San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News
September 17, 2021
As grape harvest 2021 continues, Farm Bureau member Booker Vineyard highlighted two of their vineyard employees today on Instagram. "Meet Pollo and Mauricio - this father son duo stays very busy all year in the vineyard keeping a close on eye on the 🍇 we are growing! Its fun to see the fruits of their labor come through this month with harvest!"
This Week In SLO County Agriculture
This Issue Includes: 
  • Community News: Volunteers Needed October 12 for 2021 Great AgVenture;
  • County Government News: Board Of Supervisors Met Sept 14;
  • State Government News: Save the Secret Ballot - Stop AB 616;
  • California Politics: Agri-Pulse - Senators And Newsom At Odds Over Conservation And Climate Spending;
  • Federal Government News: Pacific Nut Producer - Almond Alliance’s Elaine Trevino Nominated As US Chief Agricultural Negotiator;
  • Business Member Spotlight: Lomeli Law;
  • Livestock News: Morning Ag Clips - California's Local Meat Suppliers Struggle To Stay In Business;
  • Labor News: Farm And Food Workers Relief (FFWR) Grant Program Announced By USDA;
  • Wildfire News: The Tribune - All San Luis Obispo County Outdoor Burns Have Been Suspended To Reduce Fire Risk;
  • Water News: Roll Call - In Response To Western Drought, A Flood Of Legislation;
  • Produce News: - Kern Leads In Production Of California's Most Lucrative Crops;
  • Environmental News: Agri-Pulse - Carbon Neutrality Bill Fails Amid Skepticism Over Expanding CARB’s Authority;
  • Orchard Crop News: Pacific Coast Business Times - Mission Produce Drops 10% After Missing Earnings Estimates;
  • Vineyard & Wine News: Paso Robles Daily News - Wine Grape Harvest Begins In Paso Robles;
  • Tax & Land News: AgWeb - House Committee Nixes Transfer Tax Proposal, Farm CPA Bumps Grade From 'F' To 'B-';
  • Agriculture Tourism News: USDA Seeks Comment On Ways To Help Rural Agricultural Producers Increase Income and Expand Markets; and
  • Wisdom From The Farm & Ranch.
Community News: Volunteers Needed October 12 for 2021 Great AgVenture
SLO County Farm Bureau Hosts NOx Exempt Meeting Sept. 22...

Take advantage of the CARB AG Mileage Extension to ensure your fleet is CARB-compliant. As long as you're operating exclusively in the CARB NOx Exempt Areas of Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz Counties, you...

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Free workshop - "How to Control California Ground" - Squirrels Tuesday October 12th 8:30 A.M. - 11:00 A.M. Register for the workshop here.
County Government News: Board Of Supervisors Met Sept 14
SLO County Board of Supervisors met on September 14. Watch a video of the meeting here.

  • Item 23: Submittal of a report on the implementation of Sustainable Groundwater Management Act efforts in eight local groundwater basins and authorize staff to coordinate with the City of Paso Robles on transferring ownership of water monitoring facilities from the City to the County. - Approved on Consent Agenda. To read the full agenda item, click here.
  • Item 33: Hearing to consider approval of ordinances to amend the County Code by adding Chapter 2, Title 2.02, Sections 2.02.010-2.02.030 to create the Groundwater Sustainability Department and the position of Groundwater Sustainability Director, and amending Chapter 2, Title 2.40, Section 2.40.060 to add the Groundwater Sustainability Director to the unclassified service; and …. 4) request to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $1 million to transfer budget appropriation from Fund Center 201 - Public Works Special Services to Fund Center 205 - Groundwater Sustainability Department, by 3/5 vote. All Districts. - Approved unanimously. To read the full agenda item, click here.

