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San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News

August 12, 2022


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Farmers Around the County Celebrate Farmers Market Week

Local farmers from all over the area participated in National Farmers Market Week at our various markets around the county. There was an estimated 8,771 markets across the country selling agricultural products directly to consumers in 2019.

The USDA defines a farmers market as at least two or more vendors in a recurring location. The number of these markets has remained fairly consistent in recent years.

In celebration of National Farmers Market Week, the Downtown San Luis Obispo Farmers Market (instagram:@downtownslofarmersmarket) posted a throwback picture highlighting how it has grown from 10-15 farmers to over 100 vendors and entertainers weekly in the past 40 years.

San Luis Obispo County has a total of 15 farmers markets that take place throughout the week. The schedule for these markets can be found here.

Growth in number of U.S. farmers markets slows in recent years

A farmers market is a collection of two or more farm vendors selling agricultural products directly to customers at a common, recurrent physical location. According to USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), from 1994 to 2019, the number of farmers markets rose from 1,755 to 8,771 in 2019, averaging growth of nearly 7 percent per year.

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This Week In SLO County Agriculture

In This Week's Issue:

  • Community: Burial Service to be Held in Paso Robles for John Comino- August 16
  • County Government: SLO County Agricultural Preserve Review Committee Meets August 15
  • State Government: Newsom Unveils Long-Term Strategy to Bolster California Water Supply
  • Federal Government: USDA to Invest $15M in Climate-Smart Agriculture, Urban Ag, More
  • Business Member Spotlight: Sarah Cogan Consulting & Compliance
  • USDA: USDA Invests $14.5 Million in Taxpayer Education, Program Outreach Efforts for Farmers and Ranchers
  • Ag Economics: Calif.'s First Dry Port Aims to Alleviate Supply Chain Issues
  • Featured Member Benefit: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
  • Produce: Agronometrics in Charts: Will the U.S. market retain the drop in Hass avocado pricing?
  • Labor: Rodent Control Continuing Education Course- Online- September 1
  • Wildfire: Wildfire Legislation Stalls as McKinney Fire Burns
  • Livestock: Farm Bureau Calls for Transparency in Poultry Industry
  • Vineyard & Wine: Executive Director, Brent Burchett, to Participate in Grower Roundtable Discussion- August 17
  • Water: NewTimes SLO - Paso basin continues decline as officials seek real-time well monitoring

July 29 Most-Read

1.  San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau's 100th Anniversary Celebration- Tickets Now on Sale!

2. Mid-State Fair Results and Revenue Report

3. Los Padres National Forest is seeking public input on an upcoming project

4. Inside the Fight Over California’s Last Nuclear Power Plant

5. CDFA accepting applications for Conservation Agriculture Planning Grants Program

6. Drought and Inputs Putting Strain on Cattle Producers

7.  COVER Act Seeks to Further Incentivize Cover Crop Implementation

8.  Agriculture at Disadvantage When it Comes to Political Influence

9.  2 Paso Robles wineries are among the best new wineries in the nation, USA Today says

10. City council member announces resignation

Executive Director Report

Here are a few things we worked on this week:

  • Participated in a stakeholder meeting discussing healthcare access for California farmworkers;
  • Met with Supervisor Debbie Arnold;
  • Participated in the SLO County Farmworker Outreach Taskforce meeting;
  • Monitored the August 9 SLO County Board of Supervisors meeting;
  • Attended a virtual update on 2022 California Ballot Initiatives;
  • Gave an interview on SLO County water issues to a Stanford University student;
  • Gave our weekly agriculture update on the Tom & Becky Show on KJUG 98.1 (Thursdays around 9:05am); and
  • Led the SLO Chamber of Commerce's Leadership San Luis Obispo class on an Agriculture Tour Day.

Upcoming Events:

  • August 17th at 1:00 PM at Castoro Cellars - Independent Grape Growers of Paso Robles Area - Grower Roundtable Discussions - Executive Director Brent Burchett speaking on Current Issues in Ag 
  • August 23- SLO County Farm Bureau Board Meeting
  • August 23- Long Term Care Planning Seminar- Register here.
  • August 26 – Deadline to get your tickets or sponsor our 100th Anniversary and Centennial Celebration of SLO County Agriculture on September 10
  • September 1- Farm Bureau Extension: 2022 Continuing Education Series- Register here.
  • September 10- San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau's 100th Anniversary and Centennial Celebration of SLO County Agriculture at Alex Madonna Inn Expo Center

Community: Burial Service to be Held in Paso Robles for John Comino- August 16

In Loving Memory of John Comino 1928-2022

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San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau expresses its condolences to the Comino family for the passing of John Charles Comino.

