Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Kern County Farm Bureau Farm Day in the City event
By Rachel Nettleton, Executive Director, Kern County Farm Bureau  The Kern County Farm Bureau is eagerly anticipating our 40th Annual Farm Day in the City event that has been educating our youth about agriculture for four decades. This event will take place at the Kern County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, March 20th and Thursday, March 21st from 8:30 am to 1...
By Christine Johnson, Chair, Young Farmers & Ranchers  Whether you realize it or not, you are impacting the next generation. For better or worse, your current attitudes and assumptions are shaping the way you interact with young people. Some choose to ignore the younger generation, citing the entitled attitudes and self-absorption that often characterizes young adults. Yet others dig deeper...

OPINIONS: Cash Cow

By Austin Snedden, Ranching Contributor, Valley Ag Voice  Every business owner, regardless of industry, dreams of a more passive income, cash flow with less labor, and financial inputs. The cattle business is no different, sometimes we are not sure if we own the cows, or if the cows own us. There will no doubt be times when the ranching operation...
Ripe almonds on tree ready to harvest
By Valley Ag Voice Staff  The 2023 Almond Board Conference highlighted production trends and the outlook for the industry. Clarice Turner, President, and CEO of the Almond Board of California explained that the almond industry has a history of adapting to oftentimes volatile market values.  “What is it that can accelerate our rebound from these cycles?” Turner said. “In most cases,...
By Valley Ag Voice Staff  In the heart of Central Valley's agricultural landscape, a group of remarkable women is making strides in the traditionally male-dominated field of agriculture. Lorna Roush, former president of the California Women for Agriculture, is a fifth-generation farmer and shares her family’s long-standing history with agriculture, dating back to 1886.   Roush joined CWA at the behest of...
US Capitol Building
By Valley Ag Voice Staff  The race for the 22nd district seat includes incumbent Congressman David Valadao (R), Chris Mathys (R), Senator Melissa Hurtado (D), and Rudy Salas (D).  Congressman David Valadao, 22nd Congressional candidate  “I’ve introduced the WATER for California Act and will continue to push for reliable water access for our farms and rural communities. The WATER for California Act...
US Capitol Building
By Valley Ag Voice Staff  With the 2024 March primaries quickly approaching, the Valley Ag Voice sent questionnaires to the candidates of the 20th and 22nd Congressional districts to discuss policy stances for the agriculture industry.   Candidates David Giglio (R), Marissa Wood (D), and Kyle Kirkland (R) shared their views on agriculture and water access in the valley.  David Giglio, 20th Congressional...
By Ching Lee, Assistant Editor, Ag Alert  Reprinted with permission from the California Farm Bureau Federation  Despite on-farm biosecurity efforts to protect the state’s poultry flocks, outbreaks of a highly contagious strain of avian influenza have spiked markedly this winter, leading to the destruction of millions of birds to try to contain the deadly virus.  Mounting losses from the disease have devastated...
By Christine Souza, Assistant Editor, Ag Alert  Reprinted with permission from the California Farm Bureau Federation  Unlike early 2023, when nonstop atmospheric river storms built a deep Sierra Nevada snowpack, replenished depleted reservoirs and flooded parts of California, snowfall and rain is sharply diminished so far this year. But state water officials say there is plenty of winter left to accumulate...
world ag expo
By Valley Ag Voice Staff  Ahead of the 2024 World Ag Expo on Feb 13-15, the Top 10 New Products were announced. The new products submitted for the contest showcase a variety of ag solutions from tractor protection to high-tech devices.  AMIGA V7  The product will be featured at the World Ag Expo in spaces U35, U37, U39, U41, T38, T40, and...
By Bob Johnson, Reporter, Monterey County  Reprinted with permission from the California Farm Bureau Federation  The prospects for organic produce remain strong in these inflationary times, according to leaders of some of the largest grower-shipper operations.  Market strength varies, however, depending on which commodities growers are trying to sell.  “The category is going to grow based on consumer demand,” said Nishan Moutafian, vice...
By Valley Ag Voice Staff  February and March will host several agricultural events and activities in California, including one of the largest trade shows in the world — the 2024 World Ag Expo.   ENTERTAINMENT  Country music fans can expect a host of diverse musical acts, from well-established artists as well as those new to the scene. Rooster’s Honky Tonk is hosting Gethen...

