New Member Benefit from Western Square Industries.

logoWestern Square Industries has been a longtime supporter of Farm Bureau and recently joined the Butte County Farm Bureau as a member. A family owned business since it was founded in 1978, Western Square Industries has put quality and customer service first in providing essential products to agriculture.

Western Square Industries offers a variety of agricultural products including: light duty gates, wire filled gates, utility bow gates and panels, heavy duty gates and panels, feeders, field trailer, harvest bins and shade trailers. They also have one of the largest powder coating facilities in California where they use the Tuff Guard process that sets their products apart. All of the products made by Western Square Industries are custom made in Stockton, Calif. shade-trailer.jpg

As supporters of Farm Bureau, Western Square Industries offers a 10 percent discount on its shade trailers to current Farm Bureau members.

“We chose to do this to support Farm Bureau members and help them stay in compliance with California law regarding shade for employees,” said Ron Colombo, Western Square Industries.

Heat illness prevention regulations continue to change annually. Farmers are now required to provide shade adequate for all employees to be under, fully covered and normal sitting posture once field temperatures reach 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Western Square Industries builds structures meant to last through time, use and elements that meet regulation requirements. They can help you figure out the best structure for your operation.

For more information contact Ron Colombo at (209)481-9254 or email You can also learn more at

Sohnrey Family Foods Offers New Benefit to Farm Bureau Members

Butte County is lucky to have several farms that have remained within a family for sohnreyfamilyfarmslogoadjustfinalmultiple generations. Keeping a farming tradition alive in family is a difficult task, but the Sohnrey family has managed to do so by putting family first. In 2014, the Sohnrey family realized a long time goal to have its own brand to sell to local consumers. Sohnrey Family Foods was born and is now a full operating almond processing company with a unique gift shop right on the farm.

“We decided to start Sohnrey Family Foods when we had enough family members to not only keep the farms running but also to start and run the gift shop,” said Derek Sohnrey. “Our hope with this business is that as our family keeps expanding we can continue to create enough jobs to keep everyone involved with our family business.”

Sohnrey Family Foods specializes in creativity by developing innovative flavor profiles for its products. For instance, they have exciting flavors like Maple Bacon Almonds and a new Snickerdoodle Almond Butter. To support other local producers and the community, Sohnrey Family Foods also carries locally made olive oils, hand crafted wood products, art and much more.

The Sohnrey family has also been longtime supporters of the Butte County Farm Bureau and Sohnrey Family Foods is no exception.

“Farm Bureau does so much to help protect and promote agriculture,” said Sohnrey. “Agriculture and farming is our way of life and it is nice to know that someone is helping protect that for not only us, but future generations to come.”

The Butte County Farm Bureau is very excited to welcome a new member benefit from Sohnrey Family Foods to other Farm Bureau members. Farm Bureau members now receive 10 percent off of their purchase in the Sohnrey Family Foods gift shop.

“We wanted to support the people that support Farm Bureau,” said Sohnrey. “This is just one way that we can help give back and support Farm Bureau and its members.”

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, keep Sohnrey Family Foods in mind when shopping for your significant other. They can create the perfect local gift with having everything from wine to chocolate covered almonds and locally made candles they have what you need.

You can visit Sohnrey Family Foods and meet the Sohnrey family in the gift shop located at 41 Skillin Lane, Oroville, CA 95965 (Off HWY 99 between Durham and Bigs) or shop online at

You can also follow them on social media through the following:

From The Farm – Noble Orchards

Homemade Applesauce with Noble Orchards

Noble Orchards was founded by Grandpa Perry Noble in 1921. Starting from clear fields to plant trees and building the packing sheds, the family has been producing premium apples for 95 years. In fact, Noble Orchards is the only remaining apple orchard in Paradise.

Jim and Laurie Noble

Since 1921, Noble Orchards has continued to grow and currently raises 31 different varieties of apples along with white and yellow freestone peaches. At Noble Orchards they have a variety for every ones tastes including Fuji and Pink Lady’s as well as older varieties with complex flavors such as Pippins, Winesnaps and Black Twigs.

