Notes from California

Cal Poly Classic Sale – June 2nd

Join us on the beautiful Central Coast in San Luis Obispo, California for the Cal Poly Classic Sale on June 2nd, 11 am at the Cal Poly Dairy. 40 registered Holsteins and Jerseys sell from top herds including show prospects and genomic lots. Embryo packages and picks will also sell! Sale will be on Visit Cal Poly Classic Sale on Facebook for sale updates and upcoming catalog link. Contact sale chairs Matt Ruby (559) 471-9792 and Caitlin Lopes (209) 829-9677 for information.

California Milk Advisory Board 2018 Executive Committee Officers

Newly elected 2018 officers of the California Milk Advisory Board Executive Committee are (top row, left to right): Treasurer, Tony Louters of Merced, Member-at-Large, Renae DeJager of Chowchilla, Member-at-Large, Megan Silva of Escalon, Vice Chairman, Josh Zonneveld of Laton (bottom row, left to right) Member-at-Large, Kirsten Areias of Los Banos, Chairman, Dante Migliazzo of Atwater, Secretary, Essie Bootsma of Lakeview.

FARMER Program to help farmers upgrade equipment, reduce pollution

$135 million for purchase of cleaner agricultural trucks, pump engines, tractors and more

Funds will soon be available to expedite the purchase and use of cleaner agricultural equipment to help farmers reduce their exposure to harmful diesel exhaust, improve local air quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the California Air Resources Board has announced.


The “Funding Agricultural Replacement Measures for Emission Reductions” (FARMER) Program provides $135 million for farmers to acquire cleaner heavy-duty trucks, harvesting equipment, agricultural pump engines, tractors and other equipment used in agricultural operations.  The funds, available this summer, will be administered through California’s regional air districts.

“Emissions from agricultural equipment are a significant source of air pollution, especially in the San Joaquin Valley.  Reducing that pollution is necessary to protect public health and meet air quality standards,” CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey said.  “Although tough new engine standards are in effect now and will eventually lower emissions, most agricultural equipment lasts for decades.  We cannot wait for the older dirtier equipment to phase out naturally, so we are taking action to improve air quality sooner by helping farmers to buy cleaner farm equipment now. This will help improve air quality throughout the state, but particularly in the San Joaquin Valley which suffers from unacceptably high levels of fine particle pollution.”

FARMER funding allocations come from proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade program ($85 million), the Air Quality Improvement Fund ($15 million) and the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Fund ($35 million). The California Legislature directed funds from these three sources to reduce emissions from the agricultural sector through grants, rebates and other financial incentives.

Because the San Joaquin Valley has the vast majority of California’s agricultural operations and experiences the greatest negative health impacts from agricultural emissions, 80 percent of the funding — $108 million — will be distributed by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to farmers in the region.


Legislators placed special emphasis on purchasing vehicles and equipment that use advanced technologies such as clean diesel or electricity in order to accelerate improvements in air quality.

CDFA Announces Award for 2018 Small Dairy Climate Change Research

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has awarded a $213,349 research grant to the California Dairy Research Foundation in collaboration with University of California scientists to study methane emissions at California dairies. The project is titled, “Small Dairy Climate Change Research: An economic evaluation of strategies for methane emission reduction effectiveness and appropriateness in small and large California dairies.”

Supported by a $250,000 appropriation from the Budget Act of 2017, the research will focus on understanding the differences in methane emissions from large and small dairies. Researchers will also examine cost-saving techniques, evaluate emerging technologies, and investigate the economic impacts of methane regulations on California dairies.

The research will contribute to the Small Dairy Climate Action Plan which is required as part of the 2017-18 Budget Act (Item 8570-101-3228 (1) (b)).  For more details on the awarded project, please visit

Official Identification Requirements for Cattle Entering and Moving within California

CDFA has issued a reminder regarding official identification laws for cattle entering or moving within California. Effective April 1, 2017, the law requires official identification for the following cattle entering California.

  • Female dairy cattle of any age
  • Male dairy cattle born after March 11, 2013, including steers
  • Sexually intact beef breed male cattle and bison 18 months of age or over
  • Sexually intact beef breed female cattle and bison six (6) months of age and over
  • Cattle and bison of any age used for rodeo, recreational, show, or exhibition purposes
  • Mexico origin cattle regardless of age or sex
  • Exceptions: here.

Effective April 1, 2017, the law requires official identification for the following cattle moving within California.

  • Dairy cattle born in California after January 1, 2017, prior to leaving their birth premises • Dairy cattle on change of ownership
  • Non-virgin sexually intact male cattle less than 18 months of age and sexually intact male cattle 18 months of age and over, prior to change of ownership
  • Exceptions: here.

For more information, please visit the CDFA website. You may also call the main Animal Health Branch office at 916-900-5002 or your local district office (Redding: 530-225-2140; Modesto: 209-491-9350; Tulare: 559-685- 3500; Ontario: 909-947-4462) with any questions.

Four Fresno State Students Recognized with Ag Scholar Awards

Four Fresno State students in the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology were recognized with area ag scholar awards by 23rd District Assemblyman Jim Patterson at a ceremony at the Vincent E. Petrucci Viticulture Building.

Plant science graduate students Anthony Mele (Clovis) and Rohith Vulchi (Bapatla, India), plant science senior Aldo Garcia (Shafter) and agricultural business senior Emma Zacharias (Merced) were selected for the honor based on their passion, growth and innovation in various industries. The awards were presented on April 28.

Garcia was a member of the soil judging team that has competed the past three years at the national contest, and he has served as president of Fresno State’s plant science club, vice president of the plant health society and senior chair of operations of the FFA field day committee. He was one of six students chosen nationally by the American Society of Agronomy’s Greenfield Scholar program that traveled to Washington D.C. to advocate for agricultural research funding.

Mele is conducting his master’s thesis on improved irrigation and nitrogen-use efficiency in sugar beets — a lesser-used rotational crop that is suitable for poorer quality soils and has the potential to produce ethanol. He was one of 19 students selected nationally as a Gerald O. Mott Scholar by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America. His research poster also won first prize at the American Society of Agronomy area competition. A 4.0 student, he has been selected as an Irrigation Association E3 learner honoree.

Vulchi conducted research in creating a cost-effective and easy-to-use test for Lepidopteran insects in almond and pistachio orchards. He also worked as a research technician for the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in its entomology laboratory. Growing up in India, he worked with farmers to develop better agricultural practices through national and area agricultural extension programs.

Zacharias conducted her Jordan College honors research project on the Central Valley’s dairy industry and its state economic impact. She served as a member of the FFA state conference planning committee, agricultural business club and Alpha Zeta honorary society. She also worked with the Abundant Life Ranch non-profit youth organization.

California Cheese Awards

Many California cheese companies are getting it right and for the third straight year, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company has won Best of Show Cow’s Milk Cheese. This time it was for their Aged Gouda, a classic Dutch-style Gouda aged for 24 months. Read More >