Below, are highlighted articles that were published in Farm News from January 2017 - December 2017. To view, click on the cover below to navigate to the articles.
Note: Not all the articles that were in each publication made it online, so if you are looking for another article please contact Farm Bureau and ask, 707-544-5575.
Archived Farm News Articles by Year
Love of the Land honors Stewards of the Land
On July 13th, more than 1,000 people gathered at Richard’s Grove and Saralee’s vineyard to celebrate agriculture. Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s annual Love of the Land event, was successful in bringing in people from all facets of agriculture to socialize and honor stewards of the land.
Vanoni Ranch: Six Generations and 115 Years of Farming in Geyserville
Mark Vanoni emigrated from Switzerland with his wife Angelina in the mid 1800’s. They settled on the Central Coast and had a dairy below the Hearst Castle. However, a severe drought in 1898 caused the family to lose their dairy. The Vanonis searched the state for a new ranch, seeking a piece of property with ample water. They purchased their Geyserville ranch in the first couple years of the 1900’s.
Through the Years
For Sonoma County Farm Bureau members who may have not noticed, this year has marked the centennial year since local farmers and ranchers came together in 1917 to organize as a county Farm Bureau. Sonoma County, along with seven other county Farm Bureaus and several farms and ranches were inducted into the Agricultural Heritage Club last month in recognition of 100 years continuous operation.
Collaboration is Key to Ensure Long Term Ag Preservation
In June, I was honored to be invited by the Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW) to educate sommeliers and consumers on Sonoma County’s sustainability initiative in Washington D.C. and New York City. With me were my fellow grape growers Brad Petersen from Silver Oak Winery and Doug McIlroy from Rodney Strong Vineyards.
Graffiti is a wide range of markings, etchings, and painting that deface public and private property. The graffiti offenders use different materials to perform their criminal acts such as; spray paint, permanent markers, crayons, chalk, or lipstick.
Joe Rochioli Honored for Outstanding Achievements in FFA and Agriculture
Joe Rochioli Jr. was honored for his outstanding Achievements in FFA and Agriculture by the Healdsburg High School FFA Ag Boosters Board on June 24, 2017 at their Shrimp Boil and Bluegrass fundraiser at Jackson Family Wine's Richard’s Grove. More than 150 guests turned out for the 2nd annual event, including leaders from the business and agricultural sectors.
Summer Fire Safety
Working on the North Valley Animal Disaster Group, (NVADG), Evacuation Team at the Wall Fire really brought home the importance of preparedness for rural home, horse and livestock owners. As we searched for roads, driveways, and animals, we could not help but think of our own neighborhoods. Who would be there for Sonoma? And, how would they find the animals?
All of that extra zucchini from the garden is perfect for this rustic homemade dish. We have used Roma tomatoes for the sauce but you can substitute any tomatoes you may be growing.
Walker Apples: 107 Years of Family Farming Tradition
Lee Walker, 86, is a sixth generation apple farmer in Graton whose 50 acre apple farm epitomizes the term family business. Walker manages the farm alongside his son Lee Walker III, but around the property you will always find a handful of family members putting in their best effort on top of their day jobs to help the family business succeed.
Gamlake Dairy: The Gambonini Family, Passionate About Dairy Cattle, Has Been Farming on the Same Land for 104 Years
The Gambonini family has been farming in Petaluma for nearly 150 years, passing down their family ranch off Lakeville Highway for the last 104 years. Frank Gambonini runs the ranch alongside his wife Stacey, and the couple has three daughters who are actively involved in the ranch and the dairy industry.
The Gravenstein Apple
Sonoma County apples, especially the Gravenstein, have been a staple here since 1883 when Luther Burbank advised Nathaniel Griffith to plant Gravenstein apples on his 78 acre ranch on Laguna Road in Sebastopol. With that, the commercial apple industry was born. At the beginning of World War II in 1940, Sebastopol had its high point of 13,875 acres of apples with 9,750 acres planted in Gravenstein.
