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San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News

August 5, 2022


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Photography by @brittanyapp, the official photographer of the @californiamidstatefair

2022 California Mid-State Fair Roars Back to Life!

"PASO ROBLES (CA) – The 76th annual California Mid-State Fair returned for 12 full days of fun July 20-31 with a theme of “Full Steam Ahead!” In addition to the usual attractions of 4-H and FFA Exhibitors, Carnival rides, Exhibits, Food, Shopping and Live Music… the Fair was also highlighted by a new dance area called La Cantina and saw the actual on-site build of a tiny home that was donated to Operation WEBS.

CEO Colleen Bojorquez said, “We are absolutely thrilled with the results of the Fair. The Staff and Board worked extremely hard to bring back a 100% normal Fair and we feel we accomplished that. The response from the community with the large turnout was overwhelming and proved people were ready to come experience one of the great traditions of San Luis Obispo County. For us, seeing so many smiling faces was a dream come true.”


Revenue from the 2022 livestock auctions raised $2,469,341 on 731 animals (unofficial). Of that, $667,250 came from the Replacement Heifer Sale and $1,802,091 came from the Junior Livestock Auction. Add-ons close August 7, so auction totals will increase after August 8. The total revenue raised is slightly greater than last year… a big testament to our community.


This year’s auction brought in a stunning $191,000 – on 59 projects – the most ever raised in a single-year. Thanks to the generous support from the community, over $940,000 has been brought in since the auction began over 22 years ago.


Total overall attendance topped 310,000 (unofficial) which was a 42.5% increase over last year’s modified Fair. While official ticket counts will take several weeks to calculate, the Fair wishes to sincerely thank all those who participated in, and/or attended the 2022 Fair!


There were 6,206 entries between both adult and youth which was up significantly from last year’s 4,250. Also, the number of exhibitors between adult and youth doubled this year (1,091) from last year (560).


The Country Rodeo Finals All-Around Cowboy was Colter Negranti. Other winners: Team Penning- Cody Mora, Chad Rava, and Tom Martinus; Barrels: Megan McNulty; Ranch Rope and Brand: Will Centoni, Brinan Varian, Ryan Pascoe, and Keith Pascoe; Mixed Ribbon Roping: Cody Mora and Lilly Thompson; Match Roping: Kelly Barker and Clayton Grant; Double Mugging: Danny Leslie and Franky Martinez; and Ladies Breakaway Roping: Grace Lopez."

This Week In SLO County Agriculture

In This Week's Issue:

  • Community: Spectators Pack Junior Livestock Auction at California Mid-State Fair
  • County Government: Board of Supervisors Meeting on August 9th
  • State Government: Agriculture at Disadvantage When it Comes to Political Influence
  • Federal Government: Agriculture Coalition Letter to Senate on Farm Labor 
  • Business Member Spotlight: Quinn Company
  • USDA: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Plans for Reforestation, Climate Adaptation, including New Resources from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
  • Ag Economics: Floral Industry Increasing Prices Due to Rising Costs
  • Featured Member Benefit: Farm Employers Labor Service (FELS®)
  • Environmental: Los Padres National Forest is Seeking Public Input on an Upcoming Project
  • Produce: Inflation Hits Organic Produce; Volume Down but Sales Up
  • Labor: Farmworkers Will March 335 Miles Through California's Central Valley. Here's Why.
  • Wildfire: Giant Sequoias Survived a California Wildfire. Next Time, They May Not be so Lucky
  • Livestock: Drought and Inputs Putting Strain on Cattle Producers
  • Vineyard & Wine: 2 Paso Robles Wineries are Among the Best New Wineries in the Nation, USA Today Says
  • Water: Fact Checking - July 20 California Globe article "Cal EPA Asserts Shockingly Broad Domain Over Private Property"

July 29 Most-Read

1.  2022 SLO County Wine Industry Award Winners

2. 2022 San Luis Obispo County Agriculturalist, Cattlewoman, and Cattleman of the Year Named

3. California drought is causing ranchers to sell off cattle which will have a lasting impact

4. SLO County Executive Director, Brent Burchett, Featured in Central Coast Journal

5.Mid-State Fair's agreement to purchase Pioneer Park from Paso Robles is uncertain

