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San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News

October 17, 2022


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November 2022 General Election California Farm Bureau Voter Guide Now Available

California Farm Bureau has produced a 2022 November General Election Voter Guide as a reference for members and interested parties.

For non-endorsed races, California Farm Bureau asked statewide candidates, “why should Farm Bureau members vote for you?” Their responses are printed in the guide.

Unlike California Farm Bureau, SLO County Farm Bureau does not endorse candidates. We do hold candidate forums to educate our members about where candidates stand on agriculture issues. To watch a replay of our October 5, 2022 Candidate Forum for District 2 Supervisor with Bruce Gibson and Bruce Jones, click here.

This Week In SLO County Agriculture

In This Week's Issue:

  • Community: Registration for Young Farmers and Ranchers Collegiate and Regional Discussion Meet Deadline is November 1st
  • Local Government: SLO County Board of Supervisors to Hold Meeting October 18
  • State Government: Environmental Justice Reshapes the Role of Ag Commissioners
  • Federal Government: AFBF Establishes 2023 Farm Bill Priorities
  • Business Member Spotlight: Rabo AgriFinance
  • USDA: RMA Roadshow Workshops- Oct. 11 & 13, Nov. 15, & Dec. 13
  • Ag Economics: Off-Farm Occupation Farms had the Largest Percentage of Farms Managed by Principal Operators Under 55 Years of Age in 2020
  • Featured Member Benefit: Farm Bureau Bank
  • Environmental: California Tribes Will Manage, Protect State Coastal Areas
  • Produce: Sweet News for Consumers: Fall Strawberry Production Unfazed by Weather Extremes
  • Labor: Top 10 New California Employment Laws Signed into Effect by Governor Newsom
  • Wildfire: See Smoke in Northern SLO County? Here's What's Going On
  • Livestock: NCBA Denounces Google Feature that Misrepresents Beef's Environmental Impact
  • Vineyard & Wine: In the Vines: How Regenerative Farming Could Help the Paso Robles Wine Industry Reach Sustainability
  • Water: Ag Order 4.0 Annual Update to the Central Coast Regional Water Board 

October 10 Most-Read

1.   SLO County makes private rural camping and RV parking top priorities

2. SLO County Farm Bureau and SLO County's Department of Agriculture/ Weights & Measure to Offer FREE DPR-Approved CE Course on October 28th

3. VIDEO- SLO County Farm Bureau - October 5, 2022 District 2 Supervisor Candidate Forum

4. Appeals Court Rules Twitchell Dam Operations Must Be Modified to Protect Steelhead

5. In the Vines: How drought and climate change threaten the Paso Robles wine industry's future 

6. Paso Basin Land Use Planting Ordinance- Final PEIR Released

7.  In the Vines: The labor and housing challenges facing Paso Robles' wine-centric economy

8.  Gov. Newsom signed the farmworkers union bill AB 2183 with conditions. Now what?  

9.  CDFA seeks input on drought-related program priorities

10.  Big Wins on Whole-Farm Revenue Protection

Executive Director Report

Here are a few things we worked on this week:

  • Did an interview with Beacon Economics staff to provide local agriculture industry information for the upcoming Central Coast Economic Forecast;
  • Several Farm Bureau members volunteered at the annual Great AgVenture educational event at the Paso Robles fairgrounds;
  • Gave a tour of SLO County agriculture to California Farm Bureau staff with the California Bountiful television show;
  • Participated in a KCBX radio interview with the SLO Food System Coalition (Listen Here);
  • Met with Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and SLO County Planning Commissioners Don Campbell, Mike Multari, and Phil Henry to discuss the Paso Basin Land Use Management Area Planting Ordinance;
  • Participated in a joint meeting of SLO Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development and Legislative Action committees regarding the potential of using City of SLO recycled water for agriculture in the Edna Valley;
  • Gave our weekly agriculture update on the Tom & Becky Show on KJUG 98.1 (Thursdays around 9:05am);
  • Talked with the founder of Oasia Farms who is building a spirulina farm in South County; and
  • Monitored the October 13 Central Coast Regional Water Board meeting update on Ag Order 4.0 (watch the archived recording here)

