San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News
October 1, 2021
Pumpkin Season Arrives in San Luis Obispo County
Fall is here, and it’s a great time to support local farmers! Pictured above, Carrisa Plains Elementary Kindergarten student Quinn Twisselman shows off a Gizmo Gourd she picked out while on a visit this week to Farm Bureau member Avila Valley Barn

Our friend Michelle Barrera at EnjoySLO has compiled a list of San Luis Obispo County pumpkin patches. Make your pumpkin-picking visit into a full farm day experience with the help of FARMstead ED’s SLO County Farm Trail Map.

Want to see some of the biggest pumpkins grown in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties? Save the date for Farm Supply Company’s 16th Annual Central Coast Great Pumpkin Contest on October 21 live on Facebook! In 2019, the Heaviest Pumpkin Champion went to Bill Quirk of Goleta, weighing in at 916 pounds. 
California Pumpkin Facts
  • California farmers harvested 4,700 acres of pumpkins in 2019, down from 6,200 acres in 2010. 
  • The average yield for a single acre of pumpkins was 25,500 pounds, a gross value of $4,870 per acre. 
  • Statewide, farmers produced $22.7 million of pumpkins in 2019.
  • In 2018, California surpassed Illinois to become the top pumpkin producer in the U.S. 
Source: California Department of Food and Agriculture’s 2020 California Agricultural Statistics Review
This Week In SLO County Agriculture
This Issue Includes: 
  • Local Government News: SLO County Board of Supervisors Meet October 5;
  • Community News: Enjoy SLO - 30 Fun Things To Do This October In SLO County;
  • State Government News: California Farm Bureau Praises Bill Signing To Help Local Meat Producers;
  • Federal Government News: California Farmers And Ranchers Boosted By Passage Of Continuing Budget Resolution;
  • Business Member Spotlight: Greengate Ranch & Vineyard;
  • Livestock News: AgNet West - American Beef Labeling Act To Reinstate Country Of Origin Labeling;
  • Labor News: Monterey Herald - Salinas Assemblyman Authors Law Protecting Farm Workers From Smoke;
  • Wildfire News: Agri-Pulse - USFS Chief Moore Briefs House Ag On Wildfire Concerns;
  • Water News: Agri-Pulse - California’s Rising Costs For Water Quality Have Bumped Fees 130%;
  • Produce News: Morning Ag Clips - Bitcoin, Ford EV, Farm Among Prizes In Gardening Competition;
  • Environmental News: The Wall Street Journal - U.S. Plans to Restore Criminal Penalties For Accidental Killings Of Migratory Birds;
  • Vineyard & Wine News: Morning Ag Clips - Wine Institute Applauds House Passage Of Wildfire, Drought Relief;
  •  Ag Economics & Trade News: Washington Post - Inside America's Broken Supply Chain;
  • Tax & Land News: American Farm Bureau - Transfer Tax Could Impact A Huge Portion Of US Farm Production; and
  • Wisdom From The Farm & Ranch.
Local Government News: SLO County Board of Supervisors Meet October 5
SLO County Board of Supervisors Meet October 5 

To watch video of the meeting click here and review the agenda items here. Items of interest to agriculture include: 
  • Item 11 - Submittal of a resolution recognizing October 3-9, 2021 as "National 4-H Week". All Districts. 
  • Item 17 - Hearing to consider eight proposals and resolutions to amend or establish agricultural preserves:  
  • 1) Wicks/Wiebe (CON2020-00024) – 2770 Gillis Canyon Road, approximately 3.5 miles southeast of the community of Shandon;  
  • 2) Wiebe (CON2020-00025) – 2770 Gillis Canyon Road, approximately 3.5 miles southeast of the community of Shandon;  
  • 3) Bidart Bros (CON2021-00003) – east of Calhoun Road and west of Elkhorn Road, approximately 7.5 miles southeast of Soda Lake;  
  • 4) Gentle Hills Vineyard, LLC #1 (CON2021-00004) – 8165 Union Road, approximately 4.5 miles east of the City of Paso Robles;  
  • 5) Gentle Hills Vineyard, LLC #2 (CON2021- 00005) – 7690 Gentle Hills Rd, approximately 4.5 miles east of the City of Paso Robles;  
  • 6) Eagle Ranch, LLC (CON2021-000006) – near 5450 Santa Barbara Road, Atascadero, approximately 1,000 to 20,000 feet south of the City of Atascadero;  
  • 7) Ben and Nancy Hoover (CON2021-00009) and Bruce Hansen (CON2021-00010) – 5513 (Hoover) and 5575 (Hansen) El Pomar Drive, east of the South El Pomar Road intersection, approximately 5.7 miles east of the community of Templeton; and  
  • 8) Beverly Phifer (CON2021-00016) – 4360 and 4364 La Panza Road, approximately 2 miles east of the community of Creston. Exempt under CEQA. Districts 1 and 5. 
13 people have applied to fill Heidi Harmon's SLO mayor...

