Nearly 4,000 Volunteers Celebrate Five Years of Caring

By Kristin Thébaud  |  2017-10-13

Volunteers celebrate as United Way collects school supplies for its Stuff the Bus campaign, one of dozens of projects that took place during United Way’s 2017 Day of Caring in September. Photo courtesy United Way.

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) -  Since United Way California Capital Region held its inaugural 2013 Day of Caring, 3,692 volunteers have spent one day caring for their community over the last five years. Volunteers donated 18,054 hours of service, valued at $366,572, for 182 projects with nonprofits, parks and schools across the region, including on United Way’s 2017 Day of Caring that took place Sept. 22-23. 

“In just five years, Day of Caring has become the single largest volunteer day in our region,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “Thousands of volunteers have dug their hands in to help hardworking nonprofits, parks and schools that do so much for our community every day.”

Hundreds of volunteers donated time for United Way’s 2017 Day of Caring at dozens of volunteer projects, including building garden beds at schools, painting nonprofit program facilities and cleaning up parks. The event began with a kickoff breakfast and rally at Cal Expo that included an appearance by Mayor Darrell Steinberg. As part of this year’s Day of Caring, United Way held its inaugural Stuff the Bus campaign, which raised more than $11,000 in school supplies for Robla School District in Sacramento. 

Nationwide has been the presenting sponsor for Day of Caring since it began in 2013. Project sponsors for 2017 included Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, ESM Prep, KPMG, Law Offices of Deon R. Stein, Nelson Staffing, SAFE Credit Union, SMUD, Social Interest Solutions, Sutter Health, Syzmanowski Orthodontics, TaxAudit.com and Zurich. Media partners included Entercom Radio’s ESPN Radio 1320 AM, 98 Rock, Eagle 96.9 FM and 106.5 The End. 

Day of Caring is part of United Way California Capital Region’s Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of local students who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. Through nine decades of work and research across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties, United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones for success in college or career. To donate or volunteer: www.yourlocalunitedway.org

Austin Bennett Speaks October 18 for Your Kids

By Karen Klinger  |  2017-10-17

Austin Bennett

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Austin Bennett (Bennett4Senate) is running against Senator Richard Pan in California Senate District 6.  Please attend and hear Austin Bennett speak at the Eagle Forum of Sacramento Meeting on Wednesday October 18, 2017 - 7:00 PM - Arden Park Recreation and Park District, 1000 La Sierra Drive, Sacramento 95864. 

A father of 5 children Mr. Bennett is well aware and concerned about the loss of parental rights through legislation authored by Senator Pan's "Mandatory Vaccination Bill SB 277", which became law; principal author of Sanctuary State SB 54, which became law, and "Bill of Rights for All Children of California SB 18", which will be reheard January 2018.  Join others who want to hear a vision for a better future for California families.

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Flick-or-Treat returns to Raley Field

Sacramento River Cats Media  |  2017-10-17

Annual community Halloween event features movie screening and trick-or-treating

West Sacramento, CA (MPG) - Flick-or-Treat is back for its fourth year at Raley Field. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, this generation-defining story will play on the videoboard following an evening filled with trick-or-treating, games and prizes, and more at Raley Field on Saturday, October 28th. Flick-or-Treat is part of Dinger's Drive In, a two-part movie series at Raley Field.

Pre-movie trick-or-treating on October 28th is offered from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. before the movie screening begins. Various local partners and organizations, including Sacramento State, Sacramento Public Library, WestSacramento Police, Yolo County Library, and more will be in attendance, handing out treats and other goodies. Local media, including KCRA and K-LOVE will also be participating. Additional pre-movie activities include Harry Potter themed games, arts and crafts, a costume contest, and much more.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Warner Bros’ wizard-filled fantasy film – based on the novel series by J.K. Rowling – stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. The adventurous movie follows Harry Potter's first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as he discovers that he is a famous wizard and begins his education, and is rated PG.

