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October 26, 2020

From Headquarters

Prop 15 Race Remains Close
A new Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies Poll released this morning shows a tight race for some ballot measures including Proposition 15. With Election Day taking place just a week from tomorrow, CCA continues to urge you to vote no on Prop 15, and reminds you to keep sharing with your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, etc., about the devastating impacts the measure could have not just on farmers and ranchers, but on all Californians if passed!

Visit DefeatProp15.com to get more information and find ways to engage in the efforts to defeat Prop 15. As you engage on social media, don’t forget to tag your posts with #NoOnProp15 so your message can be amplified by others opposing the measure.

CCA to Host Post-Fire Relief & Recovery Workshop Nov. 13
This year’s ongoing, historic wildfire season has had devastating impacts on cattle ranchers up and down the state. Whether you have been impacted by this season’s fires or want to be armed with information in the event of a future wildfire, CCA will be hosting an educational workshop on post-fire relief and recovery programs on Friday, November 13 from 7:00-9:00am. The workshop—the first in a series of CCA wildfire-risk workshops made possible through a grant awarded by the Western Extension Risk Management Education Center and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture—is free and open to all ranchers regardless of CCA membership.

The Nov. 13 workshop will feature Navdeep Dhillon, Farm Program Chief at the California State Office of the Farm Service Agency (FSA), and Drew Loganbill, District Conservationist for the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Petaluma Field Office. 

Dhillon will educate ranchers on the suite of post-fire relief programs offered by FSA, including the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP), Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), Livestock Forage Program (LFP), Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) and FSA Farm Loans. Loganbill will primarily address NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Catastrophic Wildfire Recovery Program.

Additionally, participants will learn about relief and recovery programs available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA), in addition to other post-fire recovery resources.

Registration is required for the workshop, and you can pre-register through Zoom here. For more information, contact Kirk Wilbur or Katie Roberti in the CCA office at (916) 444-0845.

This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2018-70027-28587.

SBA Issues Guidance on PPP Loan Forgiveness
CCA affiliate, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has notified CCA that earlier this month, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released guidance for lenders regarding loan forgiveness payments under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). SBA’s recent Loan Forgiveness FAQ can be found here, while the agency’s general PPP FAQ can be found here.

According to SBA, loans will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities (though the agency is requiring that at least 60% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll expenses). Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining (or quickly rehiring) employees and maintaining salary levels, and loan forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines or if salaries and wages decrease.

The PPP forgiveness application can be found here, the EZ loan forgiveness application can be found here, and Form 3508S for borrowers who received $50,000 or less can be found here.

Borrowers should apply for forgiveness through the lender that issued their Paycheck Protection Program loan. Lenders will submit forgiveness applications to SBA through the lender portal, and SBA will then determine how much forgiveness a borrower should receive. A lender has 60 days to review and submit the borrower’s application, and SBA then has up to 90 days to review the submission and issue a decision.

Submission procedures may vary by lender. Borrowers with questions specific to their loans should contact their lenders directly, but general information about the program can be found on SBA’s website.

LAST CALL: Industry Councils Seeking Nominations for Board Members
If you’ve thought about getting involved by serving on a board representing our state’s cattle industry and having a role in determining the future of ranching in California, now is the time to do just that. The California Department of Food and Agriculture Marketing Branch is currently accepting 2021-2023 nominations for board members for both the California Beef Council and the California Cattle Council. All board seats are three-year terms.

The California Beef Council board has 21 members made up of six cattle feeder seats, six range cattle producer seats, six dairy cattle producer seats, two packer seats and one seat for a member of the public. Additionally, there are 21 alternates on the board. The California Beef Council is currently seeking nominations to fill 16 seats.

The following are the seats up for nomination related to beef production:

  • Cattle Feeders, two member seats and two alternate seats
  • Range Cattle Producers, two member seats and two alternate seats

The California Cattle Council board has 11 members with three cattle feeder seats, three range cattle producer seats, three dairy cattle producer seats, one processor seat and one public member seat. There are also 11 alternate seats on the board.

