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San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News

July 10, 2023


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SLO County Farm Trail Swings Open Gates for Open Farm Day Fundraiser July 14-16

Courtesy of FARMstead ED + SLO County Farm Trail, Image by App Photography

Open Farm Days is a self-guided journey of over 30 farms, ranches and purveyors throughout San Luis Obispo County, many of which are not generally open to the public. Local farms will open their gates to host farm tours, workshops, demo’s, tastings and unique agricultural experiences. Guests will blaze their own trail to learn how to milk a goat, observe busy bees in their hives, stroll through fresh flower fields, sip hard ciders and local wines, graze on locally grown groceries, taste exquisite olive oils, hand-craft aromatic & creative take-a-ways to remember the day by, tour the very fields their lunches were harvested from, cuddled with lambs, became educated gardeners, and so much more.  

The popular event has expanded to three days this year, July 14-16, 2023 offering attendees a behind-the-scenes look at local agriCULTURE. Tourists and townies, community members, families, foodies and agricultural enthusiasts will travel the SLO County Farm Trail to tour, taste and learn. They will experience the excitement of truly connecting to our local agriculture. The energy for discovery is amazing, the smiles infectious, and of course, the animals adorable. 

This year a new event has been added to kick-off the 3-day weekend, a Friday Night Farmer’s Marketplace at Paso Robles Downtown City Park. SLO Co Farm Trail farmers, makers and friends will gather to show-off their locally grown and made to kick off the 3rd annual Open Farm Days. Plan your farm trail adventures for the weekend, meet local farmers & makers who grow our food and make our life essentials and creature comforts. Try your hand at the Farm Supply roping dummy, challenge a new friend at corn hole, play marketplace bingo for prizes, SHOP LOCAL! Open Farm Day tickets will be on sale and ticket holders can pre-check in for the weekend activities there as well.

Proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit the SLO County Farm Trail, and The Great AGventure.

Tickets and information for all of the SLO Co Farm Trail’s Open Farm Days events July 14-16, 2023 are available at farmsteaded.com. General admission price for the 2-day event is $55 and Children under 12 are free. Day of pricing is $60/pp

Open Farm Day’s participants included AmByth Estate, Adelaida Botanical, Clearwater Color Nursery, Couleur de la vie, Dallidet Adobe & Garden, Giving Tree Family Farm, GreenLove Elixir, The Groves on 41, Hambly Farms, Hartley Farms, Irish Oaks Ranch, Kelpful, Kindred Oak Farms, Lazy Arrow Adventures / Camatta Ranch, Life Elements, Mighty Cap Mushrooms, Niner Estate Winery Chef’s Garden, Olea Farm, Our Global Family Farm, Rêves de Moutons, Sierra Honey Farm, SLO Creek Farms, Taddo’s Tallow, Talley Farms Fresh Harvest, Tiber Canyon.

This Week In SLO County Agriculture

In This Week's Issue:

  • Community: California Farm Bureau's Political Campaign School - September 7
  • Local Government: SLO Tribune - SLO County groundwater supplies are in trouble after years of drought, reports show
  • State Government: Major Water Bills to be Heard July 10-11
  • Federal Government: Agri-Pulse farm bill preview: Key issues and proposals for each title
  • Business Member Spotlight: C&N Tractors
  • Environmental: California Gov. Gavin Newsom's climate agenda highlights tensions with environmental groups
  • Produce: USDA Report - California Crop Conditions Heading into July
  • Featured Member Benefit: Caterpillar: Tremendous Deals on Tough Tractors
  • Labor: Heat is a mortal threat to farmworkers. A nurse may have found a way to protect them. 
  • Wildfire: Research Determines What Is Causing Rise in California Wildfires - Videos from The Weather Channel
  • Livestock: Paso Robles Daily News - Young horses take spotlight at Twin Rivers Summer Horse Trials
  • Vineyard & Wine: Vineyard Team - July 14 Pre-Harvest Safety: Train the Trainer
  • Water: Santa Barbara Independent - A Water War Is Underway in Santa Barbara County's Carrot Country

