Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District

We inspire and partner with our community to protect the natural resources and agricultural future of our District.


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How Dirt Could Save Humanity From an Infectious Apocalypse

Brady is creating drugs from dirt. He’s certain that the world’s topsoils contain incredible, practically inexhaustible reservoirs of undiscovered antibiotics, the chemical weapons bacteria use to fend off other microorganisms. He’s not alone in this thinking, but the problem is that the vast majority of bacteria cannot be grown in the lab—a necessary step in cultivating antibiotics.

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Source:  Peter Andrey Smith, Wired, January 14, 2018

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Welcome Back Congress: New Year, Long To-Do List

Image result for farm bill 2018 congress

Less than two weeks into the new year, and Congress already has an incredibly full plate. Both the House and Senate return to work this week (the Senate has officially been back since last week), and will need to immediately dig in their massive to-do lists, not least of which include finalizing fiscal year (FY) 2018 appropriations legislation, preparing for the FY 2019 budget, and tackling the soon-to-expire 2014 Farm Bill.

Below we breakdown what’s on Congress’s immediate 2018 to-do list, and identify what’s a stake and dependent on congressional action in the year ahead.

Appropriations, Spending Caps, and the Debt Ceiling

The end of FY 2017 was officially on September 30, 2017. For the last several months, Congress has been unable to agree on new spending levels for FY 2018, and so has been forced to pass a series of Continuing Resolutions (CR) (the most recent of which came in at the end of the 2017) in order to keep the government and essential programs running. All the CRs do, however, is prolong FY 2017 spending levels. Congress therefore has a whole lot to do in the weeks ahead to if they hope to finally set new spending levels for FY 2018.

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Source:  National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, January 9, 2018.


Save the Date!

MAR9_SRCD_VineyardSoilHealthSymposiumFlyer-2018

Vineyard Soil Health Symposium
March 9, 2018
9am-12 Noon
Sonoma County Farm Bureau Office
3589 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Presentations from grower panels on practices that can help improve vineyard soil health and sequester carbon: cover crops, compost, alternative tillage practices, and planting hedgerows.

Our website < http://sonomarcd.org/get-involved/&gt; will be updated with more symposium details and a registration link will be available by late January 2018.


Why are America’s farmers killing themselves in record numbers?

The suicide rate for farmers is more than double that of veterans. Former farmer Debbie Weingarten gives an insider’s perspective on farm life – and how to help

Photo Credit: Audra Mulkern

Last year, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that people working in agriculture – including farmers, farm laborers, ranchers, fishers, and lumber harvesters – take their lives at a rate higher than any other occupation. The data suggested that the suicide rate for agricultural workers in 17 states was nearly five times higher compared with that in the general population.

After the study was released, Newsweek reported that the suicide death rate for farmers was more than double that of military veterans. This, however, could be an underestimate, as the data collected skipped several major agricultural states, including Iowa. Rosmann and other experts add that the farmer suicide rate might be higher, because an unknown number of farmers disguise their suicides as farm accidents.

The US farmer suicide crisis echoes a much larger farmer suicide crisis happening globally: an Australian farmer dies by suicide every four days; in the UK, one farmer a week takes his or her own life; in France, one farmer dies by suicide every two days; in India, more than 270,000 farmers have died by suicide since 1995.

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Source:  The Guardian, December 6, 2017.

This series was created in partnership with The Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a nonprofit dedicated to support reporting on American financial struggle.