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San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News

October 3, 2022


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20th Annual Great AGventure To Be Held October 11

The San Luis Obispo County Agricultural Education Committee and the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust are excited to host the 20th annual Great AGventure at the Paso Robles Events Center on Tuesday, October 11th.

This ever-popular agricultural field day is offered to the county’s fourth graders and over 1200 students will be treated to a variety of agricultural lessons as they move from station to station listening and interacting with local agriculture professionals representing animals, plants, science, farm machinery and an “Ag-tivity”. The presentations include activities such as butter making, owl pellet discovery, learning about soils, horsepower, apple grafting, water resources, strawberries, horses, weather, and farm machinery, and Cal Poly’s Tractor Pull to name a few.

Since 1989, the San Luis Obispo County Agricultural Committee’s mission has been to promote agricultural awareness to students and teachers throughout the county. Originally organized by the county’s Farm Bureau and later becoming an independent 501-C3 in the 1990’s. The Committee is made up of professional agriculturalists and teachers dedicated teaching children where their food comes from and the importance of the bountiful agriculture industry in San Luis Obispo as well as the state.

The SLO County Ag Ed Committee partners with the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust (which has been the lead sponsor since 2011 for both Great AGventure south county and north county) to bring this important field day to the students. The event would not be possible without the hundreds of dedicated volunteers who help with Great AGventure.

If you are interested in learning more about the Great AGventure and would like to volunteer, sponsor activities etc., feel free to contact Kimberly Bradley, SLO Ag ED Committee Executive Director, by emailing her at sloagedcommittee@gmail.com

This Week In SLO County Agriculture

In This Week's Issue:

  • Community: Cuesta College's Ranch Education Programs Aim to Boost Sustainability in SLO County
  • Local Government: How Can Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant Stay Open? 'It's not a done deal'
  • State Government: Newsom Relents, Signs Farmworker Union Bill After Pressure from Biden and Labor
  • Federal Government: Federal Policy News- September 29
  • Business Member Spotlight: Simmons Law Firm
  • USDA: $500M Available to Increase Innovative American-Made Fertilizer Production
  • Ag Economics: Record Turkey Prices Expected as Thanksgiving Approaches
  • Featured Member Benefit: AirMedCare Network
  • Produce: Strawberry Growers Report Market Conditions Following Rain in California
  • Labor: Farm Bureau President Responds to Signing of AB 2183
  • Wildfire: Cattle Grazing with Virtual Fencing Shows Potential to Create Wildfire Fuel Breaks, Study Finds
  • Livestock: Cal Poly Bull Test Featured in September 2022 Issue of California Cattleman Magazine
  • Vineyard & Wine: California Vineyards Endure Varied Response to September Weather
  • Water: New Desalination Plant Proposed for SLO County

September 23 Most-Read

1.   Legislation over Ag wage hikes could spell the end for firefighting goats, sheep

2. Healthy Soils Demonstration on October 22 from 9am-12pm

3. Ranchers’ rebellion: the Californians breaking water rules in a punishing drought

4. Desalinating seawater sounds easy, but there are cheaper and more sustainable ways to meet people’s water needs

5. A misguided push for organics triggers a food crisis 

6. Modernized Endangered Species Act Rules Reinstated

7.  Harvest events planned throughout Paso Robles this October

8.  Additional Pre-Filled Applications Mailing to Farmers Impacted Recent Disasters  

9.  Without Mentioning China, California Close to Blocking Foreign Buyers From Its Farmland

10.  Drought in Western US heats up as a Senate campaign issue

Executive Director Report

Here are a few things we worked on this week:

  • Reviewed the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Report for the Paso Basin Land Use Management Area Planting Ordinance;
  • Met with Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg;
  • Participated in the Cal Poly Local Economic Development Committee meeting;
  • Attended a presentation on water issues in California agriculture by Laurel Ag Water hosted by the San Luis Obispo Small Businesses Development Center;
  • Gave an update at the Shandon-San Juan Water District meeting;
  • Met with ag stakeholders regarding a City of San Luis Obispo recycled water issue;
  • Gave our weekly ag update on the Tom & Becky Show on KJUG 98.1 (Thursdays around 9:05am);
  • Sent a comment letter to the Board of Supervisors regarding Planning & Building Department work on a rural camping ordinance;
  • Met with local leaders from the USDA Farm Service Agency, Resource Conservation Districts, and the SLO County Department of Agriculture / Weights & Measures; and
  • Attended the Cal Poly Young Cattlemen’s Association fundraiser dinner.