Power Outages in North County: 
  • Item 31: Public Comment Period for Matters Not on the Agenda: (1:35:30 on the video) Eric Daniels with PG&E gave an update on recent power outages in North County. Daniels said new fire prevention “fast trip settings” that trigger a shutoff when a foreign object contacts a power line have been overreacting and that PG&E continues to make adjustments to minimize outages. Outages are longer in duration because field crews must inspect the entire circuit to perform any necessary repairs prior to the restoration of power. This inspection process cannot be done at night because workers must be able to see the lines.  “While these technologies make the system safer, they also may result in longer outages,” Daniels said. 
State Government News: Save the Secret Ballot - Stop AB 616
Save the Secret Ballot - Stop AB 616!

The California Senate may soon consider legislation that will strip California farm employees of the right to a secret ballot election supervised by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board to choose representation by a union. Civil rights icon Cesar Chavez fought hard for the right for farm employees to decide the question of union representation, but union advocates now want to water down the protections of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act by allowing union agents to hide behind a claim that AB 616 creates “mail-in balloting” for union elections when in fact union agents will fill in the ballots, pressure employees to sign them, collect them and send them to the ALRB.

California Farm Bureau Friday Review - State Legislation Recap
AB 73 (Robert Rivas, D-Salinas), which would allow agricultural employers to access a state-operated essential workers’ respirator stockpile originally created by legislation in 2020 passed the Senate 37-0 on September 10. Farm Bureau supports.
AB 701 (Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego) establishes an entirely new regulatory regimen for warehousing and food processing employers with 100 or more employees at a site or 1000 or more statewide who use performance metrics, making such metrics difficult and legally hazardous to use. Farm Bureau opposes. AB 701 passed the Senate on September 8 on a vote of 26-11 with three absent or not voting. Earlier, AB 701 was amended to significant narrowing its scope and removing language requiring Cal/OSHA to promulgate a regulation to protect employees from the putative dangers of working too fast to meet performance metrics.
SB 606 (Lena Gonzalez, D-Long Beach) creates a new classification of employment law violations that will cause some employers to be dubbed “egregious employers” and would thereby subject them to much higher penalty levels. These would be levied on an employee-by-employee basis rather than location by location. Farm Bureau opposes. SB 606 passed the Assembly the Assembly on a vote of 52-19 with eight absent on September 8.
SB 410  (Connie Levya, D-Chino) exempts occupational safety and health regulations from the standard regulatory impact analysis current required of all proposed regulations with an economic impact in excess of $50 million. SB 410 was ordered to the Assembly inactive file on September 8. Farm Bureau opposes.
AB 857 (Ash Kalra, D-San Jose) was placed on the Senate inactive file on September 9. AB 857 is a re-tread of SB 1102 (Monning, 2020), which was vetoed by Governor Newsom. AB 857 requires the DIR to create a duplicative notification requirement for H-2A employers and mandates a notification template the mis-characterizes the existing requirement for employers to compensate travel time at the employee’s regular rate of pay rather than the minimum wage. Farm Bureau opposes.
AB 1041 (Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland) was placed on the Senate inactive file on September 9. AB 1041 amends the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to require employers to make unpaid CFRA leaves available to care for any individual an employee regards as a family member. Farm Bureau opposes due to the uncertainty and ambiguity that will be caused by the changes.
SB 539 (Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys), a Proposition 19 clean-up bill, passed in the Senate and is awaiting further action by Governor Newsom. For more than nine-months, Farm Bureau negotiated language designed to minimize the property tax implications stemming from transfers of agricultural properties. Farm Bureau ultimately supported the legislation after an agreement within the author was reached. We appreciate the commitment of Senator Hertzberg to modify SB 539 to assist California farmers and ranchers, as well as the dialogue with the California Assessors’ Association, and the additional efforts of Assemblyman James Gallagher, Senators Brian Dahle, John Laird, Melissa Hurtado and others.
California Politics: Agri-Pulse - Senators And Newsom At Odds Over Conservation And Climate Spending
Here's how SLO County voted in the Newsom recall election

As of the final election night tally at midnight Tuesday, the majority of San Luis Obispo County voters opposed recalling California Gov. Gavin Newsom from office, though the margin had tightened slightly since earlier in the night. Experts...

