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July 24, 2021

Aptos farm wins Best of Show at regional olive oil competition

Patrick and Teresa Royan were living in Los Gatos when they first discovered Pleasant Valley, a rural area in Aptos permeated with rolling hills, orchards, vineyards and pastures. The couple had been looking for a place to settle relatively close to the beach yet...

Organic produce sales up 9%, tops $2B for the quarter

Total organic fresh produce sales for the first quarter of 2021 saw a continuation of last year’s growth, increasing by 9.3% from the same period in 2020 and topping $2.2 billion for the quarter, according to the Q1 2021 Organic Produce Performance Report released...

Bill bolstering wildfire protections for farmworkers advances

SACRAMENTO—A bill that would increase protections for California’s farmworkers during hazardous smoky conditions created by seasonal wildfires is making its way through the state legislature. Assembly Bill 73, also known as the Farmworker Wildfire Smoke Protections Act, recently passed the Assembly Committee on Labor and...

New bill would provide $500M to agricultural fairs

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SACRAMENTO—Earlier this month, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley), Representatives Billy Long (R-MO), Mike Levin (D-CA), and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced bipartisan legislation aiming to help preserve agricultural fairs across the country and offset the devastating financial losses they have experienced due to Covid-19. The Agricultural...

Watsonville farm, biotech company receives major grant from USDA

Since 2009, Blume Industries (BI) and Whiskey Hill Farms (WHF) have jointly operated a research and development incubator in Watsonville, aiming to find regenerative solutions for food, fuel and waste management. And now they will have the opportunity to expand their reach, sharing what they...

National Agriculture Day to be observed March 23

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Agriculture, like most industries across the U.S., has faced numerous challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic this past year. From worker safety to supply chain shortages, everyone from large corporations to small family farms have felt the effects.  Which is why this year’s National Agriculture Day...

Local nursery buzzing amidst pandemic, winter months

With most people staying close to home during the pandemic, looking for things to do and ways to stay safe, local nurseries have seen an uptick in customers. Stay-at-home orders have prompted many to find new hobbies—and gardening has been a popular choice. Sierra Azul...

California Pajarosa navigates a changing industry

Business at California Pajarosa Floral, one of Watsonville’s last remaining large flower growers, has altered drastically since the outbreak of Covid-19 last year. Already dealing with an evolving industry before the pandemic due to growth in offshore production, things came to a sudden halt at...

State prioritizes farmworkers for Covid-19 vaccinations

CALIFORNIA—As California deals with a surge of Covid-19 cases, hope is in sight as the vaccine begins to be administered to healthcare workers and long-term care residents. And on Jan. 13, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared that farmworkers would be included in the next tier. The announcement...

PVWMA to bolster water conservation efforts

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WATSONVILLE—In December, the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency (PVWMA) Board of Directors approved a $1.2 million water conservation program aimed at further bolstering the efforts already in place by farmers. PVWMA is partnering with the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County (RCD) and the...
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Oscar Valdes named athletic director at North Monterey County

CASTROVILLE—It’s been four years since North Monterey County High School has had a dedicated athletic director. But newly hired Oscar Valdes believes the sports...