May 26,  2016 

In this Communication
*Venture Conservation Partnership
*Farming for the Future Publication
*Hughes Dairy Receives Award
*Tool Library Results
*Tax Incentives Seminar June 15th
*On Farm Food Safety Workshop June 6th
Carbon Farm Plan Application
Interested in the RCD writing a Carbon Farm Plan for your Ranch or Farm? Apply before May 31st
We are looking for landowners or land managers in the Gold Ridge District to apply to receive a Carbon Farm Plan. Want to partake in the global movement to improve soil, positively impact climate change and be a local leader in climate resiliency? The Gold Ridge RCD is seeking ranchers and farmers interested in developing carbon farm plans through the LandSmartâ„¢ program.
Sonoma County Venture Conservation Partnership
Pepperwood Preserve Hosts Field Tour May 6th

On May 6, Pepperwood Preserve hosted the kick-off meeting for Sonoma County's Venture Conservation, which was recently awarded $8 million through the Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). 

The goal of the Sonoma County Venture Conservation partnership is to create a platform for large-scale, coordinated conservation action in our county including identifying high priority conservation easements and projects to improve water supply and quality and enhance wildlife habitat on local agricultural lands. The partnership will leverage local knowledge, funding, and resources with RCPP funding to match federal funds 2:1.

Core partners of Sonoma County Venture Conservation include Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, Sonoma and Gold Ridge RCDs, NRCS, Pepperwood Dwight Center for Conservation Science, Sonoma County Water Agency and a Technical Advisory Committee of thirty organizations.

At the tour, NRCS Chief Jason Weller commented, "I do a lot of travelling and I am very impressed by what you have assembled here--you guys in Sonoma are innovators." Gold Ridge RCD is proud to be innovating for a better future for Sonoma County with these incredible partners.
Farming for the Future Publication 
Last month, the Sonoma RCD in partnership with Gold Ridge RCD, USDA-NRCS, Sonoma County Farm Bureau, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, and UCCE released a collaborative standalone insert in the North Bay Business Journal and Press Democrat, illustrating the stories from the land. Highlighting the agricultural heritage of Sonoma County and the phenomenal stewardship efforts of our local landowners to conserve, restore and protect our natural resources while driving our local economy, supporting our local food system, and providing for the next generation. "We are honored to work in partnership with many innovative stewards of the land who help to protect the beauty and bounty of Sonoma County." 

Hughes Dairy Receives Conservation Award

The Sonoma County Farm Bureau awarded Richard and Marilyn Hughes of Westview Jersey Dairy in Bodega, CA, the Luther Burbank Conservation Award for their conservation efforts. The Hughes have converted their Jersey herd to organic, practiced non-tillage pasture management, and recently installed a 1.4 million gallon rainwater catchment pond to conserve water for Salmon Creek's wildlife and human communities. Richard also serves on the Gold Ridge RCD Board of Directors. We are lucky to have his guidance. Congratulations to Richard and Marilyn for their much deserved distinction. 

Tool Library Results

By far, respondents of the Gold Ridge RCD Tool Survey expressed the most interest in wood chipping services. Fortunately, wood chippers are widely available throughout the county. Moderate interest was expressed in manure spreaders, keyline/yeomans plows and flame weeders. When popular demand builds for a tool that is not widely available, the RCD will look into purchasing and renting the tool to the public.

Please contact Adriana if you would like more information on where to rent wood chippers locally. Email Adriana@goldridgercd.org or call (707) 823-5244. Additionally, the County Fire and Emergency Services Department services landowners in high fire risk areas for free.

Sonoma County Fire and Emergency Services Dept
Chipping service free to landowners in fire risk areas 
Available June-October 2016

Partner News
R&D Tax Incentives Seminar for Ag Industry
Hosted by: Sonoma County Farm Bureau

For decades the ag industry has neglected to claim millions of dollars in tax credits to offset both federal and state tax liabilities. Learn how to have your operation assessed for specific ag activities that generate research and development tax credits. Seminar is June 15th, 10am-12pm. Register by May 29th for a seat. 

To register contact Anita Hawkins: 707-545-5575 or ahawkins@sonomafb.org
Food Safety for Produce Farmers Workshops
Hosted by: UCCE Sonoma & Marin

With growing attention from consumers and wholesale produce buyers on the importance of food safety and the roll-out of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), now is the time to get informed and begin to implement record keeping and risk reduction practices on your operation.Don't miss this upcoming workshop series for produce growers and their employees.

* 6/6 - The Science of Food Safety, Navigating the Food Safety Modernization Act, Good Agricultural Practices, and Food Safety Plans
* 6/13 - Food Safety: workers, equipment and water
* 6/20 - Food Safety: soil and livestock
* 6/27 - Farm visit with on-site Food Safety Plan review 

Register online or call Julia Van Soelen Kim at (415) 473-2708.

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The staff of the Gold Ridge RCD thanks you for your continued support.