6. The Extinction of the American Farmer

7.  After $100 million Huntington Beach denial, what's the future of desalination in California?

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

9.  California drought official quits, blasting Newsom for ‘gut wrenching’ inaction

10. New carbon capture algae farm planned for North County

Executive Director Report

Here are a few things we worked on this week:

  • Hosted the Young Farmers and Ranchers State Committee and County Representatives for the YF&R Summer Leaders Meeting;
  • Sponsored the Junior Livestock Sale at the California Mid-State Fair;
  • Led a tour of SLO County agriculture for the Kentucky Farm Bureau board of directors; 
  • Monitored in a SLO Health Counts Leadership Council Meeting;
  • Wrote an article on agriculture for a local news column;
  • Monitored a meeting on Ag Order 4.0 compliance and reporting to the the Regional Water Board; and
  • Submitted an awards application packet for SLO County Farm Bureau to California Farm Bureau.

Upcoming Events:

  • August 9- Fleet Management Program Training - Register here.
  • 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.

Community: Spectators Pack Junior Livestock Auction at California Mid-State Fair

UC ANR Victory Garden Workshops with UC Master Gardeners

Spectators Pack Junior Livestock Auction at California Mid-State Fair

The California Mid-State Fair 's Junior Livestock Auction was held in the Paso Robles Pavilion on Saturday morning, packing the building with spectators and buyers and the constant "auction chant" of the auctioneer. The Junior Auction FFA and 4-H exhibitors from around San Luis Obispo county put their showmanship skills to the test while they paraded their animals in front of the quiet stare of the buyers.

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Distillers of SLO County Ready for Distillery Trail Weekend August 12-14

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY - There will be plenty to toast to throughout the annual Distillery Trail Weekend hosted by the Distillers of SLO County from Aug. 12-14. Over the course of the three-day event, each of the 14 distilleries along the Trail will be showcasing their craft spirits with top-shelf experiences, including distillery tours, mixology demonstrations, live music, and pairings with local food.

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2022 California Agriculture in the Classroom Conference - California Ag Network

For the first time in three years, educators will gather in person for the annual Agriculture in the Classroom Conference. Join us in Ventura, at the Ventura Beach Marriott on September 22-24, 2022, to make agriculture come alive in classrooms throughout California. The goal: learn exciting ways to teach K-12 students where their food and ...

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County Government: Board of Supervisors Meet August 9th

Paso City to Hold Cannabis Regulations Meeting

PASO ROBLES - The City of Paso Robles is holding a community meeting to discuss options for cannabis regulations in the City of Paso Robles. Residents of Paso Robles are welcome to participate in the forum in person or online at pricity.com/youtube and call (805) 865-7276 to give public comment during the meeting.

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City council member announces resignation

Councilmember Maria Garcia has resigned her seat on the Paso Robles City Council effective immediately. Originally elected at-large to the council in Nov. 2018, Garcia has served as the District 2 representative since the city transitioned to a by-district council election system in 2019.

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SLO County Clerk-Recorder's Office continues recount for District 4 Supervisor race

It's been 25 days since the primary election was certified in San Luis Obispo County but counting is still going on. After closing the last box on July 7 and certifying the election, it wasn't long before ballot counters in San Luis Obispo were reopening all of those same boxes.

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August 9 SLO County Board of Supervisors Meeting 

The agenda can be found here. Additional Item documents can be found here. The Board of Supervisors meetings will be available to view live online when the meeting starts at 9:00am. 

Items of interest to the agricultural community:

  • Item 5 - Request to receive and file a 60-day update on current drought conditions and related management actions for the Board’s review of the continuing need for the July 13, 2021, proclamation of local emergency pursuant to Government Code section 8630. All Districts. 

  • Item 10 - Resolution honoring Bob Lindquist as the 2022 San Luis Obispo County Winemaker of the Year. All Districts.

  • Item 12 - Submittal of resolution honoring Paul Tognazzini as the San Luis Obispo County Cattlemen's Association 2022 Cattleman of the Year. All Districts.

  • Item 14 - Submittal of a resolution honoring Sarah Kramer as the San Luis Obispo County Cattlewomen's Association 2022 Cattlewoman of the Year. All Districts.