Hello Folks! Do You Know that Sonoma County Has...
We get to see just how much value agriculture provides by way of annual reports, detailing the production and harvest of crops that provide jobs and resulting income, not including the government taxes and fees collected each year from these activities.
Emily Janowski Hired As Membership Development and Advertising Coordinator
Emily Janowski, a Santa Rosa native raised in Fortuna, has been hired as Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s Membership Development and Advertising Coordinator. Janowski is a recent graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and past Member Services Coordinator for the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau.
New Survey Highlights the Valuable Contributions of Local Winegrape Growers to Sonoma County
A new survey of more than 295 winegrape growers in Sonoma County confirms that the local winegrape industry provides a number of valuable contributions to the community. As one of the largest employers, winegrape growers pay top wages to their workers and serve as generous philanthropists contributing to non-profit organizations and groups in every corner of Sonoma County.
Apple Cherry Bake
This is a great recipe to make and take to BBQ’s, potlucks, and family gatherings. It’s easy to make and celebrates one of the best fruits of the season: apples! Although gala apples are one of our favorites (and native to California!) you can replace them with your favorite variety.
Earl and Dot Holtz Inducted Into Sonoma County Farm Bureau Hall of Fame
Earl and Dot Holtz have dedicated thier life to bettering the Sonoma County Dairy industry. Earl and his wife Dot came to Sonoma County in 1964 and have spent their lifetime supporting the dairy industry and educating the public about the importance of agriculture.This year, the Holtzes will be inducted into Sonoma County Farm Bureau's Hall of Fame.
Robert Young Estate Vineyard and Winery: 159 Years
Peter Young immigrated to New York in the early 1800’s and came to California in the 1850’s for the Gold Rush. He settled on 120 acres in Alexander Valley, where he raised cattle for leather and sheep. At their peak, the Young family had more than 700 head of sheep, raised grain and herds of cattle. Peter cleared the land in the 1870’s and prepared it for the first prune orchard. Peter’s son, Silas, followed in his father’s footsteps. The tradition of growing prunes was carried on by Silas’s son Robert, who was born in 1919.
Ags Shrinking Bottom Line
Over the last 18 months, agricultural businesses in California have seen an onslaught of new regulations. These laws were voted into effect by the California legislature. The legislature that the citizens of California elected into office. These new regulations have a direct impact to Sonoma County ag's bottom line.
Farm Bureau Foundation Awards More Than $130,000 in Scholarships to Students Studying Agriculture in Sonoma and Marin Counties
Farm Bureau Foundation of Sonoma County has awarded more than $130,000 to top students in Sonoma and Marin Counties pursuing higher education in agricultural related fields. This year, 44 students will receive scholarships. All of the recipients are graduating high school seniors and students continuing their education at a four year university or the Santa Rosa Junior College. Scholarship winners are majoring in agricultural business, animal science, dairy science, ag education, viticulture and diesel technology.
Sonoma County Farm Bureau Hosts AFBF President Zippy Duvall, Supervisor Zane and CFBF 1st Vice President at Premium Member Lunch
We hosted the American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, Supervisor Shirlee Zane and CFBF 1st Vice President at the annual Premium Member Lunch. In addition to other special guests, 40 of Sonoma County's influntail ag producers attended.
Summer Vegetable Skewers with Avocado Cilantro Dip
This Avocado Cilantro Dip is cool and refreshing for summer as a side to any of your barbeque favorites. We often use skewers as appetizers and this recipe fits that perfectly. The recipe is fun and easy, you can prepare the skewers up to 1 day ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Jackson Family Wines Receives Luther Burbank Conservation Award
As a leader on the sustainability front, Jackson Family Wines will be honored with the Luther Burbank Conservation Award at Love of the Land on July 13th. Although they formally launched their sustainability program in 2008, the company was founded with sustainability in mind. When the late Jess Jackson, founder of Kendall-Jackson, thought about farming he was mindful of taking care of the land and wanted to build a company that would last for multiple generations.
