“WAPA has been a very large help with permitting our operations with the SJVAPD. Staff in particular seems to know exactly how to navigate what to most of us industry members is a very complicated and frightening process. So, for both or our operations, the almond sheller and the almond processing operations, we have received great value for our membership. WAPA is attending and representing our industry at many government meetings and hearings.”

- Dave Phippen, Xcel Shelling

“I think the most important single thing WAPA does is educate elected officials. Educating the people that make the laws and regulation is critical, without this we are fighting a losing battle. This is what I sell WAPA on.”

- Mark Kazarian, Tule River Cooperative Dryer, Inc.

“WAPA has always provided a great benefit. Staff is always there to help in regards to regulatory information but especially with San Joaquin County Air Pollution Control. I also appreciated WAPA’s one step ahead of FSMA and providing walnut hullers time with regulators for one on one questions and answers. Along with many other programs including Lock Out Tag Out, etc. The most important value would be their knowledge with regulations and if they don’t have the answer, they will find it in a timely manner. If I could say one thing about WAPA to others it would be join and you won’t be sorry.”

- Kristi Friis, Morada Nut Company

“The staff provide in-depth guidance with all regulatory issues that we face on a day to day basis from Food Safety, Employee Safety Training and Environmental Service audits. We had WAPA go through all of our permits to make sure we’re in compliance with various local and state agencies, we had an old permit that was no longer needed and saved us thousands of dollars per year. It's great being a member of an organization that has the expertise and knowledge to help us with Regulatory issues and concerns. I highly recommend WAPA for those who want a peace of mind knowing that being a member of an association with a team of experienced professionals that will help guide and consult you with any concerns or issues you may have.”

- Carl Tristao, Treehouse California Almonds, LLC.

“WAPA has absolutely provided a benefit. They have helped with the Air District permit, which is why we became a member. Their consultation under many subjects is the most important value. It is what I have used them for mostly. The experience and knowledge of current industry issues is very good and very helpful.”

- Jeff Hamilton, Minturn Huller Cooperative, Inc.

“The resources provided to us are timely and valuable which is a benefit to the company. We utilize WAPA when we come across challenges in our industry that we need help on. We can always count on them to be there to support us through the challenges that we face here at the huller. WAPA’s most important value is the people, their knowledge, and their resources. The value that you get from being a member pays itself almost immediately. They put their time and energy into trying to make our industry a more level playing field.”

- Kevin Long, Superior Almond Hulling.

“WAPA has provided a benefit to the company by keeping us abreast of issues that are pertinent to our hulling and shelling facilities and almond operation. The most important value of WAPA is their ability to keep up with regulatory issues and being an advocate for our industry. What has been really good is when we are faced with an issue that we don’t know how to respond to, WAPA is very responsive and prompt in helping and finding the information needed to either help or resolve it.”

- Manny Silva-Bakker, Braden Hulling.

“WAPA has benefited us by providing timely information, regulatory assistance, and training. This is their most important value. In today’s political environment we have to have a seat at the table or don’t complain. The advocacy that WAPA provides agriculture today, especially in the almond industry, is imperative and we need to support them.”

- David Thiel, Cortez Growers Association, Inc.

“WAPA staff are a TREMENDOUS help to us with local and state regulatory issues, air permitting, safety training and documentation. They keep us updated on the forever changing governmental rules and regulations. WAPA staff is very professional and courteous at all times. They are the best!”

- Ron Leach, The Hulling Company.

“WAPA has benefited us by giving us some good information on air credits and the air board and they have helped us on burning. We are looking at a curtain burner and they certainly did their part in helping us there. The information within the industry, especially almonds and walnuts, that they provide is a very important value. They are a good trade organization that has a good representation on the state level and some at the federal level. WAPA has a good diversity of applications and help that they can give to any agricultural entity. They do a very good job on labor and air quality. They just do a very good job and we are satisfied.”

- Louie Durrer, Westside Hulling Association, Inc.

“We use WAPA for the Lock Out Tag Out and a lot of other trainings. I am a big believer in WAPA and have recommended WAPA to other operations in the almond industry. They keep us up to date on all the new laws and requirements for employees and regulations for the lock out. They do great things for us and on our behalf with their lobbying and the training that they provide.”