The Cominos were members and active participants of the Farm Bureau since 1986, and were awarded Agriculturalist of the Year in 2008 for their dedication to the agricultural community.

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Distillery Trail Weekend August 12-14, 2022 | Paso Robles Distillery Trail

We are RAISING THE BAR! You are invited to visit our local craft distilleries at our annual Distillery Trail Weekend August 12-14, 2022. Nestled amongst vineyards and hidden away in reinvented industrial zones, you will discover and taste unique products at each location,...

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Pioneer Day kick off party slated for Sept. 24

The Paso Robles Pioneer Day Committee is kicking off the 92nd annual Pioneer Day parade festivities with the Pre-Pioneer Day Kick-off Party and Dance on Sept. 24, from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Estrella Warbirds Museum at 4251 Dry Creek Rd., Paso Robles.

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County Government: SLO County Agricultural Preserve Review Committee Meets August 15

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2022 Election Candidate Deadline Approaching

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY - The deadline for candidates filing for the Nov. 8 General Election is 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12. Seats are open in all the county's schools, community service, and special districts, as well as all cities. Candidates for city offices must file with their respective City Clerk.

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SLO Co. District 4 Recount Complete, No Discrepancies Found

The San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder's Office announced Thursday that the San Luis Obispo County District 4 Board of Supervisors recount is complete. The recount began on Tuesday, July 19, and took 18 days to complete, according to the clerk-recorders office.

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SLO County Agricultural Preserve Review Committee Meets August 15

The APRC will meet by Zoom on Monday, August 15 at 1:30pm. Agenda items include:

• Item 4 - (Action Item) CON2022-00008 – Proposal by Riboli 5620VyndDr, LLC (Jada Winery) to rescind an existing agricultural preserve and establish a replacement agricultural preserve to allow the applicant to enter into a land conservation contract for an 89-acre property located at 5620 Vineyard Drive, Paso Robles, approximately 4.2 miles northwest of the community of Templeton in the Adelaida Sub Area of the North County Planning Area. District 1

• Item 5 - (INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION) LRP2021-00001 – Proposal by the County of San Luis Obispo to amend Title 8 and Title 22 of the San Luis Obispo County Code and the Agriculture and Conservation and Open Space Elements of the San Luis Obispo County General Plan to require ministerial planting permits for crop production irrigated from groundwater wells within the Paso Basin Land Use Management Area (“Planting Ordinance”). A Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (DPEIR) has been prepared that identifies significant impacts related to air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, geology and soils, greenhouse gas emissions, hydrology and water quality, land use and planning, tribal cultural resources, and utilities and service systems. Districts 1 and 5.

To watch or comment by Zoom: https://zoom.us/join Meeting ID: 875 8321 7962 Call-in Phone Number: (669) 900-9128

State Government: Newsom Unveils Long-Term Strategy to Bolster California Water Supply

California Farm Bureau's Farm Bureau at Work - 

Legislative & Government Affairs Report from Sacramento

August 12 Highlights (Full Report Here)

Agricultural Employment

  •  SB-1044 (Durazo), which would prevent an employer from taking adverse employment action against an employee who refuses to work during the existence of a natural or man-made emergency if the employee believes the work might be unsafe. As a result, millions of California employees could refuse to work during a wildfire emergency (for example) even if the employer is in full compliance with all applicable health and safety standards and the wildfire in question is miles away from the worksite. SB 1044 cleared the Assembly Appropriations Committee with as-yet unspecified amendments. Farm Bureau opposes.
  • SB-1162 (Limón) requires employers of 100 or more employees to submit pay data reports with information about employees’ pay according to race, ethnicity and sex to the Department of Civil Rights (formerly the Department of Fair Employment and Housing), removes the current law exemption allowing employers submitting EEO-1 reports to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to forgo the DCR report and imposes the reporting requirement on employers who contract with entities who employ 100 or more employees. This payroll information will be published on DCR’s website and made available to the public and will require employers to furnish a pay scale for available jobs in a position announcement and make this information available to existing employees. The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement would be empowered to investigate possible violations and penalize employers for violations. Farm Bureau opposes due to the likelihood the requirements of AB 1162 will expose employers to new litigation concerning their pay and employment practices, as the information SB 1162 requires DCR to publish will not reflect differences in regional costs or other factors that can influence employee compensation. SB 1162 cleared the Assembly Appropriations Committee with as-yet unspecified amendments believed to address employers’ concerns about public disclosure of payroll data. Farm Bureau opposes. 


