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Top Producers Promise to Restore World-Class Status of California Brandy

A group of leaders in the American spirits industry gathered this week for the first-ever California Brandy Summit and pledged to restore the perception of California brandy as ranking alongside the world’s most acclaimed spirits.

Top tier brandy producers, mixologists, and national influencers met for two days of discussions, seminars and tastings aimed at assessing the current perception of California brandy and at steering the future of the spirit.

The result was the pledge, formalized in a “Declaration to Raise the Status of California Brandy,” that said, in part, “We are committed to heralding the exceptional brandy crafted by California producers. We are committed to restoring the perception of California brandy as ranking alongside the world’s most acclaimed spirits.”

“We do need to raise awareness of the world-class quality of California brandy,” said Dan Farber, Founder and Distiller of Osocalis Distillery. “And that takes all of us. We producers have to keep putting the quality product in the glass, and we need the community to get the word out about what our DNA really is, and about how outstanding California brandy can be.”

The Brandy Summit featured discussions facilitated by F. Paul Pacult, Editor and Publisher of Spirits Journal and one of America’s foremost spirits authorities, with premium California brandy producers on the art and science of brandy making.

The group examined the best practices in brandy making, including distillation techniques, maturation and blending, and discussed whether there is a need for more production guidelines in California brandy.

Elite mixologists and summit participants demonstrated California brandy’s versatility by creating brandy cocktails ranging from new takes on modern classics to bright, refreshing spring and summer-style drinks. The group also got a preview tasting of the new premium Argonaut Brandy, which has four expressions ranging from a cocktail-oriented blend to sipping brandies to a collector’s brandy blended from rare, aged brandy lots.

“Because it’s made from wine, California brandy has completely unique flavor notes and qualities,” said Rita Hansen, Head Distiller for Argonaut Brandy. “A few decades ago, the world learned about the outstanding wines in California. We all think it’s time people also learned about the high quality and craftsmanship in California brandy.”

President Trump, USDA Secretary Perdue Hold Farmers Roundtable

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today joined President Trump for a “Farmers Roundtable” at the White House to address issues facing the American agriculture community, as the President signed an Executive Order establishing an Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. The roundtable discussion allowed representatives from all corners of American agriculture to raise concerns and share ideas, just as the task force begins its mission “to promote economic development and revitalization, job growth, infrastructure, innovation, and quality of life issues for rural America,” according to the President’s order. The session capped a busy first day in office for Perdue, who was sworn in by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Clarence Thomas as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture before greeting employees at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and travelling to the White House for the roundtable.

“The people who are on the front lines of American agriculture don’t have the luxury of waiting to tend to their crops and livestock, so there was no better time to convene this meeting of the minds than on my first day,” Perdue said. “President Trump has made it clear that addressing the needs of rural America will be a top priority, and the message that we want to send to the agriculture community is that we are here, we are working hard, and we are on their side.”

Farmers Roundtable

perdue-trump-farmers-roundtable_originalThe Farmers Roundtable featured more than a dozen farmers and representatives of the agriculture community who discussed with President Trump and Secretary Perdue a variety of topics, including agricultural trade, regulatory reform, rural investment and infrastructure, labor issues, and the Farm Bill. Participants in the roundtable included:

• Lisa Johnson-Billy, farmer and former Oklahoma House member, Lindsay, Oklahoma
• Luke Brubaker, Brubaker Farms, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
• Hank Choate, Choate’s Belly Acres, Cement City, Michigan
• Tom Demaline, Willoway Nurseries, Avon, Ohio
• Zippy Duval, President of American Farm Bureau Federation and a farmer from Greensboro, Georgia
• Valerie Early, National FFA Central Region Vice President and former 4-H member, Wykoff, Minnesota
• Lynetta Usher Griner, Usher Land and Timber, Inc., Fanning Springs, Florida (also farms in the state of Kansas)
• A.G. Kawamura, Orange County Produce, Newport Beach, California
• James Lamb, Lamb Farms and Prestage Farms, Clinton, North Carolina
• Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and farmer, Spirit Lake, Iowa
• Jose Rojas, Vice President of Farm Operations for Hormel, Colorado Springs, Colorado
• Terry Swanson, Swanson Farms, Walsh, Colorado
• Maureen Torrey, Torrey Farms, Elba, New York
• Steve Troxler, North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture and farmer, Browns Summit, North Carolina

