BILL NUMBER: AB 1891	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN SENATE  MAY 27, 2010

INTRODUCED BY   Committee on Higher Education (Portantino (Chair),
Block, Cook, Fong, Galgiani, Huber, Ma, and Ruskin)

                        FEBRUARY 16, 2010

   An act to add Article 8 (commencing with Section 550)  and
Article 10 (commencing with Section 591)  to Chapter 3 of
Part 1 of Division 1 of the Food and Agricultural Code, relating to
agriculture.



	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 1891, as amended, Committee on Higher Education. Sustainable
agriculture research: agricultural chemicals. 
   (1) Until 
    Until  January 1, 2010, existing law requested the
Regents of the University of California to establish the Sustainable
Agriculture Research and Education Program to support competitive
grants to promote more research and education on sustainable
agricultural practices, and to support the giving of instructions and
practical demonstrations in agriculture.
   This bill would reestablish this program, except it would not
require the regents to biennially report to the Legislature on the
program. 
   (2) Until January 1, 2010, existing law requested the Regents of
the University of California to establish a program of pilot
demonstration projects designed to provide extension services,
training, and financial incentives for participating farmers to
implement biologically integrated farming systems.  

   This bill would reestablish this program, except it would not
require the regents to biennially report to the Pest Management
Advisory Committee of the Department of Pesticide Regulation and the
Legislature on the status of each of the pilot demonstration
projects. 
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  Article 8 (commencing with Section 550) is added to
Chapter 3 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Food and Agricultural Code,
to read:

      Article 8.  Sustainable Agriculture


   550.  This article shall be known and may be cited as the 
"Sustainable   Sustainable  Agriculture Research
and Education Act of  1986."   1986. 
   551.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
   (a) There is a growing movement in California and the nation to
change farming techniques by adopting more resource-conserving,
 energy efficient   energy-efficient 
systems of agriculture. The objective of these changes is to produce
agricultural products that may reduce the use of petrochemicals,
improve means of biological pest management, improve soil
productivity, improve erosion control, and improve irrigation,
cultivation, and harvesting techniques.
   (b) Over the long term, adoption of more efficient 
resource conserving   resource-conserving  systems
of agricultural production can benefit both the producing and
consuming public.
   (c) The resolution of many agricultural problems depends on
immediate efforts to provide farmers with practices that are both
 resource-conserving   resource conserving 
and economical for food producers, and to foster food production and
distribution methods that reduce dependence on petroleum-based
inputs.
   552.  The purpose of this article is to promote more research and
education on sustainable agricultural practices, such as organic
methods, biological control, and integrated pest managements,
including the analysis of economic factors influencing the long-term
sustainability of California agriculture. This article is intended to
foster economically and ecologically beneficial means of soil
improvement, pest management, irrigation, cultivation, harvesting,
transportation, and marketing for California agriculture based on
methods designed to accomplish all of the following:
   (a) The control of pests and diseases of agricultural importance
through alternatives that reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides
and petrochemicals.
   (b) The production, processing, and distribution of food and fiber
in ways that consider the interactions among soil,  plant
  plants  , water, air, animals, tillage,
machinery, labor, energy, and transportation to enhance agricultural
efficiency, public health, and resource conservation.
   553.  (a) It is the intent of the Legislature that the Regents of
the University of California establish the Sustainable Agriculture
Research and Education Program to support all of the following:
   (1) Competitive grants for research on topics described in Section
552.
   (2) The giving of instructions and practical demonstrations in
agriculture and imparting information through demonstrations,
publications, and otherwise, and for printing and distribution of
information in connection with the Sustainable Agriculture Research
and Education Program. Where feasible, these demonstrations shall
include field research conducted on  cooperator 
 cooperating  farms.
   (3) Planning for and management of University of California
farmlands committed to supporting long-term continuous research in
sustainable agricultural practices and farming systems.
   (b) Those eligible to apply for competitive grants under
subdivision (a) shall include individuals affiliated with public and
private institutions of higher education and with nonprofit
tax-exempt organizations.
   (c) All grant applications shall be subject to peer review for
scientific merit.
   (d) In awarding grants, preference shall be given to projects that
include field evaluation and offer the greatest potential for
measurable progress toward attaining the long-term goals pursuant to
Section 552.
   554.  (a) If the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
Program is established by the regents, the President of the
University of California shall establish and appoint a Program
Advisory Committee and a Technical Advisory Committee.
   (b) The duties of the Program Advisory Committee shall include
recommending goals and priorities for this program, including, but
not limited to, reviewing the priority of grant applications.
   (c) The Program Advisory Committee shall be composed of a majority
of individuals representing agriculture, as well as representatives
from government, public organizations, and institutions of higher
education  ,  all of whom are knowledgeable regarding the
issues and practices of sustainable agriculture.
   (d) The duties of the Technical Advisory Committee shall include
making recommendations about the scientific merit of grant
applications submitted pursuant to Section 553.
   (e) The Technical Advisory Committee shall be composed of faculty
and staff of the University of California and other experts from
outside the university.
   (f) Members of the Program Advisory Committee and Technical
Advisory Committee who are not employed by the University of
California shall be appointed for a period not exceeding three years
and receive compensation for expenses incurred in the performance of
their duties according to applicable university regulations and
guidelines.
   555.  If the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
Program is established by the regents, it shall be established from
existing resources. 
  SEC. 2.    Article 10 (commencing with Section
591) is added to Chapter 3 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Food and
Agricultural Code, to read:

