July 2010 Newsletter

President’s Message

Dick Gaiser

Recently you may  have read an article about our cattle operation.  The article was written by Ashley Archibald and appeared in the Union Democrat.  The article was about the process of “preg” checking some of our cattle and preparing those pregnant cows, and their calves, for a summer on our forest allotment.  How and why the article and how the opportunity presented itself is enough for a short story.

Ashley had contacted me, as president of Tuolumne County Farm ‘Bureau, regarding the diesel regulations that the California Air Resources Board had imposed and how they affected agriculture.  That was my first contact with her.  A bit later, she and I talked about the upcoming candidate’s night and was questioning as to it being alright for her to attend, which it was.  Then, more frequently, a very biased article appeared in the Sacramento Bee about cattle polluting the Sierra Nevada waters.  As it turned out, the Sacramento Bee reporter had talked to several people about cattle grazing and the lack of pollution in the Sierras, such as representatives of the California Cattlemen’s Association as well as the regional forest service representative on grazing.  The reporter was given alternative information from very

reliable sources, sources with good science and research background on contradictory information on high Sierra pollution.  Unfortunately, that Sacramento Bee reporter, with his agenda, chooses not to alter his article and printed a very damaging piece of yellow press.  Two weeks later, that same biased article was printed in the Modesto Bee. 

My point in relating this bit of information to you is that this Sacramento Bee reporter had no ties to today’s production agriculture, and felt that it was unnecessary to provide a balanced article, one which provides information from all sides.  In working with Ashley, we invited her to participate in our work day, let her know we are people just like her, and thus began the establishment of a relationship that I hope will be good for agriculture in general, and beneficial to those of us involved in providing quality and healthy food. 

Yes, her article had a couple of errors in it, as the timing was wrong for me to proof read it, but two very important facts resulted here.  One, is the people who read the local paper have a much clearer understanding of just what we are about, and two, (most importantly) we have established a good relationship with a local reporter and improved our relationship with the press. 

In closing, I hope to encourage each and every one of you to go out of your way to do the same as we did last month.  I realize it is more work to get these people to come to your operation, you will have to make sure they are treated well, kept out of harm’s way, and you may have to let someone else do your job so that you can make sure that reporter is getting a good understanding of what is going on.  

If you choose not to do this, you will ensure the status quo about knowledge of agriculture, and that folks, is not working.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

BOARD MEETINGS

TCFB OFFICE IN JAMESTOWN

Second Monday of each month

July 12, 2010 @ 7:00 PM

 MOTHER LODE FAIR

Mother Lode Fair Grounds

July 9 – 11th

 ANNUAL BARBEQUE & AUCTION

Hurst Ranch in Jamestown

July 24th

 FARMS OF TUOLUMNE COUNTY

Farm and Ranch Tour

August 5th

 ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DINNER

Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse Clubhouse

October 23rd

 

KRANZ TO MANAGE FARM BUREAU COMMUNICATIONS/NEWS DIVISION

An experienced agricultural communicator for the California Farm Bureau Federation has been appointed to manage the organization’s Communications/News Division. Dave Kranz will direct Farm Bureau communications that include publications, broadcast services, Web and social media sites, and outreach to Farm Bureau members, news media and the general public.

“People count on timely, accurate information to make business decisions and shape public policy, and they rely on Farm Bureau as a leading voice for California family

farmers and ranchers,” California Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger said. “With his knowledge of the news media and California agriculture, Dave Kranz will help Farm Bureau reach out to our audiences with all the tools available to us.”

Kranz has served as Farm Bureau manager of media services since 2005, providing news leads to reporters and helping them cover California agriculture. In 2008, he assumed the additional duty of editing the weekly Farm Bureau newspaper Ag Alert®. He joined Farm Bureau in 1984 as a radio reporter and has served as a media spokesman for the organization since 1992.

As Communications/News Division manager, he directs a staff of 20 responsible for producing both Ag Alert and the bimonthly magazine California Country, the weekly California Country television program, the Food and Farm News service, two websites—www.cfbf.com and www.californiacountry.org—and other communications services.

A resident of Sacramento, Kranz earned a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and worked as a radio reporter and news director in Modesto before joining Farm Bureau.

The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of 81,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members.

 

CONGRATULATIONS!

SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

SONORA HIGH SCHOOL

JACOB DANIEL

SUMMERVILLE HIGH SCHOOL

CAITLIN CAMPODONICO

ANNUAL BBQ AND AUCTION

As most of you already know, this year Annual BBQ and Auction is set for Saturday, July 24th at the Hurst Ranch Park behind the feed store on Hwy 108/49 below Jamestown.

Joe Hurst and family have graciously donated the use of the site to the Tuolumne County Farm Bureau for our annual fund raiser.  If you have never been to the site, you can’t miss this event.  Joe has promised free train rides for all and the setting is great for this occasion.  The public is invited and encouraged to attend and each Farm Bureau member should bring guests.

As it is our principle fundraiser for the year, each and every member is encouraged to bring at least one auction item.  We will have both a silent auction as well as a live auction.  Last year some of the larger items auctioned off were cattle hauls, hay, truck loads of gravel, as well as trip destinations.  I know we already have one for the Carson Valley Inn this year.  Your imagination is our only limit.

Also, each member of the Board of Directors should bring a couple of  dessert items. Actually, all members, whether Board members or not, should help out a bit on the dessert items.

We have several flyers available, and we need to get them out there for the public to see.

Please try to bring a non member with you.  They do not have to be a potential member, just someone who might enjoy the evening and learn a bit more about Farm Bureau. See you all there.

 

Two New Pests Threatening California

By Vicki Helmar, Agricultural Commissioner

One of the longest running programs operated by the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office is our Pest Detection Program.  In this program we set out traps for targeted insects such as Medfly, Gypsy Moth, Japanese Beetle, and Glassy-winged Sharpshooter.  Traps are checked periodically to ensure these insects are not invading Tuolumne County.  In the last two years two new insects have been added to the target list of unwanted pests: Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) and European Grapevine Moth (EGVM).

These two pests of are particular concern because of their relatively rapid spread after the first detections in California.  In the case of LBAM, which was first detected in 2007 in Alameda County, 17 different counties are now under quarantine for this pest.  EGVM was first detected last fall in Napa County but has already been found in five additional counties.  And the pest finds have not been limited to coastal counties.  Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley counties of Fresno, Merced, San Joaquin, Yolo and Solano are fighting these pests. Both have the ability to survive in Tuolumne County.

These two pests are also of concern because their prime host lists include crops that are becoming important to Tuolumne County: grapes, apples, and olives. LBAM has a wide host range with over 250 species of plants at risk of being attacked by this moth.  The host list includes, but is not limited to, apple, pear, citrus, peach, avocado, oak, willow, walnut , pine, eucalyptus, roses, jasmine, strawberry, table and wine grapes, berries, corn, tomato, pepper, beans, cabbage, and other ornamental shrubs, bushes, and trees.  The host list for EGVM is not as extensive. Table and wine grapes are the primary hosts, and olives, blackberries, stone fruits, rosemary, carnations, red clover, privet, persimmon, pomegranate, and kiwi are secondary hosts.

LBAM adults are a little over ¼ inch long and are light brown yellowish moths with varying amounts of darker brown on the wings.  Females deposit egg masses on the upper leaf surface or on fruit.  Larvae disperse and construct silken shelters on the underside of leaves, usually near a midrib or large vein. Older larvae roll together leaves and buds or fruit with webbing.  Damage to the fruit occurs as surface feeding by the larvae.

EGVM adults are only 6 – 8 mm and have tan-cream colored wings, with bluish grey blotches and brown and black markings.  The larvae feed primarily on the flowers and fruits of grapes, and the flowers of olive and rosemary.  In grapes, later season feeding on the ripening fruit expose them to further damage from fungal development and rot.

The establishment of either one of these pests in Tuolumne County could be devastating to our agriculture, our landscaped residences, and our environment.  Although we are setting out traps specific for these two insects it is important that community also be on the lookout for these invasive species.  If you see these pests please contact the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office at 209-533-5691.

 

FARM BUREAU SUES FISHERY AGENCY OVER WATER RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT

Lawsuit charges Department of Fish and Game with overstepping its authority

In a case aimed at determining the scope of a long-standing state environmental law, the California Farm Bureau Federation filed a lawsuit today that charges the state Department of Fish and Game with exceeding its authority by threatening to restrict farmers’ rights to irrigate their crops.

On three occasions this spring, the Department of Fish and Game sent letters to farmers and ranchers along the Scott and Shasta rivers in Northern California, warning them of possible civil and criminal penalties if they do not notify the department of their water use and potentially obtain a permit from the agency. That permit, known as a Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement, has never before been required for farmers who use water from the rivers to irrigate crops without actually altering the riverbed itself.