  • Item 15 - Submittal of a resolution honoring Hilary Graves as the 2022 San Luis Obispo County Wine Grape Grower of the Year. All Districts.

  • Item 16 - Submittal of a resolution honoring Tom Bordonaro as the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau 2022 Agriculturalist of the Year. All Districts.

  • Item 20 - Submittal of resolution honoring Gretchen Roddick as the 2022 San Luis Obispo County Wine Industry Person of the Year. All Districts.

  • Item 33 - Submittal of a resolution proclaiming August 7th - 13th 2022 as "Farmers Market Week" in San Luis Obispo County. All Districts.

  • Item 35 - Hearing to consider an appeal (APPL2021-00020) by Patrick McGibney, of the Planning Department Hearing Officer’s approval of a Minor Use Permit (DRC2018-00010) for the phased development of up to three acres of outdoor cannabis cultivation canopy within hoop structures, ancillary processing activities, ancillary transport, and other related site improvements....The project would result in approximately 4.02 acres of site disturbance on a 40.89 acre-parcel located at 8770 Carrisa Highway, approximately 4 miles northwest of the village of California Valley. The project site is in the Agriculture land use category and within the Carrizo Planning Area. District 5.

  • Item 36 - Hearing to consider an appeal (APPL2021-00023) by Troy & Lorraine Javadi and an appeal (APPL2021-00024) by Michael Wasley and Murray Powell of the Planning Department Hearing Officer's approval on December 3, 2021, of a Minor Use Permit (DRC2018-00083) for Integrated Agriculture, Inc. to establish up to three acres of outdoor cannabis cultivation canopy within hoop structures .... The project would result in approximately 7.8 acres of site disturbance on a 107 acre-parcel located at 3520 Creston Road, approximately 1 mile east to the City of Paso Robles. The project site is in the Agriculture land use category and within the El Pomar-Estrella Sub-Area of the North County Planning Area. District 1.

State Government: Agriculture at Disadvantage When it Comes to Political Influence

California Farm Bureau's Farm Bureau at Work - 

Legislative & Government Affairs Report from Sacramento

August 5 Highlights (Full Report Here)

Agricultural Employment

  • AB-2183 (Stone), United Farm Workers-supported card check legislation masquerading as a bill allowing for mail-in voting for union elections went to the Senate Appropriations Committee suspense file on August 1. The bill is expected to emerge for Senate floor consideration when the Appropriations Committee meets again next week. In the meanwhile, UFW supporters are engaged in a 335-mile “march” from Delano to Sacramento demanding the Governor sign AB 2183 should it reach his desk, an echo of UFW’s march on Napa’s French Laundry restaurant that coincided with a veto of a nearly identical bill in 2021, AB-616 (Stone). Assembly member Stone has acknowledged that Governor Newsom would likely veto AB 2183 should it pass the Legislature, since it is nearly identical to AB 616, and negotiations between UFW and the Governor’s office seem to have reached an impasse. In the background, former Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez who now heads the union umbrella organization California Labor Federation announced last week that UFW has returned to the “house of labor” after leaving years ago for reasons that remain unclear.


  • AB-2146 (Rebeca Bauer-Kahan, D-San Ramon) would prohibit the use of neonicotinoids in nonagricultural settings with certain exemptions. Under the exemptions, applications would need to be predated by a declaration of an environmental emergency by the Department of Pesticide Regulation and a determination that softer alternatives chemistries are not available. Farm Bureau is opposed to this measure based on the precedent it would set in regulating agricultural and nonagricultural chemicals separately and not based on scientific findings. The bill has been sent to the Suspense File in the Appropriations Committee to be acted on next week.


  • AB-2201 (Steve Bennett, D-Ventura) 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. AB 2201 will be heard Monday, August 8th in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Farm Bureau is opposed and working with a large diverse coalition.

Agriculture at Disadvantage When it Comes to Political Influence

The farming industry is at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to political influence. During the Agri-Pulse Food & Ag Issues Summit, California State Senator Brian Dahle emphasized the point that political action requires funding support and coordination. Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia said that it was an important factor to consider.