Upcoming Events:

  • October 20- Great Pumpkin Contest- Mission Plaza, SLO 4-7pm
  • October 20- SLO County Ag Awareness Dinner at Giuseppe's in Pismo Beach (more info here)
  • October 21- Adelaida Farm Center Meeting- 6:00pm at Old Adelaida Schoolhouse
  • October 22- Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District and Cal Poly's Healthy Soils Demonstration, Young Farmers and Ranchers Encouraged to Attend, details here
  • October 25- SLO County Farm Bureau Board of Directors Meeting
  • October 28 from 8:00am to Noon - San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau and the County of San Luis Obispo Department of Agriculture / Weights & Measure are partnering to host a Continuing Education Class - Register here

Community: Registration for Young Farmers and Ranchers Collegiate and Regional Discussion Meet Deadline is November 1st

City Seeking Old Tractor for New Development

92nd Paso Robles Pioneer Day Parade Makes its Way Through Downtown

PASO ROBLES - The day Paso Roblans have been waiting for finally came, the 92nd Annual Paso Robles Pioneer Day and Parade. Per tradition, beans started cooking at 7 a.m., with the parade floats making their way down Spring Street and through downtown.

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Registration is OPEN -The deadline to enter is Tuesday, November 1

The California Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee has one more regional Discussion Meet Contest! This one-day event is designed to bring together members interested in discussing current issues and coming up with solutions. 

The top two contestants from the regional contests will compete in the Final Four Round, held at the 2022 California Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, on December 4, in Monterey, CA.

  • Saturday, November 12 at California State University, Fresno

The regional contest will take place in one day and includes a continental breakfast and lunch.


  • The four finalists will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the California Farm Bureau Annual Meeting and YF&R State Conference.
  • First place wins $5,000 and will represent California in the American Farm Bureau Contest. 
  • Second place wins $1,000. 
  • Third and Fourth place finalists win $500 each. 

Discussion Meet Questions

Discussion Meet Manual

Discussion Meet Registration Form

Discussion Meet Best Practices

Collegiate Discussion Meet

Discussion Meet Questions

Discussion Meet Manual

Discussion Meet Registration Form


  • First place wins $1,250 and a trip to the national AFBF YF&R Conference
  • Second place wins $750
  • Two additional finalists win $500 each
  • Champion Collegiate Team wins $250

For more information, contact Stephanie Younger at 916-561-5593 or email syounger@cfbf.com

Local Government: SLO County Board of Supervisors to Hold Meeting October 18

October 18 SLO County Board of Supervisors Meeting

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

Items of interest to agriculture:

-Item 9 - Submittal of a resolution to 1) approve and authorize the Chairperson to execute a water transfer agreement between the Central Coast Water Authority (CCWA) and the San Luis Obispo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District to transfer 1,000 acre-feet of State Water Project (SWP) water in response to emergency conditions; 2) authorize the Director of Public Works to execute the Department of Water Resources’ water transfer letter agreement that permits the transfer to CCWA; and 3) adopt proposed guidelines for emergency SWP water allocations and 4) authorize the Director of Public Works to administer the emergency SWP water allocations and develop short-term SWP water transfers in response to local water supply emergencies. All Districts.

-Item 10 - Request to 1) waive the request for proposal process and approve and sign a sole source renewal contract for professional services with North American Weather Consultants Inc., in an amount not to exceed $342,625 per year for three years, through the 2022-25 winter seasons, for the Winter Cloud Seeding Program for the Lopez Lake Watershed; and 2) authorize the Director of Public Works, or designee, to approve and sign amendment(s) to the contract in an amount not to exceed a contingency of $35,000 per year; and amendment(s) to extend the contract up to three additional years, through the 2028 winter season, in an amount approved by the Board in the annual budget process. Districts 3 and 4.

