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In the News

Bounty of the County. Father and Son, Humberto and Gabriel Castañeda, Bring in a Successful Harvest

Humberto Castañeda Produce is nestled on a stretch of fertile ground at Denner Ranch along River Road between Santa Rosa and Forestville. Together, Humberto Castañeda, 62, and his son Gabriel, 26, work to grow high quality, fresh produce. On their 180 acres, they grow the most produce of any farmers in Sonoma County. The family plans, prepares fields, plants, cultivates, fertilizes, harvests, markets, and sells the product of their hard work. The Castañeda’s fields are filled with vegetables for as far as the eye can Continue reading →

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What Farmers and Wineries Can Do to Prepare for PG&E Power Shutoffs

The fire season started on June 1, but wildfires in recent years did not become a local issue until October and November in Sonoma County – even though some blazes started earlier in other parts of Northern California as we see today. The question being asked by farmers, vineyard owners and winery operators is what can be done at this late date to implement a last-minute power continuity plan, and will generators, installers, electricians and equipment deliveries be available before (or when) they are needed? Continue reading →

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Potter Valley Project Update

Water. A key ingredient to the powerhouse agriculture industry we are a part of here in Sonoma County. Hopefully, like me, you have stayed up to date with the latest developments regarding the Potter Valley Project. The Mendocino Inland Water and Power Commission is still in the licensing process to take ownership and control of the power plant and water supply from the diversion from the main stem of the Eel River to the Russian River that many here in Sonoma County rely on. The Continue reading →

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Sonoma County Farms on Lockdown?

An article that appeared in the Press Democrat in mid-September reported on the Futurewell Summit held at the Stemple Creek Ranch in West Marin. There were two primary messages that came from the summit: that consumers need to connect with farmers and source their food locally and that there needs to be more programming that brings healthy food directly from the farmer to areas that are underserved and considered “food deserts”. Through our community farmers markets, on-farm food stands and sourcing of locally grown products Continue reading →

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Larry Peter and the Great Peter Pumpkin Patch

For most, Autumn is filled with fond memories of school visits to the pumpkin patch, carving jack-o-lanterns, sipping cider, and enjoying the beauty of the colorful fall landscape. For members of the agricultural community though, fall is all about harvest. While many Farm Bureau Members spend long days and nights bringing in the winegrape or apple harvest, longtime Farm Bureau Member and successful dairyman Larry Peter spends his days with a farm full of pumpkins and children. Since 1994, Peter has generously opened up his Continue reading →

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SRJC Agriculture Department Developing New Hemp Program

The Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Agriculture Department is developing a new Hemp Agriculture program that will train students in the cultivation of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.), with a goal of launching the program in fall 2020. SRJC is the first community college in California to develop a certificate and degree program focused on hemp. Beginning spring 2020, students can take hemp-focused courses within the existing SRJC Sustainable Agriculture and Horticulture programs. Courses include Introduction to Plant Science, Soil and Plant Nutrition, Integrated Pest Management, Continue reading →

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Sonoma County Department of Ag/Weights & Measures October Update

Pesticide Use Near Public Schools and Licensed Day Care Centers A new regulation went into effect January 1, 2018, that requires growers (agricultural production sites) within ¼ mile of a K-12 public school or licensed daycare center to notify the school administrator of anticipated pesticides that may be used during the next fiscal year (July 1st – June 30th). These notifications are due to school site administrators by April 30th each year. Of the 306 school sites notifications required for the 2019/2020 fiscal year in Continue reading →

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Rebecca Pate Joins Sonoma County Farm Bureau as the Director of Community Outreach and Membership

Previously, Rebecca Pate was on the leadership team at Sonoma Media Investments, known to many as the Press Democrat, where she managed a team of marketing consultants whose focus was to help local small to medium-sized businesses increase revenue. In her 6-year career with SMI, she was awarded the California News Publishers Association, Best Mass Media Campaign, for her work on Destination Lake County and has since been the idea generator behind marketing campaigns for some of the North Bay’s top companies. Her most recent Continue reading →

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