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San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News

November 21, 2022


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Young Farmers and Ranchers Toured La Panza Olive Oil

SLO County Young Farmers and Ranchers headed out west on Highway 58 to La Panza Ranch this past Saturday to tour the olive oil processing mill and orchards. La Panza has about 330 acres of olive oil trees in their super-high-density orchards. The operation grows three variety of tress, two Spanish (Arbequina and Arbosona) and one Greek (Koroneiki) that are all blended together to produce La Panza Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. After harvesting, the olives are delivered to the mill to crush the olives into a paste and then mechanically extract the oil. The oil is then stored in tanks and later packaged for consumption.

After the tour, the group tasted olive oil and learned creative ways olive oil can be incorporated into the diet. Thank you to the La Panza Ranch staff for hosting and for Dalton Taylor, General Manager (pictured above), for providing a fun and educational tour.

This Week In SLO County Agriculture

In This Week's Issue:

  • Community: 2022 Christmas for Shandon Valley And Surrounding Community Families Fundraiser
  • Local Government: SLO City Signals Interest in Selling Recycled Water to Edna Valley
  • State Government: CDFA Accepting Public Comments on Block Grant Pilot Projects for Healthy Soils and SWEEP Programs
  • Federal Government: AFBF Outlines Lame Duck Session Priorities
  • Business Member Spotlight: Coastal Vineyard Services
  • UC Cooperative Extension: How to Control California Ground Squirrels Workshop-December 13
  • Ag Economics: Farm Bureau Survey Shows Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Up 20%
  • USDA: Virtual Farmer and Rancher Grant Writing Workshop Scheduled for Dec. 1
  • Featured Member Benefit: Grainger
  • Environmental: Public Sounds Off on Watsonville Pesticide Notification Pilot Program
  • Produce: State Strengthens Use Restrictions of Pesticide 1,3-D to Protect Public Health
  • Orchard Crop: The Pirate, the Mailman and the Avocado: The Accidental History of Avocados in California
  • Labor: 'We Can't Get Enough Domestic Workers to Work Seasonally': H2A Visa Explained
  • Livestock: Report: California on its Way to Banning Rodeos?
  • Vineyard & Wine: Californian Vintners Report High Quality for 2022 Harvest
  • Water: California’s First Groundwater Rules Rub Against SGMA

November 14 Most-Read

1.   California election results: Who won? Which propositions passed?

2. They defied California and drained an important salmon stream. Their fine: $50 per farmer

3.Holloway’s Christmas Tree Farm faced a few obstacles this year as they prepare to open their doors

4. General Election 2022: Preliminary results for Central Coast races

5. California’s Newsom wins 2nd term, is White House run next?

6. Trade Your Crop Byproducts for Electricity

7.  Bruce Gibson widens lead in District 2 race as SLO County releases new vote counts

8.  Western Growers announces winners of Board of Directors election

9.  How SLO County's Election Office processes vote-by-mail ballots

10.  September pork exports continue upward trend, pace cools for beef

Executive Director Report

Here are a few things we worked on this week:

  • Held a SLO County Farm Bureau Executive Committee meeting;
  • Spoke on a SLO Food System Coalition panel regarding Food System Profitability: Challenges & Opportunities for Farmers in SLO County;
  • Met with leadership of the Independent Grape Growers of Paso Robles Area to discuss the Paso Basin Planting Ordinance;
  • Met with the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business board to discuss the Paso Basin Planting Ordinance;
  • Spoke at the November 15 SLO City Council meeting on the 2022 Recycled Water Maximization Study;
  • Attended the Sustainable Ag Expo;
  • Gave an update to SLO County Cattlemen’s Association board;
  • Volunteered to judge an Ag Sales class final project at SLO High School; 
  • Gave our weekly agriculture update on 98.1 KJUG’s Tom & Becky Show (Thursday’s around 9:05am); and
  • Attended a California Farm Bureau presentation on impacts of the November election.

We are thankful for the many generous donations received for our annual Hugh Pitts Memorial Turkey Donation. We've raised over $5,000 and will present a check to the Food Bank of San Luis Obispo County tomorrow.

If you would still like to contribute, you can give online here or mail a check payable to SLO County Farm Bureau to 4875 Morabito Place, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401. All contributions will be forwarded to the Food Bank.

