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FALL 2016

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FALL 2016

FEATURES HORSES AND HUGE GAINS............................................................... 6 DEWAR TRACTOR COMPETITION WINNERS.................................... 8 LOCAL HORSE WINS BIG................................................................. 12 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP HORSE SHOW............................................ 14 OVER $2M RAISED AT JR. LIVESTOCK AUCTION............................ 16 MID-STATE FAIR CARCASS DINNER................................................. 18 MID-STATE FAIR ANNOUNCES EXPANSION................................... 20 CA RODEO SALINAS ANNOUNCES 3 NEW DIRECTORS.................22 CA RODEO SALINAS COMMEMORATIVE POSTER...........................24 $18K RAISED FOR AGRICULTURAL SCHOLARSHIPS AT BURGERS & BREWS FEST.............................................................25 SLO COUNTY COWPARADE COMES TO ATASCADERO................. 26 FARMSTEAD ED PRESENTS ‘HOLIDAY INFUSIONS’.........................29

MID-STATE FAIR AND JB DEWAR ANNOUNCED WINNERS AT CATTLEMAN’S LUNCHEON

Isaac Lindsey, Louis Lindsey and Luke Reilly were named Grand Champions of the JB Dewar Tractor Competition for their restoration of a 1941 John Deere Model L at the Mid-State Fair Cattleman’s Luncheon on July 21.

Read more on page 8. Story by ALLYSON OKEN

GUEST COLUMNS LEE PITTS BULLISH.............................................................................................28

FROM THE COVER CENTER COMBINES THERAPY WITH HORSEMANSHIP Rosie Maiorello, 14, greets Mikey, a Tennessee walking horse before a ride. Read more on page 6. Photo by TARMO HANNULA

MID-STATE FAIR PROVIDES A FORUM FOR YOUTH TO BUILD A FUTURE

The Mid-State Fair has ended and Future Farmers of America and 4-H members made out like bandits at the Junior Livestock Auction on July 30, with total sales estimated at more than $2 million.

Read more on page 16. Story by ALLYSON OKEN

EQUINE E N T H U S I A S T ™

News Media Corporation/California Edition Published in conjunction with Paso Robles Press, Atascadero News, South County Newspapers and Register-Pajaronian. • www.EquineEnthusiast.com

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FALL 2016 | Published by News Media Corporation


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LOCAL HORSE WINS BIG AT U.S. NATIONALS

This past year, after qualifying at a local show in Watsonville and a regional show in Reno, Kathy Castellanos took X-Man to the U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show in Tulsa, Okla., where he was named the National Champion in Open English Trail and Amateur English Trail and the Reserve National Champion in Western Amateur Trail and Top 10 in Open Western Trail.

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EQUINE E N T H U S I A S T ™ Publisher JOHN BARTLETT

COMMEMORATIVE POSTER

The 2017 poster, chosen by President Mike Scarr, features a vintage trick rider, Edith Happy Connelly, who was not only a favorite performer at the California Rode Salinas, but also the Rodeo Secretary for many years.

Read more on page 24.

ADVERTISING SALES SAN LUIS OBISPO SANTA BARBARA VENTURA COUNTIES:

Sheri Potruch 805-237-6060 ext. 123 spotruch@pasoroblespress.com Arlene Horton-White 805-466-2585 ext. 115 arlene@atascaderonews.com

COWPARADE COMES TO ATASCADERO

This is the first time a CowParade event has come to San Luis Obispo County, with a total of 101 cows located at various highly-visible spots throughout the county. Three cows were unveiled in Atascadero earlier this fall..

Read more on page 26. Published by News Media Corporation | FALL 2016

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EQUINE E N T H U S I A S T ™

is a FREE quarterly publication. 15,000 copies are distributed throughout Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara, Monterey & Santa Cruz counties. It is available at feed and retail stores, event centers, hotels and other equine related businesses.

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Photo by: Tarmo Hannula A participant in the Monterey Bay Horsemanship and Therapeutic Center enjoys grooming Sophia.Beach.

FROM the

Cover

HORSES AND HUGE GAINS

CENTER COMBINES THERAPY WITH HORSEMANSHIP TO BENEFIT SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN By BEK PHILLIPS OF EQUINE ENTHUSIAST

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iagnosed with autism, Anne Pearson’s son spent his early years unable to walk, with professionals expressing reservations that he would ever become capable, when Pearson had the idea to put him on a horse. His gains were remarkable and a year-anda-half later, he was able to ditch the wheelchair completely. “This is what grew out of it,” Pearson said of her sprawling campus and nonprofit organization that

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now provides therapy at no cost to families. “And really, there is nothing else for them.” Funded through the San Andreas Regional Center, the school district and donations, the Monterey Bay Horsemanship & Therapeutic Center in La Selva Beach is a secured facility designed to serve those with special needs. “There are actually very few places that work with this severity of kids,” Pearson said. “They come to us in varying degrees, but for some of them, we are the last stop before they are admitted to an institution.” Considered a Crisis Prevention Institute

(CPI), employees are trained to redirect and talk participants out of violent behavior. This is because some of the participants in their program are violent — hitting, kicking, biting and even breaking the bones of family members. “These parents live with this every single day,” Pearson said. “If they are lucky enough to get referred, we have had an enormously successful success rate.” Children coming in with 45-degree wheelchairs are developing the core strength to sit straight, eventually leaving behind even the smallest back support. Students struggling with suicidal