-Item 16 - Resolution recognizing San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau on the occasion of its 100th Anniversary. All Districts.

-Item 19 - Submittal of a resolution authorizing staff to proceed with developing the Desalination Executable Solution and Logistics Plan in coordination with other participating water-purveying agencies and stakeholders and authorizing the Director of Public Works, or designee, to pursue grants to offset project costs and return to the Board of Supervisors for grant award approval. All Districts.

-Item 20 - Submittal of a resolution authorizing San Luis Obispo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District to execute and implement an agreement with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) for funding of Delta Conveyance Project preliminary planning and design costs for calendar years 2023 and 2024 in an amount not to exceed $1,295,173. All Districts.

Three candidates facing off in the race for Arroyo Grande Mayor

Three candidates with different backgrounds are looking to win over voters in the race for Arroyo Grande Mayor. Caren Ray Russom has served as mayor since 2018. She is a Central Coast native who teaches world history as well as government and economics at Santa Maria High School.

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San Luis Obispo County District 2 Supervisor race comes down to a runoff in November

After the June Primary, the San Luis Obispo County District 2 Supervisor race continues in November with a runoff. The original pool of four candidates is now down to just two. Bruce Gibson, the incumbent and the longest-sitting supervisor, is running for re-election against Bruce jones.

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State Government: Environmental Justice Reshapes the Role of Ag Commissioners

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Agri-Pulse - Environmental Justice Reshapes the Role of Ag Commissioners

10/12/22 By Brad Hooker, AgriPulse

California was the first state to track and enforce pesticide applications through a system of county agricultural commissioners. Now the Newsom administration is overhauling regulations governing commissioners after outcry from environmental justice advocates. Commissioners are now raising alarms that the coming changes could "ruin a perfectly good system."


Ruben Arroyo, the Riverside County agricultural commissioner and past president of the California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association, is pushing for science-based policies as the Department of Pesticide Regulation sets goals for pesticide notifications, raising the mill tax, increasing fines for violations and adding more limits on neonicotinoids and fumigants like 1,3-D.


Speaking at the annual meeting for the California Association of Pest Control Advisors on Monday, Arroyo described how the relationship between commissioners and the department has degraded since Gov. Gavin Newsom took office and two consecutive department directors have advanced aggressive new programs.


After Julie Henderson took over as DPR director last year, she approached Arroyo to collaborate on community engagement. Arroyo agreed with the idea of training commissioners on improving communication with communities and educating residents on the role of commissioners in enforcing laws. He volunteered to lead a six-month pilot program in his county for notifying the public ahead of pesticide applications, believing the lack of interest—with just 18 visitors to the webpage—would dissuade the administration from pursuing a statewide system. He imagined DPR would launch a basic website that maps out applications within a five-mile radius with no exact locations—without having to change regulations.

Three other programs in separate regions of the state tested other approaches to notifications, such as through emails, texts or explainers on the active ingredients within the pesticide products.

Henderson told Agri-Pulse in August that DPR has been working closely with commissioners and several other parties to improve the notification system proposal and outreach. "We have been working on an ag commissioner community engagement framework, bringing together both ag commissioners and community member representatives to work through what kinds of information would be useful for commissioners and local community members to engage on so that there can be more of an open dialogue," said Henderson. "And we really appreciate the engagement—both of the ag commissioners and community members—as part of that process."

Arroyo later learned the pilot programs, along with a related advisory committee, were providing input for the department to amend the state code for agricultural commissioners. “[Henderson] specifically said we're doing this to change regulation,” said Arroyo. “That means I'm going to have to enforce something different.”

