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JANUARY, 2013

Volume 66

No. 1

Official Publication of the Arizona Farm Bureau

Legislative Leadership Establishes 2013 Priorities By Andy Biggs (R-Dist 12) Senate President

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By Leah Landrum Taylor (D-Dist 27) Senate Minority Leader

rizona is back on its feet and facing a brighter future, as long as its leaders make smart financial decisions. In the past three years, we have dug ourselves out of tremendous deficits and are finally starting to put money away for an uncertain future. I am proud that I was part of the majority last session that properly balanced the state budget, put hundreds of millions in a ‘rainy day fund’ and created an economic environment that will make Arizona a leader in job growth. The future is bright, but there are dark clouds that will require the Legislature and Governor Brewer to make important decisions. The Affordable Care Act is now the law of the land, and there will be significant costs associated with it. Expanding health care to more Arizonans comes at a cost of $200 million or more, even with supplemental federal funds. I believe it would be irresponsible to spend all of our carry forward funds on an expansion of our Medicaid program. With a struggling economy that has been sputtering for several years now, we have other needs. Our Caucus is committed to funding for education, and we have largely been able to hold the line on cuts to K-12 during this downturn. In fact, last year’s budget included more than $50 million in new money for education. As we climb out of the recession, it is reasonable to think that new K-12 funding will be a priority for our members. There continues to be a strong consensus in the Republican majority to reduce regulations on small businesses. You know that many times the best help the government can give you is to get out of your way. We want to do what is best for you to expand and keep Arizona growing. We are always working to improve our tax structure for Arizona businesses. The state is getting back to work, and our efforts at the Capitol will focus largely on keeping up the momentum. As you are aware, the Federal Government continues to make demands on Arizona that have drastic effects on business, including agribusiness. The EPA continues to attack the state on dust, power generation, and other areas. In 2013, we must work together to fight the federal imposition on Arizona businesses and families.

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t is time for us to learn from past mistakes. The people of Arizona sent a message last Election Day. They want action from their Legislature, not partisan games as usual. They want common sense, creative solutions to the challenges facing Arizona communities and our kids, like putting people back to work and improving our schools. Arizona voters gave Democrats four additional seats in both the House and the Senate. This means we have a stronger voice to push for legislation that will help get our state back on the right track. It’s time to get serious about the problems facing our state’s education system. So far Republican priorities have been giving away $500 million in corporate tax cuts while cutting $2.9 billion from schools. Our children are learning from outdated textbooks, in crowded classrooms and in buildings that need repair. The reality is we can’t even begin to talk about building our economic future when we are neglecting our schools. Business leaders across the nation tell us that the best way to attract and grow business is with a skilled and educated workforce. In order to move our state forward economically, we have to be willing to make the kinds of investments that will support growth in urban and rural Arizona and we must be willing to find a way to pay for it. We should reward companies – both big and small – that keep jobs in Arizona and we should help create job opportunities for our returning veterans. Our caucus will draw the line on any more attempts to take away women’s rights, if not reverse what’s already been done. We will also protect our most vulnerable citizens – the abused children who are slipping through the overworked fingers of Child Protective Services. It’s time to take an honest look at reforming the way business is done at our state capitol. Both politicians and lobbyists must stop making back room deals and be more transparent in how they create legislation that affects all Arizonans. Senate Democrats are willing to work with Republicans to find solutions to these challenges. We always have been. It’s up to them to finally respect the citizens of Arizona by creating laws and crafting a budget in an open and bipartisan way. That’s what voters want from us and that’s what they sent us here to do. See PRIORITIES Page 4

Arizona Farm Bureau’s Legislative Docket for 2013 By Joe Sigg, Arizona Farm Bureau

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here are many motivations and incentives for state legislators to desire the upcoming session at the state capitol to be short, and I believe that will be the objective. It does seem, however, that every session develops its own signature and sometimes the desire for an abbreviated session does not work out as planned. As with recent sessions, the state budget will be at the center of things. As the budget is like oil permeating through machinery, it touches everything state and local. We all want government reduced in some manner, but most of us have things we watch for in the budget – that is the rub, but we need certain permits and licenses to move our agricultural commerce, so we watch and engage the budget, just like every other interested party. Fees and license costs will be an issue in several agencies that impact us: State Land, Agriculture, Water Resources and DEQ.