The screening is scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. Trick-or-treating and family friendly activities will begin when gates open at 4:30 p.m. Tickets for all children are $4 while adults are $6. Tickets can be purchased online or by visiting the Round Table Ticket Office at Raley Field. This event is rain or shine.

For more information about the River Cats, visit www.rivercats.com. For information on other events at Raley Field, visit www.raleyfield.com.

Source: Sacramento River Cats Media

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Sacramento, CA (MPG) - After five years of drought, the 2017 water year brought unexpectedly heavy precipitation, ranking second only to 1983 as California’s wettest year for statewide runoff. The dramatic swing in water conditions highlights the need to develop better long-range weather forecasting to cope with the state’s highly variable annual precipitation. 

DWR begins water year 2018 intent on narrowing the forecasting gap with improved sub-seasonal to seasonal (S2S) forecasting. Working with researchers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, DWR is developing innovative technology to forecast land-falling atmospheric rivers.

“Current short-term forecasting for seven days out is 70 percent accurate, while the 14-day forecast is only seven percent accurate,” said DWR Director Grant Davis. “That isn’t adequate for water management. Advancing accurate, even longer-range forecasting is critical for our ability to plan for California’s highly variable weather.”

The water year that ended September 30 saw an extraordinary number of atmospheric rivers that created high water conditions throughout the state. The Feather River watershed received record runoff in January and February, which led to some of the highest inflows into Lake Oroville ever recorded. More accurate forecasting would have helped DWR manage reservoir levels to deal with significant inflow in the days following the February 7 discovery of erosion on the main spillway at Lake Oroville. Better forecasting also would help inform the spillway’s reconstruction timeline based on predicted precipitation.

The record-setting precipitation in Northern California and above-average rainfall elsewhere contributed to flooding in several river systems. Fifty-two counties declared states of emergency due to the January storm sequence, and flood fight materials and specialists were pre-positioned in Merced, Butte, Stanislaus, Fresno, and San Joaquin counties based on the forecasts in anticipation that local agencies would request support.

Despite record-breaking rainfall in Northern California in water year 2017, drought impacts still linger. Governor Edmund Brown Jr. issued an executive order in April to end the statewide drought emergency, but maintained a state of emergency for the counties of Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Tuolumne, where homes with dry or contaminated private wells continue to receive emergency drinking water deliveries.

One success story stemming from the drought is the East Porterville Emergency Water Project, which will see 756 unincorporated East Porterville homes connected to the City of Porterville’s municipal water supply by the end of 2017. Similar projects are underway in the communities of Okieville, Monson, and Seville-Yettem to connect an additional 195 homes to a sustainable water supply.

Another highlight of the 2017 water year was the announcement that 99 percent of the state’s high- and medium-priority groundwater basins met a key deadline to form local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) under the state’s landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) of 2014. California depends on groundwater for a major portion of its annual water supply, particularly during times of drought. The long-term planning required by SGMA will reduce the impacts of groundwater overdraft, including subsidence, and provide a buffer against drought and climate change.

Although a wet 2017 minimized the risk of subsidence in historically affected parts of the San Joaquin Valley, DWR continues to fund satellite- and aircraft-based radar monitoring of subsidence by NASA to support local implementation of SGMA.

Looking ahead, DWR is preparing for the uncertainty of water year 2018 and beyond. In August, the Central Valley Flood Protection Board adopted the 2017 update to the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan, prepared by DWR, which recommends long-term multi-benefit actions to improve flood risk management. This past year DWR awarded more than $4.2 million in Delta Flood Emergency Response grants to improve Delta flood response and increase public safety.

In the past five years, DWR has awarded 46 grants totaling $25 million to develop and update flood safety plans, and increase coordination, training, and flood fight supplies for local agencies across the state.

Ongoing SGMA implementation will bring overdrafted groundwater basins into balance to protect our water supply against the impacts of prolonged drought and climate change.

