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In the News

Steam, Smoke and Sawdust. Sturgeon’s Mill Brings a Vital Piece of Northern California’s Logging History to Life in Sebastopol

Just 7 miles off the Pacific Ocean, nestled beneath towering redwood trees, is a picnic ground, office, blacksmith shop, working sawmill, and layer upon layer of history covered in sawdust. Sturgeon’s Mill is powered by steam, a dedicated volunteer crew, and a strong desire to preserve an important piece of Sonoma County’s history. It gives visitors the opportunity to experience the historic sawmilling processes in action. The mill is a place where “limbing”, “bucking”, and “skidding” are commonly shouted phrases and where visitors learn the Continue reading →

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CWGA Seeks to Modify Ag Overtime Pay Law to Add Longstanding Sheepherder Exemption

Sheepherders have always been exempt from traditional state hourly minimum wage and hourly pay overtime requirements due to the distinctive nature of the remote, nomadic work—but not anymore. This comes at a time when wildfire prevention is a high priority in California, in which grazing plays a vital role in many communities. Under provisions of AB 1066, a bill signed into law by Governor Brown on September 12, 2016, followed by an amended wage order in January 2019, the state’s sheepherders are now subject to Continue reading →

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August Editorial: For the Love of the Land

It has been said many times, but we are truly blessed to live, farm and ranch in Sonoma County. Farmers and ranchers are the original environmentalists. They maintain the land and its beauty for generations and simultaneously feed the world. Last month at our Love of the Land awards dinner, I had the privilege to help recognize several stewards of the land. We were also happy to partner with the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber of Commerce as they presented their Leadership in Agriculture Award as Continue reading →

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California Farm Bureau in Washington D.C.

In mid-July, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. with a small delegation of California Farm Bureau Federation representatives. Josh Rolph, CFBF’s Manager of the Federal Policy Division, organized this trip to meet with California’s representatives to discuss critical issues facing our state’s agriculture industry. Besides me, there were two other county managers on the trip, each representing two central California counties. During a few pre-trip phone conference calls, we determined that of the three counties represented all had the same significant areas Continue reading →

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Member Profile: Park Avenue Catering

For the past 30 years, Park Avenue Catering has served up quality food and service with a side of philanthropy and community involvement. Bruce Riezenman is the owner and executive chef of Park Avenue Catering. His approach to food and life is similar—savor the flavor of wine and food and the way they taste together, but also savor the moment, the place, and the people we share them with. This philosophy guides the most highly regarded catering company in the North Bay, which serves sophisticated Continue reading →

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New Scholarship Program Launches at SRJC

On July 12, at Shone Farm, Santa Rosa Junior College and the Wild Goat Foundation launched the WG Edge scholarship program. This program provides significant scholarship support for four local young women to study agriculture at SRJC, and connects them with a “village” of teachers, mentors, and internship sponsors who can guide, inspire, and open doors for them. WG Edge was created out of gratitude to the local agricultural community by Judy Jordan, formerly of J Vineyards and Winery and founder of Geodesy Wine, with Continue reading →

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Sonoma County Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures August Update

Pesticide Use Report Reminders The promptness of submitting pesticide use reports and the accuracy of the information is extremely important. This information is not only used by regulatory agencies, but also by wineries, packers, and other end-use processers. Additionally, Pesticide Use Reports, along with the many of the documents kept by the Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures, are subject to the California Public Records Act. The public has the right to request and access much of the information on file with the Department. There has Continue reading →

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UC IPM is Celebrating 40 Years

The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Established July 1, 1979, with funding from the California Legislature, UC IPM built upon a growing movement to reduce dependence on pesticides. Drawing on expertise across the University of California system, UC IPM develops and distributes UC’s best information on managing pests using safe and effective practices that protect people and the environment. Over the years, UC IPM expanded its efforts beyond agriculture to include residential audiences such as 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.