Water Rights Holders Must Measure Stream Diversions

UC Cooperative Extension Offering Water Measurement and Reporting Courses April 4

News Release

California water rights holders are required by state law to measure and report the water they divert from surface streams. For people who wish to take the water measurements themselves, the University of California Cooperative Extension is offering training to receive certification April 4 in Redding and Woodland.

At the workshop, participants will:

  • Clarify reporting requirements for ranches.
  • Understand which meters are appropriate for different situations.
  • Learn how to determine measurement equipment accuracy.
  • Develop an understanding of measurement weirs.
  • Learn how to calculate and report volume from flow data.

UC Cooperative Extension is offering a limited number of trainings in 2019. The next training will be held at Shasta College Farm and Yolo County Fairgrounds:

  • Yolo County Fairgrounds in Woodland – Register at http://cecapitolcorridor.ucanr.edu or by emailing Morgan Doran at mpdoran@ucanr.edu or calling the UCCE office in Yolo County at (530) 666-8143. Training will begin at 2 p.m. and should conclude by 5 p.m.

Background on the water diversion law

Senate Bill 88 requires that all water right holders who have previously diverted or intend to divert more than 10 acre-feet per year (riparian and pre-1914 claims), or who are authorized to divert more than 10 acre-feet per year under a permit, license or registration, to measure and report the water they divert. 

Detailed information on the regulatory requirements for measurement and reporting are available on the State Water Resources Control Board Reporting and Measurement Regulation webpage: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights. For diversion or storage greater than or equal to 100-acre feet annually, the law requires approval of installation and certification of measurement methods by an engineer, contractor, or other approved professional.

To make it easier for farmers and ranchers to comply with the law, the California Cattlemen’s Association worked with Assemblyman Frank Bigelow on a bill that would allow people to get certified to take the measurements themselves. Assembly Bill 589 became law on Jan. 1, 2018.

Until Jan. 1, 2023, this bill allows anyone who diverts water and has completed an instructional course on measurement devices and methods administered by UC Cooperative Extension, including passage of a proficiency test, to be considered qualified to install and maintain devices or implement methods of measurement. The bill requires UC Cooperative Extension and the water board to jointly develop the curriculum for the course and the proficiency test.

Data Loggers Could Impact Cattle Comfort

Data Loggers Could be Hardship on Cattle Being Transported

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

Transporting cattle, or any livestock for that matter, has special nuances so drivers can get to the destination quickly for the animals’ comfort. Occasionally a driver can self-adjust the drive time beyond the mandated limit.

But now a new regulation regarding electronic logging devices by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in Washington D.C., may be implemented December this year, forcing drivers to stop.

“It would essentially require commercial truck drivers to use a electronic device to comply with the hours of service schedule that they’re required to meet, which limits both on-duty time and driving time,” said Justin Oldfield, a California cattleman and vice president of governmental affairs with the California Cattlemen’s Association in Sacramento.

“We not only have the cattle’s welfare that we need to take into account for, but we’ve got to get to that destination and make sure those cattle are off-loaded properly and safely,” Oldfield said.

Oldfield said they’re looking at some alternatives that would help the California Cattlemen’s Association members. “One of the things that we are concerned about is our distance to a lot of buyers, which would be in the Midwest,” Oldfield explained. “So any additional cost that this regulation might cause would probably be felt more significantly farther from the Midwest, which would primarily represent California, other states in the West and the Southeast.”

The current regulation is maximum on-duty time of 14 hours, with maximum driving time being 11 hours, with a 10-hour break. If a driver hauling cattle was only 100 miles from the destination, he would want to keep going for the comfort of the cattle. But with the electronic logger in place, he’d be forced to take that 10-hour break.

“Some of the issues that we have, for instance, is technically you’re on-duty even if you’re waiting to load cattle. So there are situations to where maybe there’s eight trucks waiting to load cattle, and you could be waiting in line for 2, 3 hours. And that entire time is counting against your on-duty time,” Oldfield said.