DPR now has a place holder on its current regulatory calendar to change state requirements for the notice of intent (NOI) that pesticide applicators must submit ahead of time. Arroyo suggested the department could extend the current 24-hour requirement for NOIs to as much as 96 hours ahead of applications to support a more robust and location-specific notification system. He suspected the revised regulation would handicap the authority of commissioners to waive the NOI requirement when growers need to apply a fungicide ahead of an incoming storm, for instance. The notification system would likely require applicators to input all NOIs electronically, he explained, adding that commissioners would pull inspectors from the field to assist growers who have for years submitted NOIs on paper.

“I'm worried it's going to ruin the whole program,” he said. “It's going to ruin that relationship I have between [pest control advisors] and that application.”


Commissioners perform more than 30,000 inspections every year, with a 99% compliance rate. Arroyo struggled to understand how those metrics justify changing the regulations to pursue what the administration views as “a public right to know” exactly when and where pesticides are applied.


DPR gained backlash from agricultural organizations last year for proposing to raise the mill assessment on pesticide sales to shore up a structural budget deficit and to finance new programs like the notification system. Arroyo countered that his office is financially sound, but to enforce new regulatory changes for NOIs would require more staff time.


“If you start statewide notification, you start language access, you start any of these other things, I only have a finite amount of time for people that I'm already paying money,” he said, adding that the state would have to raise the mill tax to cover the added salaries. “I know I'm taxed enough already—food prices, gas prices, everything.”


Last month Newsom signed a massive public resources trailer bill, which carried a provision to triple many of the penalties for pesticide violations. The cap for civil penalties will rise from $25,000 to $75,000, while criminal penalties can run as high as $100,000. More alarming to Arroyo was a provision tucked within the bill to expand DPR’s authority over spray drift incidents that cross county lines or involve repeat offenders.


“DPR came to the commissioners wanting to know if they can take some of that authority away from us,” he said, adding: “Where is this going to stop? Where is this going? I don't know.” Arroyo cautioned that it is his job is to enforce the laws and regulations and educate the public on new programs, but not to advocate for the agriculture industry. He instead encouraged the pest control advisors to take the next step and turn his insights on the administration into action.


“My job is to give you that information,” he said. “What you do with it is up to you.”


For more news, go to www.Agri-Pulse.com.

Drought-stricken California approves desalination plant

DANA POINT, Calif. (AP) - With California struggling through historic drought, the state's Coastal Commission on Thursday approved a desalination plant that could turn up to 5 million gallons of seawater a day into drinkable water. The commission voted 11-0 to approve the proposed Doheny Ocean Desalination Project in Dana Point, southeast of Los Angeles in Orange County.

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CDFA Announces Awards of $5 Million for Beginning Farmer and Farmworker Training and Workforce Development Grant Program

California Department of Food and Agriculture Media Contacts: Steve Lyle (CDFA), 916-654-0462 , officeofpublicaffairs@cdfa.ca.gov Espaol SACRAMENTO, October 11, 2022 - The California Department of Food and Agricultures (CDFA) Office of Farm Equity announces that it is awarding $5 million in grants for projects throughout the state through the 2022 Beginning Farmer and Farmworker Training and Workforce Development Grant Program (BFFTP).

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

October 14, 2022


The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) held a public listening session on Monday to accept farmer, rancher, and stakeholder feedback on a new block grant framework to third-party organizations for the Healthy Soils Program (HSP) and the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP). The Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation (OEFI) is exploring a block grant pilot program, rather than the current process of direct applications to CDFA, which the Department believes will allow flexibility, technical assistance, and capacity building at the regional level.

California Farm Bureau has concerns with this new approach. Instead of funds going to directly to farmers and ranchers to implement these important HSP and SWEEP practices, a large percentage of funds, including up to 25% in indirect expenses, will be funneled through non-profits and will incur third-party administration costs which will result in significantly less funds for HSP and SWEEP projects, and less money for farmers and ranchers who want to help achieve these climate smart practices. Many Farm Bureau members participated in the listening session on Monday and testified on their first-hand experiences with these programs, and their success in implementing them. Moving forward, OEFI will make the presentation to the Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel (EFA SAP) on Thursday, October 20. If you would like to participate, please register here. There will be a public comment period in which you can share your comments on this pilot proposal. If the EFA SAP moves forward with this proposal, a public comment period will open in which CAFB can submit formal written comments.