Immigration Reform Page 2 Voices Moderating

PERIODICALS

Is it Time? - Page 2 Initiative Reform

Jobs, jobs, jobs! There will be considerable energy directed towards what the state can (and cannot) do to stimulate job growth – much of which will revolve around the tax code, and we will be there to judge the impact on our members. See DOCKET Page 7

Let’s Celebrate - Page 5 Arizona Ag’s Best!


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ARIZONA AGRICULTURE • JANUARY, 2013

Voices Moderating on Immigration Reform

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By Joe Sigg, Arizona Farm Bureau

Josh Hyde

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e hear it all the time – elections have consequences. There are impacts. Analysis of results changes the status quo. The ballots were not all counted before the voices across the country began to moderate on immigration reform. Previously, many of these voices would have responded “amnesty” if they heard the phrase “immigration reform.” And then the narrative would have shifted to secure the border and foreclosed all other discussion. We should remain impatient and demanding as to border security, but it takes lots of tools, and certainly one of the tools would be measured reforms for movements of labor back and forth across the border. However fascinating the discussion of why this post election conversion, let’s skip that and simply appreciate the tone has changed, the volume is down a few decibels and perhaps more reasonable dialogue can take place. Regardless of future specific outcomes, and they are likely to come in pieces rather than some grand bargain, agriculture needs a legal and sustainable supply of skilled and entry level workers. There is simply not a supportable argument that this labor can be sourced from domestic pools. Technology and robotics will reduce this demand, but only in the long term. What was it some economist famously said about waiting for the long term? Oh, yeah – we will all be dead! Let me say it again: Agriculture must have sustainable injections of foreign sourced labor. Now there is not only tension in this immigration issue, but step back and consider the whole issue of securing labor through the government. That has its own tension. As a basic premise no one should need to seek permission from the government to work, but that is the system we have and that creates tension in solutions and overhead for government and employers. Again, the fate of comprehensive reform is yet to be revealed. Nevertheless, the American Farm Bureau has been working on its piece for months, developing a visa reform program for agriculture. I say “visa reform” because although it is wrapped up in the axle of immigration reform, agriculture cannot solve immigration. We can, however, advance plans that will help solve our labor issues. To this challenge, the American Farm Bureau plan deals with those out of status by developing work permits as opposed to pathways to citizenship – a measured response to the issue. The plan is flexible to allow for views of other advocacy groups, but the key is to achieve unity in the U.S. agricultural community – something that has evaded us for years. The plan is flexible to allow for year round labor needs as well as the seasonal. The plan is flexible to cover all agricultural enterprises and geographies. The plan is flexible to allow for labor markets to exist, as well as contract labor, as these situations vary across the country. The plan allows for portability of workers, which is lacking in current agricultural visas. The plan provides for market forces to work in the agricultural labor market, especially as to wages. Markets are imperfect and can involve rough justice, but there is no better system for capitalism than clearing wages through the market and not through a government program. Agricultural wages are an input cost and all of our input costs are factored through global markets. However, this is not a free-for-all. Remember, government programs are necessarily involved. To achieve visa reform, agricultural employers will see stepped up enforcement in the workplace and employers will be expected to do more to be part of the solution. Editor’s Note: For more information about the American Farm Bureau plan go to azfb.org and on the homepage, look for the “top news” item, or contact Joe Sigg at, joesigg@azfb.org

