Sunday, July 14, 2024
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By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice Agriculture in the Central Valley is a beautiful thing to behold — poetic in its stoic desire to feed the world. As resources have grown limited — or restricted — valley farmers have led the effort to do more with less, from groundwater recharge to regenerative agriculture practices. A recent Public Policy Institute of...
By Geoff Vanden Heuvel, Director of Regulatory and Economic Affairs, Milk Producers Council Reprinted with permission from the Milk Producers Council When the state of California began to implement and enforce the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act some nine years ago, it became clear that without change, there will not be enough sustainably available groundwater to support all of the irrigated acres...

President’s Message

Friant-Kern Canal
By Jenny Holtermann, President, Kern County Farm Bureau Summertime is a busy time in agriculture. As a farm mom, there is always an extra layer of busyness with farm chores, kids on summer break, and the constant juggling of life. I know many of you can relate. During the summer, many of us are prepping for harvest, getting equipment ready,...
By Rachel Nettleton, Executive Director, Kern County Farm Bureau This month marks my one-year anniversary with the Kern County Farm Bureau, and it has been a transformative journey. Coming from a non-agricultural professional background, I had a steep learning curve ahead of me. However, this industry welcomed me with open arms and offered a fresh perspective on the vital role...
By Christine Johnson, Chair, Young Farmers and Ranchers The Kern Young Farmers and Ranchers is eagerly anticipating its 9th Annual Charity Farmers Market on Saturday, July 20th. Every year we put together this wonderful event for the community. I often get asked if the market is offered more than just once a year — I wish we could! It’s a team...
By Austin Snedden, Ranching Contributor, Valley Ag Voice When it comes to raising livestock in the United States, almost every region has its environmental challenges, whether it be cold, heat, or forage scarcity. There are only a handful of places where cattle are run that are so benign and temperate year-round that the cattle yearn for a hammock. These mild...
By Valley Ag Voice Staff The agriculture industry in the Central Valley has seen tremendous movement in acquisitions and expansions of existing companies in recent years, impacting the region’s economy and agricultural future. Amidst these changes, advancements in agricultural technology are also reshaping farming practices, with industry leaders leading the charge in addressing the pressing challenges of labor costs and efficiency. FRESH...
By Valley Ag Voice Staff National Day of the Cowboy, on the fourth Saturday in July, celebrates the hardworking symbol of the American West and a past not too far gone. Before all 50 states were even formed, ranchers and cowhands were working herds in the American West — roping and riding, herding cattle on horseback, and camping under the stars....
By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice In June, the University of California Cooperative Extension in Kern County hosted the annual potato and carrot variety trials offering insights into the latest advancements in crop breeding and the adaptability of varieties to Kern County’s unique climate. Piles of potatoes were showcased at Hart Memorial Park through the collaborative efforts of UCCE and...
Press release provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) today launched a global challenge to advance scientific research that will produce major breakthroughs for nutrition security while mitigating climate change impacts and advancing equity for underserved communities. The “Nourishing Next Generation Agrifood Breakthroughs” (Innovation Challenge)...
By Caleb Hampton, Assistant Editor, Ag Alert Reprinted with permission from the California Farm Bureau Federation A sprawling heat dome put more than 30 million people across the Western U.S. under excessive heat advisories last week, triggering warnings from the National Weather Service about the danger of extreme heat to human health and potential impacts on “heat-sensitive industries.” Over the past...

