Are You a Farm Bureau Member?

A letter from Darren Rice, Butte County Farm Bureau 1st Vice President

The Butte County Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization led by farmers and ranchers –Darren the people you know. In fact, one of your neighbors is probably on our Board of Directors.

But what does grassroots organization mean? 2016 is a perfect year to reflect on what it means to be a grassroots organization. In 2015 the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) passed the California Legislature. SGMA put in motion a requirement for counties to establish a sustainable groundwater management plan in phases. 2016 was the year that Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSA) were established to come together in 2017 to start working on what the groundwater management plan for Butte County may look like.

The GSA’s represent the people in their areas in the SGMA process. So who are your GSA’s? The irrigation districts were eligible and applied to be GSA’s, however that left a large portion of Butte County growers out of the conversation. Those not farming in and paying into a surface water irrigation district where to be represented by the Butte County Department of Water and Resource Conservation (the County). Concerned growers in the “White Area’s” weren’t being adequately represented, the BCFB pulled members of the agriculture community together to advocate for their need to be represented. This resulted in the formation of the Groundwater Pumpers Advisory Committee (GPAC) to advise the County going forward in how they feel the groundwater management plan should look and to ensure ALL growers are represented.

That is what it means to be grassroots. To start from the bottom, gather people and work together to represent agriculture and growers. That is what Farm Bureau does for you every day.

We work vigorously here in Butte County and Sacramento talking, educating and providing information to County supervisors, legislators and regulators by advocating for farmers, Ag businesses, property rights, water rights and to protect growers from excess taxes like oppressively burdensome laws. We advocate for common sense solutions.

You can no longer afford to just skim the surface of information in front of you. Farming has changed and will never be the same as it was when our fathers and grandfathers were farming. Keeping up with the deadlines and requirements of regulation and rules most of which are government related are going to be part of your daily farming and ranching requirements. People often call the BCFB office and ask “how do you get rid of this regulation?” The short answer is you can’t. We as farmers have a tremendous talent of ignoring an issue until it’s pushed in our face; we can’t do that anymore. Many of the regulations we are burdened with start in small areas. The rest of agriculture turns a blind eye and says “oh that’s that areas problem, it doesn’t affect me.” That’s not true! State agencies and environmental organizations have a time and time again, used the strategy of starting small and ultimately spreading the regulation or law suit across the State. It works because ag traditionally does not unite. It’s time for that to change.

So what can you do? It’s simple: Join Farm Bureau. It’s time for ag to get back to its grassroots, come together from the ground up and effect change. If we all joined together, we would be unstoppable. No more balking at commodity or political boundaries. We need to work together. Coming together, joining our roots to hold each other up is how we are going to be able to protect our future and ensure stability for future generations.

Farm Bureau represents all of agriculture and is the best resource to help you fight for your farm. Though you may have been at odds with certain positions in the past, it’s time to look past that and look towards the future. Get involved! And Farm Bureau can help you so you are not navigating the complicated regulatory systems alone. There is literally an alphabet soup of programs and agencies who are all looking to get something from you. The BIT program DPR, WDR, CVFPP, BRCP, SGMA, CUPA, NMP, SALC and WOTUS. I could go on but I won’t.

I tell you this not because I want to elevate your blood pressure. I want you to understand the need to pay attention, be engaged and keep informed. But how? Open every envelope, read every industry email, newsletter and alert, follow your commodity groups Facebook page, make notes on the margins of Ag Alert and don’t be afraid of conference calls, webinars and podcasts. Learn to use tools like California Farm Bureau Federation Farm Team to communicate quickly and effectively with your elected officials.

As a Farm Bureau member, you have access to lots of information. Please take time to attend the many classes Butte County Farm Bureau offers like heat illness prevention, safety training, CPR training, hazmat transportation, nitrogen management plan self-certification and Grower Day.

At the beginning of this column I talked about SGMA. I wish I could tell you that was the only issue of concern for the Farm Bureau. We continue to fight the invasion of commercial marijuana, the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program continues to change and require more reporting, heat illness requirements, over time pay, minimum wage, you name it! The issues keep coming and we want to be a reliable resource for growers.

We are your advocate and your partner with the rest of the more than 1300 Butte County Farm Bureau members. If you are a member, thank you for your commitment and belief in Farm Bureau. If you are not a member, please consider joining our Farm Bureau. Please call Kayla Wheeler at 530-533-1473 and she can answer your questions and help you get signed up. You can also join online or print and mail an application.

What are you waiting for?

