San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News
August 13, 2021
Proposed 'Paso Basin Planting Ordinance' Work Moves Ahead, Comments On Scoping Of EIR Due September 13
SLO County Department of Planning & Building staff released a "Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report for the Paso Basin Land Use Planting Ordinance" on Thursday. The public has until September 13, 2021 to submit comments to the County. County staff will hold a virtual scoping meeting on September 1, 2021 at 6:00pm .

Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process, scoping is designed to examine a proposed project early in the Environmental Impact Review review process, and is intended to identify the range of issues pertinent to the proposed project and feasible alternatives or mitigation measures to avoid potentially significant environmental effects.

As currently drafted, the new proposed planting permit system is designed to be a permanent replacement to the existing Agricultural Offset Program in the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin. This week's County Board of Supervisors meeting (Agenda Item 46) included discussion on how landowners with current offset clearances would be transitioned into the new permitting system. You can watch the August 10 board meeting here and read the staff report here.

From the County:
In accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the County of San Luis Obispo (County), as CEQA Lead Agency, will prepare an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Paso Basin Land Use Planting Ordinance. The County is soliciting information from all responsible and trustee agencies, all other public agencies with jurisdiction by law with respect to the project, as well as public input regarding the topics and alternatives that should be included in the EIR. 

INITIAL STUDY: The County has prepared an Initial Study for the project, which identifies potentially significant environmental impacts to be assessed in the EIR. The Initial Study is available on the project website.

30-DAY SCOPING PERIOD: August 12 - September 13, 2021
Please send any comments relative to the scoping of the EIR analysis within 30 days of this NOP publication date (by September 13, 2021) to the project manager, Kylie Hensley at:
   County of San Luis Obispo, 976 Osos Street Room 200, San Luis Obispo, CA 93408 
   Contact: Kylie Hensley, Planner, Phone: (805) 781-4979 or Email:  

VIRTUAL SCOPING MEETING: September 1, 2021 at 6:00-7:30PM 
The proposed project may have statewide, regional, or areawide significance; therefore, a CEQA scoping meeting is required pursuant to Public Resources Code (PRC) Section 21083.9(a)(2) and State CEQA Guidelines Section 15082(c)(1). A virtual CEQA scoping meeting will be held by teleconference and by telephone on Wednesday, September 1, 2021 at 6:00-7:30PM. To join, 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors has directed staff to develop a land use ordinance and amend General Plan policies to require ministerial land use approval (“a planting permit”) until 2045 for new or expanded planting of irrigated crops irrigated with water from groundwater wells located within the Paso Basin Land Use Management Area (see map on project website), with a two-tier framework: 1) plantings using up to 25 acre-feet per year (AFY) of total groundwater per site, and 2) plantings maintaining neutral groundwater use on site with a 6-year rolling lookback period. Plantings using groundwater outside of these two tiers would not be allowed. General Plan elements to be revised include the Agricultural Element and Conservation and Open Space Element.  

PROJECT LOCATION: The Paso Basin Land Use Management Area includes 313,661 acres located within the County’s jurisdiction in the North County Planning Area and includes the communities of Shandon, San Miguel, Creston, and Whitley Gardens. A map with USGS information is available at the project website listed above. 
This Week In SLO County Agriculture
This Issue Includes: 
  • Community News: Mid-State Fair organizers grateful for ‘mostly normal’ event — but how did ticket sales fare?;
  • COVID-19 News: Food and Wine - Los Angeles Moves Forward On Vaccine Requirements For Indoor Dining;
  • County Government News: SLO Valley Basin Virtual Groundwater Sustainability Commission Public Meeting Is August 18;
  • California Politics: ABC - 'Full-Scale War': California Governor Recall Election Remains Neck-And-Neck;
  • State Government News: Urge Governor Newsom To Save California's Sheep Industry!;
  • Federal Government News: Politico - Dems Reveal $3.5T Budget That Sidesteps Debt Ceiling;
  • USDA News: USDA - The Business Of Farming;
  • Business Member Spotlight: Farm Supply Company;
  • Livestock News: Beef Magazine - 2020 Beef Advocate Of The Year Announced - Kiah Twisselman Burchett;
  • Labor News: AgAlert - Commentary: Attention Employers: Rules Change For Unpaid Leave;
  • Wildfire News: AgAlert - Efforts Mount To Save Livestock From Wildfires;
  • Water News: ABC - Could California Handle Another year Of Drought? State Officials Weigh In On Current Situation;
  • Produce News: AgNet West - LGMA To Implement Risk-Based Preharvest Testing Requirement;
  • Cannabis News: The Mercury News - As More Licenses To Grow Marijuana Are Added, Illegal Growing Has Also Risen In California;
  • Environmental News: AP News - $86M To California Couple Upheld In Monsanto Pesticide Case;
  •  Vineyard News: Paso Wine - Kid-Friendly Wineries In Paso Robles;
  • Ag Economics/Trade News: American Farm Bureau - Agricultural Real Estate Values Jump 7%, Largest Increase Since 2012; and
  • Wisdom From The Farm & Ranch.
Save the Date:
San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau's
99th Annual Meeting of Members
Saturday, September 18, 2021
More details to come!
Community News: Mid-State Fair Organizers Grateful For ‘Mostly Normal’ Event — But How Did Ticket Sales Fare?
Mid-State Fair organizers grateful for 'mostly normal'...