FALL 2016 | Published by News Media Corporation


tendencies are healing and making plans for college. Parents who are overwhelmed and feeling isolated are given reprieve. Overall, everyone involved can benefit. “Our world isn’t their world. Their way of communicating, how they view everything around them, is completely different from us,” Pearson said. “We expect them to survive in a world we made and this results in enormous conflict. The person that loses out is always the special needs child.” To help adjust for this, in the young adult program they complete a variety of tasks and activities aimed at teaching them life skills, socialization, how to act in the work place and live independently or safely. The therapeutic center serves approximately 252 individuals a month, with 10 percent Bodhi Hearly-Gooden is helped into the saddle atop Lizzie, a Percheron draft horse, at the Monterey Bay Horsemanship and Therapeutic Center in of them classified in La Selva Beach. Photo by: Tarmo Hannula/Equine Enthusiast the violent behavioral category. And for him.” “Brushing, petting are things that are relaxing,” according to Pearson, His father cites several areas he has watched Holbert said. “Tacking and untacking helps them in several instances across the country where Joshua Parker improve: balance, posture, core bond, the process of getting the horse ready helps special needs people have come into contact with law enforcement, jail and bullets come before any strength, courage to feed and pet the horses, and both of them is almost like building a friendship.” riding. Holbert said he sees their progress play out in successful communication takes place. “It is huge, he loves it,” Andrew Parker said. front of his own eyes on a day-to-day basis. “People are becoming more aware and more “I watch them learn to walk after they have been fearful,” Pearson said. “It is just miscommunication, “And it is more social with more adults he gets to there is something so wrong in that there isn’t a talk to. Now that he is 17, it is working out really told they would never,” Holbert said. “The world well.” of autism is real and not something we should balance.” Twice a week Joshua Parker leaves Soquel High push away. For the things they can do, they are And this is where the horses come in. School to end his day at the therapeutic center. amazing.” Being on and around horses can increase “It’s all about bringing them in and then getting The ages of the participants vary, with the oneserotonin and oxytocin levels but what’s more is the them back out into the real world feeling self- year-olds being helped onto comparatively massive ability for them to regain control over their body. “They get on a horse and they can be very tense satisfied,” Pearson said. “They all just want to be horses just like all the others. With 26 full-time staff and ticking and rocking, and when they pick up normal, they want to know ‘why can’t I do what members, around 30 to 35 volunteers and groups on the rhythm of the horse they completely calm my brother does’ — it’s based off anxiety. Horses sponsoring and completing projects, the center is able to provide almost one-to-one assistance. They down and relax,” Pearson said. “It’s amazing to see. do something emotionally.” Pearson uses her program to teach them a also have added a sensory-friendly gym and small Sometimes they go from hitting, biting and in five process. Because children with autism can struggle animal farm, and continue to have a full line-up of minutes they are calm and relaxed. It’s huge. Little with recognizing emotions in others, this tool is projects they aim to complete. things are such huge victories for them.” “Making a difference is something you chase While the program gives parents and caregivers essential in order to bridge the communication gap. “They take things completely literally,” Pearson without knowing it.” Holbert said. “We have that respite, participants are learning and working on behaviors that can make home life difficult. For explained. “They can’t discern between fiction and here.” ••• 17-year-old Joshua Parker, the campus has given reality — a stress that isolates them constantly.” CPI instructor John Holbert said this focus on him an additional benefit — the opportunity to therapy happens off the horse, not just on the Monterey Bay Horsemanship & Therapeutic interact with adults in real world situations. “It is hard to find programs for kids with autism,” horse. Stressing again the importance of ritual and Center is located on 475 Eucalyptus Way in La his father Andrew Parker said. “Josh is getting process, he said it also allows the riders and horses Selva Beach. For information, call (831) 761-1142 or visit www.mbhorsecenter.com. older, as he gets older it is harder to find programs to develop a bond. Published by News Media Corporation | FALL 2016

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Contributed by: JB Dewar Tractor Co. Left to right: Louis Lindsey, Luke Reilly and Isaac Lindsey of Templeton High School were named Grand Champions of the JB Dewar Tractor Competition for their restored 1941 John Deere Model L.

ISAAC LINDSEY AND TEAM WIN JB DEWAR TRACTOR COMPETITION

MID-STATE FAIR AND JB DEWAR ANNOUNCED WINNERS AT CATTLEMAN’S LUNCHEON By ALLYSON OKEN OF EQUINE ENTHUSIAST

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saac Lindsey, Louis Lindsey and Luke Reilly were named Grand Champions of the JB Dewar Tractor Competition for their restoration of a 1941 John Deere Model L at the Mid-State Fair Cattleman’s Luncheon on July 21. After suffering a traumatic brain injury in

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September 2015 at a Templeton High School football game, Isaac and the Lindsey family were unsure if he would be able to compete in the 2016 competition, even though they had already purchased and started restoring a 1941 John Deere Model L. Isaac was in recovery for 10 months to compete in the 2016 JB Dewar Tractor Restoration Program at the Mid-State Fair on July 15, 18 and 21 — and

he won. “Next year I am going for the national title and really plan to go for it,” Isaac said enthusiastically. Isaac and his team were pitted against some tough competition this year, but judges Dr. Mark Zohns, professor at Cal Poly; Chris Darway, local farmer; and Joey MacKey, former contestant who Continued On Page 10

FALL 2016 | Published by News Media Corporation


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Photos contributed by: JB Dewar Tractor Co. Second place went to Lompoc High School Team (left to right) Ken Dewar, President of JB Dewar, Matt Hamon, Bryon Dawson and Anthony Nunez. They restored a 1946 John Deere Model B

Continued...

was a first-place winner and national winner of the JB Dewar Tractor Restoration Competitions, chose their tractor out of all others. Awarded second place was Lompoc High School Team, Matt Hamon, Bryon Dawson and Anthony Nunez, for their restoration of a 1946 John Deere Model B. Third place and the Alex Madonna Memorial Award went to Mikaela Jensen for her respiration of a 1951 Ferguson TO-20. At the Tractor Start portion of the competition on July 18, Isaac said he was only hoping for the win and was unsure if he and his team would make it through. “I am hoping maybe I will win, but we will see what happens,” he said. “It took two cranks to start, which isn’t bad at all, but it could be a problem for these judges. I feel good about it even though there are four other amazing tractors. It will be a tight

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competition but I am ready.” This is not Isaac’s first competition. In July 2015, he beat out seven other contestants to become the champion of the JB Dewar Tractor Restoration Program with the restoration of a 1939 Farmall Model A. For this year’s project, big brother Louis Lindsey and friend Luke Reilly joined Isaac to help him restore his 1941 John Deere Model L. Isaac said it was a real mess when they started working on the tractor and began by taking the tractor apart and figuring out what parts it would need. “This tractor was in bad shape with all sorts of parts from all types of tractors on it that we had to remove,” Isaac explained. “After we got all the old stuff off of it, I discovered that the frame was elongated and we had to cut the main drive shaft and make it extended and extend the drive shaft and the shield for it and reeled and add metal to it.”

