2019-SLOCFB-LOGO-COLOR _002_.png

San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News

October 31, 2022


Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

SLO County Planning Commission Votes 5-0 Against Paso Basin Planting Ordinance 

Pictured above, SLO County Farm Bureau President Sarah Kramer speaks to the County Planning Commission on October 27 on the proposed Paso Basin Land Use Area Management Ordinance. The Planning Commission sided with Farm Bureau, voting 5-0 to not recommend adoption of the ordinance by the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisors are scheduled to consider the new ordinance December 6, 2022. You can watch or listen to a recording of the Planning Commission meeting here. Read written comments submitted by Farm Bureau here and other background documents here

This Week In SLO County Agriculture

In This Week's Issue:

  • Community: Hugh Pitts Memorial Turkey Donation Underway
  • Local Government: Agriculture Remains Opposed to New Paso Robles Basin Ordinance
  • State Government: California Poised to Overtake Germany as World’s No. 4 Economy
  • Federal Government: Agricultural Groups Offer Priorities for U.S. Farm Bill
  • Business Member Spotlight: Layne Laboratories
  • UC Extension & USDA: UC Extension Agritourism News - Oct 2022
  • Featured Member Discount: Ford Discount
  • Environmental: NRCS California's Conservation Funding Assistance Deadline Fast Approaching
  • Produce: Talley Farms’ Byron Talley Selected for Future Volunteer Leaders Class
  • Labor: Will California Really Implement A $22 Minimum Wage?
  • Livestock: 2022 Livestock & Range Symposium, November 2nd in Santa Barbara County 
  • Vineyard & Wine: Why So Many Winemakers Are Embracing Agroforestry
  • Water: Ask the Experts: Drought and Climate Change in California

October 24 Most-Read

1.   CA Farm Bureau Voting Guide 2022

2. Great Pumpkin Contest held at SLO's Mission Plaza

3. ‘Cowgirl Christmas’ craft show coming to event center in November

4. 20th Annual Great AgVenture Educates Local Fourth Graders

5. UCCE Release Online Tool, "The California Rancher Sustainability Assessment" 

6. County urged during public comment to stop cooperating with immigration enforcement

7.  USDA announces $1 billion debt relief for 36,000 farmers

8.  U.S. sets lease sale date for Morro Bay offshore wind farms  

9.  Central Coast winemakers celebrate their harvest and international acclaim

10.  Study: Pesticide restrictions would spike lettuce costs

Executive Director Report

Here are a few things we worked on this week:

  • Board Member Chris Darway hosted a group of local agriculture leaders to discuss opportunities to support local 4-H Clubs;
  • Conducted extensive outreach regarding the Paso Basin Land Use Area Management Ordinance including meeting with Commissioners, submitting written comments, and President Sarah Kramer spoke at the Planning Commission meeting; 
  • Gave an update at the Shandon-San Juan Water District meeting;
  • Monitored the Paso Basin Cooperative Committee meeting;
  • Held a SLO County Farm Bureau Board of Directors meeting;
  • Kicked-off sales of our 2023 Sportsmen Raffle Calendar;
  • Deputy Executive Director Catie Field gave our weekly agriculture update on the Tom & Becky Show on KJUG 98.1 (Thursdays around 9:05am); and
  • Hosted a Continuing Education Class for farmers, certified crop advisors and pest control advisors with the SLO County Department of Agriculture and Weights / Measures.

Community: Hugh Pitts Memorial Turkey Donation Underway

9a4e48bd-993d-4df1-ab48-c8781c321cf7 image

Hugh Pitts Memorial Turkey Donation Underway

For many years around Thanksgiving, longtime Farm Bureau board member and community servant, Hugh Pitts, donated a pallet of turkeys to the SLO County Food Bank. It was one of the many selfless acts of service Hugh led before his untimely passing in 2018, and SLO County Farm Bureau continues the tradition in Hugh's honor.

Last year, members of the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau and the Pismo Oceano Vegetable Exchange (POVE) donated 100 turkeys and over 4,500 pounds of locally grown celery and cabbage to the SLO Food Bank. The SLO County agriculture community worked together to raise $6,430 to cover the cost of the turkeys.

If you would like to contribute to this effort you can:

1. Give with a credit card online by clicking here or call our office at 805-543-3654; or

2. Drop off cash, check (payable to SLO County Farm Bureau) or pay with a credit card in-person at our office.

If you have questions or would like to donate commodities to the cause, please call Farm Bureau at 805-543-3654.