Federal Government: AFBF Establishes 2023 Farm Bill Priorities

California Farm Bureau's Federal Policy News- October 13

  • Department of Labor Finalizes Rule for Several H-2A Changes
  • Interior Announces Drought Mitigation Funding
  • DACA Ruling Adds New Wrinkle in Immigration Debate
  • USDA Seeks Applications to Improve Water and Waste Treatment for People in Rural Areas 
  • USDA Risk Management Agency Roadshow
  • Federal Policy Staff Update: Please note that effective October 7, 2022, Sara Arsenault is no longer serving as Federal Policy Director for California Farm Bureau. Please direct policy inquiries to Matthew Viohl, Federal Policy Associate Director, at mviohl@cbf.com or Erin Huston, Federal Policy Consultant, at ehuston@cfbf.com

Farm Bill

The farm bill is a critical tool for ensuring our nation's food supply remains secure. Funding for this comprehensive package, which could more accurately be called a food and farm bill, includes risk management tools for farmers, access to nutrition for low-income families, conservation programs and investments in agricultural research.

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AFBF Establishes 2023 Farm Bill Priorities

The American Farm Bureau Federation today released its priorities for what may be the most consequential legislation for agriculture in 2023 - renewal of the farm bill. The priorities were identified by a working group of Farm Bureau members and staff from across the country.

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Farm Bureau, NPPC Present Prop 12 Arguments in Supreme Court

The American Farm Bureau Federation and National Pork Producers Council presented oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday. Micheal Clements shares more on the case that goes back to 2018. Clements: Farm Bureau and the National Pork Producers Council challenged California's Proposition 12 in the Supreme Court Tuesday.

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Business Member Spotlight:

Rabo AgriFinance

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Our vision is to support leading producers and agribusinesses by recognizing and encouraging the ambition, independence and innovative thinking that is necessary to compete in a global marketplace and to provide the foundation for future generations.

Our teams of ag experts in over 50 offices connects clients to the resources, knowledge and networks of the world’s largest and most innovative agricultural bank.


PHONE: 1-855-403-1240

USDA: RMA Roadshow Workshops- Oct. 11 & 13, Nov. 15, & Dec. 13

Crop insurance basics: specialty crops

PUBLISHED ON OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - When you think of farming, you might first think of fields of corn sprawled across the Midwest. But America's farmers grow many different types of fruits and vegetables, requiring a crop insurance program that is as diverse as the crops it protects.

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RMA Roadshow Workshops- Oct. 11 & 13, Nov. 15, & Dec. 13

RMA is offering virtual workshops on Oct. 11, Oct. 13, Nov. 15, and Dec. 13 for agricultural producers - especially important to specialty crop, organic, urban, and direct market producers- and stakeholders to learn about the latest updates and improvements to the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) and the Micro Farm insurance options.

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Ag Economics: Off-Farm Occupation Farms had the Largest Percentage of Farms Managed by Principal Operators Under 55 Years of Age in 2020

Ag organizations comment on interstate commerce issue, CA Prop 12

PUBLISHED ON WASHINGTON - Editor's note: The American Farm Bureau Federation, National Pork Producers Council, and National Cattlemen's Beef Association have issued statements concerning the U.S. Supreme Court case examining California's Proposition 12 law. For more information concerning this issue, click here.

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Off-Farm Occupation Farms had the Largest Percentage of Farms Managed by Principal Operators Under 55 Years of Age in 2020

Almost a quarter of farm operations are run by a principal operator who is under 55 years old. The principal operator is the person most responsible for making day-to-day decisions. In comparison, 63 percent of U.S. self-employed workers in nonagricultural industries are younger than 55, according to the U.S.