Community: 2022 Christmas for Shandon Valley And Surrounding Community Families Fundraiser

Rabo Agrifinance joined students in making food baskets

A local business and FFA students came together to help provide meals for central coast residents in need this Thanksgiving. Rabo Agrifinance and Arroyo Grande FFA students assembled food baskets with various items, which will be delivered to 150 local families at the high school and elementary levels.

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2022 Christmas for Shandon Valley And Surrounding Community Families Fundraiser

Organized by: Supporters of the Shandon Valley Community, A Non-Profit Organization, Fed. I.D. No.: 87-2749578, P.O. Box 312 * Shandon, Ca. 93461

It’s that time of year when we are again raising money to adopt several community families and take care of their Holiday wishes and needs. These are families that would have a bleak Christmas without your generosity.

The newly created 501c3, Supports of the Shandon Valley Community is continuing this tradition that began over 15 years ago. We are unable to do our annual fundraiser at the Loading Chute in Creston this year. BUT we are still seeking monetary donations so we can continue helping these families have a great Christmas.

Your donations no matter how small will be greatly appreciated. Do you have a service that may assist us? We would love to hear from you. If you can help or need more information please contact: April Tallman – (805) 296-2307 or Ronny Tallman, Sr. – (805) 296-2308

Thank you in advance for your continued support of this event and the other activities we help with (Annual BBQ & Car Show, Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween and more).

Local Government: SLO City Signals Interest in Selling Recycled Water to Edna Valley

SLO City Signals Interest in Selling Recycled Water to Edna Valley

Could San Luis Obispo's wastewater help save Edna Valley agriculture? That was the question of the night on Nov. 15 for the SLO City Council, which took a deep dive into the future of its recycled water program-including whether it wants to sell any "extra" water to Edna Valley to help neighboring farmers reduce their draw on groundwater.

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SLO City officials looking to ramp up recycled water use

Another project aimed at recharging groundwater supplies is in the works on the Central Coast. The City of San Luis Obispo wants to expand the use of recycled water which could involve selling it to outside agencies. The city wants to eventually pump purified wastewater back into the ground, but that won't happen for at least eight years.

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SLO City Council Leaves Door Open for Delivery of Recycled Water to Edna Valley

San Luis Obispo City Council heard from farmers in the Edna Valley and Farm Bureau on November 15 during a discussion that lasted until 11pm about the City’s 2022 Recycled Water Maximization Study. 

While some Councilmembers opposed the concept of selling excess recycled water outside the city limits to Edna, the Council gave City staff direction to proceed with exploring pricing options and legal considerations for further deliberation. This essentially keeps the possibility open for a deal in coming years.

Watch video of the City Council Meeting here. Agenda Item 7 begins at 3:44:47 and Farm Bureau’s comments are at 4:42:55.

State Government: CDFA Accepting Public Comments on Block Grant Pilot Projects for Healthy Soils and SWEEP Programs

State Government Report from California Farm Bureau’s Farm Bureau at Work

November 18, 2022

Land Use

CDFA is now accepting comments on a draft Request for Grant Applications (RGA) for the Healthy Soils Block Grant Pilot Program and the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) Block Grant Pilot. A month-long public comment period begins November 16, 2022 and ends on December 15, 2022.

California Assembly announces leadership change for 2023

PUBLISHED ON SACRAMENTO (AP) - California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon says he will step down next summer, ending what will be a seven-year run as one of the state's most powerful politicians before he is termed out of office in 2024.

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CDFA Accepting Public Comments on Block Grant Pilot Projects for Healthy Soils and SWEEP Programs

California Department of Food and Agriculture Media Contacts: Steve Lyle (CDFA), 916-654-0462 , officeofpublicaffairs@cdfa.ca.gov Espaol Sacramento, November 16, 2022 - CDFA is now accepting comments on a draft Request for Grant Applications (RGA) for the Healthy Soils Block Grant Pilot Program and the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) Block Grant Pilot.

Read More

Federal Government: AFBF Outlines Lame Duck Session Priorities

California Farm Bureau's Federal Policy News-

November 18, 2022

  • CAFB President Jamie Johansson Speaks at Ag Labor Press Event
  • GOP Projected to Win the House, Democrats Guaranteed Senate Control
  • Leadership Farm Bureau Class, County Leaders Participate in CAFB Washington, DC Fly-In
  • Updated National Security Memo Directs Agencies to Examine National Security Threats to Agriculture
  • Reminder - American Farm Bureau Fall 2022 Drought Survey Now Open
  • American Farm Bureau Releases Annual Thanksgiving Survey
  • Farmer and Rancher Grant Workshop Scheduled for Dec. 1
  • USDA Announces ERP Phase Two Payments to Begin

AFBF Outlines Lame Duck Session Priorities

While control of the next Congress has yet to be decided, farmers and ranchers still need lawmakers to address several priorities. Micheal Clements tells us what the lame duck Congress can do for rural America. Clements: The American Farm Bureau Federation has a few priorities for Congress to consider during the lame duck session.