Worship

By Joshua Stevens, Faith Contributor, Valley Ag Voice Across the world, we find members of the body of Christ joining together to sing praise and worship our creator. Members of our congregations stand on stage and lead us in worship; they choose and practice the songs we sing together. In many churches there is great care for the kinds of...
Adobe Stock Rodeo
By Valley Ag Voice Staff California is gearing up for an exciting summer with various events catering to diverse interests. Upcoming events celebrate the rich agricultural heritage of the Central Valley and offer unique experiences ranging from educational sessions and field tours to rodeo competitions. ORGANIC PRODUCE The Organic Produce Summit will be held from July 10 to July 11 at the...
By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice On June 27, the California Air Resources Board adopted the proposed regulation on zero-emission forklifts, mandating a phase-out of gas-powered forklifts by 2043. Despite opposition from various labor unions and industry groups — including an agricultural coalition — CARB concluded that large spark-ignited forklifts exceed federal ozone standards. As part of the California Environmental...
Tractor spraying Adobe stock
By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice Two L-words are getting Central Valley agriculture in the weeds — legislation and litigation. Alongside water regulations, pesticide bans, bankruptcy filings, and other issues afflicting the industry, legislation and litigation are generally the root causes of concern. Despite these challenges, there was a notable development recently as the groundwater measure that would restrict local...
Mexican-American farm workers are hoeing between rows of potatoes on this large Central California farm.
By Valley Ag Voice Staff  A new agreement was reached to reform the Private Attorneys General Act after several months of discussion involving Governor Newsom’s administration, legislative leaders, labor advocates, and a coalition of businesses.  The agreement, which aims to balance workers’ rights and reduce exploitative lawsuits, will be introduced in legislation and considered by the legislature. If passed, the reform...
By Valley Ag Voice Staff In an inaugural collaboration, the Kern County Farm Bureau and Bakersfield Republican Women Federated are hosting a From Farm to Freedom Mixer on June 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Crusader Brewing Company. The idea for this mixer was born after an interview with KCFB President Jenny Holtermann on the BRWF podcast, “Guess What...
By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice The Maddy Institute, a nonpartisan public policy organization with a focus on the San Joaquin Valley, has become a central force in shaping the Central Valley’s agricultural landscape. Based out of Fresno State University and affiliated with UC Merced, CSU Stanislaus, and CSU Bakersfield, the Maddy Institute is a first-of-its-kind collaboration to serve...
groundwater
A closer look at State Water Board probationary hearing staff reports. By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice Despite varying interests and distinct stakeholder needs, one thing Groundwater Sustainability Agencies can collectively agree on is the need to avoid a probation determination from the State Water Resources Control Board. Of the six critically overdrafted basins in the Central Valley, only the Tulare...
farm internet
The Internet of Things promises water savings. By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice Water conservation in the valley is receiving a high-tech makeover through the newly launched Internet of Things (IoT) network solution for the agriculture industry, promising to significantly advance AgTech and close the connectivity gap in fields and rural communities. The IoT network solution is a collaborative effort between...
farm irrigation
By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice Following the State Water Board’s decision to place the Tulare Lake Subbasin on probation — and upcoming probationary hearings for five critically overdrafted basins in the Central Valley — local groundwater management has become increasingly critical. Coming up on nearly a decade since the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act was signed into law by former...
By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice  Wetlands are the Earth’s largest natural source of methane — a potent greenhouse gas roughly 30 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the atmosphere — according to the Department of Energy’s Larence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Methane is a key point of controversy among dairy producers and the environmental justice community given that...
By Scott Hamilton, President, Hamilton Resource Economics  On May 8, 2024, in Sacramento, representatives for the Water Blueprint for the San Joaquin Valley (Blueprint) and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan) signed a historic memorandum of understanding (MOU). The purpose of the MOU is to establish the intent of collaboration between the Parties to identify, develop, and implement...
A farmer harvesting beetroot
By Jenny Holtermann, President, Kern County Farm Bureau  Grassroots organizations, like the Kern County Farm Bureau, were created as a means to provide farmers and ranchers with an advocative voice. These organizations only work when those voices are heard and when true two-way communication is happening. In February, we started what I hope will become an annual series of Tailgate...
By Rachel Nettleton, Executive Director, Kern County Farm Bureau  Last month, I had the incredible opportunity to join my classmates of the 2024 Leadership Farm Bureau class in Washington D.C. Our days were filled with a whirlwind of activities designed to equip us with the tools and knowledge needed to navigate the intricacies of agricultural advocacy on the national stage....
By Christine Johnson, Chair, Young Farmers and Ranchers  Spring has been quite busy for the Kern Young Farmers and Ranchers. In April, we started off with a Saturday morning tour of a non-profit horse rescue operation in Shafter. Known as “All Seated in A Barn,” the facility has rehabilitated hundreds of horses and donkeys. They also house a few exotic animals,...