San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News
August 27, 2021
The 2021 wine grape harvest continues across San Luis Obispo County. Pictured above, SLO County Farm Bureau President Hilary Graves checks on a block of Syrah at Booker Vineyard earlier today. Graves expects this particular block to be harvested around September 7.
Mexican Consul Reaches Out to San Miguel, Paso Robles Communities to Get Vaccine
Earlier this week, Mexican Consul in Oxnard Euclides Del Moral Arbona published a video encouraging Mexicans living in San Luis Obispo County to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
"For those of you who live in San Miguel, Paso Robles or in San Luis Obispo itself, it is very important to get vaccinated against COVID-19," the Consul said. "This terrible pandemic has left many of us without our relatives, loved ones, or we have suffered the disease itself."

The video outreach was a partnership of the Consul's office and our friends at Promotores Collaborative of San Luis Obispo County. You can find a Spanish language version of the video on Facebook here. SLO County Public Health and other community partners with the Farmworker Outreach Taskforce continue efforts to encourage the Latinx community to get vaccinated as the Delta Variant increases COVID cases and hospitalizations in SLO County.

Farm Bureau Executive Director Brent Burchett received an update on current COVID conditions on Wednesday as part of the County's COVID-19 Task Force meeting this week. To find testing locations or make a vaccine appointment click here.
This Week In SLO County Agriculture
This Issue Includes: 
  • Community News: The Tribune - Heidi Harmon Stepping Down As SLO Mayor To Take Climate Advocacy Job;
  • COVID-19 News: Paso Robles No-Cost COVID-19 Testing Site Moves To The Paso Robles Train Station;
  • State Government News: California Farm Bureau Reacts To State Senate Passage Of AB 616;
  • California Politics: Newsweek - Doug Ose Endorses Kevin Kiley In California Recall After Dropping Out Of Race;
  • Federal Government News: San Diego Tribune - Supreme Court Orders 'Remain In Mexico' Policy Reinstated;
  • USDA News: USDA Updates Assistance for CFAP2;
  • Business Member Spotlight: Pacific Premier Bank;
  • Livestock News: Agri-Pulse - USDA Posts New Enforcement Guidance To Clarify Regulation Of Livestock Markets;
  • Labor News: The Tribune - ‘Exposed To Toxic Smoke And Ash’: Proposed Law Would Increase Workplace Protections Amid Wildfires;
  • Wildfire News: CBS - Caldor Fire Prompts Hundreds Of Animal Recues In California;
  • Water News: New Times SLO - Edna Valley Farmers, Residents, And Water Companies Collaborate On Plan To Stabilize Groundwater Basin;
  • Produce News: The Packer - California Lemon Grower Raises Alarm Over Argentina Imports;
  • Environmental News: GreenBiz - What Does Never-Ending Drought Mean For California Agriculture?;
  • Vineyard News: New York Times - For States Dealing With The Spotted Lanternfly, The Policy Is No Mercy; and
  • Wisdom From The Farm & Ranch.
Community News: The Tribune - Heidi Harmon Stepping Down As SLO Mayor To Take Climate Advocacy Job
Heidi Harmon stepping down as SLO mayor to take climate...

In a surprise move, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon announced on Thursday that she's resigning next month with more than a year left in her term to take a new climate advocacy job at a Santa Cruz nonprofit. Harmon - who has served...

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Ag adviser using masks printed with insect pest to raise ...

An agricultural pest adviser is hoping some uniquely decorated COVID-19 masks will help raise the general public's awareness of an invasive pest that could wreak hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to one of the state's most...

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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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Help Wanted at Rutiz Farms in Arroyo Grande  

Rutiz Farms is looking for a new stand employee to join our team! Candidates must be available to work Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00-5:30 and Saturday 8-3:30. 
  • You must be able to lift up to 30 pounds and comfortable on your feet all day. Good mental math skills, retail experience, positive people skills, some Spanish fluency, and an interest in agriculture would be beneficial. 
  • You must be fully vaccinated for Covid, as you will be working with our vaccinated crew and our customers.  
If you are interested, please email Jerry Rutiz at including a cover letter and your resume. 
Are you looking for workers? We can help! Farm Bureau members are encouraged to send job postings to to be posted here in our newsletter. 
Are you interested in attending California Farm Bureau's 2021 Annual Meeting in Orange County? Let us know so we can help connect you with other SLO County members who will be there!
San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce just released the 2021 Visitor's Guide. Help support our local businesses by sharing the guide with friends and prospective visitors. You might find some great new restaurants and shops for yourself!
CALAMP Assistance Available to California Farmers and...

The California Agricultural Mediation Program (CALAMP) is a free service aimed at addressing a variety of issues for farmers and ranchers. CALAMP assistance covers a multitude of areas including issues of debt, farm loans, and crop insurance....