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Diesel Prices Soar, Farmers Feel the Pain

Deep in the middle of harvest, farmers, who use diesel in harvesters, tractors and the trucks used to haul their harvests to market, have been hit head-on with tight diesel supplies and high prices. Particularly frustrating, as they've experienced diesel fuel prices soar, gas prices have remained fairly stable, even though crude oil is the main factor in the price for both fuels.

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Inflation, Recession and the Farmer

During a meeting this week (Nov. 1-2), the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank (often called "the Fed") once again raised the rate at which the Fed lends to other banks, this time by 0.75% to about 3.75%, and indicated an intent to continue raising rates at future meetings.

Read More

Business Member Spotlight:

Coastal Vineyard Services

Coastal Vineyard Services is a complete management company offering a variety of client services from vineyard design and installation to full scale annual management. Our team has been growing premium wine grapes on the Central Coast for over 30 years. We specialize in customized sustainable growing techniques that maximize efficiency and quality in the vineyard. We are experts in farming vineyards of all sizes, producing varieties for luxury and value price brands.

Management Services:

  • FLC, Vineyard Budget and Analysis, Cultivation, Vineyard Hand Work, Irrigation, Frost Protection, and Harvest

Design and Installation Services:

  • Location Scouting, Site Analysis, Land Preparation, and Infrastructure Layout and Implementation


  • Pest Control Advisor (PCA) and Federal and State licensed Farm Labor Contractor (FLC)


PHONE: 1-805-439-3014

UC Cooperative Extension: How to Control California Ground Squirrels Workshop-December 13

Virtual course on nitrogen management in organic production offered by UCCE

PUBLISHED ON DAVIS, Calif. - Growers of organic vegetables and strawberries across California are invited to attend an online training to learn how to manage nitrogen fertilization. UC Cooperative Extension is offering the three-part Nitrogen Planning and Management in Organic Production of Annual Crops Workshop on Nov. 29, Dec.

Read More

Ag Economics: Farm Bureau Survey Shows Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Up 20%

The Federal Reserve's Efforts to Temper Inflation and Cool the Economy will Continue

The Federal Reserve is finding it harder to cool the economy than almost anyone expected. Most corners of the U.S. economy are performing very well considering the Fed has been aggressively raising rates for seven months. Manufacturing continues to expand, consumer spending remains strong, the labor market is still extremely tight and Q3 GDP data ...

Read More

Farm Bureau Survey Shows Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Up 20%

Farm Bureau's 37th annual survey provides a snapshot of the average cost of this year's classic Thanksgiving feast for 10, which is $64.05 or less than $6.50 per person.

This is a $10.74 or 20% increase from last year's average of $53.31.

Read More

Christmas tree growers warn of higher prices: 'Inflation impacts absolutely everything'

Christmas tree growers are warning that their prices will inflate this year due to economic instability and environmental conditions. "Because inflation impacts absolutely everything, the industry is seeing increases in shipping costs, fertilizer, trucking, everything you can possibly think of, whether it be real or artificial trees.

Read More

USDA: Virtual Farmer and Rancher Grant Writing Workshop Scheduled for Dec. 1

USDA Previews Crop and Revenue Loss Assistance for Agricultural Producers

Contact: FPAC.BC.Press@usda.gov New Programs Will Provide Additional Pandemic and Natural Disaster Assistance for 2020 and 2021; Deadline Announced for Previous Emergency Relief WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2022 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced plans for additional emergency relief and pandemic assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Read More

Virtual Farmer and Rancher Grant Writing Workshop  Scheduled for Dec. 1

The USDA Office of Partnerships & Public Engagement (OPPE) and the Fresno State University Jordan College of Agriculture and Division of Research and Graduate Studies will host a two-hour virtual workshop on December 1 targeted towards farmers and ranchers, including veteran and beginning farmers/ranchers, focused on grant writing. The information covered will include, but not be limited to, registering on the grants.gov website, the proposal development process, submission requirements, work plans, partnership and grant writing tips.