Thirteen people have submitted applications either to become the new mayor of San Luis Obispo or a City Council member. The appointment process, to be conducted at an Oct. 5 council meeting, will serve to fill Mayor Heidi Harmon's open seat and...

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Community News: Enjoy SLO - 30 Fun Things To Do This October In SLO County
30 Fun Things To Do This October In SLO County - EnjoySLO

Fall is one of our favorite times of the year. It's filled with pumpkin patches, pumpkin spice lattes, and Halloween events for the entire family to enjoy. If you're local or visiting SLO County this October here is a list of the best things to...

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Bill to help local nonprofits & small businesses signed...

This week, Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) announced that his bill to help local nonprofits and small businesses has been signed into law. Specifically, AB 1267 will allow breweries, wineries, and distilleries to donate proceeds ...

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Need a meeting space? Rent Farm Bureau's board room!

$100 Room Rental Fee per half day with a maximum of 4 hours. $150 Room Rental Fee for all day use 8:00-4:00. Seating available in the following styles: Classroom for about 40 people, Stadium for 50-75 people, and various table arrangements for 25-35 people. Tables and chairs are provided. Learn more here.
The Rice Partnership Wealth Management expands to Paso...

The Rice Partnership, an independent wealth management firm that caters to high-net-worth clientele, is expanding its California Central Coast presence with the opening of its newest office in Paso Robles. This is the company's fourth office with ...

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State Government News: California Farm Bureau Praises Bill Signing To Help Local Meat Producers
California Farm Bureau Praises Bill Signing to Help Local Meat Producers
California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson today praised Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing Assembly Bill 888 to help small meat producers gain access to markets and provide safe and reliable food to California residents.
“The governor’s signing of this important legislation builds community resilience by supporting local meat production,” Johansson said. “While consumer meat preferences continue to change, this bill provides greater flexibility for California’s livestock ranchers who provide fresh, locally-grown and raised products to those Californians preferring a different animal meat product.”
AB 888, by Assembly Member Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, will provide an exemption from animal slaughter inspections for mobile operations that provide services for owners of sheep, goats or swine. The measure was sponsored by the Farm Bureau.
Read more here.
What's In The $15 Billion California Budget Bill for Agriculture?

On September 23, Governor Newsom signed a series of bills that make a $15 billion investment in climate programs, including $1.1 billion for climate smart agriculture. California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross held a call with ag stakeholders on September 28 to review details of the package. Review the presentation here
California Farm Bureau's Friday Review Legislative & Governmental Affairs Update - October 1, 2021
Federal Government News: California Farmers And Ranchers Boosted By Passage Of Continuing Budget Resolution
California Farmers and Ranchers Boosted by Passage of Continuing Budget Resolution 
On September 30, Congress passed the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, a continuing resolution to fund the government through Dec. 3. The act also includes supplemental aid to farmers and ranchers, who have endured one disaster after another. 
California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson today hailed the passage of the continuing resolution, which also reauthorizes the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus program. The WHIP+ program provides aid to agricultural communities across the U.S. that faced unprecedented hardships in 2020 and 2021 from drought, wildfires, hurricanes and other natural disasters that caused vast crop damage and devastation to farming operations. 
“California’s farmers and ranchers have experienced substantial crop damage due to wildfire and drought over the past two years,” Johansson said. “In addition to crops being fallowed by drought conditions, our producers have seen their productive acreage burned or damaged by wildfire and smoke taint. 
“This disaster assistance will provide California’s family farms with needed additional support, providing both stability for our farmers and a safeguard for America’s domestic food supply.” 
Johansson thanked Reps. Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) and Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) and Sen. Alex Padilla (D-California) and expressed his appreciation for the support from many other members of the California congressional delegation.
Biden signs bill providing $10B to cover wide range of...

A stopgap-funding bill that will keep the government operating this fall includes a $10 billion expansion in agricultural disaster aid and temporarily extends authority for USDA's livestock price reporting system.

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Farm Policy from the Grassroots Up

For 102 years, the American Farm Bureau Federation has been The Unified Voice of Agriculture. Our unity is built from the ground up as our grassroots members set the policy priorities we advocate for here in Washington.