He continued, “Then after that, I began working on painting part of it. I really want to thank Russell Scamara over at Classic Coach Works. If you need your car fixed anytime, give Russ a call. He is a really great guy. He really made this project happen for me. If it were not for Russ, I would be sitting at home watching TV or something.” This is a rigorous process for any student to accomplish and generally requires a least one year of preparation to complete. The JB Dewar Tractor Restoration Program consists of high school-aged youth that obtain an antique tractor and restore it back to original working condition.   The contestants are judged in three areas: the restoration of the tractor, a workbook that details the project and a 15-minute oral presentation. JB Dewar supports the youth through the whole program and the tractors are on display for the duration of the fair. SUMMER/FALL 2016 | Published by News Media Corporation


Third place and winner of the Alex Madonna Memorial Award, Mikaela Jensen restored a 1951 Ferguson TO-20: Pictured here with Ken Dewar, President of J.B. Dewar, Inc.

Louis Lindsey, Isaac Lindsey, Tim Hartzell and Luke Reilly work on their tractor.

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Photos contributed Templeton resident Kathy Castellanos poses for a photo with her horse RSA Exploitation +// after competing in the U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show in Tulsa, Okla.

LOCAL HORSE WINS BIG AT U.S. NATIONALS By LUKE PHILLIPS OF EQUINE ENTHUSIAST

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empleton resident Kathy Castellanos has been in love with horses since she had a rocking horse as a child. “It’s beyond love I think,” she said. “They’re part of me. I was born that way.” When she was 12 years old, a mentor in her 4-H club in Clairemont inspired her to start competing in trail riding competitions, and she’s been doing it ever since, riding in multiple local, regional and national competitions and winning numerous awards. She won at several national competitions with her previous horse, Maverick, including the Grand Champion National Horse of the Year award in 2002. “I’d won everything you could possibly win with a horse, so I needed a new challenge,” she said. Castellanos found her new challenge at a show in Reno, Nev., 12 years ago — an Arabian horse named RSA Exploitation +//, or X-Man for short. Although she may not have realized it at the time, X-Man would go on to earn accolades even more

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prestigious than Maverick. This past year, after qualifying at a local show in Watsonville and a regional show in Reno, Castellanos took X-Man to the U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show in Tulsa, Okla., where he was named the National Champion in Open English Trail and Amateur English Trail and the Reserve National Champion in Western Amateur Trail and Top 10 in Open Western Trail. Castellanos rode X-Man in the Western Amateur Trail and Amateur English Trail competitions and her friend and mentor Michael Damianos rode him in the Open English Trail competition. “I can’t imagine ever doing better than this the rest of my life,” Castellanos said. “The judges, because he won both the amateur and the open class in English Trail, they said that he’d set a new standard.” Castellanos had her photo taken with X-Man for Arabian Horse World Magazine and had to put her ribbons and trophies from the competition in a horse blanket-lined wheel barrow in order to move them for the photo. “The photographer’s wife started

SUMMER/FALL 2016 | Published by News Media Corporation


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COMING SOON TO THE RAVA ARENA! January 7 January 20 January 21 laughing and said, ‘I’m not sure we have ever had someone have to wheel barrow their awards over for their photos,’” Castellanos said. X-Man end up in sixth place overall and scored the highest of all the purebred Arabian performances horses at the competition. X-Man is also a member of the Legion of Excellence, as denoted by the +// after his name. The lifetime achievement award is issued by the U.S. Arabian Horse Association after

a horse has accumulated at least 300 points in local, regional and national trail competitions. “He’s pretty cool,” she said. “He’s very intelligent and he tries really hard. He likes to please. The Arabian breed is very smart, very intelligent. They love people. They’re the oldest light horse breed — all horses that are saddle horses that you ride came from the Arabian breed. I wouldn’t have a horse if I couldn’t have an Arabian.”

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Photos by: Tarmo Hannula Katie Polley of Vacaville and her quarter horse, Hank, stack up points at the fairgrounds during the Show of Champions competition.

FAIRGROUNDS HOSTS STATE CHAMPIONSHIP HORSE SHOW By TODD GUILD and TARMO HANNULA OF EQUINE ENTHUSIAST

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ore than 80 horses and their riders – some of the best in the state – made their way to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds for a competition that caps a year of preparation. The California State Horseman’s Association

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Show of Champions brings competitors from throughout the state who have topped those in their own regions in events such as barrel racing and big T racing. Derek-Lucas Brown of Brentwood, who was riding Little Bubba Blue, called the event “amazing.” “What I like about this is I am like the coach and I am riding the athlete,” he said. “Without the horse you cannot compete. The better you treat your

horse the better they treat you. They’re wonderful animals that are smart and fun and safe.” Natalie Wehrer of Martinez said she has won roughly 15 ribbons in the five years she has been riding. “What I like about competing is that it’s like one big family and everyone is out here to support each other,” she said. “It’s comforting having that support and it helps you do your best.”

FALL 2016 | Published by News Media Corporation


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Luke the horse fashions a series of braids in his mane. Published by News Media Corporation | FALL 2016

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OVER $2M RAISED AT JR. LIVESTOCK AUCTION MID-STATE FAIR PROVIDES A FORUM FOR YOUTH TO BUILD A FUTURE By ALLYSON OKEN OF EQUINE ENTHUSIAST

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he Mid-State Fair has ended and Future Farmers of America and 4-H members made out like bandits at the Junior Livestock Auction on July 30, with total sales estimated at more than $2 million. Mid-State Fair CEO Michael Bradley welcomed the crowd at the Junior Livestock Auction. “Welcome everybody to the California Mid-State Fair, the greatest fair in America,” Bradley said. “We are here to make a difference for the kids, for agriculture, for the community and I need all your help. With all the terrible things that are going on in the world today, let’s make a difference today in agriculture, in particular for young people that will be the leaders of our great nation.” Bradley honored Randy and Beth Blackesley for

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closing their livestock yard to support the youth auction and Joel Twisselman and Joann Switzer for donating their time to the auction and the fair for years. Just days before, North County youth saw some big wins at both the Market Hog Competition on July 25 and at the Market Steer Competition on July 26. George H. Flamson Middle School student Leo Kemp, of Creston 4-H, brought home the title of Grand Champion Steer and Atascadero’s own Brayden Kahler, of Cerro Alto 4-H, took home the title of Grand Champion Market Hog. Kemp sold the Grand Champion Steer for $10 per pound for a total take of $13,340. “I am happy that I did it and took home a win,” Kemp said. This was not Kemp’s first year in competition, but it was his first big win. In 2015, Kemp raised a steer that was in group one of the Junior Livestock