Note: We've moved our email newsletter to Mondays! Thank you for your feedback on how we can best serve you. Comments and feedback from members are always welcome. Please contact Executive Director Brent Burchett at bburchett@slofarmbureau.org

Upcoming Events:

  • October 5- SLO County District 2 Supervisor Candidate Forum at 4:30pm
  • October 8- Pioneer Day Parade, Paso Robles, 9am-12pm, Volunteers needed
  • October 11- Great AGventure in Paso Robles
  • 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 22- Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District and Cal Poly's Healthy Soils Demonstration, Young Farmers and Ranchers Encouraged to Attend
  • 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

Mark Your Calendar for the CA Farm Bureau Annual Meeting

Join the SLO County Farm Bureau at the CFBF Annual Meeting this year!

We are a County of the Year Finalist and will receive acknowledgement for 6 Activities of Excellence in Membership, Policy Implementation, Leadership, Agricultural Promotion & Education, Public Relations, and Young Farmers & Ranchers. The presentation of awards will be on Monday, December 5, 2022.

If interested in attending as a participant or a delegate, please contact the office at 805-543-3654 or email cfield@slofarmbureau.org.

Community: Cuesta College's Ranch Education Programs Aim to Boost Sustainability in SLO County

SLO County Foundation for Agricultural Awareness Fundraiser Dinner is October 20

• What: SLO County Foundation for Agricultural Awareness Fundraiser Dinner

• When: Thursday, October 20 at 6pm

• Where: Giuseppe's Cucina Italiana - 891 Price Street, Pismo Beach

• Menu: Thank you to our wine sponsor Saucelito Canyon Vineyard. This family-style dinner will include: Appetizers: Bruschetta, Mushrooms & Pizza; Caesar salad; Ravioli di Zucca; Chicken Basillico; Braciole and Orrechiette

Details: Tickets are $150 per person and must be purchased in advance. This event is limited to 88 people and will sell out. To get a ticket, please contact Farm Bureau at 805-543-3654 or email Brent Burchett at bburchett@slofarmbureau.org as soon as possible.

Proceeds from the dinner fund the SLO County Foundation for Agricultural Awareness. Established in 1998, the San Luis Obispo County Foundation for Agricultural Awareness is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization created to support agriculture in San Luis Obispo County. All proceeds from the event will go toward educational scholarships for San Luis Obispo County youth seeking higher education at a University, College, Professional, or Vocational school.

Brookshire Farms is Hiring- Part and Full-Time Opportunities

Our seasonal part-time and full-time opportunities give the perfect flexibility for all ages. We are currently looking for employees ages 16 years and up. We are a great place to work for students, moms, retired folks, teachers, and others in search of a fun seasonal job. Learn more

Grant Funding Now Available for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Projects in SLO County

APCD also has grants for: Agricultural Tractor Equipment Replacement Program (ERP) , Agricultural Equipment Repowers and Retrofits of off-road equipment such as irrigation engines, tractors, and mobile construction equipment,and Electrification of Ag. Engines

Cuesta College's Ranch Education Programs Aim to Boost Sustainability in SLO County

Hitting a wall in your search for someone who could fix your fence, repair your barn, drive your tractor, or has some know-how on irrigation? Cuesta College thinks you can help yourself.

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Local Government: How Can Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant Stay Open? 'It's not a done deal'

SLO County Board of Supervisors to meet on October 4, 2022

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

Agenda Items of Interest to Agriculture:

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

21- Submittal of a resolution recognizing October 3-8, 2022 as "National 4-H Week." All Districts.

23- Request to 1) receive and file a report on Department of Planning and Building Activities and provide staff direction as necessary on the Department Tiered Priority Projects; and 2) receive and file the Annual General Plan Progress Report. All Districts.

