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In the News

Farmstead Cheese Fresh Off Highway 1. Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery Opens Shop Featuring Award-Winning Cheese & Local Products

The lights go on at the Valley Ford Cheese Plant long before dawn. Head Cheesemaker and company Vice President Joe Moreda, Jr. (31), spends his mornings in full production, adding new flavor to five generations of his family’s dairying legacy by making cheese. Sonoma County Farm Bureau Board Member Karen Bianchi-Moreda is the founder and president of Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery. Alongside her oldest son Joe, she has crafted a successful business born of her passion for the dairy industry, commitment to the Sonoma Continue reading →

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What is Direct Action Everywhere? And Why Farmers Should Be Wary

By now everyone has heard disturbing reports about Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) in connection with farm protests, trespassing, illegal break-ins, as well as stealing livestock during interventions disguised as animal “rescues”. Many of these demonstrations have resulted in damage to farm fences, broken doors, and other property as well as caused possible bio-contamination introduced to animals in Northern California and elsewhere. On August 8, Wayne Hsiung, co-founder and leader of DxE, announced plans to step down as head of this militant, controversial animal rights organization Continue reading →

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The Foundation of Sonoma County

It certainly has been busy out in the fields for all of us this year. It is great to see the grape harvest beginning and it will only continue to get busier around the county. Harvest is always my favorite time of year as we work long hours to bring in the wine grape crop that we’ve grown all year. From dairy to hay, no matter what agricultural crop we produce, harvest time repeatedly creates happiness in all that we have accomplished throughout the year. Continue reading →

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A Day at the Gravenstein Apple Fair

A few weeks back I got to experience one of Sonoma County’s true jewels – the Gravenstein Apple Fair. Produced by the Sonoma County Farm Trails small team of staff and board members, the festival-like event is held at Ragle Park in Sebastopol. Sonoma County Farm Bureau was fortunate to be a fair sponsor and, as part of our participation, had a promotional booth with activities for the many kids in attendance. Brytann Busick on our team did a beautiful job getting Farm Bureau in Continue reading →

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September Member Profile: Manzana Products Co., Inc.

Located on Green Valley Road in Sebastopol, Manzana Products Co., Inc. has produced apple sauce, apple juice, and apple cider vinegar since 1922. The company originated in 1922 as a small dryer operation known as Oehlmann Evaporator. Although rolling vineyards blanket today’s current landscape, Manzana Products Co., Inc. serves as a steadfast reminder of Sonoma County’s diverse agriculture industry which once boasted dozens of canneries that produced products from locally grown apples, prunes, pears, and hops. Today, the historic apple cannery is the last of Continue reading →

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SRJC Agriculture Fall 2019 Update

The Fall 2019 semester at SRJC kicked off on August 19th with a lot of activity in the SRJC Agriculture and Natural Resources Department and at Shone Farm. • Most agriculture courses are full, with several maintaining a waitlist of students. Animal Science 20, Basic Animal Science, has the highest enrollment of any single ag class at 45 students and is taught 100% online. • The Wine Studies Program has added new tank capacity at Shone Farm Winery to enable students to gain additional technical Continue reading →

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Sonoma County Department of Ag/Weights & Measures September Update

Sonoma County Crop Report Exceeds One Billion Dollars! On August 20, 2019, the 2018 Sonoma County crop report was presented to the Board of Supervisors. The gross value of agricultural commodities produced in 2018 is $1,106,662,100. This marks the first time we have exceeded the one billion dollar mark. The previous record was $899 million for the 2014 crop. As would be expected, winegrapes represent the majority of that value in 2018 with a crop value of $777,675,300, which works out to 70% of the Continue reading →

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2019 Gold Cup Award Recipient- Derrick Pomi

Farm Bureau Foundation of Sonoma County President Jeff James presented Derrick Pomi of Petaluma with the coveted 2019 Gold Cup Award on Sunday, August 11 at the Junior Awards Breakfast at the Sonoma County Fair. The Gold Cup is based on leadership, citizenship, character, project work, academic achievement, speaking ability, participation and performance at the 2019 Sonoma County Fair. Pomi received a $2,500 check and a $500 cash prize for his 4-H Club or FFA Chapter. Pomi,18, has been a Petaluma FFA member for 4 Continue reading →

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