April 2017

What an eventful start to the new year!  Can you believe it’s April already?  It was amazing to see all the water flowing through our county over the past couple of months.  Hopefully most were not negatively impacted.  There were a few close calls as far as potential floods, but the water districts, cities and county all pitched in, moved water around, stored water, and avoided major damage.  All of these entities deserve a pat on the back for a job well done.  The County, Madera Irrigation District and Chowchilla Water District, along with assistance from the Chowchilla Redtop RCD were able to get water ways cleared, helping aid in the battle to avoid flooding.

That being said, Spring is here and irrigation season has begun.   We here at the farm bureau encourage anyone with access to surface water to take it, instead of pumping from their wells.  As most know, we are still dealing with the drought, even if it is regulatory.  In order to protect what limited water supplies we have beneath our feet for future “true” droughts, we need to preserve as much water as possible.  With SGMA looming in the near future, we all have to think about what lies ahead, and the only way to avoid the unreasonable and potentially unavoidable consequences is to pump whatever surface water is available, as well as use it for recharge.

For those people that own property without access to surface water, or a water district, I encourage you to reach out to the farm bureau about information regarding the Madera County Water Association (MCWA).  This group is working to find solutions to solve the water woes of groundwater pumpers.  GSAs (groundwater sustainability agencies) have been filed that cover the entire county, and the GSP (groundwater sustainability plan) will be underway very soon.  As a groundwater pumper, you need to understand what’s to come, and be engaged in the process.  We recently held a meeting educating white area landowners about SGMA, what’s going on in the county, and what this group wants to accomplish.  If you did not receive a notice about the meeting, or were unable to attend please call the FB office for more information.  MCWA has set an April 18th deadline to join the association in an effort to get the group finalized and begin the project process.

On a more positive note, the farm bureau has been working hard to prepare for several functions.  We’ve had a couple safety trainings, with a few more scheduled, including Heat Illness, and Harvest Safety.  We are also in the midst of finalizing details for our annual scholarship fundraiser, the Wine and Beer Tasting.  This year we have changed venues, and will be at Peters Brothers Nursery on May 7th.  We will be awarding scholarships totaling $40,000 to local high school students pursuing an education in agriculture.  Come out and join the fun!  We can’t do what we’ve done without your support.  Tickets and sponsorships are available by calling the FB office at (559)674-8871.

Have a great Easter, and I hope to see you on May 7th!

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