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» December 8, 2005 «
The state's largest farm organization inaugurated a new era yesterday (Wednesday), when it elected a Santa Barbara County farmer as its new president. Doug Mosebar becomes the 14th president in the history of the California Farm Bureau Federation. He pledged to do all he can "to ensure California's family farms and ranches thrive for generations to come." Mosebar succeeds Bill Pauli, who served the maximum four terms as Farm Bureau president.
California beef cattle producers will benefit from the Japanese lifting their ban on U.S. beef imports. The California Cattlemen's Association says that proximity favors golden state producers, cattlemen also have developed paper trails that show cattle meet the Japanese age requirements. But, the Japanese have a tariff that is imposed if imports from a country exceed last year's totals. No U.S. beef has been sent to Japan since 2003. That tariff will slow sales somewhat.
Potatoes of various colors are being grown by an increasing number of farmers for an expanding niche market. The new varieties have more health benefits than traditional potatoes. Major processing companies also are interested in the colored potatoes to stimulate the French fry market that has been stagnant for several years. The new varieties come in a rainbow of colors from a patriotic red white and blue to solid blue, yellow and even purple.
Surveys of three streams in the Russian River watershed show the first encouraging signs that the effort to rescue Coho salmon from the brink of extinction is working. Landowners along the streams received special praise from biologists working on the project. New cattle fences keep animals out of sensitive in-stream spawning habitat. Farmers planted cover crops in vineyards to halt erosion, and redwood trees were planted to keep water cool on hot summer days. Surveys will continue to monitor fish recovery.Top