How Can Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant Stay Open? 'It's not a done deal'

PG&E is preparing for two futures: one in which it closes Diablo Canyon Power Plant in 2025 and another in which it continues operating the nuclear power plant through 2030. "It's not a done deal," PG&E director Tom Jones told the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Read More

Board of Supervisors Approves New Cannabis Tax Compliance Program

On September 13th, the Board of Supervisors approved changes to the County's cannabis program, including approving a new required fee for licensed cannabis businesses operating in the unincorporated areas of the County. The new fee will take effect on October 14, 2022.

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Candidates battle for control of SLO County supes | Pacific Coast Business Times

In San Luis Obispo County, the race to represent the 2nd District on the Board of Supervisors will determine whether the board will operate with a liberal majority or a conservative majority.

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Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Report for the Paso Basin Land Use Management Area Planting Ordinance Released 

On September 26, SLO County Planning & Building Department released the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Report for the Paso Basin Land Use Management Area Planting Ordinance

What is this?

This proposed new ordinance is a replacement to the current Agriculture Offset Ordinance, which has been in place since 2013 in the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin. The intent is to raise the amount of groundwater that any property owner in the basin can use for agricultural irrigation from the current 5 Acre Feet Per Year (AFY) to 25 AFY. To achieve this, a Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) was required, which identified several new (and concerning) Mitigation Measures that will apply to agriculture in the Paso Basin if the new ordinance is adopted. 

How will it impact agriculture?

1) Allows all sites (a site is a contiguous set of parcels under common ownership) to use 25 AFY of irrigation water.

Some property owners may benefit from being allowed to pump 25 AFY instead of the current 5 AFY. These are properties that did not have any irrigated agriculture when the original Ag Offset Ordinance went into effect in 2013. Note: if your property falls under this category, please contact Farm Bureau. 

2) Increases water usage in the Paso Basin.

From page ES-3 of the PEIR: “As a reasonable impact scenario, the County has estimated that approximately 240 acres of previously uncultivated land would be affected by the proposed ordinance in the first year it is in effect, with an approximately 240-acre increase per year, for a total of 5,280 acres affected by January 31, 2045. This would equate to an annual increase in groundwater use of approximately 450 AFY, for a total increase of 9,900 AFY by January 31, 2045. This increase in irrigated acreage is based on an estimated issuance of 25-AFY groundwater per site exemptions.” 

3) Creates new “Mitigation Measures” on agriculture.

See Appendix I “Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program” in the PEIR

  • AQ-1 Construction Emissions Reductions. “On individual planting sites that have been uncultivated for 10 years or more preceding the date of application, the planting permit applicant and/or property owner shall maintain unpaved roads, driveways, and/or parking areas with a dust suppressant (consistent with the “Approved Dust Suppressant” section of SLOAPCD’s CEQA Handbook) such that fugitive dust emissions do not exceed SLOAPCD’s 20 percent opacity limit for greater than 3 minutes within any 60-minute period (SLOAPCD Rule 401) or prompt nuisance violations (SLOAPCD Rule 402). To improve the dust suppressant’s long-term efficacy, the planting permit applicant and/or property owner utilizing the planting ordinance shall also implement and maintain design standards to ensure vehicles that use unpaved roads are physically limited (e.g., speed bumps) to a posted speed limit of 15 miles per hour (mph) or less.”

  • BIO-1 Riparian and Wetland Habitat Setback. “Proposed planting plans for planting permits and 25-acrefeet per year (AFY) exemptions shall be required to include a setback of at least 50 feet from the proposed planting areas to the edge of riparian vegetation and wetland areas unless the applicant can verify that the proposed planting area within the setback was in irrigated crop production when the ordinance went into effect.”

  • GHG-1 Carbon Sequestration. “The applicants of 25-AFY exemptions shall include conservation practices (e.g., cover cropping, composting) to sequester carbon and/or reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 0.15 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MT CO2e) per acre of planting area (1:1 offset) as estimated by COMET-Planner according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Healthy Soils Program guidelines, to be implemented prior to final planting.”

