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San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News

August 14, 2023


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New Film Set at Cambria's Fiscalini Ranch Tells ‘Story of an Old Rancher Struggling to Keep His Land and Mind’  

Production is underway for a new film titled "Hidden Creek" set in part at San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau member Gloria Fiscalini’s family ranch near Cambria.

Written by Cambria’s Dr. Steve Brody and Co-Directed/Produced by Cambria-born Julian Mercado Avila, the movie tells the story of an old rancher who “fears he might be losing his mind and suspects his son and daughter of furthering his dementia so they can sell the ranch out from under him,” according to the film’s website.   

In a fundraising video for Hidden Creek, Fiscalini explained why it’s important to tell the story of challenges faced by ranching families.   

“All of this land, this viewshed that everybody enjoys all the time, is being supported by ranchers that are hanging on by their fingernails. To try and pass it from one generation to the next like this movie is dealing with is very, very difficult. You get into wars, families totally explode and destroys families.... Our job is to keep it together and then pass it on. And that's why I opened my house for people to come - house concerts, weddings, this film - the more we can get people out here to see the beauty and and enjoy it, the more we can pass on the message that this is valuable, and not to put as much pressure on the land so that we can keep it together, so that you can come out here and breathe.”   

While the film’s online crowdsourcing campaign has closed, Hidden Creek’s Producers/Co-Directors Darien Jewel and Julian Mercado say “perks” offered for financial support are still available. “We're accepting checks sent to 4241 West Kling Street Unit 21 Burbank, CA 91505, just label the recipient as Hidden Creek LLC.” To send support using wire transfer or ACH, email [email protected] for more information. 

"We're truly grateful for Gloria's generosity in providing her home for our project. ...We're at the midway point of production, and we're now focusing our fundraising goals on the post-production phase of the project. ...The project is shaping up beautifully, exceeding even our initial high expectations.”

The filmmakers plan for a west coast premiere at the Cambria Film Festival in February 2024.  

Image above from Hidden Creek LLC promotional video

This Week In SLO County Agriculture

In This Week's Issue:

  • Community: Register Today for the California Agriculture in the Classroom Conference Sept. 22-24
  • Local Government: Congressman Salud Carbajal San Luis Obispo Town Hall- August 17
  • State Government: Relief Act Seeks to Improve Disaster Help for Farming
  • Federal Government: Farm Bill Series, Part One: American Farmers and Ranchers Need a New Farm Bill This Year
  • Environmental: More Time Requested for Review of EPA's Vulnerable Species Pilot Program
  • Business Member Spotlight: Cogan Compliance and Consulting
  • Orchard: California Producers Keep Olives and Workers Safe in Record Heat
  • Produce: California Lettuce and Broccoli Growers Get Help To See Production Costs Add up
  • Featured Member Benefit: CalAgXchange
  • Labor: CAFB Labor Availability & Cost Survey - Farm Bureau needs to hear from you!
  • Wildfire: California Turns to AI to Help Spot Wildfires
  • Livestock: Ranchers Technical Assistance Program Webinar on Tues. Aug. 15th on Climate Issues
  • Vineyard and Wine: IGGPRA In-Person August Seminar: Harvest Preparation - August 16 1-3 PM
  • Water: Odds of a 'Strong' El Niño Grow Again: Will California Feel It?

August 7 Most-Read

1. 36 livestock donated to SLO Food Bank through Mid-State Fair live auction, partners

2. Who’s buying up land around major Air Force base in California? ‘We have no idea’

3. Attendance, revenues increase year over year at California Mid-State Fair

4. Luna UCR: ‘Already Adapted to a High-Density Planting Setting’

5. CAC Secures Overwhelming Industry Support Opposing AB 399!

6. Whose water? Commercial carrot growers sued Cuyama Valley residents over groundwater and the first hearing is coming up

7. Hambly Farms bids farewell to lavender U-pick season while unveiling new lavender oil

8. San Miguel CSD board member calls for new utility rate calculations

9. Paso Robles wine collective releases study, outlines plan for sustainable future amid climate change

10. Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order to Prepare for the Next Wet Season

Executive Director Report

Here are a few things we worked on this week:

  • Attended a SLO Food System Coalition summer social at the Baywood Farmers Market 
  • Participated in the August 7 meeting of the Agricultural Liaison Advisory Board meeting to discuss noise complaints from frost fans/wind machines 
  • President Sarah Kramer and Executive Director Brent Burchett did an interview about local agriculture issues on KPRL 99.3FM/1230AM “Protecting What Matters” with Susan M. Blais and Barry J. Fisher. (Listen here)
  • Monitored the August 8 SLO County Board of Supervisors meeting 
  • Gave our weekly agriculture update on The Tom & Becky Show on KJUG 98.1 (Thursdays around 9:10am) 
  • Monitored the August 10 SLO County Planning Commission meeting where changes to county ordinances affecting Dude/Guest Ranches, Urban Wineries and Distilleries were approved 
  • Contacted Senator Laird’s office regarding local implications of Governor Newsom’s August 4 Executive Order to streamline levee repairs and debris removal   