California WaterFix will upgrade California’s water supply infrastructure to more reliably transport water through the Delta, protecting against the impacts of natural disasters and climate change. The project provides a more flexible and environmentally-responsible way to convey water during significant precipitation events for use in dry years. Construction could begin in 2018, pending support from public water agencies.

The first phase of reconstruction on the Lake Oroville spillways will be completed by November 1, 2017, ensuring the spillway can handle 100,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) this water year. Phase 2, which will be completed by end of 2018/early 2019, will bring the spillway to final design with a capacity of 270,000 cfs. The emergency spillway will be reinforced with several erosion-prevention features, including a cutoff wall to prevent head-cutting erosion.

In the face of California’s highly variable weather patterns, DWR and our local, state, and federal partners are working together to ensure that Californians are prepared. Infrastructure improvements and advances in accurate, long-term forecasting are critical to public safety and sustainability. When it comes to water, California must prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Read more about water year 2017 in the report “What a Difference a Year Makes.”

Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at SaveOurWater.com.

Source: DWR

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Sacramento, CA  (MPG) - J.D. Power announced recently​ that the Sacramento International Airport​ (SMF) has ranked highest in customer satisfaction among medium-sized airports in North America. The ranking is based on J.D. Power’s 2017 customer-satisfaction survey of almost 35,000 travelers.

The J.D. Power Customer Service Satisfaction Study measures satisfaction among customers in medium, large and mega airports across the United States by examining six factors: Terminal facilities; airport accessibility; security check; baggage claim; check-in/baggage check; and food, beverage and retail amenities.

Sacramento International Airport ranked highest in the categories of security check and terminal facilities. 

“Customer satisfaction is the essence of our brand, and this survey underscores our commitment to giving customers an excellent experience,” said John Wheat, Director of Airports for the Sacramento County Department of Airports. “We have beautiful facilities, fast security lines, and we’re easy to get to. We’re very fortunate that our partners in our airlines, the TSA and concessionaires share this commitment to great service.”

The security checkpoint was singled out for praise by customers. 

“Over the last year, TSA Sacramento has worked hard to refocus on our core security mission and improve communication, both with our public and private stakeholders and within our organization,” said Sid Hanna, Federal Security Director for Sacramento International Airport. “We have involved our supervisors in routine security meetings with the airport and airlines to improve our effectiveness and teamwork.” 

View the J.D. Power survey results. 

Sacramento International Airport (SMF) offers more than 150 daily nonstop flights on nine domestic and international carriers to more than 30 destinations.  The Sacramento County Department of Airport is responsible for planning, developing, operating and maintaining the county’s four airports: Sacramento International Airport, Executive Airport, Mather Airport and Franklin Field.  The regional economic impact of the Sacramento County airport system is more than $4 billion annually. For more information, visit http://www.smf.aero

Source: Sacramento County Media

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Sacramento, CA (MPG) -California Governor Edmund G Brown Jr. today (October 13th) declared a state of emergency to help control the state’s hepatitis A outbreak and increase the supply of adult hepatitis A vaccines to meet current needs.

“Vaccinating people at risk of exposure is the most effective tool we have to prevent the spread of hepatitis A infection during an outbreak,” said California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith.

To help combat the outbreak, CDPH has already distributed nearly 80,000 doses of the vaccine that were obtained through the federal vaccine program, but those supplies must be increased to continue to address the outbreak. Today’s declaration allows CDPH to immediately purchase additional vaccines directly from manufacturers and coordinate distribution to people at greatest risk in affected areas.

The adult hepatitis A vaccine is different than the one given to children, of which there is ample supply.

The risk of hepatitis A infection is associated with poor sanitation and hygiene and is transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and drink or through direct contact with an infectious person. The current outbreak has largely impacted people experiencing homelessness and some illicit drug users. The virus can live for months in a contaminated environment, particularly in the absence of good sanitation.