July 3 Most-Read

1. Imports and labor shortage challenge avocado growers

2. Morro Bay 4-H Club shares progress made at their farm after the January storms

3. Coast residents left searching for home insurance after mass policy drops

4. Temporary bridge on Chimney Rock Rd. opens to traffic

5. Grand jury releaseCalifornia lawmakers, Gavin Newsom hammer out $311 billion budget — without major water project

6. SLO County welcomes new civil grand jury to court

7. Founding farmers: Washington, Jefferson and my favorite, John Hart

8. Rep. Panetta secures funds to foster growth of agricultural professions

9. AgWest Farm Credit- New Producer Grants

10. California man gets prison for nearly $9M phony cow manure-to-green energy investment scheme

Executive Director Report

Here are a few things we worked on this week:

  • Assisted a member with complying with the SLO County agriculture offset ordinance in the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin 
  • Gave a presentation on local agriculture issues to the South County Chamber of Commerce Leadership South County Class as part of their Agriculture Day hosted by Farm Bureau member Bejo Seeds  
  • Worked with California Farm Bureau on negative impacts to SLO County (prohibitions on using equipment to protect land from wildfires) from the proposed S. 1776 The PUBLIC Lands Act sponsored by Senator Padilla which includes the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act
  • Gave our weekly agriculture update on The Tom & Becky Show on KJUG 98.1 (Thursdays around 9:10am) 
  • Reviewed the SLO County Board of Supervisors July 11 agenda 

Calendar- Upcoming Events & Deadlines:

  • July 14-16 - SLO County Farm Trail's Open Farm Days (Get tickets here)
  • July 20 - Cattlemen and Farmers' Day at Mid-State Fair (Volunteers needed! email [email protected] or call our office if you can help)
  • July 29 - Mid-State Fair Junior Livestock Sale
  • 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: California Farm Bureau's Political Campaign School - September 7

California Farm Bureau's Political Campaign School - September 7

Paso Robles Daily News - Legal column: Controlling from the grave, good or bad?

The decision on how and when to leave an inheritance to one’s heirs and beneficiaries is an important and often stressful decision. An elder generation member will often feel like they don’t want to “control from the grave” by restricting an inheritance, while simultaneously feeling their beneficiaries may not be mature enough to handle the inheritance. ...

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Local Government: SLO Tribune - SLO County groundwater supplies are in trouble after years of drought, reports show

San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors Meeting on Tuesday July 11th

The meeting will occur on July 11th starting at 9:00am. The meeting agenda can be found here and additional item documents here. The meeting can be viewed at this link.

Items of interest to agriculture:

11 - Request to approve the re-appointment of Mary Bianchi to the Agricultural Liaison Advisory Board.

30 - Request to approve an amendment Employment Agreement with John Nilon to serve as County Administrative Officer (CAO) for a period of 12 months.

31 - Request to: 1) approve a new capital project (WBS #300698), Phase 2 – Arroyo Grande Creek Channel Emergency Levee Rehabilitation Project and find the project exempt from Section 21000 et seq. of the California Public Resources Code (CEQA); 2) direct staff to proceed with associated project development activities; and 3) authorize advertisement for construction bids.

32 - Submittal of a Memorandum of Understanding between the San Luis Obispo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Zone 3, and Creek Lands Conservation for a Joint Project to Modify or Replace the Arroyo Grande Stream Gage Station #2.

SLO County groundwater supplies are in trouble after years of drought, reports show

The recent winter rains helped, but new reports highlight how years of drought further depleted some of the important water sources.

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Paso Basin Cooperative Committee 

Multi-Benefit Irrigated Land Repurposing Program Technical Advisory Committee Meets July 11


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Paso Basin Cooperative Committee MILR Technical Advisory Committee will hold a Meeting at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, at the Vina Robles Winery, 1200 Priska Drive, Paso Robles, California 93446.