A Time for Initiative Reform Staff Reports

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ne of the priorities we have included in the 2013 list of priorities for the board to consider is the need for initiative reform. There may be a push this year from various business groups to reform Arizona’s initiative process. One of the most problematic provisions in our current initiative process is the voter protected nature of the ballot initiatives. The legislature cannot tweak these measures without an overwhelming majority and even then they can only “further the intent” of the initiative. This voter protection basically makes it impossible for anything but a vote of the people to change, tweak, amend, redirect or otherwise correct problems with voter initiatives and statewide initiatives are expensive and typically only happen every two years. While protecting the will of the people from the legislature might seem like a good idea, there is the law of unintended consequences that no piece of legislation, no matter how noble the intent, is exempt from. A term called the “cobra effect” comes to mind in discussing this law of unintended consequences. Under British rule in Colonial India officials were very concerned about the number of venomous cobras. In order to solve this problem the British Government Officials offered a bounty for dead cobras. This of course gave rise to the underground cobra farming industry where citizens were breeding cobras in order to collect the bounty. When British Officials learned of this they discontinued the cobra bounty. With no market for venomous cobras, the breeders released the remaining cobras into the wild causing a spike in the cobra population. The French were victim to the same fate in Hanoi when they attempted to solve the rat problem there. In order to obtain a reward for killing rats people were asked to bring in the rat tails. Aside from underground rat breeding programs, French officials saw a rise in tailless rats in Hanoi. Bounty hunters learned that rats without tails could continue to breed and maintain the rat tail production which was so profitable for them. My point is that no matter what problem you are attempting to solve, or how good the idea to solve it is, there are always unintended consequences. That is why we have to continually revisit our laws and make changes and amendments and fix the problems these laws cause. No law, no regulation and no solution is exempt from the law of unintended consequences. We will be tracking initiative reform efforts and will explore all avenues to solve the voter protection dilemma. Until we come up with a way to amend these ballot initiatives, we will continue to live with the tailless rats of Hanoi and the other unintended consequences of noble causes.

Josh Hyde joined the Arizona Farm Bureau family in February 2009. An agent with the Catalina Sunrise Agency, Josh works out of his office located in Tucson. Congratulations Josh!! With offices across the state, we make it simple to protect your family, home, car and business. Contact your local agent today.

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Priorities

ARIZONA AGRICULTURE • JANUARY, 2013

continued from page 1

By Andy Tobin (R-Dist 1) House Speaker

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iven the awe-inspiring natural beauty of our state, we are so fortunate to live, work and raise our families in Arizona. From our magnificent red and gold colored sunsets to our majestic ponderosa pine forests and natural wonders like the Grand Canyon, Arizona is the most ideal place to call home. Possessing one of the most efficient irrigation networks in the world and blessed with an ideal climate, Arizona is one of the few places where a multitude of crops can be planted and harvested year-round. It thrills me to mention that our state boasts an annual agricultural output of $12.4 billion which makes us the jewel and envy of the Southwest. The economic contribution this industry brings to our state is undeniable and serves as a major component of our fiscal stability and economic recovery. This economic engine will continue to play a central role in the fiscal discipline the Arizona House Majority will exercise throughout the 51st legislative session. Through responsible Republican leadership, Arizona has already experienced two consecutive balanced budgets and invested $217 million more in state programs and infrastructure. Taking into account the current state of our economic affairs, it is difficult to imagine that nearly two years ago, Arizona ranked last among the states in job creation. Through the cooperation between wise legislators and the business community, Arizona is now ranked 11th in the nation. Although our robust economy has weathered the fiscal storm, great caution must be used in making additional investment decisions. Slow economic growth, modest hiring gains in every industry and the potential costs associated with the Affordable Health Care Act continue to loom over the state. Nevertheless, I am confident we are on the path to economic recovery and that our continued fiscal discipline and economic growth will assure Arizona’s future prosperity. I am cognizant of the fact that the high unemployment associated with this current recession has been especially challenging for the agricultural industry. Worse yet, the current immigration and labor issues facing our state and nation have had a compounding affect. It is indisputable that border failures threaten the livelihood and security of our citizens and pose significant challenges to all lawmakers. That being said, I recognize the agricultural industry’s legitimate need for legal access to skilled immigrant labor pools. Undocumented immigrants with no felonious records residing in the US must be given the opportunity to make their presence known without fear of deportation. They should also be afforded the ability to apply for temporary legal status and be granted a temporary work visa based on the finite needs of the industries that require their services. We must all come together to develop workable solutions to ensure the strategic vigor of our country as well as the economic prosperity that sustains it.

