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Drought Impact: Water, Agriculture and Farmers


AUBURN, Calif.  More than 85 local, state, and federal representatives toured Placer County last week to learn about local water resources, agriculture, and how farmers are dealing with the drought. 

The tour began at Placer County Water Agency (PCWA), where participants were welcomed by Placer County Supervisor Jim Holmes, PCWA General Manager David Breninger, and Placer Resource Conservation District (RCD) Executive Director Elisa Noble. 

 PCWA staff began by providing an overview of the water resources in Placer County and of the PCWA system, in particular.  Participants then loaded onto buses and traveled to the PCWA American River pump station near the Auburn Dam overlook.  Here they saw and learned about the river restoration project and the associated pump station that lifts water 400-feet to make it available to PCWA customers, including farmers in western Placer County.  PCWA were gracious hosts, and participants thoroughly enjoyed this portion of the tour.

 The second stop was a ranch just west of Auburn where Dan Macon of Flying Mule Farm grazes his sheep.  Dan provided an overview of their business that sells lamb meat and wool, and demonstrated the ability of his herding dog, "Mo," to move sheep.  Some of the biggest impacts of drought on Flying Mule Farm have been the need to downsize their flock, find additional feed, and make the decision to not sell any meat products this year. 

The third and final stop was Highland Orchard, a mandarin orchard and cane berry farm owned by the Tony Aguilar family in Penryn.  Tony explained how they manage their farm, and what management decisions they have had to make because of the drought.  Highland Orchard runs a very efficient irrigation system, utilizing automatic controllers to guarantee the timing and exact amount of water applied.

 Participants were then provided a delicious lunch of tri-tip and salad sourced from local farms, and ice cream with fresh-picked Highland Orchard berries.  Placer High FFA barbequed the tri-tip, served the meal, and helped with many other logistics. 

The annual Ag Tour is coordinated by Placer Resource Conservation District with the goal of providing government officials an on-the-ground exposure to Placer County agriculture.  The tour is sponsored and supported by the Placer County Board of Supervisors, PCWA, Nevada Irrigation District (NID), Placer County Farm Bureau, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, the United Auburn Indian Community, and several other partners.


Placer County News Headlines

PCWA Customers Curb Water Use 34 PercentDrought Watch: Since June of this year, PCWA customers have decreased water use by 34 percent in comparison to base year 2013.

Roseville Area Events Calendar for October 3, 2015Roseville, CA - Bright sunshine and warm temps make for ideal conditions as the fall events season kicks into full swing in Roseville and beyond.

Placer County Child Support Services Recognized for ImprovementsThe Placer County Department of Child Support Services has received the 2015 Most Improved Child Support Program Award

Free Hazardous Waste Drop Off in AuburnPLACER COUNTY, Calif. - The Western Placer Waste Management Authority's annual household hazardous waste collection event will be held Saturday and Sunday

Repeat DUI's Targeted with Ignition Interlock ProgramOn Monday, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 61, adding another 18 months to a four-county ignition interlock pilot program

California Fire Updates Summary (10-2-15)Nearly 1,000 firefighters are battling 7 large fires. In Northern California, an area of low pressure is moving throughout the area today with light showers

Lincoln Salmon Festival Celebration October 3rdLincoln, CA - The Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF) is gearing up for the sixth annual Salmon Celebration to bring awareness to the migrating salmon population

Roseville Coffee Wars: Dunkin Donuts and Dutch Bros. ExpandingRoseville, CA - Coffee is big business and Roseville is at center stage in South Placer County as the coffee giants battle it out to serve up their high-priced specialty brews.

151,000 Acres Scarred: Rough Fire GrowsCalifornia Fire Updates 2015: In Northern California, an area of low pressure is moving slowly into the area today with light showers expected and cooler temperatures

Seniors First Awarded Grant from Wells FargoSeniors First was recently awarded $10,000 grant from Wells Fargo Bank which will help to continue funding of Seniors First's eight Senior Cafes

Salmon Celebration Festival in Lincoln October 3rdLincoln, CA - The Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF) is gearing up for the sixth annual Salmon Celebration

Free Healthy Aging Program Presentations in OctoberIn a series of four Saturday morning sessions at UC Davis School of Medicine, attendees will learn the latest from physicians and other experts about aging and medical science.

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