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Sonoma RCD

Rainwater catchment projects gear up in key watersheds By Christine Kuehn, Education & Communications Manager, Sonoma RCD The Sonoma RCD recently installed its largest single rainwater catchment system to date, coming in at 60,000 gallons located in the Mark West Creek watershed. This system will support a large community garden to reduce the amount of water withdrawn from an existing groundwater well near an unnamed tributary. The project will improve summer streamflow in the watershed to benefit endangered coho salmon in critical dry, summer months. Continue reading → MORE

Balletto Vineyards

John Balletto, President and Founder of Balletto Vineyards, said that he is proud to raise his family and to make a living in the agriculture industry in Sonoma County. “We are honored to a be a member of our farming community,” Balletto said. “We truly have a great community. I think it really showed last year when the fires hit our area, and everyone came out to help their neighbors.” Like many in Sonoma County, John and Terri Balletto are no strangers to adversity. Together, Continue reading → MORE

California Farm Bureau Federation 100th Annual Meeting

Sonoma County Farm Bureau board members and staff attended the California Farm Bureau Federation 100th Annual Meeting December 4-7 in San Diego at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. SCFB Board members Jennifer Beretta, Domenic Carinalli and his wife Lynda, Jeff Carlton and his wife Kaley, Steve Dutton, Judy James and her husband Jeff, Karissa Kruse and Norm Yenni flew to San Diego to participate in the historic meeting. Staff members Tawny Tesconi, Susan Hansen, Samantha Piehoff and Brytann Busick also attended. In the opening session, Continue reading → MORE

SRJC Wine Studies Program

Sonoma County is one of the top wine-producing regions of the world, and there is no better place for students and industry professionals to immerse themselves in wine studies than at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC). The Wine Studies Program at SRJC is designed to prepare students for mid-level positions in the wine industry and to offer career advancement opportunities for individuals already employed in the industry. The SRJC Wine Studies Program is a comprehensive program covering production, analysis, sensory evaluation, marketing and sales of Continue reading → MORE

Tim Tesconi Honored with Spirit of Sonoma Award

Past Sonoma County Farm Bureau Executive Director and all-around friend to the agriculture community, Tim Tesconi, received the Spirit of Sonoma Award on December 14. The event sponsored by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board was held at the Double Tree Hotel in Rohnert Park. Tesconi was recognized alongside 21 other recipients at the annual awards ceremony. The Spirit of Sonoma Awards recognizes the leadership and positive contributions that business and agriculture leaders, chambers, and trade groups give to our local economy and community. To Continue reading → MORE

Agriculture Continues to Be a Major Driver of Today’s Robust Sonoma County Economy

Building on over two centuries of agricultural history, North Bay farmers are considering their options when it comes to continuing to produce what they have been doing for decades, while also keeping a close eye on consumer trends that could signal a shift toward more diverse offerings, including a possible return to crops that once represented a major part of the region’s output. Evidence of this is seen in the rise of craft breweries (with a need for hops), the advent of the hard cider Continue reading → MORE

Happy Cows, Happy Water Buffalo

Driving along Valley Ford Road in Petaluma, passersby might think they are catching a glimpse of a zoo. What some might guess is a part of a roadside attraction is actually a milking water buffalo herd and the dairy of new Sonoma County Farm Bureau member Andrew Zlot. Why would someone want to start a water buffalo dairy? Surprisingly, in the case of Double 8 Dairy, the answer is mozzarella cheese. Andrew Zlot, owner of the only water buffalo dairy in Sonoma County said he Continue reading → MORE

Taking up the Torch

I will never forget when I first became involved with Farm Bureau. At a Young Farmers and Ranchers meeting a great friend, Sam Dolcini, gave an incredible speech that motivated me to get active. Another great friend, John Azevedo, got me to become a member. Twenty years later, I am ecstatic that I became involved in this organization that promotes and protects agriculture. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a vineyard manager for the Dutton Family in Sebastopol. I am a Continue reading → MORE

January Editorial

John F. Kennedy said “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” Great words to live by and 2019 will be a year of change for your Farm Bureau. But before sprinting into changes for our new Farm Bureau year, I need to reflect on 2018, lest it becomes a speck in the rearview mirror. Not only are we welcoming in a new calendar year of doing business for our organization, Continue reading → MORE

January Agricultural Resources

Agricultural Resources New Online Tool for Landowners CFBF created an online tool to help landowners learn about the potential layers of regulation on a particular parcel of land. It’s easy to use! 1. Go to 2. Enter your Farm Bureau Member ID number and password (watersoftheUS2015) 3. Enter the parcel address on an interactive map to help determine whether the 2015 WOTUS rule might apply to that piece of land. This website is available to Farm Bureau members in California only. NEW Free/Low-Cost Technical Continue reading → MORE

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