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California gets money for wildfire, drought as Congress...

Congress passed a government funding bill in a down-to-the-wire vote on Thursday in the face of a looming shutdown. The continuing resolution bill, a short-term spending resolution that will keep the government funded through...

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Business Member Spotlight:
Greengate Ranch & Vineyard
Located in the heart of Edna Valley Wine Country on California’s Central Coast, Greengate Ranch & Vineyard is 140 acres, combining recreation areas and lush rolling hills of world acclaimed vineyards. Once a working horse ranch, our property features four incredible vacation rental homes with 13 bedrooms, horse stables, a vintage wood barn, courtyard and multiple grand lawns offering an uncommon venue for recreation, retreat, and celebration. The Pool & Spa Arena recreational area completes our guest amenities and event offerings.

If you’re newly engaged and searching for a one of a kind venue for your destination wedding weekend, we’d love to share our slice of goodness with you. If you’re a traveler looking for a unique experience that includes luxurious accommodations while you partake of the Central Coast lifestyle for a few days, we welcome you. If you’re a corporate executive trying to find an authentic change of pace for your team gathering in the way of a corporate retreat, we're excited you found us!
300 Green Gate Rd | San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 459-9683
Thank You Farm Bureau Members
New Member
Alfred Fiscalini
Renewing Business Support
Renewing Members
Boyd Carano, Chris Darway, Dennis Elston, Manuel Avila, Nolan Twisselman, Sarah Kramer, John Goodrich, Clayton Grant, Herbert Filipponi, Diana Boam, Tim Winsor, JCM Farming, La Panza Ranch LLC, Bob Campbell, Eberle Winery, The Groves on 41, Jerry Perney, Remax Parkside, Temblor Mountain Pack Train
Livestock News: AgNet West - American Beef Labeling Act To Reinstate Country Of Origin Labeling
American Beef Labeling Act to Reinstate Country of...

Senate Bill 2716, the American Beef Labeling Act, was recently introduced by U.S. Senators Cory Booker, John Thune, Jon Tester, and Mike Rounds. The legislation seeks to reinstate the mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL) requirements for...

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'Stories from California Cattle Country' Podcast Launched

Stories from California Cattle Country takes listeners to some of the most beautiful parts of this diverse state to learn more about the people and practices of ranches and dairies. Follow our host, Ryan as he darts around the state meeting cattle ranchers and dairy farmers learning about the animals and land they care for everyday. This podcast is produced by the California Cattlemen’s Foundation with support from the California Cattle Council. To listen now, search “Stories from California Cattle Country” on your preferred platform for streaming podcast episodes or click on one of the following links to go straight to it : Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.
Labor News: Monterey Herald - Salinas Assemblyman Authors Law Protecting Farm Workers From Smoke
Virtual Ag Labor Forum is Nov. 17-18

California Farm Labor Contractors Association's Virtual Ag Labor Forum provides crucial information and resources to help you take on the new regulatory requirements and challenges facing the industry, to ensure your business remains secure ...

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Salinas Assemblyman authors law protecting farm workers...

A Salinas Assemblyman's bill providing farm-worker protections from wildfire smoke was signed into law Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom...

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Biden administration moves to scrap 'Remain in Mexico'

The Biden administration on Wednesday said they would craft a new memo rescinding former President Trump Donald Trump Texas not hiring private contractor for election audit Lack of helicopter space forced Ivanka Trump...

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Cal/OSHA Issues Proposed Permanent COVID-19 Hazard...

On September 17, 2021, Cal/OSHA issued proposed language for a permanent COVID-19 hazard standard. The "permanent" aspect of the rule may be limited to 2-3 years after its adoption...

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Protecting workers from wildfire smoke

In 2020, California had five of the largest wildfires in state history during that one year alone. This year, the Dixie fire continues to burn and is now the largest single wildfire in state history. Poor air quality due to wildfire smoke...

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Advertise With San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau
Get Your Message in Front of Over 1600 San Luis Obispo Countians!

Our weekly E-News is sent out every Friday to our membership and local leaders. If you're interested in an effective, low-cost advertising campaign ($150 a month) please give us a call or send an email to SLO County Farm Bureau Executive Director Brent Burchett.
Wildfire News: Agri-Pulse - USFS Chief Moore Briefs House Ag On Wildfire Concerns
Southern Sierra wildfires wiping out giant sequoia trees ...

More than a dozen groves of giant sequoias may lose significant numbers of trees in the wildfires now raging in the southern Sierra Nevada, even as fire crews succeed, sometimes dramatically, in keeping flames at bay in the.