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CDFA accepting applications for Conservation Agriculture Planning Grants Program

PUBLISHED ON SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting grant applications for the Conservation Agriculture Planning Grants Program (CAPGP) administered by its Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation (OEFI). The application period will close on October 23, 2022, at 5 p.m. PT.

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Standard of Identity for Olive Oil Would Be 'Significant Advancement'

A petition has been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish a Standard of Identity for olive oil. The joint petition was submitted by American Olive Oil Producers Association (AOOPA), North American Olive Oil Association, and Deoleo, the world's largest producer.

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Defend Family Farms Against Trial Lawyer Litigation Bills

California employer mandates complicate job creation and productivity in California’s workplaces. Those laws frequently empower employment trial attorneys to “enforce” those laws by suing employers like you. They use the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) and other tools to extort six- and seven-figure sums for “legal fees,” while supposedly wronged employees are lucky to recover three- for four-figure settlements for minor infractions like late rest or meal periods.

Two bills moving through the California Legislature right now, SB 1044 (Durazo) and SB 1162 (Limón) will expose employers to even greater litigation hazards. 

The Durazo bills allows employees to simply walk off the job of they “feel unsafe” even if you’re in full compliance with relevant Cal/OSHA workplace safety standards, enforceable through the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). 

The Limón bill will require employers of 100 or more to make pay data reports with metrics like sex, race and job classification, giving employment all the information they need to bring a lawsuit that will cost you thousands to defend even if you did nothing wrong. 

Both SB 1044 and SB 1162 have cleared the Senate and policy committees in the Assembly. Our only means of killing these bad bills lies with moderate Assembly members who understand your concerns about how the obstacles California employment policy throws in your path. 

Please contact your Assembly member today and urge your member to vote “no” on the Durazo and Limón bills! One click will send a letter to your representatives on both these bills.

Act Now

Federal Government: Agriculture Coalition Letter to Senate on Farm Labor 

California Farm Bureau's Federal Policy News

  • Democrats Unveil New Reconciliation Bill Targeting Climate & Healthcare
  • ERP's "Phase Two" Faces Delays
  • Coalition Urges Senate to Move Forward on Agricultural Workforce Reform
  • USDA Announces New Strategic Plan for Reforestation
  • Chairman Scott introduces bill focused on Small Cattle Producers
  • $1 Billion in Community Wildfire Defense Grants Announced
  • CDFA Virtual Farm Bill Listening Sessions to Kick off in August
  • New Rural Broadband Projects Announced for California

Agriculture Coalition Letter to Senate on Farm Labor - AgNet West

The Agriculture Workforce Coalition is calling on the Senate to pass an agriculture workforce reform bill this Congress. The coalition sent a letter to Senate leaders this week, which was signed by dozens of agricultural organizations including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the International Fresh Produce Association, the National Farmers Union, and several associations from states where ag labor is especially important, such as California, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, and Alabama.

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COVER Act Seeks to Further Incentivize Cover Crop Implementation

The Conservation Opportunity and Voluntary Environment Resilience (COVER) Program Act aims to help increase the use of cover crops. Introduced in the U.S. House by Representatives Cindy Axne and Sean Casten, the COVER Act will provide a $5 per acre insurance premium subsidy to farmers who plant cover crops.

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Business Member Spotlight:

Quinn Company

As the authorized Cat® dealer for Central and Southern California, we offer the most extensive selection of heavy equipment and power system solutions manufactured by the legendary Caterpillar® brand and allied brands including Genie, Terex, Multiquip, Atlas Copco and more. Whether you need articulated trucks, dozers, hydraulic excavators, wheel loaders or water wagons, you’ll find a model suited to your application and project requirements. Our inventory includes late-model units in like-new condition, offering the very latest technology and durability to perform in the most rugged rental environments. We also offer an extensive selection of Cat backup and primary generator sets and a full line of engine and power system solutions.

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PHONE: 1-562-999-4839

USDA: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Plans for Reforestation, Climate Adaptation, including New Resources from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Plans for Reforestation, Climate Adaptation, including New Resources from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2022 - Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a strategy for how the Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will address a reforestation backlog of four million acres on national forests and plant more than one billion trees over the next decade.