The California Cattle Council is currently seeking nominations to fill six board seats. The following are the seats up for nomination related to beef production:

  • Cattle Feeders, one member seat and one alternate seat
  • Range Cattle Producers, one member seat and one alternate seat

Those interested in being nominated for a seat by CCA should contact Morgan in the CCA office by this Saturday, October 31 at morgan@calcattlemen.org or (916) 444-0845 to express interest in being nominated.

TOMORROW: CDFA, Wildlife Services Hosts Virtual Scoping Meeting for Wildlife Damage Management Program
In September, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and USDA APHIS Wildlife Services-California noticed their intent to prepare a joint Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the environmental impacts of the agencies’ wildlife damage management activities in California. The notice kicked off a 60-day scoping period during which the agencies will accept public comment to help inform the production of the EIR/EIS.

CFDA and Wildlife Services have announced a virtual scoping meeting for tomorrow, October 27 from 5:30-8:30pm for members of the public to learn more about wildlife damage management activities and provide feedback as the agencies prepare to draft the joint EIR/EIS. To register for the meetings, click here (registration is required).

Attendees of CCA’s Property Rights and Environmental Management (PREM) Committee meetings during the 2019 Midyear Meeting and 2019 Convention may be acquainted with this effort, as Wildlife Services personnel and consultants from the environmental consulting firm Dudek spoke at those meetings regarding the need for the joint EIR/EIS.

The joint analysis should resolve California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) concerns that have spurred litigation in numerous California counties and resulted in some of those counties terminating their wildlife damage management program agreements with Wildlife Services. CCA is hopeful that the joint EIR/EIS will allow Wildlife Services to resume activities in counties which have terminated or suspended their contracts with the agency while allowing Wildlife Services to continue providing vital services in those counties currently under contract with the agency.

The Notice of Intent to prepare the joint EIR/EIS can be viewed in the Federal Register here, and additional scoping documents can be found at www.californiawdm.org. CCA staff will review these documents in the coming weeks, and file detailed scoping comments with the agencies.

Scoping comments are due no later than 8:59pm on November 10. You can submit comments via email to info@CaliforniaWDM.org; via mail to California WDM, 2121 Broadway, P.O. Box 188797, Sacramento, CA 95818; or online at the California WDM website here or at the regulations.gov website here.

LAST CHANCE: WHIP+ Applications Due to FSA by Friday 
This Friday, October 30 is the deadline by which producers must submit applications for the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program – Plus (WHIP+) for losses incurred in calendar years 2018 and 2019.

WHIP+ provides compensation for losses due to hurricanes, floods, snowstorms, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, drought, excessive moisture and wildfires. For more information or for application assistance, visit FSA’s WHIP+ webpage or contact your local FSA office. You can find your local FSA office’s contact information here.

“Sustainable Management of California’s Fire-Prone Landscapes: Using Grazing to Help Keep Communities Safe” Workshop Set for November
The California Range Management Advisory Committee and the California Fire Science Consortium welcome your participation in the “Sustainable Management of California’s Fire-Prone Landscapes: Using Grazing to Help Keep Communities Safe” workshops next month.

The two groups will be co-hosting three separate workshops on the first three Thursdays of November “to discuss the use of prescribed livestock grazing as a sustainable fuel reduction and environmental management tool.”

All of the workshops will be held from 10:00AM-12:00PM and attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an hour of virtual networking following the conclusion of each workshop.

The schedule for the workshops is as followed: 

  • November 5, Wildland Fuels: A Primer for Concerned Citizens & Grazers
  • November 12, Using Grazing for Fuels Management 101: Practices & Strategies
  • November 19, Organizing Community-Based Wildland Fuels Management Projects: Approaches and Examples

To register for any of the three workshops and learn more, click here. Contact Edith Hannigan at edith.hannigan@bof.ca.gov with any questions about the workshops.

ACT NOW: Tell RMA Not to Disrupt Pasture, Rangeland and Forage Insurance 
“There are storm clouds on the horizon for livestock producers who utilize the Risk Management Agency’s (RMA) Pasture, Rangeland and Forage insurance program (PRF),” according to CCA’s partners at AgRisk Advisors. Without input from the ranching community, RMA commissioned a review of PRF from a third-party contractor with no experience in rangelands or livestock production. Subsequently, RMA issued a series of “Alternative Recommendations” proposing significant changes to the PRF program which, beginning in 2022, would cause PRF to cease functioning as intended as a valuable risk management tool for livestock producers and forage growers.