Sale Catalogue, just 13 slots away from reserve champion, and this year he surpassed even that to take home the Grand Champion title. Kahler, 13, who attends school at Atascadero Junior High School, sold the Grand Champion Hog for $5,980. He exhibited 88, the Grand Champion Market Hog at the California Mid-State Fair for the Market Steer competition and made it to auction. His mom Barbie Kahler said that this is her son’s fourth year in the 4-H program and his second time taking home the honors of Grand Champion Market Hog. “Brayden’s passions are baseball, hunting, fishing and showing his show pigs through the year with me,” Barbie Kahler said. “This year Brayden wants to thank all that has made this year a huge success with 88. These hogs become a part of our family because we spend a tremendous amount of time with these hogs preparing them for our county fair

FALL 2016 | Published by News Media Corporation


and other shows. You must have drive to be successful. Not only in everyday life, but also in the barn. We are so happy for our son.” Atascadero High School student Gabby Vering, of Atascadero FFA, sold the Grand Champion Goat for $2,760. Vering was all smiles as she walked her champion goat up the ramp to the seller’s pen. Wyatt Savage, of Chaparral 4-H, followed Vering and sold the Reserved Grand Champion Goat for $2,496. Next up on the auction block was the Gand Champion Lamb, raised by Jacob Madden, of Templeton FFA, which sold for $60 per pound for a total take of $8,700. As the auctioneer rallied the crowd of hundreds, the bids just kept going up and the entire Madden family and friends were whooping and celebrating. Ryan Domingo, of Ranchita Canyon 4-H, was not far behind Madden in the bids and sold the Reserve Grand Champion Lamb for $6,812. There were 817 animals shown at auction and without the add-ons, the total sales were just under last year’s official total of $2.1 million, though the total number could still exceed last year’s amounts as the add-ons are tallied into the total. In total, an estimated $2,096,206 was raised at this year’s auction. For FFA and 4-H students, the MidState Fair provides a forum to build a future. Many of these champions will utilize their winnings to attend collage or trade schools and to raise the next granulation of champion livestock. To sign up to show an animal at the Mid-State Fair next year or to learn more about the process, visit midstatefair.com.

Published by News Media Corporation | FALL 2016

Photos by: Allyson Oken Atascadero’s Brayden Kahler, of Cerro Alto 4-H, took home the title of Grand Champion Market Hog and sold his hog for $5,980 at the Mid-State Fair Grand Champion Auction on July 30.

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From left: Mark Clement, Jesslyn Blank, Trevor Straeck, Jake Walker, Mattie Lindsey, Sarah Sandoval, Tabitha Vander Hors, Katie Taylor and Michael H. Bradley, Mid-State Fair CEO

MID-STATE FAIR CARCASS DINNER AWARDED $5,530 TO TOP 10 EXHIBITORS AND BREEDERS

By ALLYSON OKEN OF EQUINE ENTHUSIAST

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he top 10 Carcass Class Awards for 2016 were given Sept. 1 at the Paso Robles Event Center to honor those who reared market steers eligible for competition, with carcasses being graded at harvest facilities by U.S. Department of Agriculture graders. All market steers entered into the 2016 fair that were eligible for carcass awards must have been graded USDA Select+ or higher. Mid-State Fair CEO Michael Bradley said that the market steers are produced for harvesting and those eligible for the carcass award are honored each year at the annual dinner. “The results are given after the fair each year and all of the young people were recognized for their work breeding and exhibiting steers,” he said. “The top 10 were given monetary winnings, belt buckles and were recognized at the annual carcass dinner.” This year’s top 10 exhibitors and breeding partners were: Exhibitor, Jesslyn Blank of Tepleton FFA and breeder took 1st Place Gold Seal and $785. Exhibitor, Jess Wilson of Parkfield 4-H and Breeder, Cory Reid of Wheatland, CA took 2nd Place and $730. Exhibitor, Trevor Straeck of Atascadero FFA and

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Breeder, Hyder Cattle of Springville, CA took 3rd Place and $680. Exhibitor, Camryn Roth of Templeton FFA and Breeder, Cal Cherry of Paso Robles Ca took 4th Place Gold Seal and $630. Exhibitor, Tabitha Vander Horst of Edna 4-H and Breeder, Colburn Cattle Co from Visalia, CA C of M took 5th Place, 4-H CH X-Bred and $580. Exhibitor, Katie Taylor of Templeton 4-H and Breeder, Joe Simonin of Templeton Ca, took 6th Place and $525. Exhibitor, Sarah Sandoval of Morro Bay 4-H and Breeder, Rocking D-C Ranch of San Luis Obispo took 7th Place and $475. Exhibitor, Mattie Lindsey of Templeton 4-H and Breeder, John Whitson of Templeton Ca, took 8th Place, Gold Seal and $425. Exhibitor, Casey Nauta of Atascadero FFA and Breeder, Greg Nauta of San Luis Obispo took 9th Place, C of M and $375. Exhibitor, Jake Walker of San Luis Obispo FFA and Breeder Silva Cattle of Kingsburg, Ca took 10th Place, C of M and $325. Bradley said that Carcass Class Awards honor both the exhibitor and breeder of a market steer and, in terms of the young persons in competition, one of the most important things about the fair is the learning experience. “Through the fair these young people are

purview to an unparalleled learning experience in competition and each are contributing to the food chain by raising steers for market,” Bradley said. “So when they purchase and raise a steer they are trying to produce the best of the best for consumers. These animals are broken down to the carcass and then judged by USDA standers and quality and the animal is evaluated, scored and ranked.” He added, “It means that they have accomplished a lot raising a steer that is high grade and have a much better understanding for what it takes to accomplish this in the real world as our top beef producers do every day.” Bradley and the Mid-State Fair are able to host carcass class awards through Carcass sponsors, including Atascadero Trail Riders, Cagliero Ranches, Ray Dauth, Estrella Ranch, Farm Supply, H&H Plumbing, JB Dewar, Jr. Livestock Support Club, Mark Switzer Excavation, Paso Robles Waste, San Miguel Flouring, Jim & Debbie Saunders, Simonin Livestock, SLO Cattlemen’s Association, Specialty Silicone Fabricators and Visalia Livestock Market. To learn more about market steer competition, register an animal for next year’s Mid-State Fair and see Livestock Judging results for the year 2016, visit midstatefair.com.

FALL 2016 | Published by News Media Corporation


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Contributed Graphics: Architectural mock-ups of the new multi-use pavilion at the Mid-State Fair

MID-STATE FAIR ANNOUNCES EXPANSION NEW MULTI-USE PAVILION IN THE WORKS; ADDITIONAL PARKING BEING SOUGHT By ALLYSON OKEN OF EQUINE ENTHUSIAST

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he Paso Robles Event Center recently broke ground on a new multi-use pavilion and announced the proposed purchase of Pioneer Park in order to expand its available parking.