By Chad Campbell (D-Dist. 24) House Minority Leader

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am happy to have the opportunity to contribute to this edition of Arizona Agriculture. The Arizona House Democrats come from all over the state, many from agricultural communities. We know that these communities are an important part of our history and a vital part of our current economy. This year at the Capitol, House Democrats are already working on legislation that will move our economy forward and will protect middleclass families. With the more balanced numbers in both the House and the Senate this year, we are hopeful that legislators can set aside partisan politics and work to move our state forward with responsible, sensible policies. Creating jobs and improving education are at the top of the House Democrats’ to-do list. Entrepreneurialism is one of Arizona’s greatest resources; we should capitalize on it. That means we need to retain and attract jobs by prioritizing funding for job training programs and innovation. We also need to fix our tax code so that it is fair and more competitive for all Arizona families and businesses, not just a select group of special interests. Arizonans should know exactly how their tax dollars are being spent in the pursuit of job creation. House Democrats plan to propose legislation that will make the Arizona Commerce Authority more transparent. We support the ACA’s important mission, to create and retain jobs for Arizonans using tax dollars, but Arizonans should get to monitor the progress of the ACA. To that end, we are supporting a bill that will require an annual audit of the ACA and will require the ACA to provide a comprehensive report to make certain tax dollars are used appropriately. Government should be working for everyone in Arizona. So House Democrats again will push legislation that gives Arizona companies the first shot at government contracts. Our tax dollars and jobs should stay here. They shouldn’t get shipped out of state or overseas to China and India. Jobs and education are two sides of the same coin. The best way for Arizona to ensure a secure future is to invest in education. Right now, Arizona’s schools are dragging at the bottom of the pack after years of budget cuts. That must stop. We must work to create classrooms designed to teach our students and prepare them to enter the workforce so Arizona remains competitive as we move forward into the 21st century. We know there is a lot to be done this session and with the team of Democrats in the House, we are ready to roll up our sleeves and get the job done. Editor’s Note: Go to Arizona Farm Bureau’s web site, www.azfb.org, to read Arizona Farm Bureau President Kevin Rogers’ editorial, exclusive for the web, on his hopes for the 2013 legislative year.


ARIZONA AGRICULTURE • JANUARY, 2013

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The Best in Arizona Agriculture Celebrated

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Members Honored for Achievements rizona hosts some of America’s top farmers and ranchers. The Arizona Farm Bureau annually recognizes them for their achievements. The following awards were given out during the Service to Agriculture Awards Banquet during the 91st Arizona Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Litchfield Park.

distinguished service to agriculture Jose bernal

the kerr family

Jose bernal shares a few thoughts just after receiving the distinguished service to agriculture award at arizona farm Bureau’s 91st Annual Meeting in Litchfield Park.

John and bobbie kerr receive the distinguished service to agriculture award from arizona farm bureau president kevin rogers (far right) and maricopa county farm bureau president and son, bill kerr (far left). brother, Jerry kerr, joined everyone on stage.