View the agenda here

State Government: Major Water Bills to be Heard July 10-11

California Farm Bureau's Farm Bureau at Work - State Government Affairs Weekly Update

July 7, 2023


Landscaping Bill Advances but Still Being Negotiated

On July 3, AB 1573 (Asm. Laura Friedman, D-Burbank) passed the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. AB 1573 would require DWR to convene group of stakeholders with expertise in native plants to develop a plan for meeting targets/requirements for native and drought-tolerant landscaping in non- residential properties by January 1, 2035. Farm Bureau has been in coordination with the opposition groups to this bill who are continuing to make good progress with the author’s office to loosen the bill’s requirements and make it more flexible for nurseries to operate.

Major Water Bills to be Heard on July 10 & 11

Several high priority water bills Farm Bureau has been engaged in this year are being heard the week of July 10. On Monday, the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee will consider:

  • AB 676 (Asm. Steve Bennett, D-Ventura), which would align definitions for human and domestic water uses in the Water Code with the definitions in the Health and Safety Code. Farm Bureau is neutral after working through amendments with the author’s office.
  • AB 830 (Asm. Esmeralda Soria, D-Merced), which would exempt infrastructure for diverting floodwater for recharge from obtaining a streambed alteration permit. Farm Bureau supports this bill.
  • AB 1205 (Asm. Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, D-Orinda), which would declare transfers of water by investment funds from agricultural lands to other uses to be “waste and unreasonable uses” of that water. Farm Bureau opposes this bill.
  • AB 1337 (Asm. Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland), which would give the State Water Board new curtailment and enforcement authorities. Farm Bureau opposes this bill.
  • The following water-related bills will be heard on July 11 in the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee:
  • SB 366 (Sen. Anna Caballero, D-Merced), which would add long-term supply targets and enhance the usefulness of the California Water Plan. Farm Bureau supports this bill.
  • SB 389 (Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica), which would give the State Water Board the authority to investigate and identify the basis of a water right claim. Farm Bureau opposes this bill but has been working cooperatively with the rest of the opposition coalition and the author’s office to amend the problematic parts of the bill.

Also on July 11, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear AB 560 and AB 779, both by Asm. Steve Bennett (D-Ventura), and both relating to groundwater adjudications in critically overdrafted basins. Farm Bureau opposes both bills. Finally, on July 12, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear AB 1563 (Asm. Steve Bennet, D-Ventura), which would extend the drought-related groundwater well permitting requirements to apply in all years in critically over drafted basins. Farm Bureau opposes this bill. Continue reading the full report here.

State budget allocates millions to projects on Central Coast

Advocacy by State Sen. Laird helps ensure funding for numerous projects - State Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) recently announced over $20 million has been [...]

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Truck makers pledge to comply with new California rules phasing out gas-powered vehicles

Some of the nation's largest truck makers have pledged to not sell new gas-powered vehicles in California by the middle of the next decade.

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CA Legislature Moving to Revive the Industrial Welfare Commission:

July 9, 2023 - From California Farm Bureau's Farm Employers Labor Service

The state's budgeting process is driven by "trailer bills," on of which is AB 102, which aims to recreate the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC). IWC has broad regulatory powers; before it was defunded in 2004, it promulgated 17 distinct "wage orders" (including Wage Order 14, covering ag employment) regulating various business activities and types of employment. AB 102 restores funding for the IWC, but restricts it from adopting "any standards that are less protective than existing law," foreclosing any hope of employers participating in the process to gain clarification on existing wage orders. While it appears this language in AB 102 may be an attempt to end-run a referendum that could overturn the FAST Act (AB 257, 2022) that the restaurant industry has qualified for the 2024 ballot (AB 257 imposes onerous new requirements and possible huge wage increases for restaurant employees), it's clear it's language is so broad it will impact non-restaurant employers, as it requires the new IWC to prioritize industries where more than 10 percent of the workforce are at or below the poverty level. U.S. Department of Labor data indicate that about a quarter of agricultural workers meet that threshold.