- Robert Borba, Minturn Nut Company Inc.

“The major benefits that we experienced was the help in our local regional level and permitting. Their most important value is staying up to date with legislation, industry information that’s happening in California. I think others should join WAPA and help support the tree nut industry.”

- Ted Kingsley, Yolo Hulling & Shelling, LLC.

“WAPA was able to answer a lot of questions for me when I started working with Zinke. They have been able to help us build our quality control and safety guidelines in our company. They have been able to put that together for us. They are very professional and knowledgeable people. They never disappoint.”

- Griselda Martinez, Zinke Orchards, Inc.

“I love the services WAPA provides!”

- Lisa Robles, Turkhan Foods

“I am a board member of WAPA and I owe the staff everything. They’re at the front lines of all air credits, CalOSHA, and any regulatory issues that we face on a daily basis. They alleviate a lot of that pressure. Their most important value is in their ability to get an issue resolved and in favor of agriculture almost every time. Also, our ability to pick up a phone and any of the team whether it be dealing with the air pollution control district, CalOSHA, or the environmental health side. They are at the forefront and in the weeds doing the things that the majority of people are ignorant to the fact that they are working so hard and diligently in that way. They have value beyond the dollar.”

- Mason Otten, Semi Tropic Coop Almond Huller.

“WAPA has absolutely provided a benefit to the company. In 2019 we built a second huller/sheller on site and WAPA was very instrumental in assisting us from getting our air permit to application all the way through certification. They are always there to respond to any question we might have pertaining to a wide range of areas, regulations, inspections, safety, worker orientation meetings… Basically anything that we inquire about, we will get assistance. Association fees are well worth the value.”

- Dennis Bell, Farmers Coop Almond Huller, Inc.

“WAPA has been very valuable in helping us to understand and navigate the regulatory compliance that we have to deal with from a business standpoint. WAPA is definitely worth joining!”

- Kelly Hoppin, Fair Share Farms.

“WAPA has definitely provided a benefit to our company. It is what we don’t see which is the help with the legislation and the lobbying that goes on that we don’t even know about. They keep us in the loop on changes in regulation and food safety laws as well as provide some of the best member outreach of any organization that we are involved in. With WAPA, the days of burying your head in the sand are over. If you’re not the one who is going to be carrying the torch for your organization then you need to support those who do.”

- Lee Heringer, M&T Chico Ranch.

“WAPA has helped in numerous ways along with the air board permitting and fumigation. They’re the two biggest things that I’m working with WAPA on right now. The sustainability and the constant work to stay ahead of the game are their most important values. I don’t know of anything that they can’t accomplish, if you need help, they are right on the ball and they get back to you with whatever you need."

- Jim Sears, Sierra Valley Hulling.

“Their experience, knowledge, and ability to navigate us through a lot of very challenging governmental regulations has been a super huge asset to have. They keep us informed on ever changing laws and regulations in our state and they keep us out of trouble. So to speak, so we don’t get fined and are always educated on changes that are coming down the pipe. The value provided by WAPA far exceeds the amount of money that it costs.”

- Scott Eastom, The Almond Company.

“I may be new to the Almond Industry but I will never cut my ties with your group. The staff continue to pull the rabbit out of the hat. This is why all almond hullers should be members. Do take credit for all your work on the YARD TRUCKS and see that every almond huller knows what you and your staff have done.”

- Don Van Schuyver, Manager, Semi-Tropic Coop Gin and Almond Huller.

"Having a partner like WAPA is a big help when it comes to OSHA compliance and safety training. You guys are doing a good thing. Keep it up."

- Jonathon Hoff, Monte Vista Farming Company.

“WAPA has helped our Association with several recent issues involving fumigant registration, air quality and safety. They have successfully aided us with increasing our fumigants which we had been told could not be increased and we have banked Emission Reduction Credits and successfully moved them from our Sanger to our Kerman location. We had been told they could not be moved. We also were told that they could not be added to our existing credits, but WAPA was able to get this done as well, enhancing our available credits at Kerman. They have been very helpful in offering advice on a myriad of other issues including general safety recently completing our equipment specific “Lock out Tag Out” program. Their integrity and knowledge on key issues is beyond reproach and we greatly appreciate the merit of their Association.”