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From the Farm – CSU, Chico Meats Lab

Written in Collaboration with Zach Bauer, Meats Lab Student Employee

As many know, Chico, Calif. is home to California State University, Chico and the over IMG_20170217_141643214800-acre diversified University Farm. The Farm gives students hands on experience in the many studies offered in the CSU, Chico College of Agriculture. However, few know that The Farm is home to a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspected Meats Lab.

The Meats Lab was built and started operating in 1969. At which time, it also started selling its farm-raised and processed products to the public. In the mid 1990’s, long time Meats Lab Manager, Jim Holt, saw the need to establish a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan. The Meats Lab started putting into place a HACCP plan before it became USDA law in 1996 following e. Coli outbreaks in fast food. Now, students in the College of Agriculture can get HACCP certification and learn to develop functioning HACCP plans for the industry.

Though the College of Agriculture has several Meat Science courses that utilize the Meats Lab, many other courses use the Meats Lab for feed trials, hands on learning about animal systems and more. The College of Agriculture is home to Dr. Michael Chao, who earned a PhD in Animal Science with specialization in Meat Science and Muscle Biology. With Dr. Chao’s background in Meat Science and current Meats Lab Manager James Richardson, the team sees the Meats Lab continuing its path of an educational environment.

Today, the Meats Lab has an in-house smoker to cure sausages, bacon, smoke turkeys for Thanksgiving and allow experimenting with new sausage recipes. Students are employed in the Meats Lab supervised by James Richards and sell the products they process and make. The Meats Lab always has a selection of sausages, steaks, roast from beef, pork and lamb available.

The Meats Lab is open to the public from 8 AM – 5 PM on Thursdays and Fridays so you can meet the students and buy farm fresh products right there. For more details on products the Meats Lab carries, visit the website. You can also follow the Meats Lab on FaceBook.

Leg of Lamb
Ingredients
• 1 (5-7pound) boneless leg of lamb, untrimmed, and lamb tied with net
• 2 tablespoon of olive oil
• 4 peeled garlic cloves
• 1.5 tablespoon fine sea salt
• 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/4 cup dry red wine or beef broth

1. Put rosemary, garlic and olive oil in a food processor and chop to paste and mix with sea salt and pepper.
2. Put lamb in a lightly oiled roasting pan, then rub paste all over lamb.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
4. Roast lamb in middle of oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of meat registers 140°F, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand 15 to 25 minutes (internal temperature will rise to about 150°F for medium-rare).
5. Add wine to pan and deglaze by boiling over moderately high heat for 1 minute, filter out the brown bits. Season pan juices with salt and pepper and serve with lamb.

Food Safety Recommendations from Dr. Chao:
Most pathogens can be effectively controlled by cooking to an internal temperature of 150°F. However, we need to be aware of cross contamination. Do not put the cooked leg of lamb on the same pan or cutting board that you used to prepare the raw materials. Also, wash hands with soap before serving the food. Finally, do not leave leftovers in room temperature for over 1 hour, put them in the refrigerator immediately to avoid potential microbial growth.

BCFB is Now Taking Applications for Scholarships!

Butte County Farm Bureau is now accepting applications for Gerald M. Geiger Memorial FB OnlyScholarships. The Scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors who plan to major in agriculture in college. Applicants must meet the following requirements to be considered for a scholarship:

  • Must be a graduating senior living in or attending high school in Butte County
  • Have a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Planning to pursue a major and career in agriculture
  • Complete an application with a one page brief essay, written by the applicant, outlining his or her goals and objectives and a current letter of recommendation which includes the name of the applicant, comments on the applicant’s character and abilities, and an opinion of his/her ability to profit from a college education. (Note: A parent or relative cannot be considered as a reference)

Completed applications must be received no later than 4:00PM Friday March 31, 2017 at the Butte County Farm Bureau office 2580 Feather River Blvd, Oroville, CA 95965. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. If you know of a graduating senior in Butte County who will be majoring in agriculture, please have them contact Shay at the BCFB office (530) 533-1473 or visit the BCFB Website.

The Butte County Farm Bureau Gerald M. Geiger Memorial Scholarship is a program of the Butte Basic CMYKAgriculture Foundation

 

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 rcolombo@westernsquare.com. You can also learn more at http://www.westernsquare.com.

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 www.sohnreyfamilyfoods.com.

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

https://www.facebook.com/sohnreyfamilyfoods
https://twitter.com/sohnreyfamfoods
https://www.instagram.com/sohnreyfamilyfoods/

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.

nobles
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.

bertagna
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.

 

bucra
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 www.farmcity.com 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 www.chicoelectric.com.

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:

Agenda

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.

Corporate
Chico Electric
Pacific Gas and Electric

Platinum
Peterson Cat

Business Sponsor
North State Electric & Pump/ North State Drilling

Exhibitors
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