After a year without a California Mid-State Fair, organizers are feeling "so grateful" for a pandemic-era event that went off without much of a hitch - even though attendance and concert ticket sales declined significantly from two years prior.

Read more
Paso Robles police chief to become new city manager

Paso Robles has a new city manager - and he's a familiar face for many residents. The city announced on Friday that Police Chief Ty Lewis will take on the city's top administrative position. City Council members will formally appoint Lewis at...

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Slow Money San Luis Obispo Presents An End Of Summer Soiree.
Purchase your tickets here.
California Women for Agriculture Hosts Virtual Burgers & Brews on Sept. 5
Purchase your tickets here.
COVID-19 News: Food and Wine - Los Angeles Moves Forward On Vaccine Requirements For Indoor Dining
Los Angeles Moves Forward on Vaccine Requirements for...

Earlier this month, New York City became the first city in the United States to require proof of vaccination for indoor dining.

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Will S.F.'s vaccine mandate spread? Here's what other...

On Thursday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced the city will require full proof of vaccination against the coronavirus for indoor activities that involve eating, drinking or going to the gym - becoming the second major U.S. city after...

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County Government News: SLO Valley Basin Groundwater Sustainability Commission Meets August 18
The Next Virtual Groundwater Sustainability Commission Public Meeting is August 18
The public is invited to join the next virtual Groundwater Sustainability Commission (GSC) meeting on August 18, 2021, from 3:30 pm-5:30 pm via Zoom. The GSC voted to reschedule the August 11th GSC Meeting to August 18th at the June 21st GSC Meeting. The key topic for this meeting is the Public Draft of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan. A separate email will be sent later this week notifying you that the Agenda Packet is available and can be viewed on the Portal using the link below.

Learn more about this public meeting or register at:
GSC Regular Meeting
August 18, 2021, at 3:30 PM via Zoom
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Passcode: 648017
To join the meeting from your phone:
Dial +1 669 900 6833
Webinar ID: 987 6641 5135
Passcode: 648017
How to Save Money at the Advanced Emission AG Mileage...

Take advantage of the CARB AG Mileage Extension to ensure your fleet is CARB-compliant. As long as you're operating exclusively in the CARB NOx Exempt Areas of Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz Counties, you...

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California Politics: ABC - 'Full-Scale War' California Governor Recall Election Remains Neck-And-Neck
California Farm Bureau Launches Recall Election Voter Guide

All eligible voters will receive a ballot in the mail. County officials will begin mailing ballots by Aug. 16. Ballots returned by mail do not need postage and must be postmarked by Sept. 14 or returned to a voting location by 8 p.m. on Sept. 14.

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'Full-scale war': California governor recall election...

It's the battle most people didn't see coming. As ballots are being sent out to every registered voter across California, polls show Governor Gavin Newsom locked in a tight race for next month's recall election. "You will see a full-scale war...

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State Government News: Urge Governor Newsom To Save California's Sheep Industry!
Urge Governor Newsom to Save California’s Sheep Industry! 

Signed into law in 2017, California’s AB 1066 agricultural overtime regulations will begin affecting operations with 25 or fewer employees this upcoming January 1, 2022. Because nearly all sheep producers are small employers, they will be profoundly effected by this change.

Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding of the sheep industry, California’s Department of Industrial Relations has interpreted sheepherders’ workweek as being on-call, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hence, ranchers will be required to pay sheepherders overtime premiums based on a 168-hour work week. As one would expect, they do not work 168 hours a week; instead, they average 6-10 hours per day, depending on the time of year. Producers’ wage costs will rise by over 50 percent, which will exceed wage costs in neighboring states by 40 to 80 percent.