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Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival canceled amid new wave of ...

The Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival has been canceled this fall due to the latest wave of coronavirus case in San Luis Obispo County - but organizers say there might still be some of your favorite activities.

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COVID-19 News: Paso Robles No-Cost COVID-19 Testing Site Moves To The Paso Robles Train Station
State Government News: California Farm Bureau Reacts To State Senate Passage Of AB 616
California Farm Bureau Reacts To State Senate Passage of AB 616 
California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson expressed extreme disappointment at the actions of the California Senate today in passing Assembly Bill 616, which would allow a yearlong mail-in card check system for unionizing instead of a secret ballot election. 

“The Senate eliminated the farm employees’ right to choose, for themselves, whether they want to have a portion of their paycheck deducted and sent to a union,” Johansson said. “AB 616, by the Agriculture Labor Relations Board’s own analysis, will result in fewer elections because AB 616 does not require them to occur.” 
“The fact is that there will be farm employees who show up to work one day, only to find that they are part of a union, without ever having an opportunity to voice their own desire,” Johansson added. “They are already suffering from lost jobs due to drought, reduced paychecks due to the overtime law and now the Senate takes their right to vote away. This bill will likely pass the Assembly again soon. However, we sincerely hope the governor values the dignity of farm employees enough to protect them from intimidation, preserve their right to vote and protect the sanctity of the secret ballot by vetoing this bad bill.” 
Food and Ag Secretary Karen Ross talks water,...

Water is the No. 1 topic for California growers, but top officials recognize that technology could help put more food on tables. Both issues were hot topics during an AgTech Summit held in Reedley. Karen Ross, secretary of the California...

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California Farm Bureau's Friday Review - August 27 Edition
California Politics: Newsweek - Doug Ose Endorses Kevin Kiley In California Recall After Dropping Out Of Race
Here's what to know about voting in the California...

Californians will soon decide whether to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom and cut short his four-year term. The state is in the process of sending mail-in ballots to millions of registered California voters, and some have already begun casting ballots.

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Big donors helping Newsom fight California recall also...

The campaign to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom has turned into a money magnet - for Gov. Gavin Newsom. Newsom's anti-recall campaign raked in more money in its first five months - $54 million - than the $50.2 million his 2018 gubernatorial campaign...

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Doug Ose endorses Kevin Kiley in California recall after ...

Former California congressman Doug Ose on Tuesday announced he is endorsing state lawmaker Kevin Kiley in next month's California gubernatorial recall election. Kiley, a Republican member of the California State Assembly, launched his...

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Federal Government News: San Diego Tribune - Supreme Court Orders 'Remain In Mexico' Policy Reinstated
'This is a lose-lose': Drought, wildfires complicate...

As climate-driven drought and wildfires rage in California, the Biden administration is struggling to navigate the hard politics that come with deciding who gets access to the state's precious - and dwindling - water supplies. Responding to the...

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Supreme Court orders 'Remain in Mexico' policy reinstated

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the Biden administration likely violated federal law in trying to end a Trump-era program that forces people to wait in Mexico while seeking asylum in the U.S. With three liberal justices in dissent, the high...

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USDA News: Agri-Pulse - USDA Updates Pandemic Assistance for CFAP2
USDA revises U.S. standards for watermelon

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is revising the U.S. Standards for Watermelon to provide a common language for trade. AMS is establishing a total tolerance for Anthracnose...

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USDA Updates Pandemic Assistance for Specialty Crop ...

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is updating the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) for contract producers of eligible livestock and poultry and producers of specialty crops and other sales-based commodities. CFAP 2, which...

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Business Member Spotlight:
Pacific Premier Bank
At Pacific Premier, it’s not business as usual. We work hard every day to set ourselves apart, and our dedication to our clients is standard operating procedure. We also take pride in the communities where we work, do business, and live including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. We partner with community based organizations and other stakeholders to strengthen our communities and foster growth.

Founded in 1983, Pacific Premier Bank® is headquartered in Irvine, California, serving businesses and individuals throughout the United States. With over $20 billion in total assets1, we’re one of the strongest-performing, and fastest-growing banks in the nation. Our commitment to providing unparalleled client service, supporting the businesses and individuals in the communities we serve, and enhancing shareholder value drives everything we do.