Though the Nobles have been selling their apples from the same 1930’s packing shed to local consumers since they founded, Jim and Laurie Noble took another step in their business and were the first in Butte County to be licensed as a Cottage Food Producer. This license allowed them to make and sell on site their homemade Apple Butter, dried apples and develop new products like the Pink Lady Apple Butter.

Try one of Laurie Nobles homemade applesauce recipes.
Apple Sauce Chunky:
1 cup water
¼ cup sugar
4 medium apples

Pare, core and slice apples, bring water and sugar to a boil, add apples, cover and simmer until tender.

Apple Sauce Smooth:
Same recipe as above except cook apples in water until tender mash apples lastly adding the sugar.

Both recipes can be varied with the addition of spices, or cinnamon red hots that both flavor and lightly color the applesauce. Great for a special occasion.

Noble Orchards currently have apples available that would be perfect for trying out making your own applesauce. Visit Noble Orchards from 10am – 5pm Monday thru Friday and 10am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday and sample the fresh fruit, fresh apple cider, homemade products and see other locally made products from Butte and Tehama County.

Noble Orchards is located at 7050 Pentz Road, Paradise or find them on Facebook. You can also contact them at (530)877-4784.

Members of Ag Community Honored by Farm City Celebration

The 37th annual Farm City Celebration farm_city_cmykis proud to announce that three outstanding members of the agriculture community were recognized at the Awards Reception and Dinner Dance hosted by the Farm City Celebration committee and the Butte County Young Farmers and Ranchers on Saturday November 5, 2016 at the Butte Creek Country Club in Chico, Calif. Andy and Janet Bertagna for Agriculture Service, and Butte County Rice Growers Association was awarded the Agri-Business of the year, Butte College Agriculture Department, was awarded for Community Service.

Asm. James Gallagher, Sen. Jim Nielsen & Andy and Janet Bertagna

Andy and Janet Bertagna farm almonds and walnuts in the Chico area and have been leaders in supporting agriculture education for youth. Not only have they been long time supporters of the Farm City Celebration, they have also supported local youth through purchasing 4-H and FFA project animals at Silver Dollar Fair and Butte County Fair. Andy was a founding member of the Friends of Agriculture that formed when budget cuts threatened agriculture programs such as FFA at Chico High School. Janet is an active member of the California Women for Agriculture.


Asm. James Gallagher, Carl Hoff, Sen. Jim Nielsen & Stacy Gore

Butte County Rice Growers Association (BUCRA) has been a key supporter of the Farm City Celebration for many year. It is also an integral part of the agriculture community providing rice seed, crop input supplies, agronomic advice and drying and storage for area rice growers. BUCRA was founded in 1914, by 400 Northern California farmers and has continued to grow. In 2015, it dried over 470 million pounds of rice for its members.


Butte College.jpg
Asm. James Gallagher, Carrie Monlux, Lyman Hagan, Bill Graves and Sen. Jim Nielsen

The Butte College Agriculture Department was founded in 1969 and now serves almost 700 students. Butte College students and faculty are known in the area for being willing to help and leaders in community service. Each year, students from Butte College participate in youth agriculture education programs such as Farm City Celebration Kids Day at the California State University, Chico Farm and the Harvest Festival at the Bidwell Mansion, co-hosting FFA Field Days and much more.

Each year, the Farm City Celebration looks forward to honoring leaders in the community at the Awards Reception and Dinner Dance. This fun event brings the community together for the cause of agriculture education and connecting agriculture and its neighboring urban communities.

For more information about the Farm City Celebration and any of the events, visit or call (530)533-1473.

Chico Electric – Business Spotlight

As previously printed in the November/December 2016 Butte County Farm Bureau News

Butte County is fortunate to have the innovative and dynamic local businesses that call it home. chico-electric Chico Electric has been a model business of community support and innovative technology since N.C. “Cec” Nielsen founded the company in 1960.