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Senators and Newsom at odds over conservation and...

In the final days of session last week, the Legislature approved $16 billion in spending through budget trailer bills-the result of a three-way deal between the governor and the Democratic Senate and Assembly leaders...

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The No's have it - Gov. Gavin Newsom survives in...

California Gov. Gavin Newsom will keep his job steering the nation's most populous state. A majority of Californians have voted no - meaning against removing Newsom from office - in Tuesday's recall election of the embattled...

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Federal Government News: Pacific Nut Producer - Almond Alliance’s Elaine Trevino Nominated As US Chief Agricultural Negotiator
Democrats advance incomplete ag spending plan

The Democratic-controlled House Agriculture Committee on Monday approved a partisan spending package that is expected to grow to $94 billion once new spending for farm bill conservation program spending is added. The legislation that the...

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California Farm Bureau President Praises Nomination of Elaine Trevino  
September 14, 2021 - California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson today applauded President Joe Biden’s decision to nominate Elaine Trevino as his top agricultural trade negotiator.  
Trevino, who is from California’s Central Valley, is president of the Almond Alliance of California. She previously worked on international trade programs as deputy secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture under former governors Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  
Johansson is urging her swift confirmation by the U.S. Senate. 
“California’s farmers and ranchers are extremely pleased with Elaine Trevino’s appointment as chief agricultural trade negotiator for the United States Trade Representative,” Johansson said. “She brings a real-life understanding of California farm communities and served in key leadership positions for both Democratic and Republican administrations. Her experience in the top agricultural production and export state in the nation gives her deep knowledge of how our nation should best navigate trade issues for the benefit of farm producers across America.” 
The California Farm Bureau works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 34,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of nearly 5.6 million Farm Bureau members.  
Almond Alliance's Elaine Trevino Nominated as US Chief...

On September 13th, President Biden announced his intent to nominate several individuals to serve as key economic and trade representatives, including the Elaine Trevino to serve as Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the United States Trade...

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Business Member Spotlight:
Lomeli Law
In today’s ever changing landscape, the safety and well-being of families is becoming extremely important. Whether you are interested in planning for your future or going through a divorce, having an attorney can help provide peace of mind during the process. At Lomeli Law, I am dedicated to providing professional, efficient and compassionate representation to clients in San Luis Obispo, California and surrounding areas.

Originally from the Central Valley of California, Robert Lomeli grew up near the rural town of Porterville, California on the family’s cattle ranch. Upon completing high school, Robert obtained a bachelors degree in business administration from San Jose State University.

After graduating from SJSU, Robert began a career in the criminal justice system. After his exposure to criminal law, Robert ultimately decided to pursue a career as an attorney and attended Monterey College of Law - San Luis Obispo Branch, where he earned his law degree. Robert has served as a clerk in the San Luis Obispo Superior Court - Family Court Division and he also participated in the local Family Law Advisory Clinic.

Robert is admitted to practice in all of the courts of the State of California, and is a member of the San Luis Obispo County Bar Association. Robert is also a member of the CLA Family Law, Estate Planning and Solo/Small Firm sections.
1141 Pacific Street Suite F | San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 433 - 2000
Monday - Friday 9:00 A.M. - 9:00 P.M. 
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Renewing Members
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Livestock News: Morning Ag Clips - California's Local Meat Suppliers Struggle To Stay In Business
USDA hears how it should spend $500M on meat sector capacity

USDA must try to address the severe labor shortage afflicting agriculture as a whole, including the meat industry, numerous commenters told USDA as it determines how to spend $500 million to...

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California's local meat suppliers struggle to stay in...

The University of California, Davis, Food Systems Lab has released a white paper showing the need to support California's small and mid-scale meat suppliers and processors in order to build a more resilient meat...