Oak Ridge Angus: 105 Years of Raising Cattle in Sonoma County
At 14 years old, Massimino LaFranchi emigrated from Switzerland in 1888 and made his living milking cows. In 1912, the he bought 500 acres of land on the outskirts of Calistoga forming Oak Ridge Farm, named after the oak trees found along the hills of the property.
A Stable Workforce
What do California and Sonoma County farmers have to do to secure a stable labor force? According to the LA Times, wages for crop production in California increased 13% from 2010 to 2015, twice as fast as average pay in the state. In Sonoma County, many growers pay $3 to $5 above minimum wage giving our employees a chance to make $120 to $150 per day.
Why, Who, How, What?
The last week of April at the Sonoma County Farm Bureau offices saw two days of thoughtful and inspiring discussion. Gathering together for the interaction were thirty plus professional staff representing County Farm Bureaus from across the northern “half” of California. Most of these leaders were my peer Executive Directors or County Managers along with some county Farm Bureau program staff.
Living Amongst Non-Farming Neighbors in Rural Sonoma County
Sonoma County has always been an agricultural community. Our rural communities are rich with farming families who have been doing so for generations. To these families, everyday life on the farm is routine. Farming and ranching practices are second nature and often times we don't consider how outsiders view certain occurrences on the farm.
Strawberry Rhubarb Tea Cake
Rhubarb is very colorful and in season and works beautifully in this tea cake. This recipe is slightly sweet and buttery and can be served for brunch or a light dessert.
4,000 Students Learn About Agriculture at Sonoma County Farm Bureau's Ag Days Seventy three vendors and more than 200 volunteers helped 4000 students learned about agriculture at SCFB's Ag Days this year, and SCFB hopes that many students will take that knowledge home and share it with family and friends.
Imwalle Gardens: Four Generations and 120 Years of Selling Produce to Santa Rosa Residents
On West Third Street in Santa Rosa you'll find the Imwalle family's produce store where four generations have sold produce to Santa Rosa residents. Joe Imwalle, 76, has run the family business since he was 24 years old and still works 12 hour days.
Fees & Regulations in Agriculture
Back when both the Denner Ranch and Farm Bureau began 100 years ago, regulation, licenses and fees were almost nonexistent. Even when my father Warren started his own business in Graton in 1964, these were few and far between.Over the last 50 years, government has grown and so has everything that goes along with it. To be in business or to start a business today is a daunting task. It costs farmers money from the bottom line to license business practices we would most likely already be doing.
The More Things Change...
Several Farm Bureau volunteer leaders from Sonoma County joined with their counterparts from across the state last month for an annual three day leader's conference in Sacramento to discuss current issues.
Clover Stornetta Farms Rebrands as Clover Sonoma
Known for their billboards up and down 101 featuring Clo the Cow, Clover Stornetta Farms rebranded as Clover Sonoma in March.
Announced in early March, the company believes the refreshed Clover Sonoma name honors the company’s heritage of being from Sonoma County while looking ahead to Clover’s expanded product distribution to Southern California and beyond.
Wes Jamison Merit Awards
The Jamison Fund was established 27 years ago for the purpose of providing financial assistance to the high school agriculture programs and FFA chapters in Santa Rosa. This year 14 students received awards to support their FFA livestock projects they will sell at the fair.
Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Dill Butter
April means asparagus is at its best and this side dish is great with almost any main course. The Meyer lemon from our grandpa's tree inspired the sauce with fresh dill and everyone's favorite, creamy butter. Look for firm but tender stalks with bright green color and closed tips.
Great Sonoma Crab and Wine Fest: From 150 to 1,500
2017 marks Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s 100th year of promoting and protecting agriculture lands and farming operations through advocacy and education. As Sonoma County Farm Bureau celebrates a century of helping the community, this year’s Great Sonoma Crab and Wine Fest held strong in its 28th year.