Workshop Information:

• Date: Thursday, December 1, 2022

• Time: 10:00am PDT to Noon

• RSVP: Zoom Link Here

Thank You Farm Bureau Members

New Agricultural Members

Peck Ranch

Renewing Agricultural Members

Burt Fugate, Michael Frankiewich, Gary Esajian, Dean Wineman, and Bob Campbell

New Business Support Members

Miller Chemical and Fertilizer

Renewing Associate Members

Daymon Merrill and Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce

SLO County Farm Bureau Business Support Member List

Featured Member Benefit:


Special Farm Bureau Member Prices on Selected Products and Supplies and Free Shipping on all Grainger Orders

Farm Bureau members get special member prices on selected categories and brands from Grainger, PLUS get free standard parcel shipping on all standard Grainger products. Get started with your price savings using 3 easy methods:

Present the California Farm Bureau account number at time of purchase.

  • Go to the Grainger Website to establish a new Grainger.com® account using that account number; or
  • Call Grainger customer service at 1-800-472-4643 to update your existing Grainger account with the Farm Bureau organization account number.

To be sure you get your Farm Bureau member prices, always reference California Farm Bureau’s organization account number when visiting your local branch, making a telephone order, or when setting up your personal account online.

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Environmental: Public Sounds Off on Watsonville Pesticide Notification Pilot Program

Amid California's drought, environmental laws get scrutiny

Young rainbow trout at the Warm Springs Fish Hatchery near Big Pine, Calif., on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada. (Photo: Sean Lema, via Shutterstock) The impacts of California's interminable drought are well-known. But one aspect has drawn little relatively attention - its relationship with environmental laws.

Read More

Public Sounds Off on Watsonville Pesticide Notification Pilot Program

On Thursday, more than 200 people gathered virtually to voice their opinions on a pesticide notification program occurring in Watsonville and at other sites across California. While residents and activists called for more information and earlier notification around pesticide use, growers expressed concerns that the program might go too far and impede their work.

Read More

Mexican lawmakers push wider pesticides ban; farm groups alarmed

MEXICO CITY, Nov 9 (Reuters) - A broad coalition of Mexican lawmakers is pushing to ban nearly 200 chemicals used in pesticides, saying they endanger human health, and the plan has alarmed farmers who say the move could devastate the country's food production.

Read More

Produce: State Strengthens Use Restrictions of Pesticide 1,3-D to Protect Public Health

State Strengthens Use Restrictions of Pesticide 1,3-D to Protect Public Health

SACRAMENTO - Today, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation introduced proposed regulations to protect Californians from potential exposure to 1,3- dichloropropene (1,3-D), a hazardous pesticide. The proposed regulations would strengthen restrictions on use and significantly reduce potential residential and non-occupational bystander exposure to one of the most highly used agricultural pesticides in California, 1,3-D.

Read More

FMI Expresses Concerns about Expanded Scope of Final Food Traceability Rule Well Beyond FDA’s Statutory Authority

The Food Industry Association Chief Public Policy Officer Jennifer Hatcher issued the following statement on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recently released final rule establishing additional traceability recordkeeping requirements for companies that manufacture, process, pack, or hold foods on the Food Traceability List or foods that contain these listed foods as ingredients. The final rule is designed to implement one of the final segments of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) – Section 204 - to provide a means for additional traceability of high-risk foods.  

Read More

Orchard Crop: The Pirate, the Mailman and the Avocado: The Accidental History of Avocados in California

The Pirate, the Mailman and the Avocado: The Accidental History of Avocados in California

The history of commercial avocados in California comes from a collection of chance discoveries, Indigenous heritages exploited and improbable survivals that were ultimately hitched to the power of California's industrialized agriculture.

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Fumigation Considerations Before Replanting an Orchard - California Ag Network

It's that time of the year when orchards are being pulled and growers begin preparing their soil for future plans. For growers looking to replant their orchards, watch this brief interview with UC Riverside Nematologist Andreas Westphal as he shares some considerations to take for fumigation when it comes to nematode pressure.

Read More

Labor: 'We Can't Get Enough Domestic Workers to Work Seasonally': H2A Visa Explained

'We Can't Get Enough Domestic Workers to Work Seasonally': H2A Visa Explained

Hop farmer Jen Coleman was nervous about using H2A workers. The visa program allows agricultural employers to hire temporary, seasonal workers from other countries during peak seasons such as harvest. The program comes with costs to farmers: housing, wages, paperwork and application fees. So Coleman had reservations.