Chico Electric has risen to the challenging needs of a changing energy world. As the world has shifted and demand for energy independence has increase, Chico Electric has put boots to the ground to find ways to provide services to customers that meet their needs. With meeting those demands, Chico Electric has always kept agriculture in the forefront of their mind. In fact, 85 percent of the customer base is agriculture or industry related.

“We are fortunate to have the best customers in the world.” – Norm Nielsen, Chico Electric, Chief Executive Officer

“We are fortunate to have the best customers in the world,” said Chico Electric Chief Executive Officer Norm Nielsen. “Our purpose, our passion, our business and our success has always been and will be to exceptionally serve our customers. Our mission is our customer’s complete satisfaction and is the essential measurement for the success of our entire company.”

Over the years, Chico Electric has designed, installed and maintained state of the art electrical technology for farm petersonphoto_160511-341irrigation systems, nut processing facilities, rice drying plants, fruit dehydrators, cold storage buildings and breweries. The staff at Chico Electric can also install and maintain photovoltaic solar, high efficient combined heat & power systems (CHP) and battery storage to offset high energy costs.

In fact, at one of the walnut dryer installations conducted by Chico Electric, they also installed solar. The dryer operates about a month out of the year and the solar system generates and builds kWh credits the other 11 months creating a very low payback and high return on investment. At the same time they petersonphoto_160511-771provide energy conservation devices such as variable frequency drives (VFD) and LED lighting reducing the pay back even further.

“Our experience in energy generation runs nearly 40 years designing, installing and maintaining over 700 renewable energy systems including solar, bio fuel, micro turbines and battery storage,” said Nielsen. “From residential solar systems to off grid cattle watering projects to large multi megawatt industrial and agricultural systems. Creating value for our customers.”

Whether it is assisting local businesses or residents in their energy needs, or supporting a local events and organizations, Chico Electric is a leader in the community. Contact Chico Electric with your next energy project to see how they can work with you at 530-891-1933 or see

Grower Day 2016 – Nov. 3oth

The Butte County Farm Bureau and the Butte County Agriculture Department are excited host the 3rd Annual Grower Day on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at the Silver Dollar Fairground in Chico, CA. The Continuing Education credit program has been approved for 3.5 hours of CE Credit for Private Applicator License holders. Along with the 3.5 hours of CE Credits, the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program update will also count for the Outreach Opportunity requirement to remain a member in good standing with the Butte-Yuba-Sutter Water Quality Coalition.

You will want to join us for outstanding education program, great trade show of area ag businesses, complimentary coffee and donuts in the morning, FREE boxed lunch at Noon and cookies during the afternoon break. Everything starts at 7:30 AM with registration, the trade show and coffee and donuts.

Here is the program for the day:


7:30     Registration, Trade Show, Coffee & Donuts

9:00    Welcome & Update from the County
Louie B. Mendoza Jr., Butte County Agricultural Commissioner

9:15      Navel Orangeworm Management
Elizabeth “Betsy” A. Boyd, Assoc. Professor in Plant Science CSUC

9:45    Controlling Pests in Walnut Production
Emily J. Symmes, PhD, UC Cooperative Extension

10:15   Break and Trade Show

10:45   Pesticide Container Recycling
Bill Graves, Green Planet Plastics

11:15   DPR Worker Health & Safety Regulations
Sidney Hilton, Department of Pesticide Regulations

11:45  New Regulations – Pesticide Applications Near Schools
Rick Strider, Department of Pesticide Regulations

12:15  Trade Show and Free Lunch

12:45  Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
Jack Rice, California Farm Bureau

1:30    Cookie Break and Trade Show

1:45    Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program Update
Kayla Zilch, Butte-Yuba-Sutter Water Quality Coalition

2:15    Trade Show

3:00    End of Day – Thank you for coming!

We have a FANTASTIC list of sponsors and exhibitors already lined up for the Trade Show. Spaces for the trade show are still available. Call 530-533-1473 for details.