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The new multi-use pavilion will take the place of the three old barns at the north end of the fairgrounds, put in place in the 1950s and used today as FFA and 4-H hog barns during livestock competitions. The new pavilion will offer a state-ofthe-art, 65,000-square-foot multi-use structure that will attach to the current Livestock Pavilion on the west and run all the way to the maintenance yard on the east side of the property. Mid-State Fair CEO Mike Bradley said the new pavilion will be used during the annual fair for livestock shows, but will also be used for multiple and diverse events throughout the year. Once complete, the entire complex will provide 95,000 square feet of covered exhibit space. “It is a freestanding structure that will be completed by the time the fair opens,” Bradley said. “It will be a multiuse structure for FFA and 4-H and livestock programs and can be used for equine events, limited entertainment, trade shows and more. This area would be available for use by the community for the 10 months the fair is not in

progress, and we are already seeing interest from potential promoters.” As the fairgrounds expand its livestock offerings, plans to purchase Pioneer Park are moving forward as well. The process is involved, Bradley said, adding that the purchase could take some time because the property is owned by the City of Paso Robles. “Yes, we are moving forward with the purchase of Pioneer Park, continuing the process to secure the property between the city and the fair,” Bradley said. “With any sale of property the process will take a while. There are a number of options for diverse use. Parking is an option we are looking at and we are looking at other uses as well.” He added, “The Fairgrounds are diverse and we aim to keep it that way. So we will continue that trend and develop the property to maximize its usability to create another area that will generate income for the area and the fair.” Bradley gave assurances that all the construction equipment and surface delivery that will occur as the new pavilion is built will not inhibit traffic down Riverside Avenue as construction will be staged on the property and in the parking lot across from the Paso Robles Event Center entrance. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony once the new building is complete. Construction is slated to continue through June 15, 2017, with the pavilion being ready in plenty of time for next year’s fair. The project is being funded by the Heritage Foundation, the fair’s nonprofit arm that helps to fund capital improvements. Over the past decade the foundation has funded and completed projects, including the Hearst Equestrian Center, the Livestock Pavilion, the Stockyard and most recently the Island Bar and Grill. For more information on the California Mid-State Fair, visit midstatefair.com.

FALL 2016 | Published by News Media Corporation


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Contributed photo by: Interface Visual Directors (from left) Adam Jacop, Tonya Linares, Matt Jenkinson and Rodeo President Mike Scarr

CALIFORNIA RODEO SALINAS ANNOUNCES 3 NEW DIRECTORS THESE DEDICATED VOLUNTEERS HAVE BEEN WORKING FOR YEARS SUBMITTED ARTICLE

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he California Rodeo Salinas welcomed three new directors — Adam Jacop, Matt Jenkinson and Tonya Linares — to the board on Oct. 20. These dedicated individuals have put in countless hours to help the Rodeo Association thrive. All three were present at the annual Stockholders Dinner to accept their new titles and silver badges. Three other directors moved to the designation of Advisory Director after providing decades of service on the board. Bill Grainger, Mike Martin and Mark Schmidt realize that for the continued growth of the California Rodeo room must be made for new active directors. Mike Scarr continues as president for his second and final year of office along with the other officers: first Vice President Brent Eastman, second Vice President Dave Pedrazzi, third Vice President Fred Hooker, Treasurer Tom Nielsen and Secretary Steve Davis. The California Rodeo Salinas would not be able to give back over $400,000 to the local community or

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put on one of the top 20 professional rodeos in the United States without the leadership of its officers and Board of Directors. These dedicated volunteers are the greatest assets of the organization. The following are full biographies of the new directors and advisory directors.  

Adam Jacop, Director

Adam Jacop began his volunteer career with the California Rodeo on the Passes Committee in 1995, working security in the Hansen Pavilion. He has served on the Passes, Monster Jam, Central Coast Motorsports Spectacular and Volunteer Services Committees, chairing both Passes and Volunteer Services last year. Jacop loves being able to say that he is involved with the greatest rodeo on the West Coast and takes a lot of pride in what the organization does for the community. Born and raised in Salinas, he is the caretaker for the Salinas Sports Complex, living here on the grounds, and also an account manager at RDO Equipment Company, where he has worked for the past 11 years. He and his wife Kari have two daughters,

Breana and Hayden. Jacop enjoys hunting, riding motorcycles, working on cars, boating and working with his horse in his free time.  

Matt Jenkinson, Director

Matt Jenkinson started volunteering in 1994 on the Ground Prep Committee and has worked on the Monster Jam and Facilities Committees and has been the Chairman of the Central Coast Motorsports Spectacular Committee for the past five years. Jenkinson can be found out at the complex, often with his dad, brothers or uncle, working hard year round and is always willing to help with projects the staff or board comes up with. He loves volunteering for the rodeo because it is a great organization to be a part of. He has met a lot of great people who share the same passion: giving back to the Salinas community and carrying on rodeo traditions for future generations. Jenkinson was born and raised in Salinas and currently lives in South Salinas; he has worked for Jenkinson Construction Inc. since 1994. He married his wife Jennifer on June 18, 2016, and

FALL 2016 | Published by News Media Corporation


they have a 5-year-old Weimaraner named Emma who is like their child. His hobbies include spending time at Lake Nacimiento, playing softball and traveling wherever Jenn books their adventures.  

Tonya Linares, Director

Tonya Linares officially became a committee member in 1990, but before that she risked crashing into the wooden beams beneath the old grandstands searching for lost items like wedding rings that fans would drop. She has served on many committees: gates, security and she has been the team captain for the Relay for Life team since 2008. Linares fondly remembers being surprised with the Committee Man of the Year award in 2010 and volunteering with her dad Jim Kelley in the early years before his untimely death in 2006. She loves volunteering because the rodeo is great for the community and it also creates friendships with people that become family. Linares was born in Kalamazoo, Mich., and she moved to Salinas when she was 3. She works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is married to Frank Linares. She raised three wonderful step-children and has three grandchildren and one smart Border Collie named Hannah. Her hobbies include attending various rodeo functions, camping, fishing, hunting, kayaking and taking their 1955 Chevrolet Nomad to cars shows around California.   Bill Grainger, Advisory Director Bill Grainger was out at the Rodeo Grounds painting fences in 1958, but wasn’t an official committee member until a decade later when he would drop numbers in the old scoreboard. After attending Oregon State and living in Bakersfield for a few years, Grainger got involved with the Rodeo again in 1978 on Walt Cameron’s Maintenance and Construction Committee. When Norman Martella retired from the Ground Prep Committee in 1981, Grainger took over as chairman. He enlisted the help of his buddy Benny Jefferson to improve the arena conditions and they and their committee did a lot of year-round work, especially when it was time to build the new stadium back in 1996. He is married to Mary Lou, his high school sweetheart, and they live in Salinas, where four generations of Graingers have lived. They have two