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USDA Announces August 2022 Lending Rates for Agricultural Producers

Contact: FPAC.BC.Press@usda.gov WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2022 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced loan interest rates for August 2022, which are effective Aug. 1, 2022. USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans provide important access to capital to help agricultural producers start or expand their farming operation, purchase equipment and storage structures or meet cash flow needs.

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Ag Economics: Floral Industry Increasing Prices Due to Rising Costs

Large-scale family farms show stronger operating profit margins than other farms between 2011 and 2020

Large-scale family farms were more likely to have stronger financial performance than other farms, according to USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) researchers using data from the 2011-20 Agricultural Resource Management surveys (ARMS). ERS researchers categorized farms as low risk if they had an operating profit margin (OPM)-the ratio of operating profit to gross farm income-greater than 25 percent.

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Ships avoided Oakland in response to trucker protests: report

First published on Port disruptions, especially major ones, can lead to shifts in shipping schedules. After waiting three days off the Oakland coast, the Maersk Altair headed instead to the Port of Long Beach, project44 said. The Port of Oakland is all too familiar with disruptions hurting its operations.

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Floral Industry Increasing Prices Due to Rising Costs

Business is booming at Open Air Flowers in downtown San Luis Obispo. The store fills the sidewalk with bright colors and beautiful bouquets, but even the most successful small businesses can't escape the reality of the 2022 economy. Like many other businesses, Open Air Flowers is increasing their prices to keep up with the rising costs.

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Discussion on Higher Input Costs - AgNet West

Taking a wider look at higher ag input costs. That's coming up on This Land of Ours. American Agri-Women hosted the Global Food and Energy Supply Conversation recently to respond to member interest in rising input and food costs. AAW President Heather Hampton+Knodle, moderated the event.

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Thank You Farm Bureau Members

New Members

Bluefisheries Inc., Michael Myers, Supervisor Bruce Gibson, Jim A Neumann, and Haley Daria

Renewing Members

Robert Lynds

New Collegiate Members

Ellie Miller and Dante Martin

SLO County Farm Bureau Business Support Member List

Featured Member Benefit:

Farm Employers Labor Service (FELS®)

Farm Employers Labor Service (FELS®)

Farm and ranch employers use Farm Employers Labor Service to reduce their costs and take the headaches out of complying with complicated employment laws and regulations. FELS® keeps you up-to-date on farmworker employment requirements with a Summary of Employment Requirements for California Ag Employers, HR Compliance Manual and Laminated Official Notices posters. All are designed to make sure you are in compliance every day, and all are available at a 20 percent discount to FELS® subscribers. FELS® also offers Farm Bureau members a $100 discount on enrollment. Call 1-800-753-9073.

Environmental: Los Padres National Forest is Seeking Public Input on an Upcoming Project

Dutch Farmer Protests Show How Messy the Climate Transition Will Be

Tackling climate change will require not just gradual reform, but rapid, wholesale transformation of the global food system.

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Inside the Fight Over California's Last Nuclear Power Plant

VICE News - A local battle over the future of atomic energy is becoming a bellwether for nations trying to slow climate change while still keeping the lights on...

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Los Padres National Forest is Seeking Public Input on an Upcoming Project

Los Padres National Forest (LPNF) is seeking community input for the Ecological Restoration Project, ...within Kern, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties.

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Produce: Inflation Hits Organic Produce; Volume Down but Sales Up

Inflation Hits Organic Produce; Volume Down but Sales Up

Higher retail prices of organic fresh produce during the second quarter of 2022 generated a 3.7 percent increase in total organic dollars but also contributed to a decline in organic volume of 2.8 percent, according to Q2 2022 Organic Produce Performance Report issued by the Organic Produce Network and Category Partners.

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Consumers fall for avocados year-round

While fall traditionally isn’t prime time for avocado consumption, a year-round increase in consumer demand and availability is positioning the superfood for future growth in all seasons. “Fall is typically the slowest avocado consumption period of the year,” said Brooke Becker, senior director of North American retail for Mission Produce, Oxnard, Calif.

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Labor: Farmworkers Will March 335 Miles Through California's Central Valley. Here's Why.