“The Farmers Roundtable provided the chance for the President to hear directly from the people on the front lines of American agriculture about what they are dealing with every day,” Secretary Perdue said. “By hosting this discussion, the president has demonstrated his awareness of the plight of American farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers, his intention to seek input, and his determination to help.”

 

President Trump’s Executive Order

President Trump’s Executive Order established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity “to ensure the informed exercise of regulatory authority that impacts agriculture and rural communities.” As Secretary of Agriculture, Perdue will serve as the task force’s chairman.

“It is in the national interest to promote American agriculture while protecting and supporting the rural communities where food, forestry, fiber, and renewable fuels are grown,” the text of the Executive Order reads. “It is further in the national interest to ensure that regulatory burdens do not unnecessarily encumber agricultural production, constrain economic growth, hamper job creation, or increase the cost of food for Americans and our customers around the world.”

The task force will examine and consider, among other issues, current barriers to economic prosperity in rural America and how innovation and technology may play a role in long-term, sustainable rural development. The panel will attempt to strengthen federalism by working with state agencies charged with implementing economic development, agricultural, and environmental programs, while also emphasizing regulatory flexibility for farms and small businesses. With a dependence on sound science, task force members will examine crop protection tools used by farmers and also address concerns regarding labor needed for livestock and year-round agricultural jobs. Additionally, the group will focus on tax policies that allow family farms to remain intact, while also protecting against federal takeover of state-adjudicated water rights, permitting and licensing, and conservation requirements beyond what is provided in law. Finally, members will look to improve food safety and the implementation of food safety laws, but also recognize the unique nature of farming and the diverse business structures of farms.

“It used to be that people in agriculture feared disease and drought as the greatest threats to their livelihoods and their mission of feeding America and the world,” Perdue said. “While those hazards remain, too often now it is the government – through interference and regulation – that poses the most existential threat to American farming. We aim to put a stop to that.”

The task force will seek input from stakeholders in the agricultural community and is required to issue a report with recommendations for legislative or administrative actions within 180 days. The task force will consist of representatives from the following cabinet agencies and executive branch departments:

• Secretary of the Treasury;
• Secretary of Defense;
• Attorney General;
• Secretary of the Interior;
• Secretary of Commerce;
• Secretary of Labor;
• Secretary of Health and Human Services;
• Secretary of Transportation;
• Secretary of Energy;
• Secretary of Education;
• Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;
• Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission;
• Director of the Office of Management and Budget;
• Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy;
• Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy;
• Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers;
• Director of the Domestic Policy Council;
• Director of the National Economic Council;
• Administrator of the Small Business Administration;
• United States Trade Representative;
• Director of the National Science Foundation; and
• Heads of such other executive departments, agencies, and offices as the President or the Secretary of Agriculture may, from time to time, designate.

Bone Suckin’ Wing Sauce Brings Sweet & Heat

Bone-Suckin-WING-SAUCE-Honey-Habanero

The folks at Ford’s Foods have known for years that consumers were using their Bone Suckin’ Sauce as the basis of their chicken wings recipe. Sometimes they did that with Bone Suckin’ Sauce by itself, sometimes by amping up the heat by mixing in one of the hotter Bone Suckin’ varieties.

Now Ford’s Foods has bowed to customer demand with Bone Suckin’ Wing Sauce in a Honey & Habanero version that the company says has the right combination of sweet and heat to be poured onto chicken wings right out of the bottle.

Bone Suckin’ Wing Sauce – Honey & Habanero is gluten free, non-GMO, dairy free and kosher. It’s available in 4-ounce, 16-ounce, 78-ounce and 150-ounce sizes.

 

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