  • UTIL-1 Well Metering and Reporting. “The planting permit applicant shall comply with the requirements of a County GSA-approved groundwater extraction measurement program which shall require all non-de-minimis groundwater pumpers to measure and report their monthly groundwater extractions annually and use a groundwater extraction water measuring method approved by the GSA. In the event that a County GSA-approved groundwater extraction measurement program is not established, then the planting permit applicant shall install well meter(s) in accordance with County standards to measure all groundwater used to irrigate plantings allowed by a planting permit or exemption under this section prior to beginning irrigation of the new or expanded plantings. The property owner or responsible party designated by the property owner must read the water meter and record the water usage on or near the first day of the month with a date-stamped photo or other date verification method, maintain monthly meter records, and submit an annual report of groundwater usage to the County of San Luis Obispo, Department of Planning & Building. The metered groundwater use for irrigation shall not exceed the estimated annual water demand based on the methodology in Section G, subject to the enforcement provisions of Chapter 22.74.”

  • UTIL-2 Hydrology Report. “Exemption verification applications proposing to irrigate new plantings using groundwater wells located within 750 feet of existing off-site wells shall include a hydrology report prepared by a licensed geologist that verifies the proposed water use on site will not result in more than two feet of drawdown over five years in off-site wells within 750 feet.”

What is Farm Bureau’s position?

SLO County Farm Bureau, along with the SLO County Agricultural Liaison Advisory Board, Grower-Shippers Association of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County, Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, and other agriculture groups are on record opposing the new ordinance, arguing it creates far more problems than it solves. Farm Bureau has advocated for a continuation of the existing Ag Offset Ordinance until the Paso Robles Groundwater Sustainability Plan begins management actions to bring the basin into balance.  

The ordinance will be on the October 27 Planning Commission agenda, and is expected to be on the December 6 Board of Supervisors agenda. Farm Bureau will continue working with the proponent of the ordinance, Supervisor Debbie Arnold, and other stakeholders in the coming weeks to minimize negative impacts to agriculture. 

State Government: Newsom Relents, Signs Farmworker Union Bill After Pressure from Biden and Labor

Newsom Relents, Signs Farmworker Union Bill After Pressure from Biden and Labor

Gov. Gavin Newsom ended the suspense over a farmworker labor bill by agreeing to sign it two days before deadline and after much prodding ...

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Upcoming CARB Mobile Source Training Webinars

Do you own, operate, or dispatch heavy-duty trucks in or to California? Then you need to know about the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) upcoming requirement to regularly test the emission control system of nearly every truck operating within California, regardless of where the tucks owner lives or where the truck is based.

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CDFA Board Meeets on Water Supply Strategy, Aridification. and Federal Climate Smart Grants

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will hear updates and discuss issues related to the State’s Water Supply Strategy at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday, October 4, 2022. In addition, the Board will hear from recent federal grant recipients...

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

September 30, 2022

On September 28, Governor Newsom signed AB-2183 (Stone, Scotts Valley) after giving strong signals during the last week of the legislative session that he would not do so as it lacked adequate protections for the integrity of union election processes. AB 2183 was substantially amended on August 22 to create a bifurcated system to determine union representation of farm employees, presenting employers a no-win choice: either forfeit their free-speech rights to discuss the pitfalls of unionization and forfeit private property rights upheld in the Cedar Point U.S. Supreme Court decision by allowing union access to their property to ensure their employees have an opportunity to vote (albeit through a flawed mail-in balloting process) on the question of representation; otherwise, the question of unionization would be decided by a simple card-check scheme in which many employees would never be asked their preference on union representation. In his about- face announcement, Governor Newsom highlighted an agreement with UFW and the Labor Federation to push for a bill to amend AB 2183 in the 2023 session. Those amendments would do away with the “labor peace” election procedures in favor of a card-check procedure unadorned by phony mail-in balloting procedure to try to disguise card check. AB2183 will become law as passed in August as of January 1, 2023 and California agricultural employers should be on the lookout for stepped-up union activity.

