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11.10.10

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Phaedra

Money for AG

By Haley Sansom


This year, the California Department of Food and Agriculture will award $17 million in grants. The Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) given to many nonprofit organizations, for-profit organizations, schools and government entities funds research, nutrition projects and marketing, aiming to enhance the competitiveness of California specialty crops. On Wednesday, Nov. 17, the State Department of Agriculture will host a workshop on the grant application process in Santa Rosa.

In 2010, 63 projects in total were awarded grants. UC Berkeley received $489,628 for a project to control the vine mealybug, affecting local vineyards in the North Bay. The American Vineyard Foundation ranked this pest first in importance in 2006, and the UC project tested the project for reducing its mating in Napa County. Also last year, Sunsweet Growers received $450,000 to jumpstart the production of bread made from prunes. The California State Beekeepers Association was granted $260,675 to improve forage resources for bees that pollinate California's special crops.

The SCBG is given to a wide variety of projects each year proposed by nonprofit and for-profit organizations alike. Workshop space is limited, and interested parties should email grants@cdfa.ca.gov with contact information and number of those attending to reserve space. Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Board Chambers, 575 Administration Drive, Room 102-A, Santa Rosa. 1–3pm. Free. 916.657.3231.

On Saturday, Nov. 13, Stone Bridge School of Napa and Connolly Ranch provide a very different way of raising money. 'Barnyard Bingo' is a rural tradition but is anything like your typical bingo game. How it works is this: an area of land is divided into squares, each square is assigned a ticket number, and a cow is released within the enclosed area of land. The ticket holder for the square in which the cow decides to go number two is No. 1. Grand prize: $500.

The excitement happens at Connolly Ranch, which provides hands-on education in outdoor settings to connect children with nature through different forms of farm-based and environmental education. Take your chances on Saturday, Nov. 13, at Connolly Ranch, 3141 Browns Valley Road, Napa. 9–11am. $5 per ticket. 707.224.1894.


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