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In the News

Gourmet Mushrooms 365 Days a Year

Sonoma County is home to fine wine, an abundance of local produce, generations-old dairy farms, and surprisingly, to Gourmet Mushrooms, which grows more varieties of organic culinary and nutraceutical mushrooms than any farm in America. For 42 years, Gourmet Mushrooms as been producing premium mushroom products used by the world’s finest chefs. They harvest eight varieties of organic specialty mushrooms for America’s finest restaurants, specialty food wholesalers and gourmet grocers. The company was founded in 1977 in Sebastopol and was the first to commercially grow Continue reading →

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Regulatory Barriers Are Reduced For Ag ADUs and Other Housing Statewide

The lack of adequate and affordable housing has reached a critical tipping point in California, prompting a series of landmark decisions made locally in Sonoma County as well as in Sacramento in September and October designed to eliminate regulatory constraints to housing development. These actions also make it easier to obtain approvals for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) –even on some agricultural parcels in Z Combining Districts previously excluded.   Lifting Z District Restrictions On Tuesday, September 17, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved an Continue reading →

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November Editorial: The High Cost of Regulation

Recently, the California Legislature passed bill AB 1482 and Governor Newsom promptly signed it into law, establishing rent control for all of California. Once the law is in effect on January 1, the state will begin to regulate how much Californians’ rent can increase every year, limiting it to 5 percent, plus the local rate of inflation.  Rent control will be applied mostly to apartments and other multi-family buildings—with some exceptions—along with some single-family homes. Condos and single-family homes will be exempt unless owned by Continue reading →

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November Editorial: Is Brand New Better?

Warning: the thoughts of the writer are her own and do not necessarily represent those of the Board she serves. I feel like I need to be transparent with this month’s editorial since I have never discussed my opinions expressed below with my bosses. But – this is my editorial, right? Doesn’t it afford me some leeway? A little over a year ago, the Sonoma County Tourism organization threw out the brand they were using to promote our county and crafted an image based on Continue reading →

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Member Profile: At 93-Years-Old the Pasta King Still Reigns Supreme

How many 93-year-olds do you know who still put in a 12-hour workday, 7 days a week and can, more often than not, be found at the helm of a 35-gallon marina saucepot stirring it to perfection? Most in Sonoma County know of one person who fits the description—the Pasta King, Art Ibleto. Ibleto is famous for his signature Italian cooking, generosity, and a resiliency that brought him safely through WWII. His recipe for success includes a blend of family, hard work, community service and Continue reading →

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Tomorrow’s Leaders Today Agriculture Day

Tomorrow’s Leaders Today partnered with Sonoma County Farm Bureau to support the organization’s agriculture program. Nearly 100 juniors from high schools from Sonoma County participated in Agriculture Day. Through connections with local farms and businesses in Sonoma County, the Sonoma County Farm Bureau introduced Tomorrow’s Leaders Today students to the diversity of local agriculture. “We are proud to continue our partnership with Tomorrow’s Leaders Today,” said Sonoma County Farm Bureau executive director Tawny Tesconi. “During Agriculture Day students learn from our farmers about crops, livestock Continue reading →

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Sonoma County Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures November Update

Regulating Hemp in Sonoma County On April 2, 2019, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on the recommendation of the Agricultural Commissioner voted to approve a temporary moratorium on the cultivation of industrial hemp.  The moratorium is set to sunset on April 30, 2020.   During the public hearing, the Board gave direction for the Agricultural Commissioner to develop and have in place a local ordinance for the regulation of hemp by the time the moratorium was to sunset.  At that time, the justification for the Continue reading →

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Farm Safety

In the last two years, and most recently in June of 2019, we have seen unpredictable, and sometimes chaotic events in Sonoma County brought on by animal rights activist groups. Since the mass arrest of 98 activists in June, the animal rights groups are adapting and coming up with unique strategies to enter and sabotage our Sonoma County farms. The animal rights activists have gone to such extremes as to disguise themselves as United States Department of Agriculture inspectors to enter farms and conduct reconnaissance. 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.