Federal Government: Federal Policy News- September 29

California Farm Bureau's Federal Policy News- September 29

  • Reclamation Public Listening Session on Drought Funding Scheduled for September 30
  • Comments Submitted to USFWS on Compensatory Mitigation
  • Modernized ESA Regulations Reinstated due to Court Ruling
  • White House Holds Hunger and Nutrition Conference
  • San Bernardino to Receive Expanded Broadband Access

Our Vote is Our Voice

Farmers and ranchers know all too well how government policy can impact their farms. Issues like labor, trade, taxes, and how we raise crops and livestock are just four of the hundreds of areas where the government can reach on to our farms. We need elected officials who will help us solve the challenges we face, not create more.

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Assemblyman Fong says supply chain crisis bill will speed up system

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/FOX58) - Assemblymember Vince Fong says 40% of products used in the U.S. Come through a california port.So the ports affect not only

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Business Member Spotlight:

Simmons Law Firm

At the Simmons Law Firm, we are cognizant of the fact that this is not just your “case,” this is your life. You have a story to tell, and the end result needs to be something you can live with. We want to make sure that your voice is heard during the legal process, and we will work with you to make that happen.


PHONE: 1-805-329-4800

USDA: $500M Available to Increase Innovative American-Made Fertilizer Production

USDA to invest $8M to expand monitoring of soil carbon

PUBLISHED ON WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to invest $8 million to support and expand monitoring of carbon in soil on working agricultural lands as well as assess how climate-smart practices are affecting carbon sequestration.

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$500M Available to Increase Innovative American-Made Fertilizer Production

WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Biden-Harris Administration is making $500 million in grants available to increase American-made fertilizer production to spur competition and combat price hikes on U.S. farmers caused by the war in Ukraine.

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Ag Economics: Record Turkey Prices Expected as Thanksgiving Approaches

Record Turkey Prices Expected as Thanksgiving Approaches

Families can expect to pay record high prices at the grocery store for turkey this upcoming holiday season thanks to the impacts of the bird flu and inflation. American Farm Bureau Federation economists analyzed turkey and egg costs in their latest Market Intel.

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Do Free Trade Agreements Benefit Developing Countries? An Examination of U.S. Agreements

This report uses trend analysis to examine whether developing countries' free trade agreements (FTAs) with the United States are beneficial to those countries by providing a comparison of trade and other macroeconomic indicators before and after the implementation of the FTAs.

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Thank You Farm Bureau Members

Renewing Agricultural Members

Ellis Bassetti,  Lora Eade,  Carroll Lauridsen,  Clint Kuhnle,  John Goodrich,  Betty Taylor,  Michael Strouss,  Paul Crout,  Rosemary Cummings,  Justin Vineyard, Lauren Duhalde,  William Greenough,  George Dana,  Tim Winsor,  William Coy,  Chris Darway, and Tom Bordonaro

Renewing Associate Members

Carl Wynne and Temblor Mountain Pack Train

New Agricultural Members

Layne Laboratories IncMark's Tire Service, and Nicholas Steele

New Collegiate Member

Bianca Sams

SLO County Farm Bureau Business Support Member List

Featured Member Benefit:

AirMedCare Network

REACH Air Medical Services LLC and CALSTAR—two of California’s preeminent air ambulance providers—are proud to be a part of the AirMedCare Network, which is an alliance among Air Evac Lifeteam, Med-Trans Air Medical Transport and REACH Air Medical Services, creating America’s largest air ambulance membership network. By becoming a member of AirMedCare Network, you will be covered by all AirMedCare Network providers in all of their service areas, which are ever-expanding. You’ll become a member of our growing community of over 3 million members—the largest of its kind in the United States. AirMedCare Network is pleased to offer group membership coverage to Farm Bureau members and their families for $65 per year. For more information on how to enroll as a Farm Bureau group member, please contact us at 1-800-793-0010. Or simply download the application here.