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Angus internship and host ranch applications now open

Hands-on experience is arguably the most valuable way to learn, just ask the four young people who all interned this summer with the Talon Internship Program. The Talon Internship is a learning opportunity for...

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Labor News: Farm And Food Workers Relief (FFWR) Grant Program Announced By USDA
Advertise With San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau
Get Your Message in Front of Over 1600 San Luis Obispo Countians!

Our weekly E-News is sent out every Friday to our membership and local leaders. If you're interested in an effective, low-cost advertising campaign ($150 a month) please give us a call or send an email to SLO County Farm Bureau Executive Director Brent Burchett.
Wildfire News: The Tribune - All San Luis Obispo County Outdoor Burns Have Been Suspended To Reduce Fire Risk
Most national forests in California reopen early from...

The closure, which began Aug. 31 and was originally scheduled to end Friday, ended Wednesday at midnight, the forest service confirmed. Several factors went into the decision to lift the closure early - including an increase in firefighting...

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All San Luis Obispo County outdoor burns have been...

Cal Fire has announced a temporary ban on outdoor fires in San Luis Obispo County, effective Saturday, due to dry conditions and a number of firefighting resources pulled away to fight blazes in Northern California. The agency is suspending...

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Water News: Roll Call - In Response To Western Drought, A Flood Of Legislation
In response to Western drought, a flood of legislation - ...

Posted September 15, 2021 at 5:30am Las Vegas visitors can still snap selfies with the mermaids swimming among tropical fish in the Silverton Casino's massive aquarium and gaze at the colorful dancing water displays of the iconic Bellagio...

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Water banking and trading can help with SGMA, but...

In a new report, researchers at the Public Policy Institute of California look at how water markets can play a larger role in helping water users adapt to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The design of a water market is critical for...

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Regional districts file suit over state water supply cuts

California's reservoirs are nearly empty due to historic drought conditions. Water supplies for many farmers are curtailed or cut off entirely, leaving them to hope that Mother Nature ...

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Commentary: How California ignored lessons of an epic...

The epic California dry spell that even not-so-old drought historians like to call attention to-1976-77-tracks uncannily close to our current exceptional drought conditions of 2020-21. Sadly, California's statewide water system has changed almost ...

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Every drop counts in the current California drought

California is in a drought, with almost half of the state in exceptional drought, the worst level of drought intensity.

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Arroyo Grande Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan 
***Draft Chapter 4 Posted for Public Comment*** 
The Arroyo Grande Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) Draft Chapter 4 - Subbasin Setting has been posted online and is available for review. The public comment period for this chapter will close on October 15, 2021
Please visit the Arroyo Grande Subbasin GSP development website to view/download the draft chapter and submit your comments using the online comment form. All submitted public comments will be posted online for review. 
For more information on the Arroyo Grande Subbasin, please visit
Produce News: - Kern Leads In Production Of California's Most Lucrative Crops
LGMA Sign-Up Due October 1 

The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (CA LGMA) is currently accepting sign-up forms from potential new signatories for the  2021/22 fiscal year. Since 2007, handlers of California lettuce, spinach and other leafy greens have protected public health by establishing a culture of food safety on the farm through the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement. Buyers of leafy green products look for CA LGMA certification to see if their suppliers are certified CA LGMA members; additionally, both Canada and Mexico have regulations in place allowing imports of leafy greens only from CA LGMA-certified companies. 
To participate in the California LGMA program from October 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022 handlers must submit a sign-up form to the LGMA office by end of day on October 1, 2021. For more info contact LGMA Program Coordinator Connie Quinlan at or call 831.594.8060. 
Kern leads in production of California's most lucrative...

A new report shows Kern leading other counties in production of California's most lucrative crops, including three of the state's top seven agricultural exports. The California Agricultural Statistics Review 2019-2020, released last week by the...