Calendar- Upcoming Events & Deadlines:

  • August 22- SLO County Farm Bureau Board Meeting (at office, 4875 Morabito Place SLO, CA 93401; all members welcome-please RSVP via email or phone call)
  • September 18 - Deadline to apply for the USDA Farm Service Agency’s Emergency Loan Program
  • October 13 - Deadline to apply for the USDA Farm Service Agency's Emergency Conservation Program for January, February and March 2023 storm damages in SLO County

Community: Register Today for the California Agriculture in the Classroom Conference Sept. 22-24

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Commentary: Supporting agriculture and our rural communities

Agriculture is the lifeblood of California’s rural communities, and a thriving rural California is essential for the success of 21st century agriculture. These days, strengthening the economic future of farming and supporting the well-being of communities increasingly rely on access to technology. 

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Announcements August 2023 | Center for Sustainability

Please see below for links to upcoming events and opportunities. 

Cal Poly

1. Cal Poly Meat Market and Poly Provisions: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays

San Luis Obispo & Central Coast

2. Distillery Trail Weekend, Paso Robles: 8/11-13

3. ACRES-USA 5th Annual Healthy Soil Summit, Seaside: 8/23-24

4. Cuesta Ranch Education classes: Leatherwork, History, Plant Propagation and more: starts 9/6

5. National Heirloom Exposition, Ventura: 9/12-14

6. Intro to Sheep and Goat Grazing Management, Cuesta College: 9/16

   with Cal Poly's Beth Reynolds and Rob Rutherford

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California Agriculture in the Classroom Conference- Sept. 22-24

Join us in Downtown Sacramento for an invaluable opportunity to collaborate with educators who share your passion for agriculture!

The CA AITC Conference is designed for K-12 educators, administrators and volunteers to come together to learn and share how to incorporate food and fiber into all curricular areas!

Registration Cost (on or before August 15, 2023): $310 *Price will increase to $350 after August 15, 2023.

Read More

Local Government: Congressman Salud Carbajal San Luis Obispo Town Hall- August 17

How much have SLO County supervisor candidates raised so far? Here's a breakdown

The primary election is more than six months away — but the five candidates battling for three seats on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors have collectively raised hundreds of ...

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San Simeon CSD appoints interim general manager, sets deadline for permanent replacement

At its Aug. 3 meeting, the San Simeon Community Services District (CSD) extended its acting General Manager Patrick Faverty into an interim role after his...

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Congressman Salud Carbajal San Luis Obispo Town Hall- August 17

Eventbrite - Office of Congressman Salud Carbajal presents Congressman Salud Carbajal San Luis Obispo Town Hall - Thursday, August 17, 2023 at San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau, San Luis Obispo, CA. Find event and ticket information.

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State Government: Relief Act Seeks to Improve Disaster Help for Farming

California Farm Bureau's Farm Bureau at Work - State Government Affairs Weekly Update- August 11, 2023

Agricultural Employment Policy

On August 4, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board issued a 15-day notice on proposed changes to the Indoor Heat Illness Prevention Standard published on March 31, 2023. The March 2023 version is the latest of several versions of indoor heat illness regulations proposed, subjected to public hearings, and further revision dating back to 2017.

  • The revisions noticed on August 4 offer some useful clarifications of the definitions of indoor work locations where the regulation will be applicable, excluding locations not normally occupied by employees while they are working, not contiguous to a location occupied by employees, or where employees are present for less than 15 minutes in any hour.
  • The proposal also exempts from the rules requirements for hazard assessment (including extensive record-making and -keeping requirements) vehicles with “effective and functioning air conditioning,” raising new concerns about the status of non-air conditioned vehicles that meet the definition of “indoor” spaces (“…a space that is under a ceiling or overhead covering that restricts airflow and is enclosed along its entire perimeter by walls, doors, windows, dividers, or other physical barriers that restrict airflow, whether open or closed.”)
  • Unfortunately, the Standards Board chose to clarify that employers of employees who work both indoors and outdoors must comply with the more complex and onerous requirements of the new indoor rule. Farm Bureau will comment on these proposed changes and continue to raise concerns about the impact of this rule on use of various vehicles like tractors and trucks on farms, the intersection between the existing, long-standing outdoor heat illness prevention rule, and on concerns about sheds and other buildings that see long-term occupancy but cannot be practically air conditioned.
  • Continue reading in this week's Farm Bureau at Work
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Relief Act Seeks to Improve Disaster Help for Farming

To provide aid for U.S. farmers and ranchers who lost crop revenue due to unprecedented climate events, including severe drought, massive wildfires and flooding, federal lawmakers from California introduced bipartisan legislation that would create permanent disaster relief.