Heaven  

By Joshua Stevens, Faith Contributor, Valley Ag Voice  If someone were to come to you with the following list: real, communal, perfect, everlasting, hopeful – what would come to your mind? Would you immediately jump to the thought of heaven? From time to time, it seems as though our vision of heaven is watered down from its glory. Simply stated...
By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice California’s fruit and poultry industries are facing serious production strains due to two distinct, flighted adversaries — the Oriental fruit fly and migratory birds. The California Department of Food and Agriculture is preparing a large-scale fruit removal in Southern California to mitigate the presence of Oriental fruit flies. Meanwhile, poultry owners in the Central...
By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice An unusual disease outbreak is afflicting California almonds on top of an already tumultuous market. Phytophthora — a soilborne microorganism that causes root and crown rot on tree bases — was detected in mid-February of 2023 and has since spread across the state. According to Florent Trouillas, UC Cooperative Extension Specialist in fruit and...
By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice Despite the recent 2023 Land Value summary from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showing that agriculture land value increased by 7.4% from 2022, Kern County’s ag land value remains on a steady decline. This decline has a marked peak in 2014 — the year the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act came to fruition.   “When SIGMA...
farm laborers
By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice In response to mounting concerns about rising agricultural labor expenses, 75 Congressional members petitioned the House and Senate appropriations committees to prohibit any H-2A wage increase from Jan. 2023 levels. The letter, submitted on Jan. 11, expressed concerns over the annual adjustment of the Adverse Effect Wage Rate by the U.S. Department of Labor....
By Valley Ag Voice Staff Kern County Farm Bureau’s 18th Annual Spray Safe Event kicked off at 7 a.m. on Jan. 19 with an ag trade show featuring products such as GUSS and Ag Spray Equipment. At the event, over 600 attendees learned proper agriculture safety when applying pesticides. In a prior interview, Spray Safe chair Dan Palla explained that growers...
By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice Gov. Gavin Newsom introduced his 2024-25 state budget proposal, reflecting $18.4 billion in budgetary reserves including the $11.1 billion in the Rainy-Day Fund. The budget also requested a $33.3 million increase in funds and 117 new positions at the Department of Pesticide Regulation.  This funding comes predominantly from an increase in the pesticide mill...
By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice The California Air Resources Board will not be enforcing reporting requirements for high priority and drayage fleets under the Advanced Clean Fleets rule, which went into effect this year. Prior to the postponement, the California Trucking Association filed a formal complaint on Dec. 16, explaining that the rule violates the Constitution's Commerce...
By Valley Ag Voice Staff The Bakersfield Great 48 — a weekend of Bluegrass and Old-time music — kicked off yesterday with several jam sessions expected through Jan. 7. Rooster’s Honky Tonk is joining in on the excitement on Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. with live Bluegrass, Irish, and Western Swing music by the band Whole Hog. Downtown Bakersfield will transform...
field workers
By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice After California passed agricultural overtime law AB 1066 in 2016, farmworkers earned $6 million to $9 million less than they would have made without the legislation. According to a study by Alexandra Hill, UC Cooperative Extension specialist and assistant professor in UC Berkeley's Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, AB 1066 led to...
person voting
A look at who's on the ballot for 2024. By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice Following the Sacramento Superior Court’s decision to allow Assemblyman Vince Fong on the ballot for both the 32nd Assembly district and 20th Congressional district, the secretary of state released the final candidate list. Several candidates from the Central Valley are vying for local and federal...
By Valley Ag Voice Staff A Sacramento Superior Court Judge ruled that Assemblyman Vince Fong can run for the 20th Congressional seat. After his Congressional bid was rejected by California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, Fong filed a lawsuit to reverse the decision. The hearing was held on Dec. 28 at 1:30 p.m. Judge Shelleyanne W.L. Chang presided over the case,...
farmer in field inspecting irrigation
By Valley Ag Voice Staff The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that agricultural producers can now enroll in the Farm Service Agency’s Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs for the 2024 crop year. Both programs were authorized under the 2014 and 2018 federal Farm Bill. Under the one-year extension of the current Farm Bill, producers can make or change...
By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice During his afternoon training session, Rufus diligently sorted through a mixture of packages, easily detecting which unmarked boxes were carrying fresh produce without cutting the tape and looking inside — all he needed was his nose.   Two detector dog teams at the Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner’s office work five days a week at various...