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Grower wins farm bureau award

Benina Montes, an almond grower east of Denair, has won the Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award from the California Farm Bureau Federation. It was presented last week at the group's annual meeting in Anaheim. Montes was recognized for her farm management skills, leadership and service to the Farm Bureau and community. She and her parents farm 950 acres of almonds, some of them organic. She also has created a direct-marketing business for the nuts.


Farm, ranch and forest landowners can apply for money to be allotted in 2010 by the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, a federal effort to protect water, air and other resources. The program helps with projects such as increasing irrigation efficiency, improving manure handling and replacing polluting engines. Money also is available from the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program. Applications for both programs are accepted at any time, but those submitted by certain deadlines will be given priority. The deadline is Jan. 15 for most projects. It is Jan. 29 for engine projects and for those involving organic production. More information is at and at offices of the Natural Resources Conservation Service: 491-9320 for Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties, 472-7127 for San Joaquin and Calaveras counties, and 722-4119 for Merced and Mariposa counties.


Spanish-speaking farm supervisors are invited to a Jan. 12 seminar in Merced on how to deal with discipline and other problems with workers. It will be from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the University of California Cooperative Extension, 2145 Wardrobe Ave. The fee, which includes lunch, is $28 for registrations by Dec. 30 and $36 afterward. For more information, call 525-6800.

To submit items about agribusiness, call 578-2385, send a fax to 578-2207, or send an e-mail to