federal health standards.   I think the air was pretty good when I looked up at my great grandfather in the photo below.  My goal is to experience it again in my lifetime.

2 thoughts on “about airqualityguy

  1. And I think to myself, “What a wonderful world”.

    Happy California Cows But Not Happy Dairymen

    Modesto, Calif. (September 9, 2012) – The suicide of a San Joaquin Valley
    dairyman this summer has renewed efforts to get counseling help to those in the
    dairy industry as troubled times continue unceasingly. Western United Dairymen
    and the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program are co-sponsoring a webinar
    September 25th to go over resources available to those in the industry who are
    cracking under the pressures that high feed costs, increasing regulations and
    government-mandated low prices are causing.

    “We’ve revitalized our efforts that we started back in 2008-2009 with outreach
    to dairy producers.” said Michael Marsh, CEO of WUD. “One of the challenges for
    dairymen is they’re so tied to what they do. You ask a dairyman what he does,
    he says, ‘well, I’m a dairyman.’ And their identity is wrapped up in that.”
    Marsh says that causes extreme stress as they see a family business that may
    have been started by their parents, grandparents or great grandparents being
    liquidated out from under their feet. Many of the 48 dairies that went bankrupt
    in 2011 and also those in financial danger today were able to make it through
    the Great Depression but might not survive today.

    Adding to the distress is that it appears those who should be working for the
    industry are working against it. While the Federal Milk Marketing Order sets
    prices for the nation’s dairy industry, California has its own, more restrictive
    policy. And there are regulations that, says Marsh, “Don’t exist anywhere else
    on earth.” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross says the policy must look out for the
    interests of other stakeholders in the dairy industry like cheesemakers when it
    comes to setting prices… and refusing requests to raise them. However, there
    are no protections for dairymen when it comes to their input costs. A
    cheesemaker has price protection but the cost of feed can go as high as the
    market will bear. That difference is what’s driving dairies out of business.

    If there could be yet another factor that makes facing the hard times more
    difficult it’s that all other aspects of agriculture are swimming in good
    fortune. Not that dairymen would suffer from envy, but those who have been
    working to reduce military suicides have noted that never-ending pressures and
    no signs of relief in sight can add up. As they see others they know living
    normal lives, it makes it all the more difficult.

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