July: Sinking Valleys & Rising Ranges, Ripe for Change Screening + More

This email contains graphics, so if you don't see them, view it in your browser.




In this Newsletter

Weekly Blog Round Up

"Ripe for Change" Film Screening & Discussion

Don Villarejo's Collected Papers

Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs "Migrant & Seasonal Children Farmworker Art & Essay Contest"

Farmworker Reality Tour


  California Institute for Rural Studies (CIRS) is the only California non-profit with a mission to conduct public interest research that strengthens social justice and increases the sustainability of California's rural communities.

  Keep in touch!




California Institute for Rural Studies Weekly Blog Round Up

In the last month on our blog, Annie Beaman, CIRS’ Research and Strategy Coordinator, wrote four great pieces:
"Drought Trumps Water Rights," "The Wild-Wild West of Weed," "To Pump or Not to Pump?" and then last week, "Sinking Valleys & Rising Ranges," which is below.
 All articles are featured on our website in the Rural California Report Blog, and are available there as free downloadable files.

Sinking Valleys & Rising Ranges

By Annie Beaman

In the San Joaquin Valley, water is pumped out of aquifers at roughly twice the rate of replenishment through precipitation. Groundwater overdraft is a common phenomenon all over California, where demand for water outweighs supply. This is especially true during drought years, and of paramount concern right now because of California’s multiyear drought. Underground water levels have declined as much as 200 feet in the San Joaquin Valley during the past two years alone.


This year, California water experts estimate that over-pumping from groundwater aquifers will make up for over 1.5 trillion gallons of water that will not be delivered through the state’s extensive surface water projects. Compensating with groundwater is a risky and costly enterprise. UC Davis predicts that the increased groundwater use will cost nearly $500 million, with the greatest share of resource and economic impacts occurring in the San Joaquin Valley and the Tulare Lake Basin.  Continue reading













"Ripe for Change" Film Screening & Discussion Sunday, July 13 from 4-7pm, in Vallejo

Join CIRS for what we hope will be the first in a series of engaging events on "Just what is Fair Food?" Taking a nudge from our own multi-media production, "Fair Food - From Field to Table," we wanted to host an event bringing films & advocates together, keeping the discussion going.

For our first film we'll be featuring "Ripe for Change," by Bay Area filmmaker Jed Riffe, who will be with us to talk and take questions after the film.

"This fascinating documentary explores the intersection of food and politics in California over the last 30 years. It illuminates the complex forces struggling for control of the future of California's agriculture.The film examines a host of thorny questions: What are the trade-offs between the ability to produce large quantities of food versus the health of workers, consumers, and the planet?"

We're also excited to show a sneak peak trailer for a new film in the works, "Rhythms of the Land," by filmmaker, anthropologist & activist Dr. Gail Myers, and she will also be with us to introduce her film and take part in the questions and discussions after the film. "Rhythms of the Land" is a documentary film project, a valentine to generations of black farmers from the enslavement period to the present, whose intense love of the land and dedication to community enabled them to survive against overwhelming odds." 

Our partners from Slow Food Delta Diablo will be hosting a Pie Bake Off for the event & Slow Food Solano will be providing organic popcorn & lemonade. We'll also be exhibiting "The Lexicon of Sustainability." Come early or stay late to enjoy the hidden gem of the Bay Area, historic Mare Island. The Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve is on the Southern side of the Island, with sweeping views of the Bay, hiking trails, picnic areas and the oldest Naval Cemetery west of the Mississippi, with graves dating back to the 1860's. We'll be watching the movie in their Visitors Center - formerly a 1934 Ammunitions Bunker! The event is free & open to the public, though donations are gratefully accepted!

Eventbrite - "Ripe for Change" A Fair Food - Field to Table Film Screening & Discussion





Don Villarejo's Collected Papers

CIRS Founder and Director Emeritus, Don Villarejo, has researched and written many important reports both while at CIRS and after leaving us. We are creating a central home for his reports on our website, Don Villarejo's Collected Papers. Here you will be able to read and download these papers, at no charge. Making these reports accessible to the public is key for all of us here at CIRS. If you aren't  familiar with Don's contributions, click on his photo for a nice overview from the UC Davis Dateline. There are still more papers to be added, so keep coming back!


Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs "Migrant & Seasonal Children Farmworker Essay & Art Contest"

The national Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs works in many different ways, including Job Training and Health & Safety Training. Their "Children in Fields Campaign" has come up with a wonderful way for farmworker children to tell their own stories with their Essay & Art Contest.

The best posters and essays will be compiled in a booklet to be presented to key members of Congress to share a piece of the lives of migrant and seasonal farmworker youth.

Posters and essays will be judged by the Child Labor Coalition (CLC) steering committee and partners. The CLC is a coalition of organizations that are concerned about the well-being of children around the world. The contest judges are professional leaders from the member organizations of the CLC. Please spread the word! Children must be between the ages of 10-18, and deadline for entries is August 1st. More information here 


The Quinoa Quandary: What's at Stake in the Superfood Debate? July 16, Berkeley

In recent years, quinoa—a highly nutritious Andean “grain”—has grown in popularity among US consumers, making the US one of the world’s leading quinoa importers. It has also spawned dozens of media stories suggesting that quinoa consumption in North America and Europe may be doing more harm than good to Andean ecosystems and communities. Food First Research Coordinator Tanya Kerssen will help to unravel the complex realities behind the “quinoa quandary,” focusing on Bolivia, the country with the greatest genetic diversity of quinoa and also the world’s top exporter. Wednesday, July 16th 2014, 6:30 – 8:30pm, La Peña Cultural Center, in Berkeley. More Information


It's Getting Hot!

Remember, when you realize you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated, so keep ahead of it and drink plenty of water. Stay safe!


Farmworker Reality Tour, July 27th, Watsonville

Led by the Center for Farmworker Families, one of the goals of the tours is to effectively bridge the experiential and communication gap between the farmworker community and those of us who enjoy the fruits of their hard labor. The tours allow participants to meet, dialogue with, and hear the testimonials of farmworkers.

The tours challenge participants to better understand the conditions of Mexican farmworkers in Northern California by sharing in their lives, food, and living quarters. More information here



Thank you for your continued support! 

Gail Wadsworth 

 Executive Director, California Institute for Rural Studies

 California Institute for Rural Studies
P.O. Box 1047, Davis, CA 95617


Not interested any more?