Continue reading and send a letter to Governor Newsom by clicking here.
California Farm Bureau's Friday Review - August 13 Edition
California begins offering free school meals to all 6.2...

"My hope for the future is that school meals for all are truly part of a movement and that it is starting here in California and that every kid at school can have healthy, sustainable, nutritious food and that it's students' favorite meal of the...

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Federal Government News: Politico - Dems Reveal $3.5T Budget That Sidesteps Debt Ceiling
Secretary Vilsack Talks Drought, Trade, and Labor at...

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited California this week, meeting with growers, industry groups, and state officials to learn about the challenges facing agriculture...

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Without 'right to repair,' businesses lose time and money

As software and other technologies get infused in more and more products, manufacturers are increasingly making those products difficult to repair, potentially costing business owners time and money...

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National coalition applauds Senate passage of...

With nearly two-thirds of the West experiencing extreme or exceptional drought conditions, and more than 90 active wildfires burning across the U.S., a national coalition representing thousands of Western farmers, ranchers, water ...

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Transfer Tax Provision of American Families Plan Causes...

Several concerns are being raised in relation to President Joe Biden's American Families Plan, particularly something being referred to as a "transfer tax." Former Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and President and Founder of The...

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Dems reveal $3.5T budget that sidesteps debt ceiling

Senate Budget Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) touted the budget measure as the key to passing "the most consequential piece of legislation for working people, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor" since New Deal programs were enacted...

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USDA to review 'Buy American' enforcement in school...

A "Buy American" executive order President Biden signed in January has prompted the Agriculture Department to take a closer look at how current rules on buying domestic for the Food and Nutrition Service's school lunch and...

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USDA News: USDA - The Business Of Farming
Business Member Spotlight:
Farm Supply Company
We are a farmer-owned cooperative proudly serving the Central Coast’s farm, home and ranch needs for over 65 years. Check out our department pages to learn more about our products and services. Stop by one of our locations in Buellton, Santa Maria, Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo, and Paso Robles to say hello. Whether you’ve got 100 rolling acres in Paso Robles or a small patio in Pismo Beach, Farm Supply has everything you need for the farmer in you!

Whether you have a small back yard in Morro Bay or 40 acres in Paso Robles, for over 65 years, Farm Supply has been the Central Coast's local retail store for all your home, farm, and ranch supply needs. From irrigation equipment to pet supplies to clothing and home decor, Farm Supply is staffed with knowledgable experts ready to help with any project—big or small. With locations in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, Santa Maria and Buellton, Farm Supply has something for the farmer in everyone.

Providing expert advice and services for tree, vine, grain, and specialty crops, at Farm Supply we pride ourselves on customer service. Traditional or organic farming, wherever you may be, you can find one of our five store locations to help supply your farm or ranch needs.
224 Tank Farm Road | San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 543 - 3751
Monday - Friday 7:30 A.M. - 6:00 P.M.
Saturday 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Thank You Farm Bureau Members
Renewing Business Support Members
Advanced Emission, Sunrise Olive Ranch LLC, PG&E

Renewing Members
C & J Darway Inc, Peachy Canyon Winery, JoAnn Ernst, Wyatt Mello, Joe Dana, Robert Tullock
Livestock News: Beef Magazine - 2020 Beef Advocate Of The Year Announced - Kiah Twisselman Burchett
2020 Beef Advocate of the Year announced

Kiah Twisselman Burchett has been selected as the 2020 Advocate of the Year for her work helping mainstream Americans appreciate the cattle industry and feel good about enjoying beef. This award, given by NCBA's Beef Checkoff-funded Masters of...

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New communications guide to aid wildlife-livestock...

The Conflict Reduction Consortium (CRC) published guidance for communicating effectively about large carnivore-livestock conflict issues. The document is designed to help non-profit organizations, government agencies and...

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Cattle Producer Education Experience draws big crowd

PUBLISHED ON NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Hundreds of cattlemen and women attended the 28th annual Cattlemen's College in Nashville, Tenn., Aug. 9-10, which was held before the Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show. Cattlemen's College, sponsored by ...

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Agricultural Overtime: 'Nail in the Coffin' for Sheep...