For producers who already utilize PRF, the Alternative Recommendations would alter those producers’ Coverage Level, Productivity Factor, and Interval selections. RMA suggests disallowing coverage during winter months along with utilizing four-month Intervals, changes which would eliminate PRF’s usefulness as a risk management tool.

Long-term, it is essential that RMA give cattlemen a seat at the table in developing its risk management tools. In the short term, however, these harmful adjustments to PRF are likely to be implemented unless RMA is flooded with comments from impacted producers.

AgRisk Advisors has created a Website for producers to easily review this proposal and provide comments to RMA. CCA encourages members to visit www.PRFadvisors.com/savePRF and follow the detailed instructions to provide input to RMA before the November 5 comment deadline.

For more information, contact Kirk Wilbur in the CCA office.

SWRCB Releases List of Delinquent Filers for Annual Water Diversion and Use Reports
Last month, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) released its annual deficiency list of water right holders who have thus far failed to file their annual water diversion and use reports for calendar year 2019 as required by SB 88 (2015). The deficiency list is available here and contains more than 4,500 delinquent filers organized alphabetically by county.

Under SB 88, all water rights holders are required to annually report their diversion and use of water to the SWRCB. For appropriative water rights holders (e.g. stock pond certificates, stock pond registrations, licenses and applications), the deadline for such reports is April 1 of each year. For those diverting pursuant to a water rights statement (e.g. pre-1914 and riparian rights), the deadline for such reports is July 1 of each year.

Under California Water Code section 1846, the SWRCB may fine non-filers up to $500 per day for each day in which the violation occurs—that is, for each day between the filing deadline and the submittal of the annual report. CCA recommends that all members review the deficiency list and take corrective action as soon as possible if their name appears on the list. While the filing deadlines have passed, corrective action may avoid an enforcement action altogether and/or minimize any penalty assessed by the Water Board.

Reports must be made electronically using the SWRCB’s Water Right Form and Survey Submittal Portal. If you need assistance filing your report, contact the SWRCB’s Division of Water Rights directly at (916) 323-9393. For further information, contact Kirk Wilbur at the CCA office at (916) 444-0845.

Ranch Water Quality Planning Guide Released
The Ranch Water Quality Plan Instructor’s Guide is now available through the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Publications Catalogue and on the UC Rangelands Website, including the associated instructional and educational videos curated on YouTube. Click here to see an overview video of the Ranch Water Quality Planning Guide.

The online and PDF presentation of these materials is the next evolution of the Ranch Water Quality Planning program, based upon the more than 30 years of research and education conducted by UC Cooperative Extension and partners. The Guide provides the resources and tools to plan and implement Ranch Water Quality Planning workshops and field days for grazing livestock producers, agency staff, and other stakeholders interested in grazing management and water quality.

These new resources provide a wealth of contemporary information about water quality management on rangelands.

For questions and additional information please contact Morgan Doran- mpdoran@ucanr.edu, David Lewis- djllewis@ucanr.edu, or Ken Tate- kwtate@ucdavis.edu.

Fire Safe Council Meeting for Ranchers in the Sierra Foothills
In the middle of a catastrophic fire season, Dan Macon, University of California Cooperative Extension Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor for Placer, Nevada, Sutter and Yuba Counties is asking, “what if a fire safe council was created specifically for ranchers?”

“What if we formalized our efforts to inventory the equipment and expertise that could help protect ranch lands and the surrounding community? What if we formalized our relationships with CalFire, law enforcement, and other emergency services? What if we could train ourselves (and our neighbors) on things like safe evacuation and fire behavior? What if we formally became a resource for protecting our ranches and our communities?”