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'We need action' by Senate on farm labor reform, say advocates

With congressional adjournment on the horizon, a parade of farmers, food processors, and lawmakers called on the Senate on Wednesday to get to work on legislation to give legal status to undocumented farmworkers and streamline the H-2A guestworker program.

Read More

Standards Board Clarifies: Non-Emergency COVID Standard Will be Approved in December; Effective in January; No Exclusion Pay: The Cal/OSHA Standards Board met in Santa Clara on November 17. At that meeting, representatives from employer organizations including FELS’ parent organization California Farm Bureau reiterated concerns about the draft COVID standard released last summer, including it’s two-year duration, continued requirements for contact tracing, and adoption of California Department of Public Health’s new standard for close contacts eliminating the minimum contact time with an infectious person of 15 minutes within six feet in a 24 hour period in spaces of less than 400,000 cubic feet. Under the new “close contact” definition any infectious person must be assumed to have been in “close contact” with any other person in any space of less than 400,000 cubic feet if their presence lasted more than 15 minutes in a 24 hour period. You can read more at COVID 19 News & Resources for Farm Employers at FELS' website


Upcoming FELS Webinars & Trainings

December 16, 10 AM: (FREE Webinar) SB 1162: New Pay Transparency Requirements for California Employers: SB 1162 (Limon) will add new reporting burdens for California employers in the name of gender equality. What will you need to do to comply? Catherine Houlihan of FELS Group Legal Services Program partner firm Barsamian & Moody will explain. For more information on all these FREE webinars and registration, please visit the FELS Webinars page.  


Livestock: Report- California on its Way to Banning Rodeos?

Report: California on its Way to Banning Rodeos?

Earlier this fall, Alameda County supervisors officially banned the practice of “wild cow milking” — a timed event in which a lactating beef cow, unused to human handling, has been wrangled from the fields and brought to an arena.

The move comes three years after the county banned “mutton busting” — an event in which small children are placed on the backs of scared, unsaddled sheep and try to stay on while the sheep bucks, kicks and jumps to knock the child off.

Read More

Sorting through thanking our veterans

Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast Episode 23: Sorting through thanking our veterans California cattle ranchers June and Kevin Kester come on the podcast to share about some of the ways they are giving back to veterans. Hear about a recent Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C.

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Ahead of Thanksgiving, August stocks of frozen whole hen turkeys up 12 percent from 2021 despite avian flu production woes

U.S. residents gobble up a lot of turkey each year at Thanksgiving. In anticipation of the holiday, producers raise turkeys and place inventories into cold storage throughout the year, with inventories often reaching peak levels in August.

Read More

Vineyard & Wine: Californian Vintners Report High Quality for 2022 Harvest

Applications sought for sustainable winegrowing awards

PUBLISHED ON SAN FRANCISCO - California vineyards and wineries are encouraged to apply for the 2023 California Green Medal Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards, with applications now being accepted at greenmedal.org .

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Californian Vintners Report High Quality for 2022 Harvest

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Vintners across the state are expecting a high-quality vintage for 2022 following a season filled with curveballs. For many California wine regions, this was a tale of two harvests, as a Labor Day heat wave divided the season into earlier and later picks.

Read More

California PD/GWSS Board Partnership for Winegrape Pest Solutions Highlights

The Newsletter Issue 4 is available online here.

Rapid Response: Surveys and Treatments

When glassy-winged sharpshooters (GWSS) are found in a new area, a delimitation survey is conducted using high-density trapping and visual inspections of host plants to determine if an infestation is present and, if so, its extent. Any necessary treatments are coordinated by Pierce’s Disease Control Program (PDCP) and the county agricultural commissioner.

Delimitation Surveys

  • High-Risk Nursery Trap Finds: Nursery delimitations have been completed or are in progress in Contra Costa, Kings, Sacramento, and Santa Clara counties. A nursery delimitation consists of a visual survey of plant material within a one-quarter-mile radius of the trap find and increased trapping levels within the square mile around the find. It may also include treatment of the nursery premise, if necessary.
  • Urban and Rural Residential Trap Find: A delimitation survey was conducted in Calipatria in Imperial County after one GWSS adult was found in a trap in September. After the initial find, one GWSS nymph and one old, non-viable egg mass were found. The delimitation concluded at the end of October after no additional detections were made.