We offer a full array of deposit and loan products and services for commercial businesses, nonprofit organizations, and consumers. We specialize in servicing small and middle-market businesses and professionals who need a broad range of loan, deposit, and treasury management products.
1144 Morro Street | San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 762-4734
Monday - Friday 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. 
Thank You Farm Bureau Members
New Member
Garrett Forbes

Renewing Members
Jon Pedotti, Rollie Cavaletto, James Spreafico, James Smith, Phelan Land Company II LLC, Alan Eto, Michael Cirone, Robert Rohrer, Sadie Kendall, City Boy Farms, Steven Twisselman, Green Valley Cattle Company, Pete Clark, Harry Blythe Jr, Kenneth McGourty, Holger Andersen, Joseph Cavaletto, Shields Abernathy, James Brabeck, Dean Porter, Velma Marsalek, Neiani Vierra, Tartaglia Ranch, Carroll Lauridsen, James Miller, Jeff Buckingham, John Cheda, John Maino, Robert Simonin, Louis Dyke, George Dana, Dana Goodwin, Michael Strouss, Steven Carter, Gary Duncan, Pankey North Ranch, John Hurl, Roy Garcia, John Hayashi, Arroyo Fresh Inc, Stephen Lucich, Kimberley Mulligan, Sinclaire Blythe, John Linn, Edward Crye, Randy Kendall.
Livestock News: Agri-Pulse - USDA Posts New Enforcement Guidance To Clarify Regulation Of Livestock Markets
Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast

Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast Everyday, The California Cattlemen's Association is sorting through the issues impacting California's ranching families and producers. To communicate those issues, discuss solutions and keep ranchers...

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Animal Rights Activists Stage 'Blood Spill' At UC...

BERKELEY (CBS SF/BCN) - Protesting the school's contract with Tyson Foods, student animal rights activists spilled "blood" on the steps of Sproul Hall at the University of California at Berkeley on Wednesday over criticism that the company is...

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USDA posts new enforcement guidance to clarify...

The Department of Agriculture posted new documentation Tuesday that will serve as guidance for how it regulates livestock markets while USDA develops more detailed rules. The new Frequently Asked Questions webpage made...

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Grazing Cattle Can Reduce Agriculture’s Carbon Footprint
Ruminant animals like cattle contribute to the maintenance of healthy soils and grasslands, and proper grazing management can reduce the industry’s carbon emissions and overall...
Labor News: The Tribune - ‘Exposed To Toxic Smoke And Ash’: Proposed Law Would Increase Workplace Protections Amid Wildfires
Workplace COVID Exposure Employee Notification Template Form
August 26, 2021 - California Farm Bureau - Farm Employers Labor Service
Both Cal/OSHA's COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard and the Labor Code require employers to notify employees about possible workplace exposures to COVID-19. You can use this template form to accomplish the required notification.
Commentary: Protecting farm employees from smoke: What to do

California's hot summer growing season and an ongoing drought feeding out-of-control wildfires pose challenges for farm employers. The 700,000-acre-and-counting Dixie Fire and the devastating Caldor Fire have conspired to funnel smoke in...

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Big Win for Labor Contractor Against the Labor Commissioner

August 20, 2021 The California Court of Appeal handed Farm Labor Contractors ("FLCs") a significant victory this month in Jaime Zepada Labor Contracting, Inc., v. Dept. of Labor Standards Enforcement ("DLSE"). The court ruled that DLSE...

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'Exposed to toxic smoke and ash': Proposed law would...

Multiple wildfires, toxic smoke and a global pandemic haven't prevented Marco Siorda, a 29-year-old farmworker, from working in the fields of Imperial County. Despite being part of a critical workforce that puts food on the table...

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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: CBS - Caldor Fire Prompts Hundreds Of Animal Recues In California
Caldor Fire prompts hundreds of animal rescues in California

A California group has rescued hundreds of animals from the Caldor Fire as it rages west of San Francisco. The fire, which began on August 14, has scorched over 117,700 acres and is only 9% contained, according to Cal Fire.

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Caldor fire burns more than 440 homes as Lake Tahoe air...

More than 440 homes have been destroyed by the raging Caldor fire, and smoke has created conditions so hazardous that the air quality around the blaze is the worst in the country. Burning through rugged terrain east of Sacramento, the Caldor fire ...

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Water News: New Times SLO - Edna Valley Farmers, Residents, And Water Companies Collaborate On Plan To Stabilize Groundwater Basin 
Edna Valley farmers, residents, and water companies...

Water wells in the Edna Valley used to be shallow: "You could put a well to 30 or 40 feet. Well that's just kind of unrealistic [now]," Edna Valley Growers Mutual Company President Bob Schiebelhut said. Some of those shallow wells didn't make it...

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SLO County Water Resources Advisory Committee Meets September 1

The next WRAC meeting will be at 1:30pm on Wednesday, 9/1/2021, held online via GoToMeeting.  The agenda and details are posted here.
WRAC will be having a drought-focused meeting. The Committee will receive a presentation from County staff regarding the Draft Regional Water Infrastructure Resiliency Plan. The Committee will also host an urban-focused drought panel, featuring Scotty Jalpert, who is leading the drought task force for the County of SLO, Ben Fine of Pismo Beach and Ray Dienzo of Cambria Community Services District. WRAC intends to have an agriculture-focused panel at an upcoming meeting.
Take a 3-D Tour of the Paso Basin

Shandon-San Juan Water District recently hired GSI Water Solutions to create a three dimensional computer model of the layers of sediments making up the water holding components of the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin. This model utilizes publicly available data and analysis from the Sky-TEM electromagnetic helicopter survey of the Basin. This 3-D tool is not only fascinating, but will be very useful in any future projects and to guide future management actions. Click the video below or here.
SLO County develops tools to sell, transfer, and...