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Long Wildfire Seasons Also Mean Extended Periods Of...

Millions of Americans have been exposed to a tremendous rise in wildfire smoke in recent years. People in rural Northern California are seeing some of the longest periods of smoke. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Millions of Americans are being exposed to a...

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USFS Chief Moore briefs House Ag on wildfire concerns

Randy Moore, the new chief of the U.S. Forest Service, outlined his priorities Wednesday for growing the federal firefighting workforce, snuffing out fires earlier, boosting forest management and clearing debris for critical water runoff in the...

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Water News: Agri-Pulse - California’s Rising Costs For Water Quality Have Bumped Fees 130%
Critical groundwater supplies may never recover from drought

New UC Riverside research shows groundwater takes an average of three years to recover from drought - if it ever recovers at all. In the largest study of its kind, scientists found that this recovery time only applies to aquifers that aren't...

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California will consider mandatory water restrictions if ...

With California's extreme drought persisting and reservoirs declining to new lows, state officials said they will consider imposing mandatory water restrictions if dryness continues this winter. Gov. Gavin Newsom called on Californians in July to ...

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California's rising costs for water quality have bumped...

The State Water Resources Control Board repeated an annual ritual last week of increasing regulatory fees for farmers and other stakeholders while decrying legislative actions that leave no other options for raising revenue. An agricultural...

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Drought expected to persist in much of the Western US...

The need for water in the West will continue unless emissions are curbed. The thirst for water in the Western U.S. will likely not be quenched in the near future. Drought conditions are expected to persist in the West, which is already amid a...

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California returns to pre-European era for 21st century...

As California handles a record drought and a record budget surplus, the state is adding no new money to proposals for surface water storage projects. The latest budget deal instead targets nearly $1 billion for nature-based solutions included in...

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SLO Basin Groundwater Sustainability Commis. Meets Oct. 6th

The public is invited to join the next virtual Groundwater Sustainability Commission (GSC) meeting on October 6, 2021, from 3:00 pm-5:00 pm via Zoom. The key topic for this meeting is the Final Draft of the Groundwater Sustainability Plan. ...

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SLO County Water Resources Advisory Committee Meets October 6  
The next WRAC meeting will be at 1:30pm on Wednesday, 10/6/2021, held online via GoToMeeting. The agenda has been posted here.
WRAC will continue a drought panel series this month with a focus on production agriculture, among other topics.
Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Meets Oct. 14

Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board will meet Thursday, October 14, 2021 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. by video. Review the agenda here.
As part of the agenda, the Board will meet in closed session to discuss the petition filed with the State Water Board in May of this year by California agriculture groups regarding the Regional Water Board’s 2021 Agricultural Waste Discharges Order, “Order No. R3-2021-0040 – Petitions by Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, et al., and California Coastkeeper Alliance, et al., SWRCB/OCC Files A-2751(a) & A-2751(b).” 
California Farm Bureau Counsel Kari Fisher signed the petition on behalf of the state Farm Bureau and county Farm Bureaus in Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, where the order is in effect. Other petitioners include the California Strawberry Commission; Western Growers; the Grower-Shipper Associations of Central California and of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties; and the Western Plant Health Association. 
Produce News: Morning Ag Clips - Bitcoin, Ford EV, Farm Among Prizes In Gardening Competition
Bitcoin, Ford EV, farm among prizes in gardening competition

Organic gardeners throughout the United States will have the opportunity to compete for prizes including a Bitcoin, a new electric vehicle and a small farm as the first-ever Johnny Appleseed Organic Invitational...

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California Avocado Commission to Host Virtual Annual Meeting

The California Avocado Commission will host a virtual 2021 Annual Meeting on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, from 9:30 a.m. –11:00 a.m. Members of the industry are encouraged...

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Food Safety 6 Week E-Course

Are you looking for guidance on improving (or starting) your farm's food safety program? CAFF is offering a 6 week online course to help you determine food safety risks on your farm, prepare for Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance,...

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Environmental News: The Wall Street Journal - U.S. Plans to Restore Criminal Penalties For Accidental Killings Of Migratory Birds
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Action On Endangered Species Act

California Farm Bureau's Federal Policy Team
On September 15, 2021, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that it will initiate a comprehensive status review of the gray wolf in the western U.S. after completing an initial review of two petitions filed to list gray wolves in the western U.S. as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Both petitions propose some alternative Western U.S. Distinct Population Segment (DPS) to include all, or part, of the Northern Rocky Mountain Distinct Population Segment states with the addition of California among other western states.