The idea and the questions above were posted on the Ranching in the Sierra Foothill’s website, followed by an invitation to attend a meeting to further explore the idea of a Fire Safe Council specific to ranchers in the Sierra Foothills. The Zoom meeting is schedule this Wednesday, October 28 from 6:00-7:30PM and the tentative agenda is as follows:

  1. What is a Fire Safe Council?
  2. Are there other ways to address the fire prevention, response, and recover needs of the ranching community?
  3. What could a Rancher’s Fire Safe Council do? What are our top priorities?
  4. Who should be involved in this effort?
  5. Next steps

To register and obtain more details about access information for the meeting please RSVP by clicking here.

Learn more about the idea for a Rancher’s Fire Safe Council and this meeting, by clicking here.

UCANR Autumn 2020 Webinar Series Wraps up this Week
The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources will close out their Autumn 2020 Beef Production Webinar Series this week by hosting their final webinars in the series.

This first webinar of the week, “The Business of Targeted Grazing,” is happening tomorrow, October 27 at 6PM. The cost to participate is $10. Thursday’s webinar “Beef Cattle Nutrition” will also take place at 6PM and is a free event. For both webinars, registration is required to obtain meeting access information.

To register fo the events and learn more about the speakers planned for the final webinars, click here.

CCA in the News

LACEY: Fewer choices, higher prices are headed your way unless Prop. 15 is defeated The San Joaquin Valley Sun “This November, join the California Cattlemen’s Association in voting NO on Proposition 15.” To continue reading, click here.

California’s Prop 15 Will ‘Punish Farmers and Ranchers’ Ag Web “It poses an imminent threat to ranchers and farmers across California, with repercussions for all Californians,’ according to California Cattlemen’s Association president Mark Lacey in an opinion published in San Joaquin Valley Sun.” To continue reading, click here.

California’s mountain lions face extinction – but farmers slam moves to protect the species The Sun “Kirk Wilbur, vice president of government affairs at the California Cattlemen’s Association, said: ‘Oftentimes ranchers will have their cattle, and calves, pursued, attacked or even killed by mountain lions who see them as a food source.” To continue reading, click here.

CalCIMA, coalition file suit on Joshua tree listing process Pit & Quarry “The coalition lawsuit includes CalCIMA, the California Cattlemen’s Association, the California Manufacturers & Technology Association, the California Business Properties Association, the High Desert Association of Realtors, and the city of Hesperia.” To continue reading, click here.

California Wildfires Take Toll on Wine Country Specialty Food Association News Daily “’Ranchers across the state are facing extreme losses from this year’s wildfires in California, some of which are irreplaceable,’ Katie Roberti, director of communications for the California Cattlemen Association told SFA News Daily. ‘Kirk Wilbur, vice president of government affairs at the CCA, told SFA News Daily that more regulatory oversight around fire policy is the key to prevention.'” To continue reading, click here.

Industry News

Insurance companies abandoning California at a faster rate, as wildfires wreak havoc The Sacramento Bee “Facing major losses after the 2018 Camp Fire, insurance companies dropped Californians in wildfire-prone Sierra foothills communities at an accelerating rate last year.” To continue reading, click here.

Increasing More Targeted Cattle Grazing Is A ‘Win-Win-Win Opportunity’ AgNet West “A team of ten researchers looked closely at cattle grazing in California and determined that the practice has a great deal of potential in combatting catastrophic wildfires. Cattle are exceptionally efficient at reducing the amount of fine fuels that may be present that present hazards for wildfire if left unattended. The team first set out to understand how many cattle were in California and what their current consumption rate was.” To continue reading, click here.

Match.Graze and SD Grazing Exchange work to connect landowners and livestock managers Hay & Forage Grower “Improved soil health, increased profitability, and reduced spread of wildfire are among the many benefits that arise from keeping livestock on the landscape. Efforts are underway in California and South Dakota to connect landowners with livestock managers for their mutual benefit.” To continue reading, click here.

Press Release: More than $7 Billion Paid in Second Round of USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program USDA.gov “U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that in the first month of the application period, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) approved more than $7 billion in payments to producers in the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.” To continue reading, click here.

Upcoming Events

Virtual Workshop: Post-Fire Relief & Recovery Programs for Ranchers
November 13, 7:00-9:00AM
Click here or read the above story to learn more.

Oct Magazine Cover

California Cattleman

Read the October issue here. This issue’s top stories:

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