Jose Bernal has been an agricultural teacher at Amphitheater High School in Tucson for 28 years; and in Camp Verde for four years. He is passionate about agriculture and the students in his high school agricultural programs. Teaching plant and animal science using the Land Lab for hands-on lessons, students learned to breed, vaccinate, raise and show their livestock. Working mostly with urban students, Jose helped kids that might not otherwise be involved in livestock production and taught them the process from breeding to selling livestock. Mainly cotton fields three decades ago, Jose had a vision to build a land lab in Tucson where kids could do research and be connected to the University of Arizona, encouraging more kids to go into agriculture research. Over the years, many of the things that he has done as research projects have been put into production. Jose’s program is one that makes a large impact in both the students’ lives and in the community. He never turned away students who were willing to learn and his FFA chapter always had competitors for state honors. After being involved in the program many of those students have gained skills not only in life but also in business. Over his career, Jose has taught more than 3,400 kids. He is recognized as both a mentor and a teacher to many students as well as people within the community. In 2012, he was named the Arizona Agricultural Teacher of the Year and will be competing for the national award. He also received the Southwest District Teacher of the Year Award in 1985, 2003 and 2008.

John and Bobbie Kerr operated a dairy in Tempe for 25 years but development was moving in on them so they traded for 80 acres of bare alkaline land east of Buckeye and built a new dairy there in 1974. They started at Buckeye with 80 cows and built up the dairy to about 500 cows when they retired. They were active in 4-H all through the years. The kids showed sheep, pigs and dairy cattle. John and Bobbie kept a flock of Cheviot sheep and raised lambs for 4-H and FFA projects. They raised lambs, brought lambs in from California and held an auction for area kids to buy their project animals. John also became a judge for sheep shows around the country. John and Bobbie were involved in the discussions about forming a dairy cooperative in the 1950s when a strike by truck drivers left dairymen with no way to transport their milk to the creameries. United Dairymen of Arizona was formed in 1960 and John served on the Board of Directors for 36 years from 1966 to 2001. The Kerrs were involved in the Maricopa County Fair and the Arizona State Fair for many years, first as exhibitors starting in the early 50s, then serving as superintendents of the sheep show. Farmers have been trying to tell their story to the public for decades. One year the State Fair hired a woman from California to do a “barn tour” for the fair. Bobbie thought the tour could be done simpler and neater, so Kerr’s Farm Tour became a fixture of the County and State Fairs. John and Bobbie have been educating people that there is no such thing as “fast food” for more than 20 years. Now their children have taken over the responsibility but you can still come to the fair and see baby chicks, baby pigs, sheep, goats, beef and dairy calves.

environmental stewardship awards the king family

the Zimmerman family

arizona farm bureau president kevin rogers (far right) presents sarah and Joe king with the environmental stewardship award.

The King family has been working with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) since the 1950s. They started with some basic conservation practices — planting for erosion prevention and livestock forage. The father, John King, began removing invasive mesquite trees, which had deprived the native grasses of the sunlight and moisture they needed to thrive. He also added cross fencing and implemented pasture rotation. In the process, he discovered that some of the pastures didn’t have enough water for the livestock. On ranches, water must be delivered to the areas where livestock graze, resulting in animals going shorter distances. With the help of NRCS, they developed and implemented a plan to put in new wells and pipelines. Over the past ten years, the Kings have added more fencing and pipes. With increased water access across the ranch, cattle are now moved seasonally, giving pastures a chance to rest and regenerate growth, and helping reduce soil compaction and erosion. Additionally, wildlife benefit from more strategic locations of water sources. Ranching since the late 1800s, the Kings have also begun using solar technology to pump water. Large solar panels power pumps that move water from the aquifer to a storage tank, then through pipelines to other tanks on the ranch. The largest solar pump on Anvil Ranch pumps seven to eight gallons of water per minute. This is more than twice as much compared to the old generators they used before. “The solar pumps are great. There is less maintenance required and they save us a lot of money,” said son Joe King. “They paid for themselves in the first two months.” The King family are not just conservationists — they are also incredibly active in their community. John serves as Vice President of the Pima Natural Resource Conservation District, and wife, Pat, sits on the board as an advisor. The Kings are also core members of the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance. Pat serves as the president and Joe’s wife, Sarah, is the community outreach and education coordinator. In addition, the family participates in the Arizona Farm Bureau and Arizona Cattlemen’s Association. Joe is currently the Pima County Farm Bureau President.