  •  AB-2201 (Steve Bennett, D-Ventura) passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee this week with amendments that still do not address concerns. The measure is now on the Senate Floor for a vote by the full Senate. As previously reported, AB 2201 would prohibit a groundwater well permitting agency from approving a permit for a new groundwater well, or for an alteration to an existing well in a basin subject to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) unless they receive written verification from the Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) that manages the basin. Additionally, AB 2201 would require the local permitting agency to post the well permit application on its website for at least 30 days before approving the permit. The measure exempts domestic wells pumping less than 2 acre-feet per year and public water supply wells. Farm Bureau and a large diverse coalition remain opposed. 
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Other Views: Let's promote California's stringent pesticide protection program when notifying communities of on-farm applications

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation recently celebrated "30 Years of Protecting People and the Environment."...

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Newsom Unveils Long-Term Strategy to Bolster California Water Supply

Warning that the supply will shrink by 10% due to climate change, Newsom sets targets for recycled water and increased storage. But deadlines are distant, details are scant and there is no conservation mandate. Read more Drought stories. California Gov.

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Decision day: Which bills did California lawmakers kill?

On most days, California lawmakers deliberate, debate and decide bills out in public for every Californian to see. Today is not one of those days. In simultaneous marathon hearings, the appropriations committees in the Assembly and Senate rattled through hundreds of bills in a ...

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Defend Family Farms Against Trial Lawyer Litigation Bills!

The California Legislature and activist California courts have imposed countless employer mandates that complicate job creation and productivity in California’s workplaces. To compound the problem, those laws frequently empower employment trial attorneys to use the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) and other tools to trap employers in litigation that oblige the employer to pay legalized extortion to escape.


Two bills moving through the California Legislature, SB 1044 (Durazo) and SB 1162 (Limón), will expose employers to even more significant litigation hazards. The Durazo bill allows employees to walk off the job if they “feel unsafe” because they can see or smell wildfire smoke from a fire hundreds of miles away. The Limón bill will require employers of 100 or more employees to create pay data reports with metrics like sex, race, and job classification available.


Click Here to Oppose SB 1044 and SB 1162 TODAY!

Federal Government: USDA to Invest $15M in Climate-Smart Agriculture, Urban Ag, More

California Farm Bureau's Federal Policy News- August 11

  • Senate Passes Reconciliation Bill; Expected to Pass in the House Friday
  • Comments Submitted to USFWS on Experimental Populations Proposed Rule
  • USDA Accepting ELAP Applications for 2022
  • CDFA Farm Bill Listening Sessions Continue
  • Comments submitted to USFS on Devil's Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory 2022 Gather
  • Registration Open for AFBF-Hosted FMMO Forum
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Farm Bill Perspectives, Part 1: Importance of the Safety Net

As lawmakers prepare to write the next farm bill, the American Farm Bureau Federation is sharing stories of its importance to agriculture. Micheal Clements shares more on how the safety net included in the farm bill keeps farmers farming.

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USDA to Invest $15M in Climate-Smart Agriculture, Urban Ag, More

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today it will invest $15 million this year for the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) Classic program. Through CIG, grantees work to address our nation's water ...

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Business Member Spotlight:

Sarah Cogan Compliance & Consulting

15+ years experience working in the alcoholic beverage compliance industry, obtained hundreds of non-retail & retail licenses for manufacturers of wine, malt beverages, distilled spirits, wholesalers/importers, and retailers primarily from California Alcoholic Beverage Control and U. S. Department. of Treasury Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Out-of-state wine shipping (Direct to Consumer & Wholesale) licensing and tax/shipment reporting services.


PHONE: 1-805-635-5965

USDA: USDA Invests $14.5 Million in Taxpayer Education, Program Outreach Efforts for Farmers and Ranchers

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USDA Invests $14.5 Million in Taxpayer Education, Program Outreach Efforts for Farmers and Ranchers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing in two outreach and education efforts for farmers and ranchers, including those who are new to farming or who have been historically underserved by USDA programs.

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USDA - Farm Service Agency August Newsletter

Si Necesita una Explicación en Español, Por Favor Llámenos a la Oficina Agricultural producers and handlers who are certified organic, along with producers and handlers who are transitioning to organic production, can now apply for the U.S.

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Ag Economics: Calif.'s First Dry Port Aims to Alleviate Supply Chain Issues

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Consumer Price Index Shows Inflation Remains High

July inflation numbers came out this week from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Micheal Clements shares what they mean for farmers and ranchers. Clements: Year-over-year consumer inflation in July was 8.5 percent, down from 9.1 percent in June. The month-over-month inflation was zero percent, though that was largely the result of a 4.6 percent drop in energy prices.