      Article 10.  Agricultural Chemical Reduction Pilot
Demonstration Projects


   591.  (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

   (1) Successful farmers and ranchers adapt to changing
circumstances through innovation and the incorporation of new
information and practices, in order to improve their economic
productivity and maintain the long-term sustainability of farmland
and other natural resources.
   (2) California's farmers and ranchers face increasing pressure to
modify their use of water and agricultural chemicals, resulting from,
among other things, implementation of the federal Food Quality
Protection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-170), the federal Central
Valley Project Improvement Act (Public Law 102-575), the California
Endangered Species Act (Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050) of
Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code), and other state and federal
rules.
   (3) In 1995, the University of California established, pursuant to
Chapter 1059 of the Statutes of 1994, a program of pilot
demonstration projects called Biologically Integrated Farming Systems
(BIFS), to demonstrate and expand the use of integrated farming
systems as a means of building soil fertility while attempting to
modify or reduce the use of agricultural chemicals.
   (4) Biologically integrated farming systems provide some pollution
prevention results, including reductions in surface water and
groundwater contamination, air contaminant emissions, and particulate
matter; and also promote practices that decrease erosion and improve
habitat for wildlife.
   (5) Farmers and ranchers who are accomplished in managing
biologically integrated farming systems are often willing and able to
act as mentors for other farmers.
   (b) It is the intent of the Legislature to expand and improve the
BIFS program so that integrated farming systems can be applied to a
greater number of crops and regions and to more widely disseminate
information on how to implement integrated farming systems through
science-based technical assistance and farmer-to-farmer information
sharing.
   592.  (a) For the purposes of this article, biologically
integrated farming systems help provide soil fertility, pest control,
pollution prevention, and environmental improvements through
integration of some or all of the following elements:
   (1) Relying on biological and cultural controls to protect crops
from pest outbreaks and increase beneficial insect populations.
   (2) Creating on-farm habitats and restoring riparian zones to
harbor beneficial insect populations, reduce movement of pests to
susceptible crops, and improve habitat for migrant birds and upland
game species.
   (3) Using cover crops to provide some or all of the nitrogen
needed by crop plants, increase water infiltration of the soil, and
decrease erosion and flooding.
   (4) Directing overall attention to soil building practices, to
improve crop nutrition, reduce soilborne pests, reduce reliance on
chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and to provide additional
scientific research and information on pest management and soil
fertility.
   (5) Using pest monitoring and decision thresholds for chemical
applications, to avoid uneconomic applications of pesticides and
fertilizers.
   (6) Improving livestock management, reducing erosion, restoring
native bunch grasses and other native plants, protecting riparian
zones, and improving fish and wildlife habitat.
   (b) For the purposes of this article, "program" means the
Biologically Integrated Farming Systems (BIFS) program.
   593.  There is established within the University of California a
program of pilot demonstration projects designed to provide extension
services, training, and financial incentives for participating
farmers to implement biologically integrated farming systems. In
implementing the program, it is the intent of the Legislature that
all of the following occur:
   (a) The program should be designed to extend integrated farming
systems through the proven technique of farmer-to-farmer
communication, with technical support provided by farm advisers,
scientists, pest control advisers, and certified crop advisers.
   (b) The structure of each pilot demonstration project should be
patterned, to the degree feasible, after the successful collaboration
between the University of California and the Biologically Integrated
Orchard Systems (BIOS) Program coordinated by the Community Alliance
with Family Farmers in Merced, Stanislaus, Colusa, Madera, San
Joaquin, Solano, and Yolo Counties.
   (c) Pilot demonstration projects should be selected through a
competitive process that supports the goals specified in Section 592.
The proposals for the projects selected should include a description
of the project's objectives, a workplan for the project's
implementation, and a component for monitoring and evaluating the
