San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News
April 9, 2021
The sun sets over "a newly planted Grenache vine at the top of a vineyard block 10 years in the making" at Tablas Creek Vineyard's Jewell Ridge in Paso Robles. Photo courtesy of Tablas Creek.
We Did It! Farm Bureau Leads Charge to Keep CEQA Review Out of SLO County Agriculture
Three months of lobbying by San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau to remove a controversial provision from the County's new proposed Paso Basin Planting Ordinance culminated with a big win at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting. Thank you to all of our Farm Bureau members and industry partners who helped push for this pivotal change.

Supervisors struck the "Tier 3" provision which would have required farmers to get a discretionary permit for new crop plantings using more than 25 acre-feet per year of water without an offset of existing crops. The now-removed Tier 3 would have been the first time in SLO County's history that farmers would have to undergo a costly California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review to plant crops.

Here's a summary of the resolution approved by the County Board of Supervisors on April 6, 2021 that directed staff to:

1) Develop a planting ordinance for the Paso Basin (defined using the Fugro boundary map, excluding the Atascadero Sub-basin) to be effective until 2045 with a two-tier framework.
  • Tier 1 is an exemption allowing plantings using 25 acre-feet per year of irrigation per site (defined as contiguous parcels under common ownership).
  • Tier 2 requires ministerial approval for plantings maintaining neutral water use on site (1-1 offset) with a 6-year lookback period.
  • The ordinance is to NOT include a third tier discretionary permit requiring CEQA review; as a result, there is no mechanism / option to approve / allow new plantings not falling within Tier 1 or Tier 2.
2) Bring an ordinance amendment to extend the Agricultural Offset Requirements to June 1, 2022.
3) Include funding for a 14-month Limited Term Planner III position andn Environmental Impact Report contract during the budget hearings scheduled for June 7-9, 2021.

Our groundwater challenges in the Paso Basin and other parts of SLO County are not going away any time soon. We appreciate the Board's decision to remove the CEQA provision and will continue to collaborate with the County on long-term groundwater policy solutions. For more information, watch a recording of the April 6 meeting (Item 26 is the Paso Basin Planting Ordinance) and read comments from SLO County Farm Bureau and the Agricultural Liaison Advisory Board.
This Week in SLO County Agriculture
In This Issue:
  • COVID-19 News: County of San Luis Obispo Launches COVID-19 Economic Recovery Effort;
  • Community News: The Tribune - Gray Wolf Detected in SLO County. It may be First Central Coast Sighting in Nearly 200 years;
  • County Government News: Board of Supervisors met on April 6;
  • State Government News: ABC 7 News - Gov. Newsom Announces Plan to Fully Reopen California on June 15;
  • USDA and CDFA News: Agri-Pulse - Biden Infrastructure Plan Hits Major Rural Needs, but Short on Detail, Ag Funding;
  • Business Member Spotlight: Electricraft Inc.;
  • Featured Member Benefit: Nationwide;
  • Vineyard & Winery News: The Tribune - Tribune Publishing was Going to be Sold to a Hedge Fund. Then Halter Ranch Owner Stepped in;
  • Livestock News: What Happens if Gray Wolves Show up on Your Ranch?;
  • Cannabis News: SLO County Bar Association Hosts Cannabis Licensing, Regulation, and CEQA Discussion April 15;
  • Tree Crop News: Statewide Grower Referendum Affirms Continuation of California Avocado Commission;
  • Produce News: The Packer - Technology Helping to Save Labor in Santa Maria
  • Water News: New Times SLO - SLO County Sticks with Plan for New Paso Robles Water Basin Rules;
  • Environmental News: Governing - California Proposes Plan for an Extensive Fracking Ban;
  • Ag Economics & Trade News: Bakersfield.com - Farmers call for Federal Action on Shipping Bottlenecks;
  • Agronomic Resources: UC Extension Hosts Free Webinar: Online Sales Options and Methods; and
  • Wisdom From the Farm & Ranch.
COVID-19 News: County of San Luis Obispo Launches COVID-19 Economic Recovery Effort
'A new life': How SLO County is vaccinating thousands of ...

San Luis Obispo County's farmworkers have put their lives at risk to keep the area's agriculture industry going during the coronavirus pandemic - now they're finally getting vaccinated. The county Public Health Department is holding a series of...

Read more
www.sanluisobispo.com
County of San Luis Obispo Launches COVID-19 Economic...

San Luis Obispo Launches COVID-19 Economic Recovery Effort Four-Pronged 'Road to Recovery' Approach...

Read more
www.slocounty.ca.gov
Community News: The Tribune - Gray Wolf Detected in SLO County. It may be First Central Coast Sighting in Nearly 200 Years
Farm Bureau seeks solutions to today's farm and rural...