Deadline for Farm Bureau Foundation Scholarship Applications is April 7
This year the Farm Bureau Foundation will award more than $110,000 in scholarships to Sonoma County students pursuing higher education at a four year college, junior college or vocational school within an agricultural related field.
Where’s the Crab?
As you wander through the pages of this month’s Farm News you will no doubt either recall your personal experience from attending, or learn about what you missed from the 28th annual Great Sonoma Crab and Wine Fest. Yes, it was a very successful event again and remains as one of the largest, if not the largest, Dungeness crab feeds synonymous with winter along the North Coast.
Support for Sonoma County Ag
On February 4th, Sonoma County Farm Bureau held its 28th annual crab feed and agricultural education fundraiser. Once again, we had 1,500 people attend the event that sold out two weeks ahead of time. It is a true testament of local support that so many people from the community came to socialize, drink Sonoma County wine, eat local crab and bid on both the silent and live auctions.
Groverman Ranch: Veterinarian Keeps Family Property in Ag for 100 Years
Throughout Sonoma County, the name Groverman is synonymous with a veterinarian who has dedicated his life to the county’s agricultural community. Dr. Fred Groverman, 83, has spent a lifetime as a beloved large and small animal veterinarian but also as a shepherd of his Shropshire flock which he raises on a 50 acre farm that’s been in his family since the early 1900’s.
Four Seasons Vineyard Management: How a Passion for Farming Led To the Creation of A Successful Small Business
Victor Trentadue has been farming his entire life. He was born into a farming family which was growing cherries and apricots in San Jose. As the area faced problems related to urbanization, the family moved in 1959, choosing to resettle in the Dry Creek Valley. The Trentadues chose the Dry Creek Valley because they already had relatives living there.
Southwestern Veggie Wrap
This veggie wrap is great for lunch or dinner and is made with seasonal vegetables. The cashew cream is our favorite ingredient; it adds a sweet nutty flavor that is the star of this recipe. Any leftover cashew cream is perfect for dipping raw veggies in or add some garlic and spices to it and toss it with pasta or zucchini noodles.
Russian River Confluence Slated to Develop Long Term Action Plan
On Friday, March 24, a diverse group of stakeholders from Mendocino and Sonoma counties will gather at Santa Rosa Junior College’s Shone Farm in Forestville to launch a multi-generational plan to enhance and revitalize the Russian River watershed. The group, led by Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore, includes farmers, members of several tribes, ecologists, local agency representatives, paddlers, and elected officials.
Saralee McClelland Kunde Memorial Sonoma County Youth Pruning Contest
The 13th Annual Saralee McClelland Kunde Memorial Sonoma County Youth Pruning Contest and Viticulture Challenge drew 25 contestants to Santa Rosa Junior College’s Shone Farm on Saturday, February 11th. The Sonoma-Marin Young Farmers and Ranchers, with the guidance of Pat Stornetta, helped organize the contest.
Ag Leader Terry Lindley Retires from American AgCredit after 40 Year Career
Lender, leader, rancher and agricultural visionary – not to mention benefactor and friend. Terry Lindley’s remarkable legacy fits all those categories following a distinguished career that has spanned four decades in his adopted homeland of Sonoma County. Hard to believe but the agricultural wunderkind is now 61 years old. As of Jan. 31, he retired as the chief marketing officer and senior vice president of American AgCredit, a once hometown farm lending agency that has become the fifth largest Farm Credit Association in the nation.
Hog Island Oyster Co: Stewards of the Land and Water
As the one who “went to the water”, Terry Sawyer describes himself as the black sheep of his family. Sawyer came from a family with farmers on both sides, and his family still owns a ranch in the valley. Sawyer, a co-owner of Hog Island Oyster Co., describes the difference between aquaculture and agriculture as a very fine line.
The Numbers Matter
In December, the officers and I were the delegation from Sonoma County Farm Bureau to California Farm Bureau’s annual meeting in Monterey. During the House of Delegates Business session, we spent time discussing Farm Bureau’s dues structure and how much dues would be in the future.