- Michael Kelley, President and CEO, Central California Almond Growers Association.

" Becoming a member of WAPA has been some of the best money we ever spent. WAPA has saved us a great deal of money as well as saving us from the headaches. For example, our walnut dehydrating season is Sept.-Oct., which our engines have to be tested in two separate quarters. WAPA succeeded in negotiating with the SJVAPCD to a season basis, which is a big saving. Just in this past year, WAPA will have saved us around $5 to $7 thousand dollars. Being a member of WAPA has given processors such as us somewhere we can go to when there is a problem or question. Outside sources are changing the regulation and laws each day. Being associated with WAPA has given us the confidence that we will continue being in business. Thank you WAPA for being there for us.!”

- Dave Hamilton, Owner, Hamilton Ranches, Inc.

"The benefits WAPA has provided our Farming and Processing companies has been amazing. They have helped out our safety and maintenance teams with written programs for Lockout Tagout procedures, IIPP, Heat Illness and several safety trainings. WAPA helps us all out with reducing the regulations that the State of California tries to impose on all of Agriculture but appearing at ARB, DPR and other hearings opposing the new regulations with supported data proving why those regulations are not good for Agriculture. They provide so much value to our company but I would say it would be all the work they do at the state level protecting Agriculture from further regulation. Sign up! Even if you don’t need the safety services WAPA provides the lobbying and work they do at the state level is Top Tier and is the best your money could buy.”

- Pat Andersen at Andersen & Sons Shelling.

“Fantastic work. Awesome! Thanks, so much for your outstanding work on behalf of your members. I really enjoyed the board meeting yesterday. As always, it was very informative and helpful. I just wanted you and your staff to know how much I appreciate all of you and your Herculean efforts. I don’t know how you guys do all you do with such a small staff, but your efforts are both worthwhile and vital. I’m very grateful we are WAPA members!”

- Don Barton, Partner, Gold River Orchards.

"WAPA is a proactive, professional organization that focusses on continuous improvement, protection, and promotion of the ag industry. For Valley Harvest Nut, WAPA has assisted us in setting up our LOTO program, updating our SOPs, and even connected us with proper attorneys for legal matters. They have helped by offering informative workshops from labor laws to forklift training and their well-organized annual conference is full of top-notch presenters who provide current industry information. Roger and Elda are prompt to return calls, eager to assist in solving work issues, and willing to meet with politicians to educate them about our ag industry."

- Janine Runnels, Valley Harvest Nut Company

"We have been members for 3 years and have found WAPA a very useful tool. They have assisted us in several ways over the years and are truly appreciated. Recently we utilized Safety trainings such as Heat Illness, First Aid/CPR and Lockout/Tagout. WAPA Team are very professional, knowledgeable and exceptional trainers. Not only does WAPA care, its been our pleasure to be Members."

- Jeff Capra, Heart Ridge Farms & Elk Ridge Almonds

"Just a short note to tell how much we appreciate WAPA's help in our propane project. Without WAPA's help and direction we very well may have failed. Our whole almond industry and JBT will be able to provide a safer food for consumers of our products thanks to WAPA's help."

- Martin Pohl, President, Hughson Nut

"Becoming a member of WAPA has been some of the best money we ever spent. WAPA has saved us a great deal of money as well as saving us from the headaches. For example, our walnut dehydrating season is Sept.-Oct., which our engines have to be tested in two separate quarters. WAPA succeeded in negotiating with the SJVAPCD to a season basis, which is a big saving. Just in this past year, WAPA will have saved us around $5 to $7 thousand dollars"

"Being a member of WAPA has given processors such as us somewhere we can go to when there is a problem or question. Outside sources are changing the regulation and laws each day. Being associated with WAPA has given us the confidence that we will continue being in business. Thank you WAPA for being there for us!"