In its lawsuit, Farm Bureau alleges that the Department of Fish and Game recently reinterpreted a law enacted in 1961, in an attempt to create a “fundamental change” that would give it broad new authority to oversee water rights—a function already performed by a separate state agency, the State Water Resources Control Board. The Department of Fish and Game began following the new interpretation, Farm Bureau says, as it pursued a recovery strategy for coho salmon in the two rivers, which are protected under the state Endangered Species Act.

 “Farmers and ranchers understand that Fish and Game has a legitimate role to play in protecting fish, and the department already has many other ways to do that,” said Chris Scheuring, managing counsel of the California Farm Bureau Natural Resources and Environmental Division. “Farmers along the Scott and Shasta rivers have taken a number of steps to benefit the salmon. But we do not believe Fish and Game has blanket authority to regulate every farmer’s water rights, and that’s what it’s trying to do.”

Scheuring said the streambed-alteration rules, originally drafted in response to gravel mining, were never intended to apply to farmers who merely lift a headgate near a stream to obtain water for crops. Reinterpreting the original rules nearly 50 years after they were enacted, he said, leads to a duplication of government functions never intended by the Legislature.

Through its lawsuit, Farm Bureau seeks to clarify the law and to relieve farmers of the additional time, expense and threat of punishment imposed by the extra layer of regulation. Scheuring called the lawsuit a test case that “will have widespread repercussions” for water rights and environmental enforcement statewide.

 The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of 81,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members

 

FARM BUREAU SUES FISHERY AGENCY OVER WATER RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT

Lawsuit charges Department of Fish and Game with overstepping its authority

In a case aimed at determining the scope of a long-standing state environmental law, the California Farm Bureau Federation filed a lawsuit today that charges the state Department of Fish and Game with exceeding its authority by threatening to restrict farmers’ rights to irrigate their crops.

On three occasions this spring, the Department of Fish and Game sent letters to farmers and ranchers along the Scott and Shasta rivers in Northern California, warning them of possible civil and criminal penalties if they do not notify the department of their water use and potentially obtain a permit from the agency. That permit, known as a Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement, has never before been required for farmers who use water from the rivers to irrigate crops without actually altering the riverbed itself.

In its lawsuit, Farm Bureau alleges that the Department of Fish and Game recently reinterpreted a law enacted in 1961, in an attempt to create a “fundamental change” that would give it broad new authority to oversee water rights—a function already performed by a separate state agency, the State Water Resources Control Board. The Department of Fish and Game began following the new interpretation, Farm Bureau says, as it pursued a recovery strategy for coho salmon in the two rivers, which are protected under the state Endangered Species Act.

 “Farmers and ranchers understand that Fish and Game has a legitimate role to play in protecting fish, and the department already has many other ways to do that,” said Chris Scheuring, managing counsel of the California Farm Bureau Natural Resources and Environmental Division. “Farmers along the Scott and Shasta rivers have taken a number of steps to benefit the salmon. But we do not believe Fish and Game has blanket authority to regulate every farmer’s water rights, and that’s what it’s trying to do.”

Scheuring said the streambed-alteration rules, originally drafted in response to gravel mining, were never intended to apply to farmers who merely lift a head gate near a stream to obtain water for crops. Reinterpreting the original rules nearly 50 years after they were enacted, he said, leads to a duplication of government functions never intended by the Legislature.

Through its lawsuit, Farm Bureau seeks to clarify the law and to relieve farmers of the additional time, expense and threat of punishment imposed by the extra layer of regulation. Scheuring called the lawsuit a test case that “will have widespread repercussions” for water rights and environmental enforcement statewide.

 The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of 81,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

PRESIDENT:   DICK GAISER

1ST VICE-PRESIDENT:   SASHA FARKAS

SECRETARY-TREASURER:  ROSE ENGLER

CORPORATE SECRETARY:  TY WIVELL

 BOARD

TERRI ARINGTON 

BOB  BRENNAN  

JESSE COVER     

SHAUN CROOK  

STUART CROOK       

GERALD ENGLER

BILL GAISER 

STAN KELLOGG

RON PETERSON

MARILYN RICE

 NATHAN ROSASCO

CLETE STAFFORD, OFFICE MANAGER