daughters, Leslie and Amy, and six grandchildren. His hobbies include hunting, fishing and playing golf.   Mike Martin, Advisory Director Mike Martin started volunteering with the California Rodeo when he was only 18 years old, almost 50 years ago, on the Arena Committee in the south end stripping chutes. After a few years, he moved to the north end near the roping chutes, when Allan Wallace left the barrier, and ran the barrier for over 20 years. Martin was also on the Insurance Committee at one time with Homer Hayward and Walt Cameron. He also led horses out during the Wild Horse Race and has served on the Golf Committee for the past eight years. Martin has worked for Granite Rock for 44 years and is married to his wife Barbara and has lived in Salinas his entire life except for the years he ventured to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly. He has a step-son Jonathan, stepdaughter Jamie and daughter Kate. He has three grandsons, Ben, Jake and Joey. He enjoys golfing and hunting in his spare time.   Mark Schmidt, Advisory Director Mark Schmidt started volunteering for the California Rodeo in the summer of 1964 with the Boy Scouts. In 1969, he starred with Ground Prep two weeks before the show and during the show worked on the Track Committee driving the panel tractor. In 1971 he moved to the catch pens on the Arena Committee under Director Hardy, and in 1974 moved to the north end roping chutes and is still there 52 years later. He has also served on the Executive Committee, Maintenance and Construction Committee and Production Committee. Schmidt was born in Salinas in 1952 and currently lives in Pebble Beach. His career has included working as president of Alco Water Service, in the produce industry from 1980 to 2005, and he is currently self-employed with Omniterra, a training company, Omniterra Pools and Spas, a service company, and Masscom, a consulting company. He has been married to his wife Sally since 1978 and they have three children, one of whom is deceased, and they are raising their grandson Jake and plan to adopt. The rodeo is his hobby when he isn’t with his family.

Published by News Media Corporation | FALL 2016

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2017 CALIFORNIA RODEO SALINAS COMMEMORATIVE POSTER HAS VINTAGE FEEL POSTER FEATURES TRICK RIDER EDITH HAPPY CONNELLY

Contributed photo by: Interface Visual Ruth Deoudes (left), 2017 poster artist, and Miss California Rodeo Salinas 2016 Megan Ford

SUBMITTED ARTICLE

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he California Rodeo Salinas produces a poster each year to commemorate the Rodeo and sell as a souvenir. The 2017 poster, chosen by President Mike Scarr, features a vintage trick rider, Edith Happy Connelly, who was not only a favorite performer at the California Rode Salinas, but also the Rodeo Secretary for many years. The Happy Family worked in several areas of the California Rodeo, still supports the association to this day and was inducted into our Hall of Fame in 2011. Edith is also a member of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. The poster captures Edith in her signature move, the Hippodrome Stand, and was debuted at the annual Stockholders Dinner on Oct. 20. The poster is an intricate pencil sketch by local artist Ruth Deoudes. Born on California’s beautiful Monterey Peninsula, Deoudes was the fourth of five children. Her youth was very fulfilling, with many family adventures and numerous pets. Her parents were educators who offered many artistic outlets. This may have been what inspired her to start drawing and painting at an early age.

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Deoudes continued to follow her interest by studying art at Monterey Peninsula College, San Diego State University, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. She has been influenced by traditional as well as contemporary western artists.  In 1988 Deoudes and her husband Pete moved to the rural Salinas area, where they had room to raise a family and maintain their livestock. Whether at home, a rodeo, or a friend’s ranch, she never lacks for inspiration or subject matter. It may be a situation, a pose or even a gesture that sparks her interest. The execution and technique of her pencil drawings is very important, but the main goal for Deoudes is to create an emotionally engaging and inspiring image. She is personal friends with the Happy Family and she proposed the entire vision for this poster from the subject to the final layout. President Scarr was happy to follow Deoudes’ lead and is delighted with the end product. The posters are available for purchase for $15 at the California Rodeo Salinas Office, 1034 N. Main St., Salinas, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for Fridays when the office is

closed from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. They can also be purchased online at carodeo.com by clicking on About Us and Store. They will also be available for purchase at the 2017 California Rodeo Salinas, July 20 through 23. One hundred limited edition, artist-signed posters printed on heavy stock are also available for purchase for $30 at the California Rodeo Office or online. The California Rodeo Association is a non-profit organization that strives to preserve and promote the traditions of the California Rodeo Salinas and the West. It supports the community and other non-profit organizations through the staging of the annual California Rodeo Salinas and other yearround operations of the Salinas Sports Complex. Through donation of the facility, vending and fundraising opportunities during Rodeo and other events, the California Rodeo Association returns over $300,000 annually to local non-profits. For more information about the California Rodeo Salinas, go to CARodeo.com or call the California Rodeo Office at 831-775-3100.

FALL 2016 | Published by News Media Corporation


Contributed photos

OVER $18K RAISED FOR AGRICULTURAL SCHOLARSHIPS AT BURGERS & BREWS FEST SUBMITTED ARTICLE

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he California Women for Agriculture (CWA) San Luis Obispo County chapter has announced an all-time high in fundraising efforts from its seventh annual Burgers and Brews Festival and Competition held Sept. 4 at the Loading Chute in Creston. The largest fundraiser for the organization’s scholarship program, this unique family-friendly event featured the best of local meats and handcrafted brews, all while raising over $18,000 for 4-H, FFA and collegiate ag scholarships. The event introduced both local and visiting foodies to a variety of locally grown meat producers and Central Coast breweries. The historical barn setting at The Loading Chute created a family ranch-style atmosphere for locals and visitors alike to try traditional and new burger recipes while meeting the farmers, ranchers and brew masters. Guests later enjoyed and danced to the tunes of Monte Mills and the Lucky Horseshoe Band.

