7/21/2011 AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

One proposal would strengthen an insurance program for dairy farmers when milk profits become too slim.

But a second proposal is drawing controversy. It would limit how much milk the farmers can produce when profit margins shrink to a certain level.

Many dairy producers say it would help end price swings that wiped out hundreds of dairy farms in 2009. Others say it's more government interference.

Some of the state's most successful venture capitalists met with farmers and ranchers to explore opportunities in the Central Valley.

A number of agriculture companies pitched ideas to investors at a conference in Davis. They presented new strategies on improving food safety, water and irrigation management, and organic foods.

Grow California sponsored the event. They wanted to bring people together from all over California to focus on innovation in the ag community.

Participants are hoping the conference will help agriculture specifically in the Central Valley. A similar effort was made in the Silicon Valley for the high tech industry.

Western Pistachio growers meet today in the South Valley to make some changes.

The group represents pistachio growers and processors in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Its annual membership luncheon is at noon Thursday at the Visalia Convention Center.

Thursday, the group is officially changing it's name to American Pistachio Growers for better worldwide appeal. It will also unveil a pistachio mascot, similar to the dancing raisin.

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