Farmworkers Will March 335 Miles Through California's Central Valley. Here's Why.

The United Farm Workersis launching a 24-day march this week to raise awareness about a bill they say will make it easier for California farmworkers to vote in union elections and ultimately join collective bargaining contracts.

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Landmark labor decision could have 'profound' impact on California agricultural industry

California labor officials have issued civil penalties to an employer that fired a group of farmworkers it misclassified as independent contractors; labor experts say the landmark decision could have a "profound" impact on the agriculture industry.

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Commentary: Farms rallied in crisis but still need workforce help

By Matthew Viohl Before the COVID-19 pandemic, California's agricultural employers were facing significant workforce challenges. In studies conducted with the California Farm Bureau in 2017 and 2019, more than half reported that they simply couldn't find enough people to fill farm, ranch and other agricultural jobs. Would the pandemic make things worse?

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August 26, 2022, 10 AM (webinar): Arbitration Agreements for California Ag Employers: Do I Need One? How Do I Get One?:

California policymakers keep trying to narrow employers’ use of arbitration agreements that require employees to arbitrate disputes over employment-related matters. Federal courts, including in the recent Viking River Cruises case, push back by asserting federal preemption. Employers and their counsel push arbitration rather than resort to California’s crowded and expensive litigation system where the deck is already stacked against employers by the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), liberal and sometimes hostile judges, and unsympathetic juries. How will an arbitration policy help you as an employer in California? How big a victory was Viking River Cruises, and how will the union- and employee-friendly California Legislature respond? Catherine Houlihan of FELS Group Legal Services plan partner firm Barsamian & Moody will fill you in.

When? August 26, 2022, 10:00 AM

Where? By Zoom. Register here: https://cfbf.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEuc-yspjMpH9J_iTxREDbg3ilcFkKDs3Bb.   

Wildfire Smoke Safety Reminder

From California Farm Labor Contractors Association - Wildfire smoke and cleanup presents hazards that employers and workers in affected regions must understand. Smoke from wildfires contains chemicals, gases and fine particles that can harm health. Hazards continue even after fires have been extinguished and cleanup work begins. Proper protective equipment and training is required for worker safety in wildfire regions.

Cal/OSHA has an emergency regulation (section 5141.1) to protect employees exposed to wildfire smoke. The regulation requires the following:

• Identification of harmful exposures

• Communication

• Training and instruction

• Control of harmful exposures

• Specific particulate sampling requirements if an employer opts to monitor employee exposure with a direct reading instrument

Cal/OSHA encourages employers and workers to review the Worker Safety and Health in Wildfire Regions webpage, which contains information and resources on protecting workers exposed to smoke from wildfires and worker safety during cleanup.

Wildfire: Giant Sequoias Survived a California Wildfire. Next Time, They May Not be so Lucky

Firefighters contain vegetation fire near Bishop Peak in SLO

A wildfire that broke out west of Bishop Peak on Wednesday was contained that same afternoon, according to Cal Fire. Firefighters from Cal Fire, with the help of San Luis Obispo City Fire, the Forest Service and Atascadero State Hospital worked to contain the blaze on the 700 block of O'Connor Way, Cal Fire tweeted Wednesday at 1:29 p.m.

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Giant Sequoias Survived a California Wildfire. Next Time, They May Not be so Lucky

Aug 3 (Reuters) - For millennia, giant sequoias - the largest trees on Earth - have resisted and relied on fire. But today's wildfires are far more frequent and intense due to climate-fueled droughts. In July, the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia trees in Yosemite narrowly avoided disaster in the Washburn Fire due to quick action and long-term planning.

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State can fight fire with prescribed fire by funding jobs in the field

It is now accepted that prescribed fire is needed to conserve and restore biodiversity, prevent catastrophic fires, stabilize carbon and promote public health and safety. To address the pace and scale of prescribed fire that is needed, we must invest in careers in prescribed fire.

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Livestock: Drought and Inputs Putting Strain on Cattle Producers

Drought and Inputs Putting Strain on Cattle Producers

Cattle producers' biggest obstacles are higher input costs and drought conditions. This Market Intel dives into the current state of the cattle business and the direct implications for the sector in 2023, based on current prices, recent USDA reports, and this week's Crop Progress Report.