Water: California’s First Groundwater Rules Rub Against SGMA

SLO homeowners saw sinking ground, cracked floors in 1990s. One couple guessed the culprit

The last time San Luis Obispo ran critically short of water, the city pumped heavily from wells along Los Osos Valley Road. The aquifer was so overtaxed by residents and farmers that the ground sank, resulting multi-million dollar lawsuit settlements over damaged businesses and homes.

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Bill would impose water tax on exported crops

Alfalfa is often the target of critics of irrigated agriculture who frequently rely upon simplistic explanations to heap scorn upon growing a forage crop in the West during times of drought. Two Democratic congressmen from Arizona -- Ruben Gallego and Raúl Grijalva -- last month introduced the "Domestic Water Protection Act of 2022" (H.R.

Read More

Another California desalination plant approved - the most contentious one yet

The California Coastal Commission tonight approved another desalination plant, despite citing its high costs, risks to Monterey Bay's environment and "the most significant environmental justice issues" the commission has faced in recent years. The commission's divided, 8-to-2 vote came after 13 hours of debate at a Salinas public hearing packed with several hundred people, plus more crammed into overflow space.

Read More

Ag Order Compliance: Preservation Inc.

Upcoming Workshops Dec 1 and 6

Preservation, Inc. is hosting member meetings in December to inform growers about our 2023 Third Party programs, member fees and responsibilities for compliance with Ag Order 4.0. These meetings are open only to Preservation Inc.'s Third Party members. Members or their authorized representatives can join in person or via Zoom. Times and locations are: 

Santa Maria - In person and Zoom

  • Date: Thursday, December 1st
  • Time: 10 am – 12 pm
  •  Location: Santa Maria Public Library, Shepard Hall - 421 S McClelland St, Santa Maria 

Zoom Link: Available at www.ccwqp.org (see "Important Dates" menu at right of homepage), or RSVP to Support@ccwqp.org 

Salinas - In person and Zoom

  • Date: Tuesday, December 6th
  • Time: 10 am -12 pm
  • Location: TBD

Zoom Link: Available at www.ccwqp.org (see "Important Dates" menu at right of homepage), or RSVP to Support@ccwqp.org

California’s first groundwater rules rub against SGMA

11/16/22 -By Brad Hooker, Agri-Pulse (Edited)

Note: Agri-Pulse is a subscription-based news service. Consider a trial subscription here.

San Luis Obispo (SLO) County has been restricting new groundwater wells in the Paso Robles subbasin for nearly a decade. Now county supervisors are hoping to go further by tacking on a carbon sequestration mandate for any new plantings.


The county is separately developing a revised groundwater sustainability plan (GSP) for the Salinas Valley basin—after the state rejected its initial plan and after agricultural leaders chastised the county for excluding farmers in the process.


The region has grown to dominate wine production outside of the North Coast region, where pricey real estate values have restricted expansion. Yet Paso Robles winegrape growers—who have also set high sustainability standards—have seen property prices skyrocket since the county approved the well ordinance in 2013, with the restrictions taking full effect three years later. …

... Despite the contentious GSP process over the years, the SLO County Farm Bureau pushed for groundwater to be regulated entirely through SGMA, though it would accept an extension of the current iteration of the county ordinance.


“Land-use regulations like the planting ordinance are the wrong long-term approach,” argued Brent Burchett, the farm bureau’s executive director, in a letter to the SLO County Planning Commission.


The farm bureau views the GSP as a more equitable and appropriate means for achieving sustainability and praised the county for hiring a groundwater sustainability director and seizing on DWR grant funding to help implement the plan.


The proposed planting ordinance, on the other hand, would create onerous and inflexible financial burdens for small farmers, according to Burchett.


“This new ordinance creates more problems than it solves,” said SLO County Farm Bureau President Sarah Kramer, during a commission hearing last month. “The planting ordinance will fundamentally change the relationship between the county and agriculture.”

Kramer worried about being “stuck” with the provisions until they expire in 2045 and adapting to an “unprecedented” mandate on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sequestering carbon.


“To our knowledge, this has never been done to farmers anywhere in California or the United States,” she said, with the farm bureau emphasizing that CDFA’s Healthy Soils Program and other climate-smart grant opportunities are all voluntary.


The ordinance would create a 50-foot riparian setback, which Kramer believed would take thousands of acres of prime farmland out of production. She also criticized the “burdensome” reporting requirements and questioned the need for dust suppression plans.


The ordinance has also raised legal debates over preempting SGMA, making it “ripe for adjudication,” according to California Farm Bureau Senior Counsel Chris Scheuring. …

Read the full article here

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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