The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, has opened online applications for the 2022 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge...

Read more
www.morningagclips.com
California Women for Agriculture - San Luis Obispo Chapter Monthly Updates

CWA Virtual Meeting: Legislative Meeting with Supervisor Debbie Arnold Wednesday, April 28th @ 5:30pm and more.

To read CWA's monthly update, click here.
Gray wolf detected in SLO County. It may be first...

In a historic journey, a lone gray wolf from Oregon has traveled into San Luis Obispo County in search of a new mate or new pack, according to the CDFW...

Read more
www.sanluisobispo.com

For the full list of upcoming events, click here.
State Government News: ABC 7 News - Gov. Newson Announces Plan to Fully Reopen California on June 15
California to pour $536 million into fire prevention...

California Gov. Gavin Newsom struck a deal with lawmakers Thursday to free up $536 million for wildfire prevention as the state faces more drought and an elevated fire risk that experts warn could be as catastrophic as last year's historic infernos.

Read more
www.nbcnews.com
Gov. Newsom announces plan to fully reopen California on ...

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a plan to fully reopen California's economy on June 15 if current trends hold. Masks will still be required...

Read more
abc7news.com
California Farm Bureau's Friday Review - April 9
This week's State Legislative and Governmental Affairs Update includes:
  • Ag Employment: AB 73, AB 95, AB 364, AB 654, AB 857, AB 1041, AB 1119, SB 338, and SB 606;
  • Climate Change: AB 1289;
  • Commodities: AB 535 ("California olive oil" labeling);
  • Economic Relief;
  • Economic Development: AB 778;
  • Food Safety: FDA releases report on 2020 E. coli outbreak in leafy greens;
  • Insurance: SB 11 (California Farm Bureau-led bill to get fire insurance coverage access to farms and ranches);
  • Taxation: AB 1253 and AB 65;
  • Transportation: SB 287 (fixes an ongoing issue related to hauling horse and stock trailers);
  • Utilities: AB 525, AB 1087, SB 345;
  • Waste: AB 332; and
  • Wildlife: AB 391 and AB 564.
Federal Government News: Agri-Pulse - Biden Infrastructure Plan Hits Major Rural Needs, but Short on Detail, Ag Funding
Elimination of Stepped-up Basis Poses Hazards to Family...

Capital gains taxes are based on the change in the value of an asset, such as farmland, livestock or timber, when that asset is sold. Currently, the top capital gains tax rate is 20%...

Read more
www.fb.org
Biden infrastructure plan hits major rural needs, but...

President Joe Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan would address some long-standing needs in rural America with substantial new funding for roads, bridges, waterways and broadband, but the plan doesn't provide the major boost in farm...

Read more
www.agri-pulse.com
Business Member Spotlight:
Electricraft Inc.
Family owned and operated, the experienced and friendly staff at Electricraft has been providing exceptional electrical installation, repair service and general electrical construction to San Luis Obispo County since 1984. Electricraft, Inc. was founded by Jon P. Treder, a San Luis Obispo resident since 1970, and, under the direction of Jon W (Wes) and Jacob Treder, continues to provide superior quality service, repair and construction while keeping up to date on today’s ever-changing technology.
 
Fully insured and licensed by the state with a large bonding capacity, the Electricraft field foremen, office staff, and state certified electricians have a combined 300+ years of general electrical construction, service, project management, and turnkey design/build experience.
 
Give Electricraft a call today for all of your contractor needs. There is no project too big or too small for the experienced staff at Electricraft – from repairing light fixtures in homes, to installing the latest solar technology, to large industrial electrical construction – there’s no need to look any further than Electricraft.
200 Suburban Road | San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 544-8224 electricraftinc.com
Monday - Friday 7:00AM - 4:00PM
Thank You Farm Bureau Members
New Business Support Member:

Renewing Business Support Members:

New Member

New Collegiate Member
Erin Clendenen

Renewing Members:
Bella Terra Farms, Phil Shepard, Stephen Martin, Timothy Twisselman, Atascadero Chamber of Commerce, John Gannon
Featured Member Benefit:
Nationwide
Protect your finances and your future
 
Join California Farm Bureau and Nationwide for an educational webinar where you’ll learn strategies and tips to help you manage your financial future with confidence.

For more detailed questions about your personal financial needs, consider calling 855-863-9636 for a complimentary one-on-one consultation with a licensed Nationwide representative. 

Understanding long-term care solutions: Helping farmers plan for the care they deserve
Have you set up a plan to cover long-term care expenses as you age?

Most Americans turning age 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives1 & many will seek in-home assistance from specialized caregivers over moving to a nursing home. Learn how to estimate care expenses and create a plan to cover them with help from the long-term care specialists at Nationwide. 
 