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Environmental News: Agri-Pulse - Carbon Neutrality Bill Fails Amid Skepticism Over Expanding CARB’s Authority
Carbon neutrality bill fails amid skepticism over...

A measure aiming to push California closer to carbon neutrality failed to gather enough votes to pass the Senate on Friday, the last day of the 2021 session. Citing extreme droughts, catastrophic wildfires and intense heat waves, proponents...

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EPA pesticide ban overlooks some farmworkers

Some farmworkers will continue to be exposed to chlorpyrifos, a pesticide tied to brain damage, despite EPA's much-touted decision to ban its use on foods. Chlorpyrifos has been linked to neurological effects and other detriments, so ending its...

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Orchard Crop News: Pacific Coast Business Times - Mission Produce Drops 10% After Missing Earnings Estimates
Legal battle shakes up olive industry as acreage shrinks

As harvest of California table olives ramps up, growers say they remain at a critical juncture as they ponder the future of the business-and whether to stay in it. Though table olive production this year...

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Mission Produce drops 10% after missing earnings...

Shares of Mission Produce fell nearly 10% on Sept. 14, the day after the Oxnard-based avocado distributor and grower shared a flat third quarter 2021 financial report that fell below analysts' expectations. For the quarter ended June 30, Mission...

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Torture Orchard: Can Science Transform California Crops...

Sign up for the Morning Brief, delivered weekdays. There's a hive of PhDs at the University of California at Davis who are working to reinvent food production in the Golden State. Researchers have fanned out across the globe collecting rare plant ...

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Vineyard & Wine News: Paso Robles Daily News - Wine Grape Harvest Begins In Paso Robles
Sustainable Wine Trail in SLO CAL

We collaborated with our friends at SLO CAL and SLO Coast Wine to highlight sustainable wineries in San Luis Obispo County. We are excited to share with you this great blog and fun tasting map that SLO CAL created. Regenerative Organic...

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Wine grape harvest begins in Paso Robles

The outlook is reportedly "epic" for Vintage 2021 despite the ongoing drought. Solterra Strategies, a boutique public relations firm representing wineries, tourism destinations and marquee wine events throughout the Central Coast, has shared this ...

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Paso Soil Health Project Looking for Participants 
The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and Upper Salinas Las Tablas RCD is working with a team of California soil scientists and extension agents (Dr. Cristina Lazcano, Dr. Kerri Steenwerth, Dr. Charlotte Decock, Mark Battany and others) to study soil health, and the potential for carbon sequestration in vineyard soils of Paso Robles. Our goals include developing real metrics for what a “healthy soil” is for premium wine grapes, and as we learn, educating our members and all growers on what practices best impact soil health, carbon sequestration, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in our vineyards. This study is funded through the American Vineyard Foundation. We are now recruiting collaborating growers in the Paso Robles AVA. Are you willing to participate in the next phase of this exciting research project?  
In the last years there has been a big push for growers to incorporate practices that improve or preserve soil health. However, there are not yet clear guidelines on how much the health of a particular soil can be improved given certain management practices. There is also no information on how soil health may be important for wine grape production as compared to other crops. This project aims to determine the variability of soil health indicators (soil organic matter, infiltration etc.) in areas with different soil types and climate in Paso Robles. 
  • Allow our researchers to collect soil samples and perform soil health assessment during the 2022 late winter months (aiming for February 2022). They would like to sample from blocks that have high vs. low soil health/vigor. (approx. 2 hours needed). 
  • Participate in an interview (approx. 1 hour long) to discuss what aspects of soil health you consider important for wine grape production, and the practices that you are using to promote soil health. Interviews can be done at the time of sampling, or at a different time either in person or remotely (through Zoom).  
  • Approx. 3 hours total time commitment   
  • At all times, the researchers will adhere to strict COVID-19 safety protocols as directed by the CDC, OSHA and adhering to the specific practices that each grower has in place for your operation. 
Thank you in advance for your consideration, If you are willing to participate or have any questions please contact Dr. Lazcano, Assistant Professor of Soil Ecology, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California Davis at
Tax & Land News: AgWeb - House Committee Nixes Transfer Tax Proposal, Farm CPA Bumps Grade From 'F' To 'B-'
House Committee Nixes Transfer Tax Proposal, Farm CPA Bumps Grade From 'F' to 'B-'