Benefits of Joining the AirMedCare Network:

  • No out-of-pocket expenses in connection with your flight
  • Peace of mind that allows you to focus on recovery
  • Over 320 locations, including Alaska and Hawaii
  • Network extending out across 38 states
  • Highly skilled nurses, medics and pilots ready 24 hours a day
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Environmental: EPA to Reconsider Approval of Herbicide Linked to Parkinson's Disease

EPA to Reconsider Approval of Herbicide Linked to Parkinson's Disease

After complaints from farmworkers and environmentalists, the Biden administration says it is reconsidering its 15-year re-approval of paraquat, a widely used herbicide that has been linked to Parkinson's disease in many studies. In a filing Friday with the Ninth U.S.

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California's pioneering climate change plans to nix gas heater sales by 2030

In its ongoing effort to slash ozone pollution, California is working to become the first U.S. state to phase out fossil-fueled furnaces and water heaters. Under a proposal unanimously approved from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Thursday, The Golden State voted to ban the sale of all natural gas-fired space heaters and water-heating appliances by 2030.

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Economic Tailwinds Mean The West Coast Should Stop Being An Offshore Wind Laggard

Offshore wind is the next frontier in our quest to build clean energy fast enough to avoid dangerous climate change. If done right, the United States can create thousands of new jobs and boost economies across the country - even off the West Coast. The U.S.

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Produce: Strawberry Growers Report Market Conditions Following Rain in California

Insured acreages vary widely across fruit and nut specialty crops

There are two permanent Federal options for specialty crop farmers to protect themselves against losses from natural disasters, but usage varies widely across fruit and nut crops. The USDA Risk Management Agency offers Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP) products to cover specialty crops in counties with enough data available to offer an actuarially sound insurance product.

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Strawberry Growers Report Market Conditions Following Rain in California

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An unexpected weather pattern moved through California early last week, bringing high levels of precipitation to multiple growing regions in the state. According to a report from The Source, this has had an impact on the strawberry category, leading to lower yields as the market begins firming up.

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Labor: Farm Bureau President Responds to Signing of AB 2183

California Farm Labor Contractor Association to Hold an Ag Labor Forum November 10-11th in Ventura

Gavin Newsom shoots down bill to offer unemployment help to undocumented Californians

Gov. Gavin Newsom late Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have made undocumented immigrants eligible for California unemployment benefits. The bill, known as the Excluded Workers Pilot Program, would have provided up to $300 a week for 20 weeks to unemployed individuals.

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Advocates say rules protecting outdoor workers from heat aren't being enforced

Washington state implemented new rules to keep farm workers safer when temperatures rise. But some of those workers say the state agency charged with enforcement is too sympathetic to industry. Record heat seared the Western U.S. this summer. Washington state has rules in place trying to keep ...

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Farm Bureau President Responds to Signing of AB 2183

California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson responded on September 28 to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signing of Assembly Bill 2183.

“The California Farm Bureau is deeply disappointed in Gov. Newsom’s decision to sign the misguided union organizing legislation, Assembly Bill 2183. Farm Bureau stands with California’s agricultural employees and will continue to defend their right to make uncoerced choices about union representation. However, the governor’s unfortunate decision to sign this bill will create a mail-in balloting system that threatens the integrity of secret ballot elections and leaves farm employees vulnerable to intimidation by union organizers with an obvious interest in the outcome. It also forces California’s farmers and ranchers to choose to give up free speech and private property rights in a dubious trade to allow their employees a real voice in a union election.”


The California Farm Bureau works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 31,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of nearly 6 million Farm Bureau members.

California Farm Bureau Disappointed in New Union Organizing Law

The California Farm Bureau says a new farm worker law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday will force the state's farmers and ranchers to choose to give up free speech and private property rights in a trade over union elections.

Newsom had initially indicated some hesitation about the bill, but then President Joe Biden said earlier this month that he backed the measure.

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California Workers Gain New Cannabis Protections: What Employers Need to Know

A new protection is on the way for employees in California who use cannabis before or after completing their workday. Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill yesterday expanding employment discrimination protections under state law to also cover an employee's off-the-job cannabis use.

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Newsom reverses course and signs farmworker bill backed by Biden

Newsom made no mention of the fact that he had said he could not support the bill in its current form just before it passed near the end of the legislative session. His office said it had reached a "supplemental agreement" with the UFW and the California Labor Federation on future legislation that would enable labor regulators to "adequately protect worker confidentiality."