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Executive Order Expedites Levee Repair and Prepares for the Next Wet Season

An executive order was recently signed by Governor Gavin Newsom to help California better prepare for the next wet season...

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EPA to investigate California State Water Board for alleged civil rights violations

California tribes and environmental groups argue state officials are violating civil rights by mismanaging water. The EPA is opening an investigation.

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Federal Government: Farm Bill Series, Part One: American Farmers and Ranchers Need a New Farm Bill This Year

USDA's climate grants for farms and forests run into Republican buzzsaw

The Biden administration is spending more than $3 billion to cultivate more American farmers and forest landowners as partners to mitigate climate change - even while some Republicans on Capitol Hill try to stop the program entirely.

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Farm Bill Series, Part One: American Farmers and Ranchers Need a New Farm Bill This Year

As lawmakers work to write the next farm bill, the American Farm Bureau Federation is sharing stories of its importance to agriculture. Chad Smith has more with an example from a Missouri farm. Smith: As ongoing drought grips much of the west and Midwest, farmers and ranchers are utilizing farm bill programs to ensure they're acting as stewards of the land.

Read More

Environmental: More Time Requested for Review of EPA's Vulnerable Species Pilot Program

Diablo Canyon decommissioning panel discusses draft EIR

While PG&E is still in the process of renewing its license for the power plant, they are working on a two-way path to also close the facility over time.

Read More

More Time Requested for Review of EPA's Vulnerable Species Pilot Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a draft white paper in support of its Vulnerable Species Pilot program...

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$1.9 Million in Grants to Support Transition to Safer, Sustainable Pest Management in California - California Ag Network

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has opened $1.9 million in available funding to support integrated pest management (IPM) projects that expand available tools, resources and practices that increase the adoption of IPM and support a statewide transition to sustainable pest management. Sustainable pest management builds on the existing practices of IPM to incorporate ...

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Business Member Spotlight:

Cogan Compliance and Consulting

10+ 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.

Our services include:

  • License applications for new businesses.
  • Federal and State reporting, tax preparation, audit services and readiness assessment, and compliance.
  • Federal label approvals and formula applications. ​
  • Export certificates or documents that are required in order for alcohol beverage products to be imported into a foreign markets
  • Consultation

Consult with prospective applicants to provide information and recommendations on various licenses and processes/procedures when considering applying for new/transfer applications with California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and/or Department of Treasury Alcohol Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau



Because of her personal commitment and wide knowledge base in many areas, I later reached out to Sarah to assist me in my own application process and consulted her for direction in opening my very own micro-distillery. She was very resourceful in introducing me to the distillation industry and Master Distillers. - Eric Olson, Central Coast Distillery


PHONE: 805-635-5965

Orchard: California Producers Keep Olives and Workers Safe in Record Heat

California avocados continue with customized promotions through Labor Day

Customized California avocado retail programs will continue through Labor Day, says Terry Splane, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission.

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California Producers Keep Olives and Workers Safe in Record Heat

With temperatures breaking records in some parts of the state, producers emphasize the need for irrigation and unconventional working hours.

Read More

Produce: California Lettuce and Broccoli Growers Get Help To See Production Costs Add up

California Lettuce and Broccoli Growers Get Help To See Production Costs Add up

New cost studies model a management scenario for a 1,500-acre coastal vegetable operation.

Read More

California strawberry production to pick up later this month

Strawberry supply out of California is seeing a slight gap in production right now. "It's fairly light in relation to years past. This has not been your typical strawberry growing season, to...

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Thank You Farm Bureau Members

NEW Platinum Member

La Lomita Ranch and Wines

NEW Business Support Member

Blaze n' Bear Insurance Services, Inc.

New Agricultural Member

Roberta Hillstein

Renewing Agricultural Members

JoAnn Ernst, Stephen Quaglino, Joan Garcia, Jan Lawrence, and Wolff Vineyards

Renewing Associate Member

Creston Enterprises LLC, Robert Tullock, and Suzette Lees

New Collegiate Members

Emily P Van Saun and Caleb Callison

SLO County Farm Bureau Business Support Member List

Featured Member Benefit:


California Farm Bureau is thrilled to announce the launch of CalAgXchange on September 1, an online marketplace and service resource.

CalAgXchange will allow members and users to buy or sell equipment, post jobs, promote events, market services and real estate, and more!

Are you interested in placing an online listing? Please contact [email protected] or call 916-561-5585.

See All Farm Bureau Member Benefits & Discounts Here!

Labor: CAFB Labor Availability & Cost Survey - Farm Bureau needs to hear from you!

Farmworker Resource Center Project launches in Santa Barbara County | News Channel 3-12

This project focuses on building trust and relationships with farmworkers, promoting and enhancing the agricultural industry in the county, according to organizers.