project's findings and results. The proposals should demonstrate the
applicant's experience in the farming systems described in
subdivision (a) of Section 592, should contain documented financial
and technical support, and should provide for a breadth of private
sector cost sharing.
   (d) The program should make all feasible efforts to select
projects involving a variety of commodities and cropping systems
located in different counties.
   (e) Funding for the program should consist of a combination of
federal, state, and private sector funds. The Department of Pesticide
Regulation shall provide fiscal oversight and shall allocate all
program funds received, less 2 percent for administrative costs, to
the University of California for purposes of implementing the pilot
demonstration projects. The program may allocate up to 10 percent of
program funds to support research related to biologically integrated
farming systems.
   594.  (a) There is established at the University of California a
program advisory review board consisting of 13 members, appointed by
the President of the University of California, or his or her
designee, as follows:
   (1) Ten members who are knowledgeable regarding the farming
systems described in subdivision (b) of Section 591, as follows:
   (A) Two representatives from the University of California.
   (B) Two representatives from relevant federal agencies.
   (C) Three growers.
   (D) Two representatives of nonprofit organizations.
   (E) One licensed pest control adviser.
   (2) One member from each of the following:
   (A) The Department of Pesticide Regulation.
   (B) The Department of Food and Agriculture.
   (C) The Pest Management Advisory Committee. This member shall be a
public member who is not a government employee.
   (b) The members of the review board shall serve without
compensation but shall be paid necessary and proper expenses incurred
in the performance of official duties.
   595.  In order to administer and implement the program, the
University of California, in consultation with the program advisory
review board, shall perform the following duties:
   (a) Develop policies and procedures to guide the implementation of
the pilot demonstration projects. These policies and procedures
shall include, but shall not be limited to, a mechanism for
monitoring and summarizing pesticide and fertilizer use for each
project with an assessment of overall environmental impacts,
including improvements in environmental quality on each project.
   (b) Develop and issue requests for proposals for the pilot
demonstration projects.
   (c) Review and select the proposals to be funded.
   (d) Annually review pilot demonstration projects and determine
which projects shall be renewed.
   596.  The Pest Management Advisory Committee of the Department of
Pesticide Regulation and the Department of Food and Agriculture shall
provide the program advisory review board with a list of cropping
systems that would benefit from the pilot demonstration projects. The
board shall consider this list when it deliberates regarding which
proposals to recommend for funding.
   597.  The contract for a pilot demonstration project shall be for
a period of up to five years and shall be evaluated annually by the
director of the program and the program advisory review board. The
evaluation shall be based on an annual report submitted by the pilot
project supervisor that documents changes in agricultural practices,
agrichemical and water use, crop yields, environmental impacts, and
monitoring data resulting from the pilot project. Funding for
subsequent years of the contract shall be contingent upon adequate
progress in those documented criteria, as determined by the director
with the advice of the board, and continued grower participation in
the pilot project.
   598.  All moneys allocated by the Department of Pesticide
Regulation to the University of California for facilitating this
program shall be used for the following purposes:
   (a) Contracting with pilot demonstration project supervisors. No
member of the program advisory review board shall participate in such
a project.
   (b) Rebates to project participants for materials used to
implement the alternative systems composing the pilot demonstration
projects, and assistance with purchasing or leasing equipment.
   (c) The University of California's administrative costs, which
shall not exceed 10 percent of the total costs of the pilot
demonstration projects.
   599.  New pilot demonstration projects may not be commenced on or
after December 31, 2010. Until all funds available for the projects
are encumbered, the University of California may continue to use
available funds for projects that it commenced prior to December 31,
2010.
   600.  No provision of this article applies to the University of
California unless the Regents of the University of California, by
resolution, make that provision applicable.