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In the News

Western Farm Center, a Uniquely Sonoma County Trading Post for Pets and Farm Animals Iconic store, now in its 52nd year, to be honored as “Friend of Farm Bureau”

Western Farm Center, a feed, seed and pet emporium anchored along a stretch of railroad tracks in west Santa Rosa, is the kind of place national magazines would describe as uniquely Sonoma County. It’s a delicious blend of Wine Country charm, old-world values and new age trends, particularly, when it comes to the care of pampered pets. For the store’s appreciative – and loyal – customers it’s the place where the varied lifestyles in Sonoma County come together seven days a week for everything from Continue reading →

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Livestock Methane Raises GHG Concerns as Researchers Assess Various Reduction Methods

Widespread concern over livestock produced-methane (CH4) emissions, as a major component of greenhouse gases (GHG)—often depicted in pie charts—, can be misleading, according to a UC Davis waste management specialist. A state inventory analysis indicates that methane associated with agriculture practices is 8% to 9% of the GHG equivalent, while carbon dioxide (CO2) accounts for upwards of 81% to 84.6% in terms of its global warming potential—depending on which data sources are used. However, dairy and non-dairy livestock (beef and sheep) are responsible for only Continue reading →

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May Editorial: Dams are a Damn Good Thing

Have we had enough rain yet? It is finally drying out in Sonoma County and I love seeing all the tractors in the fields again. Another month has gone by, so it is probably time to talk about water again. Mother Nature has given over 50” of rain to me this year and well above average for the entire county. I think we would all agree that our goal is to store that excess water to get us by in dry years. With that said, Continue reading →

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May Editorial: The 4-H ChickenQue, A Family Tradition

It’s May and we see the signs that Sonoma County is emerging from the cold winter and unpredictable spring. Daffodils are everywhere, the hillsides are lush and green and there are 4-H ChickenQue signs dotting corners, fences and storefronts across the county. The 4-H ChickenQue (or “CQ” for this author) is Sonoma County’s slice, or drumstick, of Americana. In its 58th year, the “CQ” has been in existence slightly longer than I have – with emphasis on slightly. Fond memories from my childhood frame the Continue reading →

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Member Profile: Tina Wallis

For some, reading through a legal document that is 200,000 pages long could feel like corporal punishment, but Environmental Lawyer Tina Wallis said she finds it quite enjoyable. Her parents said that they knew from when she was a young age, that their inquisitive and hardworking daughter who loved to read would become a lawyer. They were right. After years of schooling and a stint as a bike racer, Wallis began her law career and eventually landed a job in Sonoma County in 2001. She Continue reading →

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Program and Facility Updates from SRJC Agriculture and Natural Resources Department

2019 marks a significant milestone in the agricultural history of Sonoma County: the 50th anniversary of the Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Agriculture and Natural Resources (Ag/ NR) Department. Founded in 1969 through the grit and determination of agricultural education pioneers, today the SRJC Ag/NR Department provides high-quality education and training to over 1800 students and awards 140 degrees and certificates every year. Shone Farm, acquired from the Federal Government in 1972, has grown into a 365-acre diversified agricultural education center and community gathering place Continue reading →

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Sonoma County Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures May Update

Product Labeling Requirements Identity, Responsibility, Quantity (IRQ) In 1939, California’s legislative body adopted the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act into state law. The Fair Package and Labeling Act requires manufacturers of packaged commodities to meet minimum product label standards. The most important of these standards is the I.R.Q. statement. The “identity, responsibility, and quantity” of the product must be clearly stated on the label, allowing consumers the ability to make informed decisions about what they chose to purchase. The product’s identity statement identifies what Continue reading →

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Trespassing issues/Noise complaints/O.A.N.

With spring upon us, it’s time to start gearing up for the busy seasons ahead. Whether you are preparing for another crop harvest, calving season, 4-H projects, or just cleaning up around your rural property, we should all be thinking about how to keep our properties safe. In 2018, we saw some unprecedented activities in Sonoma County by animal rights activist groups. The Sheriff’s Office fielded numerous questions regarding trespassing and how to combat it. Here are some tips to better protect your home, ranch, Continue reading →

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