- Jim Hamilton, Owner, Hamilton Ranches, Inc

"This particular HACCP class was invaluable to me for the establishment of a fundamental understanding of a HACCP plan. Cliff Pappas presented the material in an organized, concise manner. His years of experience contributed to the wonderful wealth of information. I appreciate WAPA for providing opportunities for professional growth that I have been unable to find elsewhere at the time I really needed it. Thank you."

- unknown survey respondent from WAPA/AIB HACCP Class

Welcome to WAPA

Governor Signs Ag Overtime Bill

Ignoring the pleas of real farmworkers and the agricultural industry, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed AB 1066, the ag overtime legislation. This means that California will have the most stringent trigger of any state in the country for overtime for farmworkers, with 45 states having no overtime protection at all. The Governor signed this bill, supposedly to bring “equality to all workers”, yet taxi cab drivers, commercial fishermen, car salesmen, student nurses, computer programmers, and carnival workers all work without any overtime provisions whatsoever. The Governor signed this ag overtime bill in the same year that minimum wage legislation was also passed that will take California to the highest minimum wage as well as legislation forcing California to adopt additional greenhouse gas regulations for businesses in California. California is the only state in the country subject to such regulations. Today’s signing occurred despite numerous requests by the agricultural industry to meet with the Governor to discuss our concerns. The message is clear. California simply doesn’t care. These provisions will be phased in over the next few years ending with the overtime provisions to be triggered at 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.

In the Beginning As folks transitioned out of cotton and into tree nuts, the industry recognized the need to have active and effective representation at the local, state and national levels. Having enjoyed such effective representation over the years from the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations, these folks yearned for the same representation in the tree nut processing industry. Issues such as air quality, food safety, labor, taxes, employee safety, and environmental concerns are at the forefront, and there is a significant need for an aggressive and dynamic Association to lead the industry into the next decade and beyond. In recognition of this, the Western Agricultural Processors Association was created in 2009. The Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA) shares staff and office space with the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations taking advantage of a unique and opportunistic situation. WAPA is a voluntary dues organization with four shared staff and one dedicated staff person. Regulatory, legislative and legal issues fall under the purview of this new organization for the tree nut processing industry, which includes almonds, pecans, pistachios and walnuts. From air quality permits to conditional use permits, from regulatory hearings on greenhouse gases to federal legislation on food safety, and from OSHA violations to assisting members on hazardous materials business plans, no issue is too small or too large for WAPA. WAPA has assembled one of the best and most capable staffs in the industry, and the results are already starting to show Membership The Western Agricultural Processors Association represents facilities involved in the processing of almonds, pecans, pistachios and walnuts.Membership in the Association is classified as Regular memberships are limited to almond hullers or processors, pecan and pistachio processors, and walnut dehydrators and processors. Associate memberships are limited to any individual or business entity which is not engaged in agricultural processing, but which provides products or services directly related to the agricultural processing industry. WAPA Associate members include, but are not limited to, commodity brokers, accounting firms, and insurance brokers. Organization The Western Agricultural Processors Association is governed by a Board of Directors, elected by its membership.The Board consists of up to 15 members from throughout the state, and throughout the industry.The Board meets on a quarterly basis and conducts an Annual Meeting in the spring of each year.WAPA, in conjunction with the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations, conducts a special training school for its members focused on safety.In combination with the school, the Association holds a Labor Management Seminar for all of the managers. Consulting Services In researching and considering the concept of forming a new organization, the Boards of Directors for the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations instructed staff to perform some of the work on a consulting basis first. The point was to determine the workload from consulting and to determine if there was sufficient interest. In November of 2007, the Association began conducting services under consulting contracts for such services as air quality permits and safety plans.The effort has been so successful that demand has progressed outside the tree nut industry into other agricultural processing facilities, including vegetable dehydration facilities, tomato processing facilities, and wheat mills, as well as cotton gins in Arizona.It was determined by the new Board of Directors of WAPA, that WAPA would maintain the consulting services to provide offsetting income to help with the expenses of getting the new organization up and running.Today, WAPA provides for a long list of satisfied clients in the agricultural processing industry, by providing critical services such as air quality, safety, food safety, and environmental issues (Hazardous Materials Business Plan, Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plans, etc.).