Fifth District SLO County Supervisor Debbie Arnold's concerns about groundwater banking persist as the county takes steps to enable more flexibility for its unused State Water Project water. "I've been pretty clear all along, I don't want to ever ...

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Farm country expresses concerns as WOTUS rulemaking...

The EPA has officially kicked off the rule making process to create new regulations for Waters of the U.S. Nearly 170 people were online to listen or share their thoughts on how

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Audit blasts California for water and transportation...

In a new report to the governor and Legislature, the California State Auditor found a number of issues that pose a high risk to the state....

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Produce News: The Packer - California Lemon Grower Raises Alarm Over Argentina Imports
California pomegranates set up for a good fall

Suppliers expect a good season and rising demand for California pomegranates. California pomegranates are a true fall fruit, with nearly all shipments of whole fruit moved from September through December. The average shipping point price for California pomegranates was $30.01 per carton, up from $29.77 in 2019 and $23.08 from 2018. 2020 shipments of...
California lemon grower raises alarm over Argentina imports 

California lemon grower Jim Finch is alarmed about the surge in Argentina lemon imports this year. Argentina lemon shipments through Aug. 21 totaled 2.72 million 40-pound cartons, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, up 62% from 1.68 million cartons a year ago. The USDA approved imports from Argentina in 2017, and ...
Limoneira predicts earnings growth despite drought and...

Santa Paula-based agribusiness Limoneira released preliminary financial results on Aug. 24 for its most recent quarter, highlighting strong fresh lemon utilization which helped offset a smaller-than-expected avocado.

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FDA Adjusts Lettuce Sampling Protocols for the Salinas...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated its lettuce sampling protocols for the Salinas Valley. FDA has been in the process of collecting and testing lettuce grown in the area and will continue until the end of harvest in November.

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Environmental News: GreenBiz - What Does Never-Ending Drought Mean For California Agriculture?
What does never-ending drought mean for California...

California farmers are living in the drought future they thought would take 20 more years to arrive. Last week, for the first time, federal officials declared a water shortage for the Colorado River, which provides water to 40 million people in...

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New 'farm-to-fleet' electric vehicle model grows revenue ...

A Bay Area company's purchase of renewable-energy credits from solar power-equipped ag producers in the Central Valley may point to a new business opportunity for Kern County growers seeking alternative revenue streams. This spring, San...

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Vineyard News: New York Times - For States Dealing With The Spotted Lanternfly, The Policy Is No Mercy
The Italians Arrive in the Early 20th Century: Charcoal...

Three million Italians immigrated to the United States between 1900 and 1915. The majority were young men, both artisans, and peasants, with no future in their homeland; Italy became a country in 1861 with the goal of...

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For States Dealing With the Spotted Lanternfly, the...

The spotted lanternfly, an invasive species from Asia, is a voracious plant-eater and public nuisance that could cost state economies hundreds of millions of dollars. Adorned with pale, pinkish gray wings, black dots and a scarlet undercoat, the...

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Paso Wine Dogs

In honor of National Dog Day, we gathered photos of the cutest members of the winemaking family - winery dogs! Which is your favorite pup? View below and make sure you tag your four-legged winery pal on Instagram #PasoWineDogs.

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Wisdom From The Farm & Ranch
The Farmer
Amelia Barr

The king may rule o’er land and sea,
The lord may live right royally,
The soldier ride in pomp and pride,
The sailor roam o’er ocean wide;
But this or that, whate’er befall,
The farmer he must feed them all.
The writer thinks, the poet sings,
The craftsmen fashion wondrous things,
The doctor heals, the lawyer pleads,
The miner follows the precious leads;
But this or that, whate’er befall,
The farmer he must feed them all.
The merchant he may buy and sell,
The teacher do his duty well;
But men may toil through busy days,
Or men may stroll through pleasant ways;
From king to beggar, whate’er befall,
The farmer he must feed them all.
The farmer’s trade is one of worth;
He’s partner with the sky and earth,
He’s partner with the sun and rain,
And no man loses for his gain;
And men may rise, or men may fall,
But the farmer he must feed them all.
God bless the man who sows the wheat,
Who finds us milk and fruit and meat;
May his purse be heavy, his heart be light,
His cattle and corn and all go right;
God bless the seeds his hands let fall,
For the farmer he must feed us all.
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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