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Wildfire: Cattle Grazing with Virtual Fencing Shows Potential to Create Wildfire Fuel Breaks, Study Finds

Cattle Grazing with Virtual Fencing Shows Potential to Create Wildfire Fuel Breaks, Study Finds

The use of virtual fencing to manage cattle grazing on sagebrush rangelands has the potential to create fuel breaks needed to help fight wildfires, a recent Oregon State University and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service study found. Virtual fencing involves placing collars on livestock.

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Newsom must do more to protect Californians from climate change and wildfire

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter . It's Friday, Sept. 30, and I'm Anita Chabria, The Times' California columnist. This week, my colleague Erika D. Smith and I published a four-part series that asks an unpopular but crucial question: Should California rebuild every vulnerable town burned by wildfire?

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Livestock: Cal Poly Bull Test Featured in September 2022 Issue of California Cattleman Magazine

Cal Poly Bull Test Featured in September 2022 Issue of California Cattleman Magazine

Read September 2022 California Cattleman by California Cattleman on Issuu and browse thousands of other publications on our platform. Start here!

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San Francisco Bay Area County Votes To Ban Weird, Brutal 'Wild Cow Milking' Rodeo Event

A California county has voted to outlaw a controversial brutal rodeo event involving tackling and forcibly milking cows. Supervisors in Alameda County, in San Francisco's East Bay, voted unanimously last week to ban the event following hours of angry comments from the public and veterinarians - as well as input from cowpokes and fans who supported continuing the event.

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Avian flu detected in California, not yet reported on Central Coast

A highly contagious bird influenza has been detected in California.

According to SPCA Monterey County, the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), a virus that is naturally spread among wild birds worldwide, has been detected in Colusa and Glenn counties.

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Merck animal health to acquire virtual livestock fencing developer

Merck Animal Health has announced that it will acquire Vence, a California-based virtual fencing start-up by the end of September. Launched in 2016, the company's origins come from research by Dean Anderson, a USDA Animal Range Scientist, who developed the idea of using audio longitudinal waves and GPS tracking to monitor the movement of cattle as they rotational graze pastures with the use of computers or smartphones.

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Vineyard & Wine: California Vineyards Endure Varied Response to September Weather

California Vineyards Endure Varied Response to September Weather

California vineyards experienced a variety of rainfall amounts in early September, leaving growers with radically differing views of table grape damage, Mimi Dorsey indicates Sept. 22. "It hit some places very hard." Dorsey, who is the export manager for Giumarra Vineyards in Bakersfield, said some Giumarra vineyards were protected by plastic and were fine.

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IFG pleads with China not to sell unauthorized grape varieties

Rogue farmers have been found to be growing unauthorized IFG grape varieties in China. Sweet Sapphire and other branded grapes owned by the fruit-breeding company are among those being illegally sold.Andy Higgins, IFG's CEO, is imploring retailers in China to only sell IFG grape varieties from a trusted importer.

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A Grape Time: Students Process First Harvest at New Wine and Vit Center

On a weekday morning before the start of fall quarter, trucks loaded with wine grapes harvested from Cal Poly's Trestle Vineyard arrived behind the JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture just as the sun started to peek over the horizon.

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Water: New Desalination Plant Proposed for SLO County

New Desalination Plant Proposed for SLO County

The words "drought-proof water supply" almost sound too good to be true, but there is a proposal in the works on the Central Coast for a water supply that does not rely on rain. The San Luis Obispo county public works department is kicking off a project that aims to bring large-scale desalinization to the Central Coast to supplement our water supply long term.

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Four in a row: California drought likely to continue

After its driest three-year stretch on record, California braces for another year with below-average snow and rain. Conditions are shaping up to be a "recipe for drought." As California's 2022 water year ends this week, the parched state is bracing for another dry year - its fourth in a row.

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Grover Beach approves new water restrictions amid projected shortfall

New water restrictions and penalties are set to impact more than 13,000 people who live in Grover Beach. New projections show that Grover Beach could face a water supply shortfall in two years. The city is now taking action to make sure that supply meets demand.

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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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