Farm Beat

Farm Beat: Farmers will get safety tips at Modesto event

jholland@modbee.comJanuary 31, 2014 

DN harvest

In this 2011 photo, large drinking water containers are available in the field for workers to hydrate as the day heats up. Sweet potatoes are harvested in fields along Fulkerth Road, west of North Tegner Road in Turlock.

DEBBIE NODA — Modesto Bee Buy Photo

  • ABOUT THE REPORTER
    alternate textJohn Holland
    Title: Staff writer
    Coverage areas: Agriculture, Turlock; local news editor on Sundays
    Bio: John Holland has been a reporter at The Bee for 12 years. He has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and previously worked at the Union Democrat in Sonora and the Visalia Times-Delta.
    Recent stories written by John
    Email: jholland@modbee.com

Tractors can topple into ditches. Pesticides can drift onto farmworkers. A heat wave brings stresses of its own.

Hazards such as these have prompted the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau to put on an annual safety seminar. The 10th event will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Friday on the Modesto Junior College West Campus.

Experts will provide advice on topics such as tractor and forklift operation, nighttime safety and rules of the road for truckers hauling farm goods. The state rules for preventing heat illness, including access to water and shaded rest areas, will be explained. Romeo Medical Clinic of Turlock will provide physicals for pesticide applicators, as well as tips on proper fitting of their masks.

Admission is free for Farm Bureau members, $125 for nonmembers. Parts of the program will have extra costs. Sessions will be offered in English and Spanish. Registration will start at 7:30 a.m.

The event will take place in the Agricultural Center for Education, the big arena just off the Carpenter/Briggsmore exit from Highway 99. The MJC ag department is co-sponsoring it.

More information is at (209) 522-7278.

Other gleanings from the Farm Beat:

The California Agricultural Leadership Program is seeking applicants for its 45th class.

The 16-month program is for emerging leaders in farming, ranching and related fields. They will take part in monthly seminars at several academic institutions in the state, a 10-day trip within the United States and a 15-day international trip.

Initial applications to the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation are due May 12. More information is at www.agleaders.org.

The foundation announced that it has received a $1 million challenge grant from Fresno County citrus and cattle producer Loren Booth, a member of the 27th class. The grant will provide dollar-for-dollar matches for other new donations.

The California Walnut Board has won praise for its efforts to reduce spraying. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation gave its annual Integrated Pest Management Innovator Award to the Sacramento-based group.

A key effort is controlling the codling moth via “pheromone mating disruption.” It involves releasing a substance that interferes with communication between males and females.

“The successful use of biological methods to control the codling moth is a major area of progress and achievement,” said Joe Grant, a farm adviser with the University of California Cooperative Extension in San Joaquin County. He is co-chairman of the walnut board’s Entomology Working Group.

Have an idea for the Farm Beat? Contact John Holland at jholland@modbee.com or (209) 578-2385.

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