California Agri Inspection Company is a relatively new agency compared to most, but one with many years of comprehensive and extensive expertise.
California Agri was formed and started providing service in June 2005, when the State of California relinquished their delegation. Vikash (Vic) Anand, President, says that in the beginning taking over the entire state seemed like a daunting task so they only applied for the northern portion. In just a few years they had an opportunity to expand service to all but three of the southernmost counties.
Vic tributes their success to the ability to hire State inspectors that had many years of service. The agency also was able to acquire the office leases from the State of California so the customers saw little difference in the services provided.
California Agri has four offices which are located in Stockton, Williams, Corcoran, and headquarters in West Sacramento. The Agency inspects virtually all products found under the United States Grain Standards Act and the Agricultural Marketing Act. They also inspect processed commodities, graded commodities such as popcorn and safflower seed, pulses, rice, and all types of grain including wheat, corn, soybeans, sorghum, triticale, barley, oats, and sunflower seed. They even provide third party miscellaneous sampling services of dry milk powder and of hay for the feed and forage industry. In addition to official sampling and inspection, they also provide mycotoxin and official criteria testing as well as official commercial inspections.
A large part of California Agri’s inspections are for milling yield testing on submitted paddy rice samples during harvest, making California Agri one of the agencies handling a majority of the milling yield inspections for paddy rice in the official system. The prolonged drought has taken its toll on grain and rice production in the state, and prolonged negotiations with labor unions have caused uncertainty in those wanting to export from the state. The return of an el Niño weather pattern has brought rains that have recharged the reservoirs and water restrictions are being lifted. While these changes did not come in time to help the wheat crop, there is much optimism for the corn and rice crops. California has planted an estimated 500,000 to 550,000 acres of rice this season. This is the largest acreage in the last six years.
Vic says that they all know the inspection business is cyclical and dependent on mother nature and other factors outside of their control. Although the last few years have been less than what they hoped for, with water becoming available for agriculture and union agreements now in place, he hopes those days are behind them and a bright future is ahead for the agency.
Vic says they are successful because they like providing the service to the various industries. They all just like what they do. As Vic puts it “This is who we are, it’s really a hobby we all love”.
Check out all they do on their website.