Click the link below to watch on your schedule.
 
Vineyard & Winery News: The Tribune - Tribune Publishing was Going to be Sold to a Hedge Fund. Then Halter Ranch Owner Stepped in.
Get to Know the San Miguel District

The Paso Robles American Viticultural Area (AVA) was established in 1983 and at that time there were 556,765 total acres with a little over 5,000 under vine. In 1996, the AVA expanded by 52,600 acres and then...

Read more
pasowine.com
[April Seminar] Grape Market Update

2020 and 2021 are shaping up to be very distinct vintages and the business of selling grapes is just one example. Please join us Wednesday, April 21 st to get the annual industry update from one of IGGPRA's most popular speakers...

Read more
mailchi.mp
Tribune Publishing was Going to be Sold to a Hedge Fund. Then Halter Ranch ...

The Swiss billionaire who owns a Paso Robles winery could soon be a part owner in the national media publishing company that owns newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun...

www.sanluisobispo.com
Livestock News: What Happens if Gray Wolves Show up on Your Ranch?
What Happens if Gray Wolves Show up on Your Ranch?

Dr. Royce Larsen, UC Extension Service of San Luis Obispo County shared publications that discuss how to document any suspected livestock predation and methods that can be used to help control livestock predation by Gray Wolves. (Note, a lone Gray Wolf was tracked in SLO County earlier this week.)
Twenty States File Court Challenge Against California's...

The States of South and North Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa along with 16 others have filed a friend of the court brief supporting ag group's challenges of California's Proposition 12...

Read more
wnax.com
Nevada grazing permit decision has ranchers concerned

Ranchers and environmental advocates are keeping a close eye on a decision by an Interior Department administrative law judge that found the Bureau of Land Management did not adequately analyze...

Read more
www.agri-pulse.com
Beef industry can cut emissions with land management,...

A comprehensive assessment of 12 different strategies for reducing beef production emissions worldwide found that industry can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by as much as 50%...

Read more
phys.org
Cannabis News: SLO County Bar Association Hosts Cannabis Licensing, Regulation, and CEQA Discussion April 15
THE SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION 
invites you to attend 
 
Cannabis: Licensing, Regulation, and CEQA
 
Presented by  
Crystal D'Souza, Staff Counsel, CA Department of Food and Agriculture 
Brian Stack, Deputy County Counsel, County of SLO
Courtney Taylor, Law Office of Courtney E. Taylor
Jamie Jones, Kirk Consulting
Brent Burchett, Farm Bureau Executive Director (Moderator) 
  
A panel discussion with personnel from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the County of San Luis Obispo, and the Farm Bureau discussing legislative amendments passed, proposed, or still being considered impacting cannabis, challenges with obtaining a permit, and the process from permit approval to planting. The panel will also provide a status update on County permitting, including the number of land use permit applications in process, the number of land use permit applications approved, the number of business licenses issued, and CalCannabis Cultivation licensing numbers. This educational event is ideal for anyone wanting to learn more about cannabis regulations in California and San Luis Obispo County. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to learn from and ask questions of experts at the State and County level. 
 
DATE: April 15, 2021 
TIME: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. 
PLACE: Via Zoom 
COST: $10 for SLOCBA Members, $25 for Non-Members   
The deadline to pay online and register is 10:00 a.m. the day of the program. 
 
Pozo Saloon owners' cannabis project denied

Owners of the famed Pozo Saloon saw their hopes to establish a commercial cannabis farm on a Pozo family ranch dashed on April 6 when the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors rejected the project. click to enlarge File Photo By Jayson...

Read more
www.newtimesslo.com
Tree Crop News: Statewide Grower Referendum Affirms Continuation of California Avocado Commission
California Pistachio Growers and Processors Create $5.2...

Study shows California's pistachio industry resulted in more than 47,200 jobs and injected $5.2 billion into the state's economy in 2020...

Read more
americanpistachios.org
California Avocado Commission Press Release: Statewide Grower Referendum Affirms Continuation of California Avocado Commission

californiaavocado.com
Produce News: The Packer - Technology Helping to Save Labor in Santa Maria
Technology Helping to Save Labor in Santa Maria
The Packer - April 9, 2021 By Tom Karst

Everyone is talking about automating field work on farms, but is anyone doing anything about it?

The answer is yes — in fact, Santa Maria shippers counted several important technological developments and labor-saving automation in the past several years.

Mechanical harvesting was mentioned by several shippers, but there are other innovations that have been meaningful. ...

Continue reading here.
Morro Bay Mushrooms grows several varieties of oyster...