Published by News Media Corporation | FALL 2016

“We sure are proud to feature our local agricultural producers while raising funds for local youth ag scholarships. It’s great to see our community come together with our CWA Chapter to support our mission of preserving and protecting agriculture and agri-tourism in San Luis Obispo County,” said Lynette Sonne and Jennifer Tallent, event co-chairs. “It takes a village, and whole lot of very special people, to make an event like this happen, and we are thrilled with the results that came from the fruits of all our participants and committee’s labor.” The market lamb CWA purchased at this year’s annual Junior Livestock Auction during the MidState Fair was processed by J&R Natural Meats and served by Paso Robles Rotary Sunrise, this year’s winner of the People’s Choice Award. Chef Nick Otto partnered up with Hearst Ranch Beef to bring you this year’s coveted Judges Choice Award winning burger. Central Coast Brewing took not one, but both Brew Awards this year; the People’s Choice and Judges Choice Awards.

Templeton Hills Beef took home this year’s Best Branded Booth award. Judges included Mayor Steve Martin, City of Paso Robles, Barbara and Bill Spencer of Windrose Farm, David Wilson of A Quick Bite Radio Show and delivering a stellar job as emcee was Dr. Scott Vernon of Cal Poly’s Agricultural Communications Department. CWA’s efforts are guided by five principle objectives: to speak on behalf of agriculture in an intelligent, informative, direct and truthful manner; to keep CWA members informed on legislative activities pertaining to agriculture; to join forces when the need arises to deal with agricultural issues and challenges; to improve the public image of farmers and; to develop a rapport with consumers, educators, and governmental and business leaders in communities throughout the county and outlying areas. To learn more about CWA and how you can get involved visit cwaslocounty.com for more information and membership benefits.

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Photos by: Luke Phillips Local artist Susan Schafer poses for a photo with her “turtle cow” creation after it was unveiled at the Sunken Gardens. The cow will be on display until April.

SLO COUNTY COWPARADE COMES TO ATASCADERO By LUKE PHILLIPS OF EQUINE ENTHUSIAST

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ince 1999 CowParade events have been taking place all over the world in cities such as Paris, Athens, Rome, Hong Kong and New York and now you can add Atascadero to that list. CowParade events consist of local artists painting life-size, 175-pound fiberglass cows, which are installed in public places for seven months and then auctioned off to benefit local charities. This is the first time a CowParade event has come to San Luis Obispo County, with a total of 101 cows located at various highly-visible spots throughout the county. Three cows were unveiled in Atascadero earlier this fall.

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One of the cows, located on the west side of the Sunken Gardens and painted by Santa Margarita Artist Susan Schafer, was sponsored by the City of Atascadero, the Atascadero Tourism Business Improvement Board and District 5 County Supervisor Debbie Arnold. Schafer’s cow is titled “The Cow That Wanted to be a Turtle,” and is painted to resemble a turtle. “I’ve always been interested in turtles and I did my degree work studying the turtles in the Galapagos Islands, so I just decided that it would be hilarious to turn a cow into a turtle,” she said. “I think it’s really appropriate for Atascadero because we have our local creeks with our native pond turtles that need to be protected. So I think that’s important — if people like my cow turtle, maybe they’ll remember

to protect turtles.” Schafer said that the cow is not painted as one particular kind of turtle, but is rather a mix of multiple species. “It has kind of the face of a red-eared slider, which is a common pet turtle,” she said. “But it kind of has the back of a hinge-back turtle, so it’s kind of a conglomerate.” The proceeds from the auction of the cow will benefit the Charles Paddock Zoo and Schafer said that she hopes whoever buys the cow would donate it back to the zoo where it would have a permanent home. “It just so happens that I worked at the San Diego Zoo for 17 years and I actually know Mr. Baker who’s the director of the Atascadero zoo, so it’s a really

FALL 2016 | Published by News Media Corporation


good fit.” Schafer said that the cow took several months to paint. “It took months, but we live outside of Santa Margarita and it’s really hot, so I would only go out in the morning for an hour or two and work a little bit at a time,” she said. “Some things took longer than others. All of the little scales on the body took a long time. It took many days to do all those little scales.” According to Deputy City Manager Terrie Banish, the CowParade event is expected to bring more than

Published by News Media Corporation | FALL 2016

600,000 tourists to the county and is backed up by a $300,000 marketing campaign. The cows will be on public display until April when they will be auctioned off and Banish said that the city is planning to have some fun with the cow until then, decorating it for the holidays and incorporating it into special events, such as the Showdown Corn Toss on Oct. 22. Two other cows are located in Atascadero — Steampunk Bessie in front of the Carton Hotel and the Starry Night Cow in front of Grape Encounters Wine Empourium — but those cows are still without

sponors and could possibly still be moved to another city. “Hopefully some folks from Atascadero (could sponsor them) so we could keep them here,” Banish said. “That would be great.” Anybody interested in sponsoring one of the cows should contact Banish by E-mail at tbanish@ atascadero.org. For more information on the SLO County CowParade event and for a full map of cow locations throughout the county, visit cowparadeslo.com.

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Guest Columnist

By Lee Pitts

BULLISH F

or years purebred bull breeders didn’t get paid what they deserved for making such a big investment in better genetics, so I’m glad to see them finally getting paid handsomely for their better bulls. Having said that, the rise in price has made it difficult on cheapskates like my friend Patch who never spent more than a $1,550 on a bull before in his life. Despite being one of the richest guys in the county he’s a sub-optimal spender who wears big patches on his drugstore pants. Hence the nickname.  Patch is tighter than the wires on a brand new fence, looks in vending machines for any change left behind and worships the almighty dollar. In his 66 years of life he has never been known to utter the words, “Keep the change.” Most ranchers I know study all the bull sale catalogs and step up when it comes to buying better bulls because they know it will pay off when it comes time to sell their calves. Not to mention the added bonus of building a front pasture kind of cow herd. Granted, the typical wife of a rancher may be driving a 15 year old Yugo but the rancher will not hesitate to spend $7,000 for a bull. Not so Patch. For 35 years he has called me before every bull sale season and asked me to buy a couple bulls for him but to keep the price under $1,500 each. I didn’t mind buying bulls for him if he would just keep it a secret but no, every time his