Local Government: Agriculture Remains Opposed to New Paso Robles Basin Ordinance

SLO County Board of Supervisors Meets November 1

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

Items of Interest to Agriculture:

  • Agenda Item 1- Introduction of an ordinance implementing the County Fee Schedule "A" for Calendar Year 2023 and Fee Schedule "B" for Fiscal Year 2023-24. Hearing date set for November 8, 2022. All Districts.
  • Note: This agenda item includes proposed fee increases in the Department of Agriculture, Weights & Measures. “Twenty-seven fees are recommended to increase anywhere from $2 to $50 or 3% to 100%. A total of 15 fees are proposed to increase by 10% or more. Most of the fees are increasing due to negotiated salary and benefit increases and CPI increases. There are also a number of fees which were historically set to less than full cost recovery which are either being increased gradually towards full cost recovery, or which are being set to full cost recovery or the state mandated maximums for the first time.” For the list of fee changes see Attachment 1 “SUMMARY OF CHANGES TO CURRENT FEES Schedule “A” – Fees Effective JANUARY 1, 2023” 

Ballots being received at SLO Co. elections office

With the November election less than two weeks away, voters are already casting their ballots and local election officials say turnout is expected to be higher this time around compared to the June primary. Many voters statewide say they're choosing to turn in their ballots early.

Read More

Agriculture Remains Opposed to New Paso Robles Basin Ordinance

Local agricultural groups continue to speak out against a new proposed county ordinance regulating water use from the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin, which will go before the SLO County Planning Commission on Oct. 28.

Read More

State Government: California Poised to Overtake Germany as World’s No. 4 Economy

800x-1 image

California Poised to Overtake Germany as World’s No. 4 Economy

Gavin Newsom is as familiar as anyone with the media narrative of earthquakes, persistent wildfires, droughts, homelessness and companies fleeing California to Texas for a tax- and regulation-free lifestyle. This is nothing new. California’s governor recalls a 1994 Time Magazine cover story citing “a string of disasters rocks the state to the core, forcing Californians to ponder their fate and the fading luster of its golden dream.”

Read More

California gubernatorial candidates Newsom, Dahle clash in only debate before Election Day

Gov. Gavin Newsom and his Republican challenger, state Sen. Brian Dahle, sparred Sunday over inflation, climate change, education, abortion and other issues in their only scheduled debate ahead of the Nov. 8 election. The hour-long debate, aired on KQED radio and later broadcast on TV, did not feature strict time limits, creating a feisty back-and-forth.

Read More

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

October 28, 2022

Agricultural Employment

  • The Cal/OSHA Standards Board met in San Diego on October 21. At that meeting, four of seven Standards Board members strongly requested that Cal/OSHA include exclusion pay in the two-year non-emergency COVID-19 Standard the Board is expected to consider at their December meeting. Farm Bureau has been supportive of the agency’s decision to forego further exclusion pay requirements in the non-emergency version of the standard, given the Legislature’s proven ability to respond to needs for employees to be made whole for missing work because of COVID by passing and renewing COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave, most recently doing so in August for SPSL that will remain in effect until December 31, 2022.


  • The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will hear updates on Tuesday, November 1st from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. regarding local actions by Groundwater Sustainability Agencies to manage groundwater basins as well as an updated study on drought impacts related to idled land and economic loss. You can view the meeting here.
  • The State Water Resources Control Board is accepting proposals for $4 million of federal Clean Water Act section 319 funding. Funding will be awarded to projects that reduce fertilizers, sediment, pesticides, and other pollutants from reaching waters. Proposals can be for sustainable farming, grazing, timber harvest, wildfire recovery, and marina operations, as well as rural road improvements, habitation restoration, and more. You can attend two informational webinars on the Nonpoint Source Grant Program, November 1st from 10:30 to 11:30 and November 2nd from 4:30 to 5:30. Staff will answer your questions and explain eligibility and application requirements, funding timelines, instructions on the online application system, scoring criteria and more! You can sign up at this link for one or both sessions. Proposals for the Nonpoint Source Grant Program are due by 5:00 pm on Monday, December 19, 2022, using the State Water Board’s Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST)

Federal Government: Agricultural Groups Offer Priorities for U.S. Farm Bill

Agricultural Groups Offer Priorities for U.S. Farm Bill

By Christine Souza With the federal farm bill set to expire in 2023, the California Farm Bureau and others are providing input to members of Congress about programs and provisions that farmers and ranchers would like to see in the next round of farm legislation that affects the nation's farms, consumers and the environment.

Read More

State of: The 2020 Census and New Congressional Districts

The 2020 census provided a trove of information about our nation's growing population. Seven states lost one congressional seat, including, for the first time, California.