Zimmerman Family in front of solar panels on their dairy.

The Zimmerman Dairy is the first dairy in Arizona to install solar panels for power generation. The Zimmerman family installed approximately 1,000 photovoltaic solar panels on two acres of desert land at the dairy. The panels generate 443,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, enough to power the milking parlor and the wells on the farm and sometimes excess energy that goes back to SRP through a net metering program. The electricity generated is enough to power 30 homes for a year. Bill Zimmerman’s grandfather founded the dairy in Scottsdale in 1923. It is now located in Queen Creek and Bill & Vicky would like it to continue for the next generation. But the cost of electricity is a stumbling block to profitability. Using a USDA Renewable Energy for America Program or REAP grant for nearly $337,000, plus subsidies from Salt River Project and low interest USDA Rural Development loans, the Zimmermans were able to make the solar project affordable. The Zimmermans are advocates for alternative energy on farms as a way to control operating costs and would like to see USDA continue the REAP program so other Arizona dairies could adopt this “green” technology. However, Bill points out that it has to be economically feasible for farmers to turn to “green” energy production.

heritage awards Introduced in 2006, the Heritage Awards were announced during the Service to Agriculture Awards Banquet. The award, which can be given to an individual or family, was developed by Arizona Farm Bureau to recognize extended service to agriculture. Additionally, those awarded the Heritage Award are recognized for their significant contributions to their county or state Farm Bureau. arizona farm bureau president kevin rogers along with recently-elected senator Jeff Flake (far left) and navajo county farm bureau president bob Flake present Arlene and Gerald Flake with the heritage award during arizona farm Bureau’s 91st Annual meeting.

maricopa county farm bureau president bill kerr (2nd from right) and aZfb president kevin rogers (far right) present the heritage award during Arizona Farm Bureau’s 91st annual meeting to the saylor family.

cochise county farm Bureau President Mark claridge (2nd from right) and arizona farm bureau president kevin rogers (far right) present Nona and Mark herrington with the heritage award during Arizona Farm Bureau’s 91st annual meeting.


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ARIZONA AGRICULTURE • JANUARY, 2013

Docket

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Apart from the jobs issue there will be efforts on the property tax code. There has been too much tension between some county assessors and property owners to not see some clarifying proposals in the upcoming session. The fires from this past summer are out, but the aftermath remains – and certainly the real question: what can be done to break this cycle? The status quo is unacceptable. There will be several bills this session to promote debate as to what the state can do, and then what the state can do to urge change upon the federal government. How we continue to manage this natural resource and the process cannot get lost in the shuffle. Already there are movements around efforts to continue the temporary sales tax, which expires in May of 2013. The goal from these folks is to return the issue to the ballot in 2014. Farm Bureau previously supported this temporary tax as essentially an emergency measure and its importance to our education system. We anticipate bills on rotenone, food safety and metal theft. Also Farm Bureau recognizes we need some slight course adjustments in the area of implements of husbandry (it seems never-ending) and in the area of our pesticide buffer zones, and again these are minor changes. Just how all of this (along with the other 1,000 bills) gets sorted out in a short session is open to question. But as we began, how the budget and tax discussions move along within the backdrop of the economy and jobs issue will be the drivers of the session.

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Women’s Leadership Offers Teachers a Learning Opportunity

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n Educator Award is offered each year, as a special project of the Arizona Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. The purpose of this program is to provide registration and travel expense funds to an educator employed by an Arizona school system to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference for the purpose of using the information gained from the conference to expand their outreach to students regarding the food and fiber system. Go to http://azfb.org/programs/womens-leadership-committee/purpose.html to download the award application for submission by March 15, 2013. For more information, call Peggy Jo Goodfellow at 480.635.3609 or peggyjogoodfellow@azfb.org.