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Free Webinar - Effective Due Diligence for Addressing Child Labor Risks in the US, August 23

Join us as we examine child labor risks and how to mitigate them through effective due diligence and collective action.

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CAFB Labor Availability & Cost Survey - Farm Bureau needs to hear from you!

California Farm Bureau has released a new survey for California agricultural employers. The survey is intended to get employer feedback on their experience with hiring enough employees to operate their businesses. To the degree they were not able to do that, respondents will be asked what they did to address that problem; increase wages and benefits, automate some tasks or turn to labor-saving technologies, switch to less labor-intensive commodities, turn to the H-2A program, or simply do without.

 Survey responses are completely anonymous, but your experience is key to Farm Bureau's efforts to advocate for solutions for California farmers and ranchers. You can find more information about the survey here. Please take the survey today! 

Start the Survey Now!

Wildfire: California Turns to AI to Help Spot Wildfires

Paso Robles Riverbed fires decrease by 46% year-over-year

Thanks to the combined efforts of the Paso Robles Fire Department, Paso Robles Police Department, and Paso Robles Parks Department, fires in the riverbed have decreased by 46% year-over-year, ...

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Farm Bureau Testimony Urges Congressional Action on Wildfires

SACRAMENTO -- A sixth-generation Napa Valley winegrape grower who serves as a board member for the California Farm Bureau testified before the House Committee on...

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Federal and state agencies agree to historic partnership on forest and fuels management

The U. S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has agreed to pool wildfire prevention efforts and funding with California-based organizations through a nationwide initiative using funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Read More

California Turns to AI to Help Spot Wildfires

California firefighters are using artificial intelligence to help spot wildfires, feeding video from more than 1,000 cameras strategically placed across the state into a machine that alerts first responders when to mobilize.

Read More

Livestock: Ranchers Technical Assistance Program Webinar on Tues. Aug. 15th on Climate Issues

Climate Issues Update for Ranchers Webinar

Tune in to the Climate Issues Update for Ranchers Webinar on Tuesday, Aug. 15 at 5:00pm. The Rancher Technical Assistance Program's (RTAP) Jack Rice and Noah Lopez will cover carbon market updates, local climate action plan updates and CCA's Vice President of Government Affairs Kirk Wilbur will provide a legislative climate update.

Read More

Ancient DNA Reveals an Early African Origin of Cattle in the Americas

Cattle may seem like uniquely American animals, steeped in the lore of cowboys, cattle drives and sprawling ranches. But cattle didn’t exist on the American continents prior to the arrival of the Spanish, who brought livestock with them from Europe by way of the Canary Islands. In a new study, researchers ...

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Local sisters place first and second with heifers at Mid-State Fair

This July, sisters Laney and Josie Arnold showed their heifers at the Replacement ...

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Vineyard and Wine: IGGPRA In-Person August Seminar: Harvest Preparation - August 16 1-3 PM

In-Person August Seminar: Harvest Preparation - August 16 1-3 PM

Join us IN PERSON at Castoro Cellars for a presentation on grape and wine testing services followed by a panel discussion with grower reps, winemakers, and a grape brokerage.

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America's Best Wine Festival, The Garagiste Festival, Returns to America's Best Wine Region, Paso Robles, Nov. 10 & 11

The festival showcases over 60 of the region's best, most innovative micro-production winemakers, including many who are pouring at the festival for the first time*. Tickets are on sale now.

Read More

Water: Odds of a 'Strong' El Niño Grow Again: Will California Feel It?

After decades, a tribe's vision for a new marine sanctuary could be coming true

The Biden administration is moving ahead with what could be the largest national marine sanctuary in the continental U.S. A Native American tribe is hoping to be partners in managing it.

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Don't call it 'toilet to tap' - California plans to turn sewage into drinking water

Under California's draft rules, waste would undergo extensive treatment and testing, providing a new, costly but renewable water supply.

Read More

Odds of a 'Strong' El Niño Grow Again: Will California Feel It?

On Thursday, national forecasters gave El Niño a larger than 95% chance of lasting through early next year.

Read More

SLO landowners ordered to clean up polluted groundwater near airport

The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board issued a cleanup and abatement order for contamination near San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport.

Read More

Grand Jury Criticizes Santa Maria Valley Water District in 2 Reports | Local News | Noozhawk

Special district managing Twitchell Dam and Reservoir 'needs improvement' in management, training and transparency

Read More

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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SLO County Agriculture News is distributed by SLO County Farm Bureau for information purposes only. Stories written by SLO County Farm Bureau may be reprinted with attribution. Some outside story links may require site registration. Opinions expressed in stories, commentaries or editorials included in this newsletter do not necessarily represent the views of SLO County Farm Bureau. For information on advertising opportunities, please email [email protected] or call our office at 805-543-3654.

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