To control this outbreak and prevent further spread, CDPH recommends the vaccination of people in affected areas who are homeless or using illicit drugs. CDPH also recommends vaccination of people who have frequent, close contact with at-risk populations in affected areas. CDPH is working with impacted counties to monitor the outbreak and implement vaccination efforts and is also providing guidance on improving sanitation, including access to handwashing facilities and toilets, to lessen the spread of the virus.

“Local public health officials are working hard to offer vaccines to people who are at the most at risk of infection, including homeless Californians,” said Dr. Smith. “Today’s order will help ensure communities can continue to deliver the vaccines where they are needed most.”

Hepatitis A infection typically causes fever, a general ill feeling with lack of appetite and nausea, and, later in the course of the infection, yellowness of the skin and eyes. Severe hepatitis A infection is rare but does occur in people with underlying liver disease and can cause the liver to fail, potentially leading to death.

For more information about hepatitis A, review our frequently asked questions and visit CDPH’s website.

Source: www.cdph.ca.gov

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Urges Donors to Make Future Appointments Due to Shelf Life of Blood

Sacramento, CA (MPG) - Following an overwhelming response from blood donors across the nation to support victims of the Las Vegas shooting, the immediate blood needs have been met. Donors came out in large numbers to give blood following the tragedy; however, they won’t be eligible to donate again until early December.  Since blood has a shelf life of just 42 days, BloodSource is urging donors to make future appointments to ensure that patients have an ample supply of lifesaving transfusions going into and through the winter holiday season. To make a donation appointment, visit BloodSource.org or call 866.822.5663.

Tragedy can strike without a moment’s notice, and the Las Vegas shooting proved that it is the blood already on the shelves that saves lives. In Las Vegas, and across the country, donors came forward to give blood following the tragedy to help replenish the supply and meet additional patient needs in the upcoming weeks. BloodSource actively monitors hospital needs and proactively encourages donors to make future appointments when the time is right to carefully match blood collections with anticipated transfusions.

“After natural disasters and other tragedies, blood donors often come out in large numbers to support those affected, but it is important to remember that hundreds of patients need lifesaving blood transfusions every day in our community,” said Steve Ferraiuolo, division president for BloodSource and the West Division, Blood Systems, Inc.  “Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs a transfusion of donated blood. To patients and families benefitting from lifesaving blood donations, blood donors are heroes.”

BloodSource, a Blood Systems blood center, is part of a multi-state system of blood centers. This network works in tandem moving lifesaving donations throughout the system to help ensure blood is available when and where it’s needed most. Individuals who are as young as 16 years of age (with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood.

BloodSource has been this area’s nonprofit community blood provider since1948, and serves patients in more than 40 hospitals throughout Northern and Central California. It is a Blood Systems blood center. Blood Systems is one of the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit community blood service providers, currently serving more than 1,000 hospital and healthcare partners across 28 states to provide comprehensive transfusion medicine services for patients in need.

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TAKE FLIGHT Opens at Aerospace Museum

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack   |  2017-10-13

The Aerospace Museum is open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Photo courtesy of Aeropsace Museum.

To Debut Interactive Exhibit in October
 

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - The Aerospace Museum of California is proud to present an interactive new exhibit titled TAKE FLIGHT that will be available for guests to explore and enjoy from October 17, 2017 through January 9, 2018. With a variety of dynamic elements and multiple activity stations, guests of all ages will begin to understand the fundamentals needed to achieve flight. The new TAKE FLIGHT exhibit will occupy approximately 2,000-square feet of space on the ground floor inside the impressive Museum.

The new exhibit will help Museum guests learn about the evolution and history of flight before they begin their own exciting journey of discovery with a series of building activities that help them create different forms of flying machines. The exhibit is designed to help visitors explore and understand how the physical characteristics of lift, thrust, drag, rotation and gravity are important to achieve flight. Guests of all ages will especially enjoy the activity stations such as Make it Fly--Planes, Make It Fly--Rockets and Make It Fly—Copters. Museum guests will have a chance to test out and fine-tune their designs with the help of elements such as the Wing Zinger, Rocket Launcher and Wind Tube. 

