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Salinas – “The Salad Bowl of the US” & Hartnell College

April 24th, 2017 by Dan Block

For the past several months I have had the privilege to work with the Agricultural Business & Technology Institute (ABTI) at Hartnell College in Salinas, California. My firm’s role has been to support the strategic planning process at ABTI as it looks to the future to meet the needs of the changing agricultural industry as well as the students seeking to improve their lives through technical training and education. The college has initiated some … + read more

American Pistachio Growers Look to the Future

April 24th, 2017 by Dan Block

One off the most interesting high value crops grown in the Western US is pistachios.  The highly nutritious nuts are grown in California, Arizona and New Mexico and are exported all over the world. I recently had the opportunity of facilitating the strategic planning workshop for the American Pistachio Growers (APG) association headquartered in Fresno, California. The two-day session brought together grower and processor leaders of the American pistachio industry. The group wrestled with key … + read more

U.S. Apple Export Council’s Strategic Planning Workshop in DC

January 27th, 2017 by Dan Block

US Apple Export Council (USAEC) board members and representatives met in Washington, DC this week to develop a strategic plan for the council’s international market development programs. Two days following the presidential inauguration, DC seemed back to normal and business as usual as apple industry leaders planned for enhancing US agricultural exports overseas. As principal consultant, I was retained to facilitate this planning process and work with the Council’s executive director to prepare … + read more

Hi Tech Ag Education – Agricultural Business & Technology Institute at Hartnell College

January 21st, 2017 by Dan Block

Hartnell College in Salinas, California sits in the heart of one the most productive and high-value farming regions of the world. As a former agribusiness professor at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo, California, I recall Hartnell College as one of the premier agricultural community colleges in the Western US. In the last few years Hartnell, through its Agricultural Business & Technology Institute (ABTI), has been building on … + read more

California Olive Committee takes fresh look at Ripe Olive Production Costs

January 4th, 2017 by Dan Block

D.W. Block Associates, LLC (DWB) recently completed study of current production costs for ripe/table olives in California. Table olives have been a traditional crop in California going back to the Spanish ranchos long before California was a state. However, acreages have been declining due, in part, to government subsidized imports from Europe and high hand labor harvesting costs. This study looked at actual costs by interviewing several growers throughout the state both in … + read more

North Dakotans Reconsider a Corporate Farming Ban, and Their Values – Timely read in NYT by Julie Bosman

June 16th, 2016 by Dan Block

It is interesting what North Dakotans are facing regarding their famers and farmland. It is a challenge to find that balance between growth and efficiencies while still preserving the competitiveness of small and mid-sized farms and important qualities of life. Take a read: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/13/us/north-dakotans-reconsider-a-corporate-farming-ban-and-their-values.html?_r=0

Farm Education – The Chicken and the Egg – Bainbridge Island Kids Learn about Agriculture

May 6th, 2016 by Dan Block

Our office is located on an island in the Puget Sound of Washington State called, Bainbridge Island. For many years the island was a farming community especially known for its delicious Marshall variety of strawberries. So well known were these strawberries that in 1939 a special shipment was sent from Bainbridge Island up to Vancouver, B.C., to be served to King George VI on … + read more

Farmers – The Original Earth Day Folks – Useful Read on MSNBC by Naomi Starkman

April 22nd, 2016 by Dan Block

    I found this article on MSNBC simple and helpful. Especially for folks who don’t see where their food comes from. Everyday is Earth Day for Farmers – http://on.msnbc.com/1SgFwio dwb