These seats went to six states, with Texas gaining two congressional districts. This map shows how the seats shifted between the states.

Read More

Business Member Spotlight:

Layne Laboratories

layne-labs-logo image

Layne Labs breeds animals specifically for zoos, wildlife rehabilitators, reptile breeders and hobbyists.

Our mice and rats are housed and bred in a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licensed 60,000 sq. ft. facility in Arroyo Grande, California. We’re fanatical about sanitation, animal nutrition, and providing a healthy living environment.

This means that when you purchase from us, you can count on receiving a healthier animal, high in nutritional value, and more robust in size.

Our facility is fully automated to control temperature, humidity, light cycles, and water availability.


PHONE: 1-805-242-7910

UC Extension & USDA: UC Extension Agritourism News - Oct 2022

UC Extension Agritourism News - Oct 2022

In 2016, Heather and Bryon Hadwick attended the Agritourism Intensive training, a signature course of the UC ANR Agritourism Program. Heather had been wanting to start a pumpkin patch, Bryon wasn't so sure. When they learned that an Agritourism Intensive was coming to Redding, they saw an opportunity to learn more about what it would take to start an agritourism enterprise and hear from experienced agritourism operators.

Read More

USDA announces regional networks for new Transition to Organic Partnership Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced it is establishing cooperative agreements in six regions across the United States for the Organic Transition Initiative, Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP). Organizations participatin...

Read More

Thank You Farm Bureau Members

Renewing Agricultural Members

Stephanie Marden,   Eileen Giannini,   Stewart Ranch,   Paul Dilger,   Carlos Castaneda,   Anthony Domingos,   Vina Quest LLC,   John Gardner,   William Harington,   Clyde Warren,   Lacey Livestock, and   James Saunders

Renewing Associate Members

Patricia Knudson

SLO County Farm Bureau Business Support Member List

Featured Member Benefit:

Ford Discount

Farm Bureau Bonus Cash is exclusively for active Farm Bureau members who are residents of the United States. $500 Bonus Cash on eligible new 2020/2021/2022 Ford Ranger, F-150 or Super Duty.® This incentive is not available on F-150 Raptor,

F-600, F-650 and F-750 Super Duty®. This offer may not be used in conjunction with most other Ford Motor Company private incentives or AXZD-Plans. Some customer and purchase eligibility restrictions apply. Must be a Farm Bureau member for

30 consecutive days prior to purchase and take new retail delivery from an authorized Ford Dealer’s stock by January 3, 2023. Visit FordFarmBureauAdvantage.com or see your authorized Ford Dealer for qualifications and complete details. Note to dealer: Claim in VINCENT using #37860 Download Certificate

VPPS Cardlock locaitons Full Page Ad 2021.png

Environmental: NRCS California's Conservation Funding Assistance Deadline Fast Approaching

Climate-warming methane emissions rising faster than ever, study says

The amount of methane in the atmosphere is racing ahead at an accelerating pace, according to a study by the World Meteorological Organization, threatening to undermine efforts to slow climate change. The WMO's Greenhouse Gas Bulletin said that "global emissions have rebounded since the COVID-related lockdowns" and that the increases in methane levels in 2020 and 2021 were the largest since systematic record keeping began in 1983.

Read More

NRCS California's Conservation Funding Assistance Deadline Fast Approaching

Sign up for our free fire and safety newsletter to receive the latest news about wildfires and public safety updates from our region. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California announced Fiscal Year 2023 (October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023) Farm Bill assistance opportunities for agricultural producers, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

Read More

Produce: Talley Farms’ Byron Talley Selected for Future Volunteer Leaders Class

Talley Farms’ Byron Talley Selected for Future Volunteer Leaders Class

IRVINE, CALIF. (Oct. 24, 2022) - Western Growers is welcoming the seventh class of Future Volunteer Leaders, a group who will be embedded in specialized networking and agricultural leadership development events with the organization for the next two years.

Read More

Finalists Announced for AgSharks Pitch Competition

IRVINE, CALIF. (Oct. 21, 2022) - Western Growers and S2G Ventures have announced the three finalists that will compete in the 2022 AgSharks Competition, a unique event where startup companies pitch their innovations in front of a live audience of the world's largest specialty crop producers to win a $250,000 minimum investment.

Read More

Labor: Will California Really Implement A $22 Minimum Wage?

Will California Really Implement A $22 Minimum Wage?

A new California bill could impact the wages of more than half a million fast food workers. On Labor Day 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced he had signed the FAST Recovery Act (AB 257) into effect, ...