Museum Guests Can Enjoy Special “Rocket Talk” Presentations by a NASA Solar System Ambassador on October 21 Only

As an added element on Saturday, October 21 only, Museum guests will have the opportunity to see a special “Rocket Talk” presentation by NASA Solar System Ambassador Jayce Pearson as he discusses the fascinating world of rocketry. Ambassador Pearson will lead three presentations at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on that one day only that will each include a lively discussion of the history of rocketry, how rocketry works, and what is happening in rocketry now. Between presentations, Ambassador Pearson will be available to answer questions about rocketry, space exploration and the solar system.

The TAKE FLIGHT exhibit and special activities are included with Museum admission: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and teachers (with ID), $8 for children and youth (ages 6-17), and is free for children ages 5 and younger along with active duty military (with ID) and Museum members. The Aerospace Museum is open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and school or special groups of 20 or more are encouraged to book tours in advance with the reduced admission pricing of $7 per person. 

As a companion experience to the TAKE FLIGHT exhibit, the Museum is also home to a popular and fun Flight Zone flight simulator that is a state-of-the-art STEM learning laboratory featuring 10 digital flight stations (note there is an added fee for the Flight Zone flight simulator: $5 for a 20-minute session, available for purchase in the gift shop). Flight Zone is open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information about the TAKE FLIGHT exhibit, the “Rocket Talk” presentations on October 21, the Flight Zone flight simulator or the Aerospace Museum of California in general, please call 916-643-3192 or visit www.aerospaceca.org.

Located in a spacious facility at McClellan Business Park in Sacramento, the Aerospace Museum of California is one of aviation’s greatest showcases that captures the allure of flight. With a wide range of impressive military and civilian aircraft on display – from biplanes to Russian MIGs -- and an extensive engine collection, the Museum also offers a state-of-the-art STEM learning laboratory or “Flight Zone” with 10 interactive digital flight stations. The Museum is committed to providing a world-class experience along with the opportunity to learn about and celebrate aviation’s past, present and future. For more, visit www.aerospaceca.org

For more information about the TAKE FLIGHT exhibit, the “Rocket Talk” presentations on October 21, the Flight Zone flight simulator or the Aerospace Museum of California in general, please call 916-643-3192 or visit www.aerospaceca.org.

 

Source: T-Rock Communications

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Metro Fire Rolls Out in Pink for Breast Cancer

Story by Jacqueline Fox  |  2017-10-13

For the last two years, Metro Fire has won the contest for most money raised for Movember’s “First Responder Challenge,” which involves fire departments and others across the region. Photo courtesy Sac Metro Fire

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District (Metro Fire) kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness month with the debut of one of its Pierce manufactured fire trucks decked out in a pink wrap, ribbon and a touch of blue Oct 5, part of its two-month campaign to raise funds and awareness for breast and other forms of cancer.

The big pink truck made its debut at Metro Fire headquarters in Mather as part of the centerpiece of the campaign “All Cancers All People.” Metro Fire has partnered with the Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, and the Movember Foundation to put the focus on men’s health and cancer awareness in November.  

“The centerpiece of its multi-month campaign was the transformation of one of our Pierce Manufactured fire trucks from fire engine red to “October Pink” and just a touch of blue ombre,” says Christopher Vestal, Metro Fire captain/paramedic and public information officer.”

Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation Executive Director Cindy Love, alongside cancer survivors from Metro Fire and others who have been impacted by cancer attended the roll out for the campaign. Albie Aware, founded in 2007, offers assistance for life-saving diagnostic testing, patient advocacy, prevention education and compassionate support to individuals battling breast cancer.  

The Movember Foundation was founded in 2003 in Melbourne, Australia to essentially fund research and programs dealing with education and treatment for prostate cancer.  In 2007, Movember launched in the United States with a partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Today, the foundation works to conduct outreach and fund research for men’s cancer and various other health-related causes, including suicide prevention, with a global reach and roughly 5 million participants.               