Have A Happy and Prosperous New Year

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Surfers Will Get Their WetSuits from the Arizona Desert in the Future By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau

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ou certainly won’t miss the irony here. Thanks to a unique plant that thrives in cleaner. This is just the first step; it’s our hope that other brands see this as interesting the Arizona desert, surfers will be getting their “all-natural” wetsuits from the and join the effort to innovate and implement alternatives to traditional neoprene that Arizona desert. is used in wetsuits.” Patagonia Inc., a leading designer of Yulex’s biorubber material is made from guayule, core outdoor, surf and sport-related apa renewable, non-food crop that requires very little parel, equipment, footwear and acceswater, is grown domestically here in Arizona, uses no sories, and Yulex Corporation, a clean pesticides, and in comparison to traditional neoprene, has a very clean manufacturing process. technology company developing agriculInitially, the new suits will be available in Japan tural-based biomaterials for medical, cononly. In Spring 2013, surfers will be able to order cussumer, industrial and bioenergy products, tom suits out of Patagonia’s wetsuit facility in Ventura, announced today the introduction of a California, with a global rollout to follow. guayule-based wetsuit, a renewable bio“Yulex commends Patagonia for supporting rubber that is the first alternative to tradithe advancement of a sustainable, low-carbon future tional fossil-based neoprene. by embracing agricultural-based “When we started to build wetsuits biomaterials to replace petroleumwe knew that neoprene, by nature of its based synthetics,” said Jeff Martin, production, was the most environmentally CEO, president and founder of Yulex harmful part the product. Our initial apCorporation. “Patagonia is guiding proach was to use innovative materials, the action sports industry to a new like wool, that are highly insulating and The guayule-based plant is making inroads with a level and setting an example for the allowed us to use as little neoprene as number of common products including wetsuits for possible. But we quickly realized that we importance of sustainable practices. surfers and scuba divers. this renewable biorubYulex views this partnership as a needed to create a new material that could ber is the first alternative to traditional fossil-based neoprene. major step towards a future where be a true alternative to neoprene,” notes use of our renewable, guayule-based Jason McCaffrey, Patagonia’s surf direcbiomaterials is the industry standard tor. “After four years of working together, Patagonia and Yulex have co-developed a patagonia, in partnership with yulex, launched a plant-based wetsuit that is for consumer, medical, industrial unique material that allows us to make a wetsuit that is 60% guayule (plant) based. Our 30% stretchier, dries instantly and has and bioenergy products.” goal is to have the formula be 100% plant based, but we feel that for now this new mateexcellent thermal value. rial is a big enough step forward to let the world know it is possible to buy something

Arizona Apples Help Celebrate Food Check-Out Week

Thanks to the efficiency of America’s farmers and ranchers it takes the average American just 5 weeks, or 37 days, to earn enough disposable income to pay for his or her food supply for the entire year. The most recent data from USDA (2011) indicates that Americans on average still spend around 10 percent of their disposable annual income on food. Food Check-Out Week 2013 is February 17 to February 23. Farm Bureaus at the county, state and national level will be celebrating the abundance and safety of our American food supply. “Americans enjoy an abundant and affordable food supply,” said Sharla Mortimer, AZFB Women’s Leadership Committee chair. “Thanks to modern farming techniques, such as biotechnology, GPS and conservation tillage, farmers and ranchers are producing more food on fewer acres with fewer inputs.” Food Check-Out Week tracks the amount of income needed by Americans to purchase food on an annual basis, she said. When comparing taxes to Food Check-Out Week, most Americans worked until the third week of April to pay their 2012 taxes, according to The Tax Foundation. To celebrate the milestone, the Arizona Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee will deliver Apple Annie’s pies to 90 legislators at the State Capitol on February 21. For more information, call Peggy Jo Goodfellow at 480.635.3609 or peggyjogoodfellow@azfb.org.


January 2013 Arizona Agriculture