Since President Biden’s America’s Family Plan was unveiled and a “transfer tax” was introduced, farmers and ranchers have been vocal about the financial implications it could cause. A new plan outlined by the House Ways and Means committee this week put some farmers’ fears to rest, as it didn’t include the transfer tax and left the “step-up in basis” intact...
Farm leaders pleased no change to 'stepped-up basis' but ...

Farm leaders said Monday they are pleased that House Democrats did not include the Biden administration's proposed change to the stepped-up basis method of evaluating assets, particularly farm land, but said other issues in the tax proposal to...

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End of Year Financial Planning 

Courtesy of Jeff Wade, Slow Money SLO  
As we begin our 2022 financial planning and budgeting process, we'd like to take this opportunity to remind folks that if you have Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) coming up, choosing to donate some of those funds will reduce your taxes to the extent the IRS allows. More information on those allowances can be found here
We are also here to help with this process in the ways we know how, such as explaining how this has worked for other benefactors of Slow Money SLO, and what details you might want to go over with your financial advisor. If you are looking for an advisor, we can suggest some local resources for your consideration. 
Please feel free to contact Jeff at with any questions or comments! 
Federal Tax Policy & Reconciliation 
Signed by 327 national, regional, and state trade associations, California Farm Bureau signed onto a letter requesting that Congress does not alter or eliminate long-standing tax code provisions that are fundamental to the financial health of production agriculture.

The letter emphasizes the important need to preserve critical tax policies like stepped-up basis, like-kind exchanges, the Sec. 199A small business deduction, and current estate tax code provisions. The letter was submitted in response to the House Ways and Means Committee markup on the budget reconciliation currently being debated in Congress. As of now, no changes to stepped-up basis or 1031 like-kind exchanges have been included.
Agriculture Tourism News: USDA Seeks Comment On Ways To Help Rural Agricultural Producers Increase Income and Expand Markets
Hipcamp Incidental Outdoor Stays Ordinance Draft San Luis Obispo County Summary. To read the full summary click here.
USDA Seeks Comment on Ways to Help Rural Agricultural Producers Increase Income and Expand Markets. Click here for more.
TRAIL TIMES: What's Been Growin' On, and Coming up!🚜🌻🍎

Saying so long to summer. While the warm weather lingers, we definitely are seeing the welcome signs of fall arriving, and more workshops and markets coming your way. How your table appears sets the tone and gets folks' juices flowing long before...

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Wisdom From The Farm & Ranch
The Highwaymen

I was a highwayman
Along the coach roads, I did ride
With sword and pistol by my side
Many a young maid lost her baubles to my trade
Many a soldier shed his lifeblood on my blade
The bastards hung me in the spring of twenty-five
But I am still alive

I was a sailor
I was born upon the tide
And with the sea, I did abide
I sailed a schooner round the Horn to Mexico
I went aloft and furled the mainsail in a blow
And when the yards broke off they said that I got killed
But I am living still

I was a dam builder
Across the river deep and wide
Where steel and water did collide
A place called Boulder on the wild Colorado
I slipped and fell into the wet concrete below
They buried me in that great tomb that knows no sound
But I am still around
I'll always be around and around and around and around and around and around

I fly a starship
Across the Universe divide
And when I reach the other side
I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can
Perhaps I may become a highwayman again
Or I may simply be a single drop of rain
But I will remain
I'll be back again and again and again and again and again and again
Farm Bureau Membership Matters
We cannot support your freedom to farm and ranch without your membership.

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

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