Metro Fire’s pink truck, which has been named “All Cancers All People,” got its makeover courtesy of Sacramento-based Vehicle Wraps Inc., with a little help from Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522 and the Sacramento Metro Firefighters Association, Vestal said.  In addition to the debut of the pink and pale blue truck, Vestal said Metro Fire was teaming up with the Sacramento Kings to conduct “surprise visits” to patients across the region and deliver free tickets to the Kings’ Oct. 9 game against the Portland Trailblazers, during which Albie Aware breast cancer survivors will be participating in the half-time ceremony.

This is the fourth year Metro Fire has been involved in promoting cancer awareness in the county. The way Metro Fire sees it, the outreach goes hand-in-hand with its normal duties.

“We view this as something that extends our mission to providing services to our community throughout the region, not just emergency situations, but also preventative outreach,” Vestal said. “We have a duty to let people know about how early detection helps save lives and about the services available to those who are diagnoses with cancer.”

For the last two years, Metro Fire has won the contest for most money raised for Movember’s “First Responder Challenge,” which involves fire departments and others across the region.  Metro Fire collected $32,000 in donations for 2016 and $28,000 in 2015.

“Metro Fire will be working hard again to win Movember’s “First Responder Challenge” for the third year in a row after setting a record in 2017 record of $32,000,” Vestal said.

Wanna join in the fun?  You can engage, socially that is, with Metro Fire by sharing your cancer related story or message of support using the hashtag #AllCancersAllPeople on the department’s social media pages on Facebook (Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District), Instagram (@metro_fire_sacramento), and Twitter (@metrofirepio).

For more information: visit www.metrofire.ca.gov

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Sacramento County Growers Smash Crop Output Records

By Bill Bird, SCFB  |  2017-10-04

The high prices for wine grapes and other commodities in Sacramento County masked troubling news that yields in several commodity areas dropped significantly last year. Stock photo

2016 Crop and Livestock Report Tops $500 Million for the First Time

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG) - Led by a dramatic increase in the price for wine grapes, Sacramento County farmers and ranchers set a record for overall agricultural output last year. The 2016 Crop and Livestock Report released by the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner's Office revealed that the gross value of all agricultural production in Sacramento County reached a record high of more than $507 million. The figure represents a 7.9 percent increase over last year's numbers, despite a record fifth year of drought that hurt many agricultural operations.

"Wine grapes continue to rule as King in Sacramento County as they have for the past eight years and milk continues to hold onto the number two slot," said Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner Juli Jensen during her presentation to the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. "California is the third top producing state in pears, behind Washington and Oregon. Sacramento County is the top pear producing county in California."

The high prices for wine grapes and other commodities in Sacramento County masked troubling news that yields in several commodity areas dropped significantly last year. The numbers for field crops such as rice, wheat, silage corn, oats and irrigated pasture all suffered significant declines. Yields for other crops such as cherries and walnuts also dropped, as did cattle and calves and other livestock. The value of aquaculture also fell sharply in Sacramento County, led by a steep decline in the price for caviar.

Sacramento County Farm Bureau Executive Director Bill Bird admitted that while drought may be to blame for the lower output for some commodities, other factors may also be playing a role.

"Our farmers and ranchers are forced to pay the highest labor costs in this country," said Bird. "The high minimum wage coupled with very expensive workers compensation insurance, liability insurance and health care benefits costs our growers millions of dollars. These are costs that growers in other states are not forced to shoulder."

The 2016 Crop and Livestock report also revealed that nursery stock climbed back into the top five agricultural products produced in Sacramento County, which is attributed to a recovering housing market and efforts by homeowners to replace lawns with drought tolerant landscaping.

The dollar figures in the report do not reflect the cost of the production of these agricultural commodities. The figures also do not reflect grower costs such as processing, transportation and labor.

Sacramento County farmers put food on your fork.  Our agricultural operations and products are as diverse as the lands we carefully manage.  We are proud to provide healthy, fresh food for your family and ours.

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