Additionally, on September 28, 2021, USFWS announced that it had completed an initial review on a petition to list the American Bumblebee and that a listing may be warranted. The American bumble bee is a large yellow and black insect found across most of the continental U.S. and in some areas of Canada and Mexico and is a common visitor to backyards, farms, and wild landscapes alike. USFWS has stated that the species is potentially threatened by disease, habitat destruction, livestock grazing, pesticide use, loss of genetic diversity, climate change and competition from non-native honeybees. The bee’s range includes 35 states.

The above actions are not listing decisions. Next, USFWS will conduct 12-month status reviews to determine next steps.
U.S. Plans to Restore Criminal Penalties for Accidental...

The Biden administration is moving to restore criminal penalties for accidental killings of migratory birds, saying the measures are needed to protect declining bird populations. The Trump administration had eliminated those penalties, ...

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Vineyard & Wine News: Morning Ag Clips - Wine Institute Applauds House Passage Of Wildfire, Drought Relief
Wine Institute applauds House passage of wildfire,...

Wine Institute, the premier public policy advocacy group of California wineries, applauded last week's passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of legislation that would provide needed recovery assistance to...

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California vineyards can still make great wine even with ...

While climate change and drought loom as existential threats to California agriculture, there's one farming sector that may come out ahead: wine grapes. Many California winegrowers have had to cut back on irrigation this year, but using less...

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Ag Economics & Trade News: Washington Post - Inside America's Broken Supply Chain
Inside America's Broken Supply Chain

Ships wait off the California coast, unable to unload their cargo. Truckers are overworked and overwhelmed, often confronting logjams. Rail yards have also been clogged, with trains at one point backed up 25 miles outside a key Chicago facility....

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Port Congestion Limits Tree Nut Exports at Harvest -...

Water infrastructure is not the only critical issue California needs to invest more in; since the onset of the pandemic, the west coast ports have been overtasked and are in dire need of attention. Watch this brief interview with Jim Zion from...

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Tax & Land News: American Farm Bureau - Transfer Tax Could Impact A Huge Portion Of US Farm Production
Transfer Tax Could Impact a Huge Portion of US Farm...

Potential changes to capital gains taxation at death for family farms has been a hot topic in agricultural circles over the last six months. Capital gains-related studies from EY, Texas A&M, University of Kentucky and Iowa State University...

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Transfer Your Interest in an LLC to Your Trust - Carmel...

As previously discussed, placing your real property assets into an LLC may be an effective means of asset protection. Now that your real property is titled in an LLC and is protected, a question to consider is: how can you make sure the asset(s)...

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Wisdom From The Farm & Ranch
Chris Ledoux

We made camp along Red River
Watch the cattle as they bedded down
Back at the wagons right after supper
Spreaded bed rolls on the ground

Me and Willie, we took the night guard
And the sage never smelled so sweet
The prairie moon was blazing silver
No chance tonight for a stampede

We rode Yonder off in the distance
Towards the mountains there in the west
Then I see lightening and I hear thunder
My mind is weary, I could use some rest

Then all at once the wind shifts directions
The clouds roll in behind the tumble weeds
These longhorn cattle are getting restless
God help us all if they stampede

Smell the rain and hear the thunder
The midnight sky turns black as death
Lightening crashes, smell the sulfur
It's rank and strong as Satan's breath

The cattle rise up and go runnin'
I spur my pony on to take a lead
And across the heard I can hear Willie yelling
"Hey stampede!"

Dust clouds rise as the rain falls
They mix together, turn the air to mud
I feel the long horns brush against me
And I can feel the demons racing through my blood

Then all at once, my pony stumbles
We hit the ground, I rise up to my knees
In a flash a light I can see the cattle coming
Lord I know I'm gonna die in this stampede

Then I wake and I look around me
I'm in my bed roll and I'm laying on the ground
Over there's a wagon and there's the campfire
I was only dreaming but what's that sound?

Then I feel the earth tremble underneath me
As the midnight sky begins to bleed
And from the blackness I can hear Willie yelling
"Hey stampede!"
Farm Bureau Membership Matters
We cannot support your freedom to farm and ranch without your membership.

Join SLO County Farm Bureau now or renew your membership online. Go to to join, or download the membership form PDF. Have your renewal notice available to speed up the process; you will need to enter your membership number, name and ZIP code. Renewal dues may be paid online or over the phone by credit card.

We're here to help! Call us if you need some assistance with membership, at 805-543-3654. All California county Farm Bureau memberships are processed through the California Farm Bureau Federation, but please reach out to our SLO County office if you need your membership number or have questions.
Thank You San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau
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