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"We're really excited about what's going on because this year we're bottling 30 different wines from up and down the state. We're really emphasizing, of course, the San Joaquin valley but we're getting fruit from Napa and Sonoma," says Kevin Smith, business and marketing lecturer for the Fresno State Winery.


The wineries join an already high concentration of alcoholic beverage producers, most notably a handful of breweries - including Captain Fatty's, in the same complex as Samsara - but also the Santa Barbara Cider Company in Old Town and the recently opened Goleta Red Distilling Company.


A series of storms in recent weeks has slowed California strawberry production, tightening supplies during a key marketing period and strengthening market prices.


Almond industry awarded funds through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program


World Ag Expo® will kick off its 52nd show on Tuesday, February 12, in Tulare, California. Gates will open at 9:00 a.m. The red carpet rolls out on Tuesday for Opening Ceremonies at 8:00 a.m. in the Heritage Complex Banquet Hall. The ceremonial opening will begin with an awards ceremony for Top-10 New Products Winners, sponsored by Bank of America, and "We Believe in Growing" scholarship winners, sponsored by E.M. Tharp. Past World Ag Expo® Show Chairmen, VIPs and elected officials will hear from American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine during the ceremony.


UC Cooperative Extension cropping systems specialist Jeff Mitchell is issuing a standing invitation to the public to visit the site of an ongoing conservation agriculture research project and see for themselves the results of long-term soil-building practices.


Adopted last December by the State Water Resources Control Board, the plan would redirect 30 to 50 percent of "unimpaired flows" in three San Joaquin River tributaries-the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers-in the name of increasing fish populations in the rivers. The flows plan would sharply reduce the amount of water available to irrigate crops in regions served by the rivers.


An IBM presentation on the application of blockchain technology for food safety will be one of many opportunities for learning and innovation at the 2019 Salinas Valley Ag Technology Summit on March 26-27. IBM, which is developing blockchain data-tracking solutions for the U.S. food supply, will be represented by Suzanne Livingston, its offering director for Food Trust™. Blockchain uses encoded digital data to create a permanent, interlocking record of each transaction.


As many as 300,000 people a year will learn how California farmers lead the world in water efficiency once the state-of-the-art Powerhouse Science Center opens in Sacramento in 2020. That's because the section of the museum devoted to water will have three separate interactive exhibits that will show how much water it takes to grow crops, how California farmers lead the world in conservation, and how the state's complicated water storage and delivery system works, said Mike Wade, the executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition.


Greg Bergersen and Rick Quesada have worked in the Valley's toughest prisons for over four decades. They also have a passion for winemaking and in 2014, opened Solitary Cellars in Madera.


NCAE and Peri & Sons Farms, Yerington, Nev., filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor on Jan. 7 seeking to stop increases for 2019 they say are arbitrary, unsubstantiated and will cause irreparable harm to many farms.


The "Women in Food & Ag Mixer" that traditionally bookends the conference on Friday also returns. And one of this year's keynote speaker on the final conference day is social expert Nikki Silvestri founder and CEO of Soil and Shadow, which works to create systems change towards economic development and ecosystem restoration. Silvestri's impressive background also includes being co-founder of Live Real and former executive director of People's Grocery and Green for All that focus on food justice.


On Feb. 19, San Joaquin Valley grape growers are invited to discuss the latest UC research on mechanical pruning, trunk disease and rootstocks with UC Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists in Fresno. Growers will also get to observe a field demonstration of grapevines being mechanically pruned.


U.S. farm income contracted somewhat in 2018, according to the most recent United States Department of Agriculture update, released Nov. 30. The report indicated that net cash income in 2018 declined 10 percent from the previous year to about $93.4 billion, the lowest net cash income since 2009. Strikingly, net cash income has declined 38 percent from the recent peak in 2012, when many in the agricultural industry experienced a protracted period of exceptional profit margins. Only one other time period, the mid-1970s, has sustained a similar decline.


Hugh Johnson's gift and his ongoing support have helped launch a whole new direction of growth for the library's wine collection: building the world's leading collection on wine writers. The most recent acquisition to the wine collections, the Wine Institute's organizational archives, complements that direction. The institute was co-founded by writer Leon David Adams, whose papers are also at the library, and the archives include speeches and books by wine writers ...


Farm Credit provides bulk of funding for Multicultural Scholars in Agriculture Program


Agricultural companies operating in California's Central Valley are increasing their minimum wages to $15 per hour which may add to upward pressure on minimum agricultural wages in the Pacific Northwest. The Wonderful Co., a Los Angeles agricultural conglomerate that produces the popular Halos mandarins, announced Dec. 19 that it is raising its minimum wage for its more than 2,000 California employees to $15 per hour on Jan. 1. The state's minimum wage increased from $11 to $12 on Jan. 1, but won't reach $15 until 2022.


She's back for her third year through the Careers Barbie line, and she's showing girls that career goals can include agriculture. While agriculture has long been considered a man's arena, women are stepping up and taking a more active role on Texas farms and ranches. From 2007-12, the number of women operators grew by 10%, bucking the national decline.


Irrigation districts along three Central California rivers say they will be suing the state of California and-simultaneously, in some cases-negotiating with it, now that the State Water Resources Control Board has voted to redirect significant flows along the rivers in an effort to improve fish populations. Irrigation districts along three Central California rivers say they will be suing the state of California and-simultaneously, in some cases-negotiating with it, now that the State Water Resources Control Board has voted to redirect significant flows along the rivers in an effort to improve fish populations.


What happens the day after the worst has already happened? That might be what farmers, dairy operators, farm employees and communities along the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers are wondering, now that the State Water Resources Control Board has voted to require unimpaired flows of 30 to 50 percent in the three rivers.

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