Federal Government: Agri-Pulse farm bill preview: Key issues and proposals for each title

Agri-Pulse farm bill preview: Key issues and proposals for each title

The House and Senate Agriculture Committees are still several months away from voting on a new farm bill, but the major issues in each of the 12 titles are coming into focus even as lawmakers continue offering new proposals they'd like to see included.

Read More

What's Next for Biden's WOTUS Rule?

Questions linger as federal officials try to rework the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has indicated that it will update the WOTUS rule by September. ...

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India Removes Tariffs on Select U.S. Ag Products

Salmonsen: This again only is about their retaliatory tariffs. India continues with fairly large average agricultural tariffs, they average over 30 percent, some much higher. Now, we do export about $2.4 billion a year of ag products to India, our 13th largest trading partner, and I think with some work, we ...

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Business Member Spotlight:

C&N Tractors

C&N Tractors today is one of the largest Kubota dealerships in the nation serving the central coast with two convenient locations. We are the Brouwer sod harvester dealer for the states of California and Arizona. We are one of the largest Gearmore dealers in the state, stocking an excellent selection of their top-flight implements and accessories. We carry STIHL® power products and a complete array of tools in our parts department. We have a fabrication shop for modifications necessary to row crop style tractors used in our central coast area. We have a top-notch service department for both tractor repairs and maintenance as well as small engine repairs. We are the innovators of the C&N Bug Vacuum. Need we say more?

2690 Ramada Drive

Paso Robles, CA 93446


PHONE: 805-237-3855


Environmental: California Gov. Gavin Newsom's climate agenda highlights tensions with environmental groups

CDFA Now Accepting Applications for Climate Smart Agriculture Technical Assistance Grants

SACRAMENTO -- The California Department of Food and Agriculture's Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation (OEFI) is now accepting applications for its Climate Smart Agriculture...

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom's climate agenda highlights tensions with environmental groups

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and environmental groups are clashing over some climate policies. Newsom considers himself a part of the environmental movement.

Read More

Produce: USDA Report - California Crop Conditions Heading into July

USDA Report - California Crop Conditions Heading into July

California crop conditions are highlighted in a report from USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service...

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Cal Poly Strawberry Center receives funding to help automate strawberry farming in California

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's Strawberry Center and the United State Department of Agriculture's research ...

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Tight supplies and high markets on raspberries

Supplies of raspberries continue to be very short. "They're out of Mexico right now and the heat there has burnt up much of the crops so it's a matter of trying to get enough of them," says...

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Thank You Farm Bureau Members

Renewing Agricultural Members

Flying E Ranch, Edna Land & Cattle, Launnie Ginn 

Renewing Associate Members

Robert Gannon, Full Sail Farm 

New Associate Member


New Collegiate Member

Kayla Minetti 

SLO County Farm Bureau Business Support Member List
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Featured Member Benefit:

Caterpillar: Tremendous Deals on Tough Tractors 

Use your Farm Bureau membership to receive deep discounts on Cat® equipment with legendary longevity. Print your certificate at Cat.com/FarmBureau

“They designed a tractor that’s working perfectly 85 years later.”

That’s Chuck Ehler talking about the twenty thousandth Cat® diesel machine to roll off the assembly line and onto his family’s farm, where it still runs today . 

See All Farm Bureau Member Benefits & Discounts Here!

Labor: Heat is a mortal threat to farmworkers. A nurse may have found a way to protect them.

Challenges for House Ag Labor Working Group - AgNet West

Congress is looking into farm labor needs around the nation, but it is a challenging task. The House Agriculture Committee recently announced

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Heat is a mortal threat to farmworkers. A nurse may have found a way to protect them.

Educating field workers to listen to their bodies can help save lives as the climate grows warmer.

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For farmworkers in California, a hot day in the fields can be a dangerous one

Heat-related deaths and illness are serious issues in the United States, and groups in California explain how they're working to protect farmworkers.

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Farm Bureau Survey on Labor Availability, Cost, & Farmers’ Actions to Secure Adequate Labor Available Now!