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Calif.'s First Dry Port Aims to Alleviate Supply Chain Issues

Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor As container volumes entering the U.S. continue to increase, the proposed Mojave Inland Port-the only inland port fully permitted in California-will help alleviate "port congestion pandemic," according to Pioneer Partners, a private holding company that is spearheading the project.

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Inflation stalled in July as gas prices dropped

After increasing by 1.3% in June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Wednesday that overall inflation did not rise in July as gas prices dropped during the month. While there was no rise in the Consumer Price Index in July, employees across the U.S. averaged a .5% increase in hourly wages.

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Thank You Farm Bureau Members

New Members

Michael Myers, Joel Twisselman, Justin Hansen, Tony Lewis, Dr. Colter Negranti, Central Coast Farm Labor, Inc., and Cogan Consulting & Compliance

Renewing Members

Craig Rossier, JoAnn Ernst, Craig Gill, Olsen Garcia, Joe Dana, Robert Tullock, Donald Luenser, Lars Jorgensen, and Hotel Buena Vista

SLO County Farm Bureau Business Support Member List

Featured Member Benefit:

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Whether you are looking for an upscale hotel, an all-inclusive resort or something more cost-effective, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has the right hotel for you!

As a Farm Bureau member in California, you will save up to 20% off the Best Available Rate* at over 8,000 participating hotels worldwide. Discover the benefits of booking your vacation with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts as a Farm Bureau member. Their vast portfolio of hotels and resorts offer a variety of accommodations to meet your travel needs. Wherever people go, Wyndham will be there to welcome them. To obtain the discount code, please call the member help desk at 1-800-698-3276 or select this link to book today.

Environmental: California's Newsom Wants to Accelerate Key Climate Goals

California's Newsom Wants to Accelerate Key Climate Goals

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to speed up the state's transition to non-carbon electricity sources and accelerate its timeline for lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Those are among the proposals the Democratic governor has delivered to lawmakers as they work to hash out how to spend $19.3 billion set aside for climate in the state budget.

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Newsom to Legislature: Act fast to enact new climate change targets

Lea este artículo en español. Ramping up goals for tackling climate change, Gov. Gavin Newsom has asked the Legislature to accelerate greenhouse gas cuts, set new interim targets for reaching 100% clean electricity and codify safety zones around new oil and gas wells.

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Produce: Agronometrics in Charts: Will the U.S. market retain the drop in Hass avocado pricing?

Confirmation of New Citrus Virus in California

By Citrus Insider The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed positive identifications of Citrus yellow vein clearing virus (CYVCV) in the city of Tulare detected during California Department of Food and Agriculture's (CDFA) routine multi-pest survey. This is the first detection of CYVCV in the United States.

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Agronometrics in Charts: Will the U.S. market retain the drop in Hass avocado pricing?

In this installment of the 'Agronometrics In Shorts' series, Sarah Ilyas studies the latest incidence of the drop in Hass avocado pricing in the US Market. Each week the series looks at a different horticultural commodity, focusing on a specific origin or topic visualizing the market factors that are driving change.

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Western Growers praises Inflation Reduction Act's $4B drought-relief funding

Western Growers, which represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in California, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico, reacted to the news of the inclusion of $4 billion in drought-relief funding for the Colorado River Basin in the Inflation Reduction Act. On Sunday, in an historic move, the U.S.

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Labor: Rodent Control Continuing Education Course- Online- September 1

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Commentary: When there is smoke, key actions protect employees

By Bryan Little As of this writing, one major wildfire-the McKinney Fire-was devouring vast acreage in Siskiyou County. Another, the Oak Fire, was nearing containment after exploding in Mariposa County as the second big fire near Yosemite in just two weeks. To a greater degree than ever, California's wildfire season overlaps with California agriculture's heaviest harvest periods.

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Rodent Control Continuing Education Course- Online- September 1

English Session: 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Topic: Rodent Control

Speaker: Melanie Pellegrino, PCA, Inspector, Stanislaus County Agricultural Commissioner's Office 

.5 hr Other & .5 hr Laws & Regs

COST: Members: Free; Non-Members: $400*

* Join Farm Bureau as an Agriculture member and enjoy this series at no cost!

Click here to join and save! Or call (800) 698-FARM for assistance.

Register Here
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Harvest Safety for Managers (online)

A successful harvest maintains compliance with Cal/OSHA regulations, mitigates safety risks, and keeps operations running smoothly. Participate in this specialized training for supervisors, HR personnel, vineyard managers, and FLCs to better manage the range of worker safety issues, reducing injuries and workers’ compensation costs, including:

  • Identifying potential safety concerns.
  • Common injury exposures and controls.
  • Equipment safety for operators and workers.
  • Managing nightwork, heat, and smoke hazards.
  • Understanding environmental & behavioral risk factors.