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How Inflation Reduction Legislation Impacts Producers

Recently passed Inflation Reduction legislation has funds earmarked for agriculture to combat greenhouse gas emissions from livestock and soil tillage. However, the Washington Policy Center's Initiative on Ag Director, Pam Lewison says producers already do a lot of the things they're calling for.

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Thank You Farm Bureau Members

Renewing Agricultural Members

La Panza Ranch LLC, Tim Hartzell, JoAnn Jones, Clayton Grant, Robin Tognazzini, Stephen Quaglino, Richard Lewis, Andreas Koch, Jonathan Cagliero, Dennis Elston, and Sinclaire Blythe

Renewing Associate Members

JoAnn Head and Steven Sweet

SLO County Farm Bureau Business Support Member List

Featured Member Benefit:

Farm Bureau Bank

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Since 1999, Farm Bureau Bank has focused on providing products and services for Farm Bureau members across the country while delivering an exceptional banking experience. We share your interests, understand your background, and work to support your livelihood.

If you are in the market to finance or refinance, Farm Bureau Bank offers low-rate vehicle loans with no payments for up to 90 days. Inquire about the high-yielding Money Market and Certificate of Deposit accounts or apply online for a Farm Bureau Bank MasterCard® credit card and receive an instant decision online. 

Call 1-800-492-3276 or visit www.farmbureaubank.com

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Environmental: California Tribes Will Manage, Protect State Coastal Areas

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Newsom Advisor Warns of Climate Threats to Farming

By Christine Souza California is preparing for a drier future. Climate impacts affecting the state, such as drought, a shrinking snowpack, higher temperatures and wildfires, were central to a discussion last week by California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross and members of the state board of food and agriculture.

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CDFA awards $37.65M to projects supporting greenhouse gas reduction

PUBLISHED ON SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) today announced that it has awarded $37.65 million in grant funding to 41 methane reduction projects across the state.

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California Tribes Will Manage, Protect State Coastal Areas

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Five California tribes will reclaim their right to manage coastal land significant to their history under a first-in-the-nation program backed with $3.6 million in state money. The tribes will rely on their traditional knowledge to protect more than 200 miles of coastline in the state, as climate change and human activity have impacted the vast area.

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Produce: Sweet News for Consumers: Fall Strawberry Production Unfazed by Weather Extremes

Local Talley Farms box program is now SNAP certified

Certification makes fresh produce available to more people - It's estimated that 1 in 4 Californians - roughly 10 million people - struggle with food [...]

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Hot Alternatives Abound for Growers To Use in Place of Chemical Fumigants

There has long been a rally cry for alternatives to chemical fumigants in soil. Some voices are louder than others. "This is a philosophical thing, and it may be controversial, but I'm going to say it anyway," Steve Fennimore, an Extension Specialist with the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), says.

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Sweet News for Consumers: Fall Strawberry Production Unfazed by Weather Extremes

Americans eat over five pounds of strawberries a year, and to keep up with the massive demand, large-scale productions are needed year-round but sometimes weather extremes can play havoc with availability. California is the country's leading producer of strawberries, ...

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Labor: Top 10 New California Employment Laws Signed into Effect by Governor Newsom

Top 10 New California Employment Laws Signed into Effect by Governor Newsom

As we previewed previously, a number of hot-button legislative proposals made it to Governor Newsom's desk this year - many of which would change the landscape for California employers. For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, this year has been a "return to normal" year for California lawmakers, which means a return to aggressive legislation establishing and expanding workplace protections for employees.

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Why More Growers are Hiring H-2A Farmworkers

The H-2A visa is America's most popular temporary worker program. It allows farms to hire temporary or seasonal agricultural laborers if there aren't enough qualified or willing U.S. Americans to fill the post. 

