February 28, 2014

Farm Beat: Gatherings support ag education, logging

I promise to mention the drought only once today. There, I did it. Let’s move on.

I promise to mention the drought only once today. There, I did it. Let’s move on.

This week’s Farm Beat touches on a few upcoming events – an ag scholarship luncheon in Turlock, FFA competitions in Modesto and a Sonora gathering for logging advocates. The details:

• The Tuolumne County Alliance for Resources and Environment will hold its 25th annual dinner and auction next Saturday. It will start at 5 p.m. at the Sonora Elks Lodge, 100 Elk Drive. The keynote speaker will be Bruce Vincent, a timber industry activist from Libby, Mont. The $40 tickets must be bought in advance. More information is at (209) 586-7816 or at
• The Turlock Chamber of Commerce will hold its 14th annual Ag Scholarship Luncheon at 11:45 a.m. March 10 at the Turlock Turf Club, 900 N. Broadway. The event will raise money for high school students in the Turlock area who plan careers in agriculture. Tickets are $35. More information is at (209) 632-2221 or
• Modesto Junior College will put on its 61st annual Future Farmers of America Field Day on the west and east campuses March 29. Competitions will start at 7:30 a.m., and a 4 p.m. award ceremony will wrap up the day. The event draws more than 1,500 students from 100-plus high schools in California. They will compete in areas such as ag mechanics, dairy cattle judging, farm business management, floriculture, job interview and vegetable crop judging. More information is at (209) 575-6200 or

Speaking of teaching people how to farm, UC Davis has been ranked No. 1 worldwide for agricultural research and education for a second straight year. The list was released this week by QS World University Rankings, a British outfit.

“We are proud to receive these outstanding rankings because they reflect both the long-established and emerging strengths of our university,” Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said in a news release.

Plenty of farmers, educators and other people in the Northern San Joaquin Valley have ag degrees from Davis. And the campus is a key part of the UC Cooperative Extension, which spreads research findings among farmers and also helps families with nutrition and gardening advice.

I noted the first No. 1 ranking in a Farm Beat column last year, but it’s time to raise the bar: Let’s see if the UC Davis folks can make the rain fall and bring an end to this (not gonna say it).

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