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calves hit the sale ring he’d stand up, interrupt the auctioneer and say, “These calves were all sired by bulls selected by Lee Pitts.” And then the sorriest looking calves you ever saw would sell fifteen bucks behind the market toppers. Yes sir, if you wanted to crash the market then Lee Pitts was your guy. He never mentioned his cheap budget for bulls or that his wallet was rusted shut. One year I went fifty bucks over my limit on a better type of bull and you should have heard Patch cry. Needles to say, it has become increasingly difficult to fill Patch’s bull order and when he called last time the conversation went like this. “Hey Pittsy, I need three bulls this year so what’s it gonna cost me?” “Well, I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention but good bull sales are averaging $5,000 to $7,000 and I even heard of one sale that averaged over $15,000.” The phone went dead for awhile before Patch said in a weak voice, “Did you say $15,000?” he gurgled? “That must be on just a few head.” “Nope, I’m talking sales of four and five hundred bulls averaging $5,000 to $15,000!” “So you’re saying you can’t find me three registered bulls for $1,500 apiece plus free delivery?” “Nope. That would be harder to do than finding

the elbows on a blowfly. I could not do that even if I bought them out of the slaughter run at the sales yard. Good bulls cost more. I heard of one ranch manager buying 15 head and averaging $10,000 apiece. Another bull sold for a valuation of a million bucks!” You should have heard the wailing on the other end of the line. “That’s insane,” whimpered Patch. “I bet the livestock insurance salesmen are living high. “ “Oh come on Patch, spend some of all that money you’ve stockpiled. You might as well, after all, you can’t take it with you.” “No, but I can go to the cemetery in a much better car.” “Where you’re going Patch and the kind of life you’ve led it wouldn’t do you any good if you could take it with you  because it’s just gonna burn up anyway.” “Lee, if I bought a bull for $5,000 he’d have to sleep in the house where I could keep tabs on him. I’d have to serve his feed off the fine China and buy one of those $100,000 live-in trailers like Trevor Brazile’s got so I could take the bull with us when we went on vacation.” For more of Pitts’ writing, go to LeePittsbooks. com.

FALL 2016 | Published by News Media Corporation


FARMSTEAD ED PRESENTS ‘HOLIDAY INFUSIONS’ SUBMITTED ARTICLE

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ARMstead ED presents Holiday Infusions with the Groves on 41 on Sunday, Nov. 20. This festive class is all about creating culinary infusions for this season’s gift giving. Have you have ever wanted to know the inside scoop on infused oils, honey, salts, chocolates and spirits? This great workshop will have the ingredients and inspiration to guide you as you craft these tasty handmade gifts. The workshop, sponsored by Travel Paso, is $85 and includes all the workshop materials to make and take home one of each of these sweet and savory gifts, as well as tasty holiday appetizers for you to enjoy during the fabulous festive afternoon filled with crafting, sips and bites. It will be held

at The Groves on 41 in Templeton from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. TheraBee Honey will return for the holidays and will be one of the cameo artisan purveyors joining some amazing local makers, shakers and growers from The Chocolate Stache, YES! Beverage Co., Windrose Farm, Templeton Hills Beef, Wine Diva Jams, P.S. Cellars and more. The FARMstead Mercantile will be open following the workshop and will feature ingredients and materials for purchase so you can DIY at home, as well as other locally grown and locally made gift items. Space is limited for this workshop. Tickets are available at farmsteaded.com or by calling 805-2262081. The Groves on 41 is a production olive farm, as

well as event venue, located in the gentle rolling hills of Templeton. The fall 2011 planting of 3,500 Arbequina and 500 Koroneiki trees produces olives for extra virgin olive oil. The Groves on 41 is at 4455 CA Highway 41 in Templeton. FARMstead ED brings folks together with locally grown via Ag Ed experiences, events and gatherings. Its goal is to promote San Luis Obispo County FARMsteading skills and practices through educational experiences, events and gatherings at pop-up FARMsteading classrooms held at local farms, ranches and other agricultural related venues. The charm and intrigue comes from the opportunity for people to truly experience locally grown and made through a variety of different hands-on classes and events all over the county.

CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS AND CO-OPS RECEIVE NEARLY $2 MILLION IN USDA GRANTS FOR NEW PRODUCTS

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SDA Rural Development California State Director Janice Waddell congratulated fifteen recipients of Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program funds today. The nearly $2 million in grants awarded will help California cooperatives, farmers, ranchers and other small businesses develop and expand new value-added products. “The projects highlighted today shows both the entrepreneurial spirit of our producers, and USDA’s commitment to helping these groups create new market opportunities for their Californiagrown products,” said Waddell. “Not only will these grants benefit the individual recipients, but they also serve to help strengthen the overall rural economies in the Golden State.” VAPG funds can be used to develop new product lines from raw agricultural products or promote additional uses for established products. Applicants must provide matching funds equal to their grant award. Eligible applicants include independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, and agricultural producer groups. Veterans, sociallydisadvantaged groups, beginning farmers and ranchers, operators of small- and medium-sized

Published by News Media Corporation | FALL 2016

family farms and ranches, and farmer and rancher cooperatives are given special priority. Grants may be used for working capital and planning activities. Examples include Calrose Co-op, a 42-member cooperative of California Rice Producers based in Chico, who will use a $64,666 planning grant to help study the feasibility of flavored packages of rice designed specifically for use in rice cookers. Riverdog Farm in Guinda, a rural community in Yolo County, will use a $183,946 working capital grant to increase the processing of their pork into bacon, sausage, ham and packaged pork cuts. These products will expand the farm’s operation at farmers markets and at its own farm stand. Top O’ The Morn Farms, a family owned dairy in Tulare, received a $250,000 grant to help expand their farm fresh milk products which are sold in recyclable glass bottles into new markets in Southern California. The dairy originally received a VAPG grant in 2009 to study the feasibility of a home delivery service for their milk, which they launched with help from another VAPG award in 2011. In addition to their home delivery service, Top O’ The Morn Farms also offers their products

at several local grocery stores, farmers markets and restaurants. Their expansion has not only helped develop new revenue opportunities for the dairy, but has also helped create jobs in the community. In addition to California’s fifteen awards, USDA announced 311 other VAPG projects across the nation yesterday. USDA Rural Development California has a $6.9 billion loan portfolio and 18 offices throughout the state. The agency annually invests $1 billion, on average, in California’s rural communities. Since 2009, USDA Rural Development (@ USDARD) has funded nearly 9,200 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; invested nearly $13 billion to start or expand nearly 112,000 rural businesses; helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses. USDA also has invested $31.3 billion in 963 electric projects that have financed more than 185,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines serving 4.6 million rural residents. For more information, visit www.usda. gov/results.

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SUMMER/FALL 2016 | Published by News Media Corporation


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