The agricultural overtime bill AB 1066 that was passed back in 2016 spells trouble for the sheep industry. The legislation is continuing to be phased in for large employers with 26 or more employees. For smaller employers, the phase-in of the new ...

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Labor News: AgAlert - Commentary: Attention Employers: Rules Change For Unpaid Leave
Wage & Hour Workshop For Ag Employers is September 23-24 

Wage and hour litigation continues to plague California employers - Ag employers are no exception. Seth Mehrten of FELS Group Legal Service Plan partner law firm Barsamian & Moody will conduct a two-part workshop on wage-and-hour law and regulations impacting California agricultural employers, including topics like minimum wages, overtime, meal and rest period requirements, and more. This webinar will cover the most frequently litigated wage and hour issues and discuss specific strategies that employers can implement to proactively manage their wage and hour compliance.

This two-part webinar will take place September 23 & 24 at 10 a.m.

Register and learn more here.
ALRGFLC Online - Spanish - August 17-19, 2021

The California Labor Commissioner approved AgSafe as a provider of an online webinar format of the required 9-hour farm labor contractor continuing education (CE) course. This online continuing education seminar will be divided into 3-hour modules...

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Commentary: Attention employers: Rules change for unpaid ...

California employers need to be aware of significant changes to the California Family Rights Act that became effective at the start of 2021. For the first time, employers with fewer than 50 employees are subject to the law and need to take steps...

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Advertise With San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau
Get Your Message in Front of Over 1600 San Luis Obispo Countians!

Our weekly E-News is sent out every Friday to our membership and local leaders. 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.
Wildfire News: AgAlert - Efforts Mount To Save Livestock From Wildfires
Dixie fire continues its rampage across California, just ...

The Dixie fire raging through northern California has destroyed another 550 homes, becoming one of the most destructive in state history. The fire, which is the largest wildfire burning in the US, has all but leveled the town of Greenville and is ...

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See a real-time map of catastrophic wildfire in...

A real-time map shows 199 wildfires in the U.S. through Wednesday - with one being the second largest in California history. The Dixie fire has blazed through more than 500,000 acres in northern California, Esri's mapping software...

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More than 550 homes destroyed by Dixie fire, now at over ...

The second-largest wildfire in California history now also ranks among the state's most destructive. Since igniting in Northern California nearly a month ago, the Dixie fire has leveled the Gold Rush town of Greenville and grown to more...

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Efforts mount to save livestock from wildfires

The Dixie Fire, now the second-largest wildfire in California's recorded history, has led to evacuations of livestock and an urgent need to care for those animals left behind. "There's about 5,000 head of cattle in Indian Valley that...

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Thousands of Californians under evacuation orders as...

Over 12,000 people in eight California counties are under wildfire evacuation evacuation orders - most impacted by America's biggest blaze, the Dixie Fire. The latest: The Dixie Fire, the second largest in California's history, was threatening...

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Water News: ABC - Could California Handle Another year Of Drought? State Officials Weigh In On Current Situation
Could California handle another year of drought? State...

Officials expect record low water levels across the state, especially for Oroville and San Luis Reservoir. But what do they expect for next year? In a multi-agency meeting on the state of California's drought conditions, state officials painted a ...

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Calif. water restrictions prompt accusations of racial...

Water restrictions in Northern California have prompted protests from a Hmong community, who say the ordinance has led to discrimination and a rise in racial tension in the area. The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last...

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Environment survey finds water supply, drought top...

In a recent survey, Californians identified water supply and drought as their top environmental concern, and the number of respondents who said they believe climate change is contributing to drought increased.

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Produce News: AgNet West - LGMA To Implement Risk-Based Preharvest Testing Requirement
LGMA to Implement Risk-Based Preharvest Testing Requirement

The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) Board recently adopted preharvest testing requirements for members. Testing protocols will be determined based on the risk of potential exposure to...

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Project to Advance the Potential of Robotic Harvesting...

UC Davis will be working with to evaluate the performance of different strawberry cultivars using robotic harvesting. The goal is to identify varieties that show potential for being planted in robotic harvesting...

Read more
Soil-Biodegradable Mulch In Strawberry Field Day, Aug 17 ...

The UC Cooperative Extension, Washington State University and Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary have been working together this past year field testing five different formulations of biodegradable bed mulch in strawberry. See five types of...

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Avocado farmers benefit from foreign marketing

Coastal California lemon and avocado growers know well the challenges of climate change and foreign competition. Nevertheless, agricultural output in Ventura County grosses about $2 billion annually. Avocados from Mexico and Argentine lemons are...