"Feel that," Morro Bay Mushrooms owner Rosa Zunino tells me. I pet the fuzzy white mycelium growing on top of a beautiful blue oyster mushroom that tastes just as good as it looks...

Read more
www.newtimesslo.com
PC Rule Guide for Food Hubs and Values-Based Buyers - CAFF

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is composed of seven main rules of sections. The common name of one of those sections is the PC or Preventive Controls rule...

Read more
www.caff.org
Biopesticides: Categories and Use Strategies for IPM and ...

Biopesticides contain active ingredients of natural or biological origin that include plant extracts, microorganisms, microbial metabolites, organic molecules, minerals, or other such natural materials that have pesticidal properties...

Read more
californiaagnet.com
Water News: New Times SLO - SLO County Sticks with Plan for New Paso Robles Water Basin Rules
SLO County sticks with plan for new Paso Robles water...

San Luis Obispo County supervisors are proceeding with a new regulatory framework for pumping water in the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin that organized agriculture opposes...

Read more
www.newtimesslo.com
SLO County Supervisors Open the Door to Water Banking

A barely-noticed action early in March by the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors likely has placed greater control of the region's water supply in the hands of a few individuals and private water agencies.

calcoastnews.com
California needs comprehensive groundwater management |...

While California's landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act promised comprehensive protection of the state's groundwater, significant gaps remain in its coverage...

Read more
calmatters.org
Environmental News: Governing - California Proposes Plan for an Extensive Fracking Ban
How a surprising Newsom veto threw California's garbage, ...

For years, contractors and trash haulers in California have been accepting discarded fence posts, backyard deck planks and other chemically treated wood debris without giving it much thought...

Read more
www.sacbee.com
California Proposes Plan for an Extensive Fracking Ban

When Gov. Gavin Newsom voiced his support last year for a ban on hydraulic fracturing by oil and gas companies, an effort long fought by the industry and trade unions alike, he gave Democrats a green light to send him legislation to...

governing.com
Ag Economics & Trade: Bakersfield.com - Farmers call for Federal Action on Shipping Bottlenecks
Farmers call for federal action on shipping bottlenecks

Kern County farmers are calling for federal intervention in an international shipping bottleneck that has dramatically increased their export costs during the pandemic and jeopardized sales contracts with buyers overseas...

Read more
www.bakersfield.com
Agronomic Resources: UC Extension Hosts Free Webinar: Online Sales Options and Methods
UC Extension Hosts Free Webinar: Online Sales Options and Methods 
  
The UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (UC SAREP), UC Cooperative Extension and our partners invite California farmers, ranchers and others interested to participate in this one-hour webinar as part of our webinar series: Best practices for agritourism and direct sales in the time of COVID and after 
  
Date: Monday May 3, 2021 
Time: 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. 
Cost: FREE 
   
Learn options and methods for selling farm and ranch products direct to consumers online during COVID-19 pandemic times and during more normal times. Featured speakers: 
Elizabeth Vaughan, Tech Hub manager, Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) 
  
For more information: 
Penny Leff, UC SAREP, paleff@ucanr.edu, 530.902.9763 (cell) 
Advertise with SLO County Farm Bureau
Get Your Message in Front of Over 1400 San Luis Obispo Countians!
Our weekly E-News is sent out every Friday to our membership. If you're interested in an effective, low-cost advertising campaign ($150 a month) please give us a call or send an email to SLO County Farm Bureau Executive Director Brent Burchett.
Wisdom From the Farm & Ranch
The Old Farmer's Song - Matt Goodfellow

At the edge of the world, I graze my sheep,
where storm clouds swirl, and the valley cuts deep.

I've farmed this land for fifty years,
calloused my hands on shovels ad shears,

raised my cattle as best I could,
a constant battle in thick bog mud.

But a soaring hawk, a hare on the run,
an early walk with the rising sun,

a horse's flanks as they heave and steam,
frost on the banks of a snow-melt stream

make my old heart beat to the rhythm of the farm,
the low pig grunts and the cows in the barn.

Till I'm ash and dust, till I'm dead and gone,
I'll be in these hills, and I'll sing this song.
Farm Bureau Membership Matters
We cannot support your freedom to farm and ranch without your membership.

Join SLO County Farm Bureau now or renew your membership online. Go to slofarmbureau.org to join, or download the membership form PDF. Have your renewal notice available to speed up the process; you will need to enter your membership number, name and ZIP code. Renewal dues may be paid online or over the phone by credit card.

We're here to help! Call us if you need some assistance with membership, at 805-543-3654. All California county Farm Bureau memberships are processed through the California Farm Bureau Federation, but please reach out to our SLO County office if you need your membership number or have questions.
Thank You San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau
Platinum Members