BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1891
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 14, 2010

                          ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
                              Cathleen Galgiani, Chair
              AB 1891 (Committee on Higher Education) - As Introduced:   
                                  February 16, 2010
           

          HIGHER EDUCATION    9-0          
                                           
           ------------------------------------ 
          |Ayes:|Block, Norby, Adams, Chesbro, |
          |     |Fong, Fuller, Galgiani,       |
          |     |Portantino, Ruskin            |
           ------------------------------------ 
           
          SUBJECT  :   Sustainable agriculture research: agricultural  
          chemicals.

           SUMMARY  :  Reestablishes two University of California (UC)  
          programs: the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education  
          Program (SAREP), and Biologically Integrated Farming System  
          (BIFS) demonstration projects.   Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Requests the UC Regents to establish SAREP to support  
            competitive grants to promote research and education on  
            sustainable agricultural practices, and to support the giving  
            of instruction and practical demonstrations in agriculture.

          2)Requests the UC Regents 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.

           EXISTING LAW  establishes UC, administrated by the UC Regents, as  
          a public trust with full powers of organization and government.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  This bill has been keyed fiscal by Legislative  
          Counsel.

           COMMENTS  :  AB 1182 (Brownley), Chapter 386, Statutes of 2009,  
          streamlined higher education-related reporting requirements.   
          Late amendments accidentally deleted two agricultural related  
          programs, SAREP and BIFS.









                                                                  AB 1891
                                                                  Page  2

          According to the author, SAREP and BIFS did not cease to exist  
          due to the code sections being repealed, since legislation was  
          not necessary to create programs at UC.  This is due to UC  
          constitutional autonomy.  The need for this bill's statutory  
          authorization is to assure the agriculture community that UC is  
          committed to SAREP and BIFS.

          SAREP is a statewide program within UC Agriculture and Natural  
          Resources.  It was created due to concerns about the  
          environmental impacts of agriculture, the health of rural  
          communities, and the profitability of family farming operations  
          in California.  At the request of the California Legislature, UC  
          established SAREP with three mandates: 

          1)Administer competitive grants for research on sustainable  
            agricultural practices and systems.

          2)Develop and distribute information through publications and  
            on-farm demonstrations.

          3)Support long-term research and sustainable farming systems on  
            UC farmlands.

          BIFS is a program to help growers enhance environmental quality  
          while maintaining yields and profits.  BIFS projects use on-farm  
          demonstrations and a collaborative model of outreach and  
          extension involving public-private partnerships.  Funds for BIFS  
          have been provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency -  
          Region 9, California Department of Food and Agriculture's Buy  
          California Initiative, United States Department of Agriculture,  
          the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and the UC  
          Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

          SAREP and BIFS have significant impacts on improving sustainable  
          farm practices for California agriculture.  SAREP has a national  
          reputation for developing new farming practices, for research,  
          and for making sure framers have up to date information on  
          sustainable farming.   The continuation of these programs will  
          continue to assist California agriculture community. 

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          Food & Water Watch








                                                                  AB 1891
                                                                  Page  3

          University of California

           Opposition 
           
          None on file.

           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Victor Francovich / AGRI. / (916)  
          319-2084