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California Central Valley Fruit Broker Member Pleads...

August 10, 2021 - FRESNO, Calif. - Ralph Hackett, 66, of Clovis, pleaded guilty on August 9, 2021, to aiding and abetting mail fraud and agreed to pay $650,000 in criminal restitution for helping another individual submit a fraudulent crop...

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LGMA to Implement Risk-Based Preharvest Testing Requirement

The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) Board recently adopted preharvest testing requirements for members. Testing protocols will be determined based on the risk of potential exposure to contamination...

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California olive oil warring parties reach compromise...

AB 535, a California bill that would have prohibited any reference to California on olive oil bottles that did not contain 100% California-sourced olive oil, has been amended such that supporters and opponents say they can both live with it.

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Cannabis News: The Mercury News - As More Licenses To Grow Marijuana Are Added, Illegal Growing Has Also Risen In California
Cannabis Growers Seek Solutions To Water Issues, Including Studying Usage, Monitoring Theft

Cannabis growers in the American West haven’t escaped the massive water shortages this year that have forced farmers growing crops such as almonds and blueberries to rip out plants or let them die in the field.
As more licenses to grow marijuana are added, illegal...

Recreational cannabis sales began in January 2018, and while many have played by the rules, the illegal growth and sale of the plant continues to undermine those following the rules. Licensed to grow, manufacture and sell State license issuance...

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Environmental News: AP News - $86M To California Couple Upheld In Monsanto Pesticide Case
$86M to California couple upheld in Monsanto pesticide case

A state appeals court upheld $86.2 million in damages to a Northern California couple who developed cancer after spraying Monsanto's Roundup, the world's most widely used herbicide, in their yards for 30 years.

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California just recorded its hottest July ever. Charts...

California just closed the books on its hottest July on record, a whopping 5.3 degrees above normal. It was the latest in a rash of record-setting months over the past year, as the state saw its hottest July, June, October, September and August...

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California Court Rules Against Bayer in Roundup...

By Matt Grossman Bayer AG has lost an appeal of a California jury verdict that tied the use of its Roundup weedkiller to cancer, a setback for the German chemicals company as it plans to bring its defense of the product to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Vineyard News: Paso Wine - Kid-Friendly Wineries In Paso Robles
Ozone containers pique interest of Napa Valley...

When the wildfires in October of 2017 hit, the grapes at St. Helena's Quintessa were left largely unaffected; already harvested and on their merry way to becoming wine. But when the smoke and fire came earlier than expected last year in 2020,...

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Kid-Friendly Wineries in Paso Robles

The Bianchi Tasting Room provides breathtaking views that complement the delicious wine perfectly. The team at Bianchi loves what they do and are happy to answer any questions you may have about their wines. Bring a picnic, feed the koi fish in...

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What Climate Change Might Do to Your Favorite Wine

THE FRENCH TERM terroir has been defined in various ways-and called undefinable, too-but it's generally understood to denote a combination of soil, topography and climate that gives a wine its particular character. With so many wine regions...

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Ag Economics/Trade News: American Farm Bureau - Agricultural Real Estate Values Jump 7%, Largest Increase Since 2012
Agricultural Real Estate Values Jump 7%, Largest...

The U.S. average farm real estate value, a measurement that includes the value of all land and buildings on farms, clocked in at a record $3,380/acre. This 7% increase over last year represents a percentage change not seen since 2014 when values...

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Wisdom From The Farm & Ranch
Harvest Celebration 

Completion of the harvest, is a time to celebrate, 
Leaves on trees are yellowing, around the whole estate, 
Barns and bins are full to bursting, for winter now is here, 
In olden days it was the same, to grow still takes a year. 

A lot more hand work then, more men worked upon the land, 
Ploughed with horses and acre a day, seed was sown by hand, 
Good rotation of all the crops, kept most weeds at bay, 
At harvest stood sheaves up in stooks, for two church bells they must stay. 

Into bays or ricks were built, threshed out as needed through the year, 
Wheat went to the mill to be ground, flour for bread we do revere, 
Oats to feed the cattle and horses, and some for porridge bound, 
To feed the men and families who, work on the land all year round. 

Mechanised now and fewer men, but crops still grow the same, 
Sunshine and warmth in the spring, showers to grow good crops the aim, 
In nature nothing really changes, seasons come and go, 
To keep us on the land we all love, its food for everyone we grow. 
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 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
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