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Free E. coli Workshop- August 23

Plant-based 'beef' reduces carbon dioxide but threatens agriculture jobs

Plant-based alternatives to beef have the potential to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but their growth in popularity could disrupt the agricultural workforce, threatening more than 1.5 million industry jobs, new economic models show. This research, published Aug.

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Vineyard & Wine: 2 Paso Robles Wineries are Among the Best New Wineries in the Nation, USA Today Says

2 Paso Robles Wineries are Among the Best New Wineries in the Nation, USA Today Says

Two Paso Robles wineries are among the best new wineries in the nation, according to USA Today. Nenow Family Wines and Serial Wines were selected as part of the publication's 10Best Readers' Choice Awards for 2022. "While the process of winemaking is thousands of years old, these new vineyards and wineries have only just recently opened up," USA Today said.

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Happy August!

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.

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$62,000 Awarded to Children of Farmworkers - Wine Industry Advisor

The Vineyard Team's Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship Helps Children of Farmworkers go to College August 1st - Atascadero, CA- Higher education is important to many students but paying for college can be challenging. This year, the Vineyard Team's Juan Nevarez Memorial Scholarship awarded $62,000 in higher education scholarships to 14 students whose parents work in local vineyards.

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Water: Fact Checking - July 20 California Globe article "Cal EPA Asserts Shockingly Broad Domain Over Private Property" 

Fact Checking - July 20 California Globe article "Cal EPA Asserts Shockingly Broad Domain Over Private Property"

SLO County Farm Bureau has received numerous questions regarding a recent article posted on the website California Globe, "Cal EPA Asserts Shockingly Broad Domain Over Private Property." While it is understandable to expect regulatory overreach from California state government, this article is misleading and not applicable to SLO County.

The State Water Resources Control Board has recently sent letters to 50 landowners pumping groundwater in the San Luis Rey area of San Diego County because of changes to their groundwater sustainability agency (GSA) that left these 50 groundwater pumpers in an area not managed by a GSA. The letters only went to these 50 and it states, “Landowners whose property is within an unmanaged area and contains an operating ground water extraction well must report the volume of groundwater extracted from the well. The groundwater extraction volume must be reported as a monthly total. In addition to pumping volumes, reports must include the location of the well and the place and purpose of use of the groundwater. Groundwater extraction reports are due to the state water board until February 1, 2023. However, if you are required to report, the report must include pumping volumes for each month between the date of receipt of this letter and September 30, 2022.”

The reference to unmanaged areas is a term in SGMA where there is no GSA or county as the local backstop covering a high and medium priority basin under SGMA. San Diego County opted out of covering this area of San Luis Rey after they became unmanaged. This was an early requirement under the law when GSAs were originally forming by June 2017. If GSAs or county involvement change over time, these areas need to be taken into account by a local responsible entity otherwise the State Water Resources Control Board can intervene and require this reporting information, and charge a fee to cover the board’s costs. 

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) already gives local GSAs this same ability to require reports and charge fees. If our local GSAs are deemed by the State to not be meeting the goals of SGMA, the State Water Resources Control Board could choose to take over management of the basin and possibly require well metering and reporting. More info here. and a link to the California Globe article here

Many Farmers, Ranchers Struggling to Hold on Through Drought

Nearly 70% of the U.S. is facing abnormally dry conditions, or worse, according to the latest reports. For some areas, folks are praying for summer rain, while others will do their best to hold on in hopes of more snowfall this winter.

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NRCS Incentive Funding for On-farm Groundwater Recharge Projects - California Ag Network

As drought conditions persist in California, farmers are making the most of every drop of water they use. However, there may be more they can do during the rainy season to put water back into the ground with assistance of the USDA-NRCS. Watch this brief interview with California Water Quality Specialist Wendy Rash to find ...

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Yolo County Farm Bureau wins lawsuit against Woodland Flood Risk Management Project

The Yolo County Farm Bureau won its lawsuit filed against Woodland last year arguing that the city's flood risk management project violated Measure S - a voter initiative that passed in 2004 in response to an attempt by the city to build a flood barrier that would increase flooding in northern Woodland.

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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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