Chico Electric
Pacific Gas and Electric

Peterson Cat

Business Sponsor
North State Electric & Pump/ North State Drilling

Ag One Solutions
Agra Marketing Group
Agromillora California
Alternative Energy Systems
Bidcal Online Auctions
CSU, Chico College of Agriculture
Dave Wilson Nursery
Deerpoint Group
DeRuosi Nut
Duarte Nursery
Farm Data Systems, Inc.
Farmers International, Inc.
GIG7 Crop Insurance Services
Hortau-Simplified Irrigation
North State Electric & Pump/ North State Drilling
North State Solar Energy
North Valley Ag Services
Northern California National Bank
PBM Supply & MFG. Inc.
Trece, Inc.
Tri Counties Bank
Water Right Technologies, Inc


Sutter County RCD Positions Available


The Sutter County Resource Conservation District (SCRCD) writes and implements grants, works under fee-for-service contracts, and provides technical information for partners at all levels of government, private sector, and non-profits throughout the Sacramento Valley.

They are currently working to fill two positions. Interested individuals should send a cover letters and resume to



Likely full time position.

 District Administration and Management
– Invoicing on all SCRCD agreements
– Work with Admin Assistant to stay up-to-date on financials
– Preparing and presenting progress reports at monthly Board Meetings
– Attend appropriate stakeholder meetings to represent SCRCD
– Inform Board of pertinent information as it comes in
– Update website and social media page as necessary
– Coordinate and/or participate in local outreach events

NRCS National Air Quality Initiative (NAQI) Program
– Manage incoming applications, create conservation plans and submit for TechReview to Area Office, certify payments, witness destruction at local destruction yard, schedule and attend field appointments, assist Farm Bill assistant in answering general questions about program

NRCS Irrigation Water Management
– Assist NRCS contract holders with their Irrigation Water Management records following the installation of their new system via phone, in the field, or in office
– Education and outreach

Butte-Yuba-Sutter Water Quality Coalition (BYS)
– Serve as a contractor as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the local subwatershed under the Irrigated
– Attend SVWQC meetings to represent local subwatershed and to gain information to then report back to Members
– Assist Members with their requirements via phone, email, in-office appointments, and oral presentations
– Coordinate education and outreach to Members via newsletters, e-newsletters, and special meetings


  • Organized, high work standard, efficient, diligent work ethic
  • Friendly, patient, professional
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Publisher, Excel, Word)
  • Time management
  • Effective, proficient and eloquent writer
  • B.S. in Agriculture
  • General knowledge in conservation planning
  • Self-motivator, optimistic
  • Independent
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Supports the District’s mission and vision
  • Task oriented
  • Works well in team setting


NRCS Liaison
Likely a part time position.

Duties and Responsibilities
 – Answering telephones and directing calls
– Aiding the Farm Bill Assistant with incoming office traffic
– Provide information on programs and application/contract process
– General office tasks such as making copies, preparing mailings, ordering supplies, etc.
– Must be organized, punctual and friendly. This is the first person contract holders see when coming into the field office
– Represent both the NRCS and SCRCD in the highest regard
– Other tasks deemed necessary by the NRCS Farm Bill Assistant


  • Organized
  • Friendly and professional
  • Knowledgeable in agricultural basics
  • Self-motivator, always looking for next task at hand
  • Patient
  • Task oriented, effective prioritization
  • Willingness to learn details of several programs and associated application process
  • Takes direction well
  • Works well in a team setting
  • Eye for detail
  • Excellent communication skills


Fall and Winter gardening

If you are a member of the Butte County Farm Bureau than you are familiar with the regular UCCE Master Garden Column by Bill Parish in each issue of the BCFB Farm News. We’re sharing the September/October Column with all you this month. If you’d like to me a member please call the BCFB office at 530-533-1473 or visit

Although the arrival of cooler fall temperatures is a blessing to most, it also signifies the conclusion of the generous summer garden. But the beauty and bounty of a winter garden must not be dismissed.  For an eye-catching winter display, consider planting a vibrant border of leafy greens, such as rainbow chard, red leaf lettuce, or blue curled scotch kale.  Edible flowers, such as pansies or calendulas, planted amongst the vegetables will offer splashes of color throughout the season.