Beginning with the Bracero Program in 1942, the United States has a long history of hiring foreign workers, usually from Mexico, for agricultural work....

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Farm and Food Workers Relief Program to be Administered by 15 Organizations

Grant recipients have been announced as part of an effort to support the U.S. food system. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is helping to cover certain pandemic-related health and safety costs for farmworkers, meatpacking workers, and grocery store workers. A total of $670 million is being distributed through the Farm and Food Workers Relief Grant Program (FFWR).

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Land As Your Legacy Succession Planning (English): October 18, 9am-10am

Targeted audience: Anyone who is actively involved in farming or ranching and is interested in transitioning their operation to the next generation. 

Course Content: As an owner of a family farm or ranch, many of your assets are tangible items. Land, livestock and equipment may be difficult to divide evenly among your children or desired parties. When the time comes for retirement, selling your assets to help pay taxes and living expenses can be equally challenging. Learn how to help better meet the future needs of your family and your business with a no-cost Land As Your Legacy transition plan from Nationwide. We'll cover the benefits of having a transition plan, who needs one and what needs to be done to put a plan in place to help minimize legal difficulties.  Individual meetings with a Certified Land As Your Legacy advisor will be arranged after this initial presentation to discuss your specific needs. Register here.

Wildfire: See Smoke in Northern SLO County? Here's What's Going On

PG&E helicopters will patrol Central Coast communities for fire risks

PG&E is sending helicopters to survey several cities and communities along the Central Coast to look out for fire risks. In a project that started on Thursday, helicopter patrols are scheduled over Morro Bay, Templeton, Cayucos, Atascadero, San Miguel, San Luis Obispo, Oceano, Arroyo Grande, Nipomo, Sisquoc and Santa Maria.

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See Smoke in Northern SLO County? Here's What's Going On

Cal Fire conducted a large, pre-planned fire near Lake Nacimiento on Thursday to control what they called "hazardous vegetation" in the area, according to a news release by the agency. The burn began at around 10 a.m. Thursday, according to the release, and a video posted on Twitter and Facebook shortly after showed firefighters spraying a stream of flames into brush.

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Prescribed burning to occur near Lake Nacimiento

Firefighters from CAL FIRE are conducting a prescribed 400-acre burning of hazardous vegetation in the Running Deer area along Gage Irving Road West/Southwest of Lake Nacimiento. The burning began at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 13 and smoke was visible from the surrounding communities for the duration of the burn.

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Livestock: NCBA enounces Google Feature that Misrepresents Beef's Environmental Impact

NCBA denounces Google Feature that Misrepresents Beef's Environmental Impact

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) denounced Google's decision to bias consumers against beef through their new sustainability search feature that provides inaccurate climate information o...

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Better Days for CA Cattle Producers

Despite a troublesome past couple of years for the cattle industry across the nation, one economist says producers can expect better days ahead. Lance Zimmermann, beef industry research analyst with Rabobank, says going through the pandemic period of 2020, 2021 and even early 2022...

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4-H relaunching in-person animal judging in California; looks to expand it in 2023

MADERA, Calif. - After a two-year COVID-induced pause, 4-H animal judging returned this year, and if the state program coordinator has anything to say about it, the program will be bigger and better than ever next year. Laurie L. Fringer, the 4-H community education specialist for U.C.

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Vineyard & Wine: In the Vines: How Regenerative Farming Could Help the Paso Robles Wine Industry Reach Sustainability

My Favorite Neighbor releases two new vintages

Both vintages conceived and crafted by farmer-winemaker Eric Jensen of Booker Vineyard - My Favorite Neighbor this week introduced the latest vintages of its flagship [...]

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In the Vines: How Regenerative Farming Could Help the Paso Robles Wine Industry Reach Sustainability

Paso Robles has successfully transformed itself into a major wine hub over the last few decades, but the future of that status is uncertain. Housing, labor and environmental issues are threatening the foundations of the industry both now and in the future.