Read More

Stanford University to study foreign agricultural worker program in WA

Use of the H-2A program, where agricultural employers hire foreign workers seasonally when they cannot find enough local labor, has skyrocketed since the turn of the millennium. Yakima County had 8,000 such workers October 2021 and June 2022.

Read More

Farm Bureau Extension: 2022 CE Series- November 10 Virtual Training

English Session: 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Topic: Pesticide Use and Bees

Speaker: Trent Voss, Regional Manager, Blue Diamond

1 hr Other

Register Here

Upcoming FELS Webinars and Training

Nov. 8, 10 AM (FREE Webinar): How Do Ag Employers Deal with the Moving Target of Drug Testing? Impaired employees pose a real hazard in workplaces with large, powerful and dangerous machinery, and even wher employees perform common, everyday tasks. California policymakers have erected various roadblocks and limitations on how employers can ensure their employees’ safety is not threatened by impaired co-employees. Featuring Catherine Houlihan of FELS' Group Legal Services Program partner firm Barsamian & Moody.

For more information on all these FREE webinars and registration, visit the FELS Webinars page

Mandatory Produce Safety Training (in person): The Food Safety Training Partnership, a cooperative effort of California Farm Bureau, Farm Employers Labor Service, and Safe Food Alliance, is offering produce safety training required by the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The $35 training fee is substantially supported by a grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture.


  • Nov. 9, California Farm Bureau, Sacramento
  • Nov. 15, Yolo County Farm Bureau, Woodland
  • Dec. 3, California Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Conference, Monterey
  • Dec. 4, California Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, Monterey
  • Jan. 18, San Diego County Farm Bureau, Escondido
  • Jan. 26, Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, Modesto
  • Feb. 1, Tehama County Farm Bureau, Red Bluff

You can find registration and more information, including additional training dates and times, on the Food Safety Training Partnership website

Livestock: 2022 Livestock & Range Symposium, November 2nd in Santa Barbara County 

2022 Livestock & Range Symposium, November 2nd in Santa Barbara County 

First case of deadly bird flu reported in SLO County. Here's how to stop it from spreading

After killing millions of birds nationwide, the most dangerous bird flu in a dozen years -the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) - has arrived in San Luis Obispo County. A sick Canada goose was found near Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo.

Read More

Vineyard & Wine: Why So Many Winemakers Are Embracing Agroforestry

Current Issues in Winemaking

Current Issues in Winemaking Our November Seminar will focus on what it takes to get grapes from the vineyard, through the winery and into consumers' glasses. Our speakers will discuss winery-grower interactions and challenges in today's economic climate. This seminar will be beneficial for both growers and winemakers.

Read More

Local winery wins 'Top All-Around Winery' at international competition

Winery given award out of 374 wineries entered - Hearst Ranch Winery in Paso Robles recently won numerous awards at the San Antonio Stock Show [...]

Read More

Why So Many Winemakers Are Embracing Agroforestry

On a recent morning, winemaker and owner Julie Johnson shows off the scruffy edges of her vineyard and the hedgerows lining the driveway at Napa's Tres Sabores . "I have 15 varieties of pomegranate," she says. "They bring hummingbirds, and hummingbirds eat insects. Some kind of sage is always blooming and bringing in beneficial predators.

Read More

Water: Ask the Experts: Drought and Climate Change in California

GUEST COMMENTARY: SGMA is Failing. Time to Fix It

Guest commentary by Michael DeLapa, executive director of LandWatch Monterey County, and Chelsea Tu, executive director of Monterey Waterkeeper In 2014 California finally joined other western states by enacting groundwater management legislation. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) requires local governments...

Read More

Ask the Experts: Drought and Climate Change in California

California's water year begins every Oct. 1, and as this month started, the state put a distressing cap on the driest three-year period in its history. Alarming signs of drought are everywhere, from the early loss of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains to fields of crops lying fallow to mandates imposed...

Read More

Further Increases to Water Fees 'Reprehensible'

The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has moved forward with a proposal to further increase water fees for several programs. President and CEO of the Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA), Roger Isom described the action as "reprehensible."

Read More

Farm Bureau Membership Matters

SLO County Farm Bureau - Membership Info 2020.png

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

Nationwide logo vert 72.jpg
EJ Gallo logo.png
Farm Credit West logo_color-no tagline.jpg
treasury wine estates - large logo _002_.png
JUSTIN_Logo_2012 _002_.png
Limoneira Logo.png
Bee Sweet Logo.png
Visit slofarmbureau.org
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

View This Email In Your Browser