*The following is intended as a rough guide toensure success in the garden and, therefore, fresh food on the table!  Please be aware that planting and harvest dates may vary, depending on location.  For more information visit the Master Gardener website at



Transplant broccoli and cauliflower through mid-September.  Swiss chard, radishes, kale, parsley, and cilantro can be transplanted through late September.

Direct-sow or transplant lettuce every couple of weeks for a continual harvest.

Plant garlic and shallot seeds through October. Hardneck garlic comes in a wide variety of complex flavors; Softneck has a milder flavor and tends to store better than hardneck.

Direct-seed or transplant spinach.


Enjoy the bounty of summer: tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, Swiss chard, eggplant, green beans, summer and winter squash, peppers, corn, and melons are all available to harvest.

September marks the culmination of most summer fruits, such as peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, pluots, and apriums.

Apples, pears, pomegranates, persimmons, olives, kiwis, grapes, and figs will be available at least through October.


Remove and compost any exhausted summer vegetable plants.  Diseased plants should be thrown in the garbage to avoid passing along unwanted pathogens.

Add fully-decomposed compost to the garden in order to provide nutrients and improve soil structure.

If cabbage loopers, aphids, white flies or other pests have been a problem in the past, try using row covers in order to protect the crop.

Protect grapes from hungry birds by draping them with bird netting, or something similar.  Hanging mylar strips or old CDs may work, as well.

Hand¬-pick caterpillars, snails, and slugs off crops.




Continue planting radishes, lettuce, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and garlic.

Direct-sow snow and snap peas from late October through mid-November for an early spring harvest.

Consider planting a nitrogen-fixing cover crop, such as fava beans, to help improve the soil.  Don’t forget to plant a few to harvest, as well!

Onion seeds can be direct-sown through mid-November.  Short- and neutral-day types will perform the best in our northern region.


Depending on the weather, some of the summer crops may still be producing harvestable crops.  Otherwise, carrots, Swiss chard, and lettuce will be the main producers.

Apples, pears, pomegranates, persimmons, olives, kiwis, grapes, and figs are available.


The brown marmorated stink bug, a serious pest of fruits and vegetables, will likely be moving indoors looking for a warm place to spend the winter.  Exclude them by making sure all cracks are sealed and doors are tight.

Of Note: 

One of the most common mistakes in fall gardening is over-watering.  As the temperatures decrease, so do the water needs of each plant.  Adjusting irrigation according to weather will not only keep crops healthy and happy, but will aid in the conservation of water.

Are you a groundwater user?

In 2014, the California legislature passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), which was then signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.  This legislation triggers a more intense and hands on approach to groundwater management at the local level and requires cooperation and participation by all water users including agricultural groundwater pumpers.

The Butte County Department of Water and Resource Conservation will be hosting three public outreach meetings to make groundwater pumpers aware of the legislation and the impacts of SGMA implementation to your farming operations and to Butte County. The meetings are as follows:

Monday, June 13, 2016 from 4:00 – 6:00 PM
Chico Masonic Lodge
1110 W East Avenue
Chico, CA

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Durham Memorial Hall
9319 Midway
Durham, CA

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 from 9:00 – 11:00 AM
Gridley Fairgrounds, Butte Hall
199 E Hazel Street
Gridley, CA

The content of each meeting will be the same requiring you to only attend one event. In addition, at the Durham meeting   Christina Buck, PhD, will present her findings regarding the updated Butte County Water Inventory & Analysis report that she has coordinated with Davids’ Engineering.

Michael Harty of Kearns and West will serve as the meeting facilitator, guiding the public through the SGMA language and purpose as well as fielding your questions.

“How do I know if I am a groundwater pumper?” If you use a well to irrigate your crops/pasture or use a well for your home, you are a groundwater pumper.

You attendance at one of these three meetings is crucial to learning and understanding how SGMA will have a bearing on your groundwater use. Please do not hesitate to contact our office at (530) 533-1473 or email Colleen Cecil at if you have questions. You can also contact Vickie Newlin at Butte County Water and Resource Conservation directly at (530) 538-2179.

SGMA and IA meeting advertisement