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An early harvest gives time for reflection on bounty | Kevin Merrill

Winegrape harvest is winding down with most of this vintage in the hands of the winemakers now. It was a compressed season, thanks in part to early, unseasonably hot weather, followed by tropical rain over much of the Central Coast. I don't recall ever being finished picking this early.

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Water: Ag Order 4.0 Annual Update to the Central Coast Regional Water Board 

Ag Order 4.0 Annual Update to the Central Coast Regional Water Board 

Below are a few notes prepared by SLO County Farm Bureau Board Member Danilu Ramirez summarzing the Central Coast Regional Water Board Meeting on October 13-14. An Ag Order 4.0 summary was given by staff and Preservation Inc.


• 95 percent of growers are members of Preservation Inc. 

• 2/3 of acreage is in berries and vegetables the remainder is vineyards and greenhouses etc. 

• The majority of operations are less than 100 acres in size 


• Salinas and Santa Maria are showing overall declining trends in surface water Nitrogen levels, however they remain very much in exceedance of limits 

• Salinas is the highest exceedance in sediment but overall trends do show a decline in sediment 

• 161 new pesticides & waterbody combinations have been added to surface water TDML’s and eventually those limits will be part of the Ag Order future targets 

• Malathion & Imidacloprid continue to be wide spread in surface water samples 


• For exceedance of N by county in domestic and irrigation wells, please see results for 2022 here  

• About 4000 wells were sampled in 2022  

• In domestic wells, 42 out of close to 1500 tested are over the MCL for TCP 1-2-3 and 34 of those were in Monterey County  

• 26 percent of domestic wells tested over the MCL for Nitrogen  


• SIP program for vineyards may cover Ag Order requirements for Nitrogen reporting  

• Wetlands in the Moro Cojo Slough are showing a reduction of Nitrogen to below TDML. The Wetlands group is interested in expanding to Salinas and Santa Maria but needs growers willing to install Wetlands

• There may be alternate targets for Preservation Inc. members if an alternate program is approved, currently everyone is under the outlined Ag Order 4.0 limits and targets 

• Outliers who report over the targets and limits will face mandatory Education hours and other consequences 

• 9 percent of ranches will begin reporting yields by commodity by ranch starting Jan. 1, 2023 (ranches in groundwater phase 1 )

• There is a possibility of up to 100 lbs. of N credit for cover crops if a grower meets requirements and uses the calculation method 

An Australian startup is "growing" water for drought-parched California

MoneyWatch Water is California's most precious commodity these days, as the state endures a that scientists are calling the worst in 1,200 years. State officials say more than 1,200 wells have run dry this year, a nearly 50% increase over the same period last year.

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Amid historic drought, California approves $140 mln desalination plant

Oct 13 (Reuters) - California regulators unanimously approved a $140 million desalination plant on Thursday, offering a guideline for how the state can convert ocean water into drinking water amid the worst drought in 1,200 years. Just five months ago, the same Coastal Commission had unanimously rejected a much larger and privately owned plant, citing environmental concerns.

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5 ways the Supreme Court could transform water policy

The Supreme Court will take up a landmark dispute Monday that could shape the scope of the Clean Water Act for decades to come, affecting the fate of wetlands that have an outsize effect on emissions and climate change. The nation's highest court will kick off its new term with oral arguments in Sackett v.

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FEMA remaps county flood zones

Changes made to Salinas River flood maps in Paso Robles, San Miguel - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has proposed changes to the Flood [...]

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A Pivot on Desalination Plants: California Approves Project in Orange County

The California Coastal Commission today green-lit a $140 million desalination plant in south Orange County's Dana Point, a pivot from its unanimous rejection in May of another controversial desalination project in the county. The decision indicates that state regulators see a place for new seawater desalination plants in California to bolster water supplies, particularly for coastal areas with few water sources of their own.

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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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