Local Issues

2019 AG DAYS
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In the News

Tito Sasaki, the Water Warrior Honored with Farm Bureau Hall of Fame Award

Photo by Will Bucquoy- Sonoma Valley grape grower, scientist and businessman emerged as respected leader on water issues. The walls of Tito Sasaki’s office are lined with resolutions and proclamations from elected officials recognizing – and praising – his contributions to agriculture, particularly, his leadership in navigating complex water issues. The tributes to the longtime Farm Bureau director and former president are testament to Tito’s role as agriculture’s water warrior. Over the years, Tito has led efforts to develop a blueprint to find a balance for Continue reading →

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Two NorCal Dairies Use Methane Digesters to Help Reduce Electricity & Fuel Costs

Authors’s Note: Methane from farm animals is included among greenhouse gases that must be reduced to protect the environment. In this issue, we feature the first of a two-part series focusing on the use of methane digesters, followed by a second article in May about research at UC Davis designed to help offset methane production through feed modification and other sustainable practices. Removing methane from the atmosphere can also save money on energy with the potential for making a contribution to farm revenue if biogas Continue reading →

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April Editorial: Landowner’s Ability to Manage Waterways

Can we catch a break here in Sonoma County? If it’s not fires, then it’s floods. At the end of February, we witnessed the Russian River cresting at 46.1 feet and then experienced one of the worst floods since 1986 when the river crested at 49.5 feet. I saw roads and portions of the county underwater that I have never seen before. Could any of this have been prevented? We will probably never know. State government policies prevent many of us from managing our waterways Continue reading →

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April Editorial: Labeling of Plant-Based Products

I am sure many of you are following the progress of the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) project. I use progress, but that term doesn’t quite fit the path that the Groundwater Sustainability Plan(GSP) seems to be taking, and no disrespect is meant toward the GSA Board, Advisory Committee or staff that are diligently working toward a mandate put on Sonoma County by the State. They have spent months working on one controversial piece of the puzzle: who pays to develop the plan Continue reading →

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Member Profile: Steve & Kathy Reese

Kathy and Steve Reese are common figures at the Great Sonoma Crab & Wine Fest, Ag Days, and numerous 4-H and FFA events around Sonoma County. They are quick to offer a helping hand and their time, energy and talents to the benefit of the agriculture community. Together, they live on and operate Denner Ranch, which was established in 1890, alongside Kathy’s cousin Russ Denner and his wife Joanne. “The ranch started out with my great-grandfather and it’s been passed down generation to generation,” Kathy Continue reading →

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SRJC Sustainable Agriculture Program

SRJC’s Sustainable Agriculture program is working on a number of fronts to create high quality, community-oriented, hands-on learning opportunities in ecological farming. The program provides students with skills to grow and market organic vegetables and offers both a one-year career training certificate and a two-year A.S. degree. The program also welcomes students who take a few classes to build their farming and gardening skills. The Sustainable Agriculture program actively uses Shone Farm as a learning laboratory. During the past few years, Sustainable Agriculture classes have Continue reading →

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Weed Management after Wildfires

Severe fires can substantially affect the environment. Lack of vegetation on burned hillsides increases the likelihood of soil erosion from rain; in turn, the water quality of streams and rivers is degraded. However, the most environmentally and economically damaging impact of wildfires is the post-fire invasion and aggressive reestablishment of noxious weeds, which compete aggressively with desired native species for space and nutrients. Minimizing the impact of noxious weeds requires good post-burn weed management. Many kinds of native plants will survive and reinitiate growth soon Continue reading →

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2019 Sonoma County Farm Bureau Ag Days: The Year of Technology on the Farm

For some in Sonoma County, every day is an Ag Day. Farmers and ranchers rise early to tend their livestock, monitor their crops throughout the day, attend regulatory meetings to stay current on the latest information, and stay up late researching new production methods or technologies. However, for the 5,000 people, including nearly 4,100 inquisitive and excited students, the Sonoma County Farm Bureau Ag Days provided a unique and exciting peek into the world of agriculture. On Tuesday, March 12 and Wednesday, March 13, students Continue reading →

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To represent, protect and advance the social, economic and educational interests of the farmers and ranchers of Sonoma County.