All participants must be registered and will receive a certificate of completion and resources from the seminar. Multiple individuals can participate via a single connection.

Currently Scheduled Trainings

Wildfire: Wildfire Legislation Stalls as McKinney Fire Burns

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Wildfire Legislation Stalls as McKinney Fire Burns

(TNS) - As the McKinney fire grew to become California's largest of the season, leaving four people dead so far in Siskiyou County, members of Congress resigned that they could do nothing but hope: Hope that legislative expenditures mitigate future blazes; hope that laws in place help recovery; hope that funds allocated to agencies in charge are put to use.

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Crews fight brush fire burning near vineyards in Templeton

A vegetation fire broke out in a rural part of Templeton Wednesday afternoon. The fire was reported in the area of Venice Rd. and Almond Dr. in Templeton at about 12:41 p.m. The fire quickly burned about 1/4 acre of grass and vineyards.

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A Los Padres National Forest fire-prevention proposal sparks a long-standing debate on wildfire management

The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 23, Issue 24 The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has already responded to more than 4,900 incidents...

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Livestock: Farm Bureau Calls for Transparency in Poultry Industry

Farm Bureau Calls for Transparency in Poultry Industry

The American Farm Bureau Federation today submitted comments on USDA's proposed poultry marketing disclosure requirements. AFBF President Zippy Duvall remarked on the rulemaking under the Packers and Stockyards Act. "AFBF appreciates USDA's efforts to increase transparency in the poultry industry. A strong relationship between integrators and farmers is crucial to ensuring America's families have access to safe, affordable food.

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USDA Publishes Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards Proposed Rule

Comment Period Open for 60 Days from Publication WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2022 - Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) previewed the Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards (OLPS) proposed rule in the Federal Register. With this publication, USDA proposes requirements for organic poultry and livestock living conditions, care, transport, and slaughter.

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Vineyard & Wine: Executive Director, Brent Burchett, to Participate in Grower Roundtable Discussion- August 17

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Grower Roundtable Discussions

August 17th, 2022 1:00 PM at Castoro Cellars

Have you heard? We're going to be live and in-person at Castoro Cellars for our Grower Roundtable Discussions!  

This event is free for members and $30 for guests.

You are invited to share solutions to common wine grape farming issues and challenges at the IGGPRA Grower Roundtable Discussions. Growers and Industry Professionals will break out into small groups to share success stories and brainstorm best practices. Each topic will be moderated by an industry expert. You will not want to miss this practical and helpful afternoon! Come ask questions of your neighbors and farmers who are facing similar challenges.

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'American Idol' producers spent years building a vineyard. Now, they want to sell

Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe were exhausted. The two "American Idol" producers had just wrapped up a stint in San Francisco, the last stop of a nationwide tour for the show's second season that saw them audition more than 40,000 hopeful singers.

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Travel Paso says as tourism rebounds, Paso Robles' next step is to become leading wine destination

The California Mid-State Fair of Paso Robles came back this year with a 40 percent increase in attendance compared to last year. Travel Paso, a non-profit who promotes tourism in the city, says as COVID-19 restrictions lift, the fair's success reflects a solid rebound in tourism dollars.

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Water:  NewTimes SLO - Paso basin continues decline as officials seek real-time well monitoring

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Crops fallowed, herds reduced as drought deepens


By Christine Souza

California farmers and ranchers affected by a third consecutive year of drought and related emergency curtailments of water deliveries have planted fewer acres, fallowed fields or reduced livestock herds to make it through the season.

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Paso basin continues decline as officials seek real-time well monitoring

The Paso Robles Groundwater Basin lost another 81,800 acre feet (AF) of water storage this spring compared to last spring-the fourth consecutive recorded decline in aquifer levels since 2020 and a continued sign of drought and overpumping, according to SLO County Groundwater Sustainability Director Blaine Reely.

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With California Expected to Lose 10% of its Water Within 20 years, Newsom Calls for Urgent Action

With California expected to lose 10% of its water within 20 years, Newsom calls for urgent action "With California enduring a historic drought amplified by global warming, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday released a new plan to adapt to the state's hotter, drier future by capturing and storing more water, recycling more wastewater and desalinating...

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Farm Bureau Membership Matters

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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 us to lookup your member number or we can process your membership for you, 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.

Join or Renew Your San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau Membership

Thank You Platinum Members

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