Farm Bureau needs to hear from you! In this study, we are interested in gathering information about agricultural sector employee shortages, mitigation strategies, including use of the H-2A visa program and technology, and operating costs.

Risks and Benefits: Your participation will assist in the advancement of knowledge of the current state of agricultural production and agricultural labor markets. There are no anticipated risks to participating in this study.

Voluntary Participation: Your participation in the research is completely voluntary.

Start the Survey Here

Wildfire: Research Determines What Is Causing Rise in California Wildfires - Videos from The Weather Channel

California's firefighter union is poised to get a rare perk: Guaranteed raises, forever

Cal Fire firefighter salaries would rise automatically under a union-supported bill in the California Legislature. The CHP is the only other state agency with a similar deal.

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As California fire season begins, debate over wildfire retardant heats up

While many fire experts say retardant is an invaluable resource for battling blazes, a growing number of environmentalists have raised concerns about the bright pink material.

Read More

Research Determines What Is Causing Rise in California Wildfires - Videos from The Weather Channel

Watch this video - California's wildfires have been getting worse for decades and new research says it's not land management but rather climate change that is to blame.

Read More

Livestock: Paso Robles Daily News - Young horses take spotlight at Twin Rivers Summer Horse Trials

How High is Too High to Pay for Cow Replacements in 2023?

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Cattle prices are up. There's no doubt about that. For example, Nebraska feeder cattle prices have risen significantly over the last four months....

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Paso Robles Daily News - Young horses take spotlight at Twin Rivers Summer Horse Trials

Event held at equestrian facility in Paso Robles - The 2023 Twin Rivers Summer Horse Trials were highlighted by the performances of young ...

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Vineyard & Wine: Vineyard Team - July 14 Pre-Harvest Safety: Train the Trainer

July 19 - Vineyard Insect Pests on the Central Coast

Join us to learn more about the identification of vineyard insect pests including leafhoppers, mealy bugs, and spider mites - plus, we'll talk about best practices for their control. This seminar will be held on Zoom.

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Wet Winter Was a 'Blessing' for Winegrape Growers

Winegrape growers appear to be in for a bright growing season after substantial rains came through during the winter...

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July 14 - Pre-Harvest Safety: Train-the-Trainer

Go into harvest prepared with a safety overview covering machine operation, hand harvesting, tool safety, tractor safety, and personal protective equipment (PPE). ...

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Water: Santa Barbara Independent - A Water War Is Underway in Santa Barbara County's Carrot Country

A Water War Is Underway in Santa Barbara County's Carrot Country

Faced with mandatory pumping cutbacks, the biggest water-guzzlers in the Cuyama Valley are forcing farmers, ranchers, water agencies, and the school district into an expensive battle over groundwater rights.

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Showdown in the high desert: An expensive battle over groundwater rights in the Cuyama Valley

The Cuyama Valley, the driest region in Santa Barbara County, is awash in discontent.

The world’s largest carrot producers, newly subject to restrictions on over-pumping, are suing all other landowners over their water rights, and legal fees are mounting.

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USGS: Tap water study detects PFAS 'forever chemicals' across the US

USGS estimates at least 45% of tap water could have one or more PFAS Press release from the USGS At least 45% of the nation's tap water is estimated to have one or more types of the chemicals known as per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, or PFAS, according to a new study by the U.S....

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Community Voices: Rather than going with the flow, DWR needs a course correction on water supply modeling

"We can't continue this. It's not sustainable for our community," Coalinga City Councilman Adam Adkisson told CNN in November 2022 when drought forced his community to confront unprecedented water scarcity,

Read More

How will California's budget deal help speed up $180B worth of infrastructure projects?

Gov. Gavin Newsom is poised to sign a package of bills designed to address issues blamed for slowing down important public works projects.

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Can We Desalinate Water without All the Mess? | Hakai Magazine

A new generation of small, modular, mobile, wave-powered devices is looking to tackle desalination's biggest problems head-on.

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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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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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