Agriculture Students & Research
February marks the beginning of “education season” at Farm Bureau. Our training calendar is gearing up for county farmers and ranchers to take advantage of learning and continuing education credit opportunities through early May. Also later this month scholarship applications will be available for students planning to pursue post-secondary education this fall.
Denner Ranch: 125 Years of Farming In Santa Rosa
Denner Ranches, established in 1890, is operated by Kathy Reese and her husband Steve, Russ Denner and his wife Joanne and their son Brian Denner. The property was purchased by Reese and Denner’s great grandfather who emigrated from Devonshire England, originally settling in Illinois before coming west and deciding Santa Rosa was the place he wanted to live.
Sonoma County Farm Bureau: Working For You 2016
Sonoma County Farm Bureau values our members and works hard to support local agriculture, keeping it viable in the county by protecting the industry from over regulation and continuing to educate the general public and farmers alike. We want to take this opportunity to share a small snippet of what Sonoma County Farm Bureau has done to protect and promote agriculture over the last year.
‘Life lessons’ on the ranch shape woman’s policy career
Summer Jeffus has been hired as the regional marketing manager for American AgCredit. Jeffus and Matt Wilson, American AgCredit’s new marketing director, will replace Terry Lindley who is retiring after having been with the company for more than 40 years. Jeffus grew up in San Luis Obispo on her family’s farm where they grew turf grass and sold soil amendments.
Cast Iron Skillet Omelet
This omelet is lighter than the traditional omelet and easy to make. Rich with flavor because of the Gruyere and leeks, it’s perfect for a weekend breakfast. The benefit to a skillet omelet is that everyone can eat at the same time. We like to serve it with a splash of our favorite hot sauce and a small dollop of sour cream.
Advocating for Agriculture & Its Way of Life
The Dutton Family has been farming in Sonoma County for more than five generations. This year, apple and winegrape grower Steve Dutton begins his term as President of Sonoma County Farm Bureau.
Ryan Ranch: 130 Years of Farming for Future Generations
The Ryan Ranch, between Bodega and Occidental, is nearing its 130-year anniversary. Founded in 1887 by Andrew Fitzpatrick, the ranch was originally purchased to harvest lumber and raise dairy cattle.
Big Boots to Fill
After spending the last four years on the executive team of Sonoma County Farm Bureau with John Azevedo, I have seen firsthand the dedication and countless hours John has dedicated to Farm Bureau. During his tenure as Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s President, John has been down in the trenches working hard to support local agriculture.
Keeping Our Farms in the Fight
It is during this time of year that most people reflect on where they have been and what they accomplished during the prior year, and then look forward to what is ahead as far as challenges that remain and opportunities to forge a path ahead. In Farm Bureau, this process plays out at the state level across the country between the end of harvest and the Christmas holiday.
Hannah Lipman Hired as Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s 2017 Intern
Hannah Lipman, a Santa Rosa native, has been hired as Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s intern for 2017. Lipman graduated from Santa Rosa high school in June 2016 where she was heavily involved in the school’s agriculture program.
Steve Olson Honored with Spirit of Sonoma Award
Family, community, agriculture and education are all words that describe Steve Olson, an influential member of the agricultural community. Olson’s lifetime dedication to Sonoma County has earned him the Spirit of Sonoma Award. Olson was honored alongside 21 additional community leaders who epitomize the Spirit of Sonoma County.
Roasted Winter Vegetables with Brown Butter Sage
We all get a little tired of cooking right after the holidays. When the season of time consuming comfort food is over, we like to make these quick Roasted Winter Vegetables. They’re extremely simple, but full of flavor from the brown butter and crisp sage leaves. After ten minutes of prep time and twenty minutes in the oven, they’re ready to serve.
Wilson Artisan Wineries Offer Children of Vineyard Workers Scholarships
Scholarships of $750 to $2,000 will be awarded to children of Sonoma County vineyard workers. Scholarships are open to high school seniors continuing their education and to students who are already in a college, trade or technical school.