“We’re looking at where we can try to ensure that those hours are not counted against your maximum on-duty time,” he said.

And another area that’s being looked at is an exclusion for drivers hauling live animals, in order to have time to get to destinations.

“Our membership is basically past policy that asks us to look at everything, including that. There’s of course the challenge politically of making these changes on the regulatory side. I can tell you that nothing is off the table at this point,” Oldfield said. “Again, the reform is not necessarily the electron log-in device. The reform itself is the hours of service.”

Future Looks Bright with Young Cattlemen’s Club

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Group Educates Fellow Students About Cattle

By Joanne Lui, Associate Editor

If their attendance at the California Cattlemen’s Association’s 100th Annual Convention was any indication, the future is bright for the next generation of cattlemen and cattlewomen. We spoke to Veronica Staggs, a junior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, about why she’s a member of the Young Cattlemen’s Club and what they are doing to educate students about the cattle industry.

Veronica Stacks, member of the Cal Poly San Luis Obisop Young Cattlemen's Club
Veronica Staggs, member of the Cal Poly San Luis Obisop Young Cattlemen’s Club

The club, which is a chapter of the California Young Cattlemen, has about more than 50 members, with both those who grew up on cattle ranches and many who just have a passion for livestock agriculture, Staggs said

Staggs, who is studying animal science at Cal Poly with the goal of becoming a livestock veterinarian, is one of those who doesn’t haven’t a background in cattle.

“I actually love cattle, but it’s a great industry to go into and to be a vet for because the people you work with are just so nice, and so genuine, and they’re so easy to work with,” Staggs said.

The prospect of working with cattle ranchers was a main reason that drew her to studying animal sciences.

“I just think that cattle ranchers are super easy people to work with,” Staggs said. “They’re super genuine. You can work well with them. They treat you like family, so I think being a vet for cattle ranchers would just be a super great job.”

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is well-known for a great agriculture program in general. The Young Cattlemen’s Club does their part to get to engage fellow ag students about the cattle industry.

“We do a lot of networking with people not a part of agriculture to show them what’s going on,” Staggs said. “And most of them are pretty receptive to it, and actually get interested in what’s going on and seeing how their food reaches their table.

Recently, the club even brought a calf into the student union to let people meet the animal and to educate the public about food animals. The Young Cattlemen also use social media to get their message across.

“We try to put a lot of information out there for them, because we think that it’s important for everyone to understand how food reaches their table and that it’s not just from a super market,” Staggs said.

Cattle Industry Supports TPP

California Cattle Industry Supports TPP Trade Proposal

By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor

Justin Oldfield, California Cattlemen’s Association’s vice president of government relations and a cattleman in Sacramento County, expressed support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at the December roundtable in Sacramento at which U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse presented.

Oldfield anticipates TPP would boost demand for U.S. farm and food products among nearly 500 million consumers in 11 countries. “TPP is largely supported not only by California’s beef industry, but across the country, largely because members of TPP represent some of the largest export markets for U.S. beef.”

“Consumers in those markets love U.S. beef,” said Oldfield, “Unfortunately, we do have some pretty high tariff rates in TPP-member countries.” Oldfield explained the U.S. has recently been at a competitive disadvantage with Australia in supplying beef to Japan. Australia, which also depends on its beef exports, has a lower tariff right now with the Japanese.

“A good percentage of that [Japanese] market has been taken away from us by the Australians,” Oldfield said. “With TPP in place, it will put us right back on a level playing field with the Australians and a reduction in tariffs in the long-term. We hope to recapture some of that market share back once TPP is done,” said Oldfield.

Oldfield hopes Congress moves quickly on TPP to make it eligible for a vote, “so that we can get back to sending high quality beef to the Pacific Rim. Every day that Congress sits on [TPP] will cost beef producers money here, and not just in California, but across the United States in terms of our market access to Japan,” he said.

4th Generation Modoc Rancher To Take California Cattlemen’s Association Reins

Modoc County Cattleman to Serve for Two Years as California Cattlemen’s Association President

 

By Kyle Buchoff, California Ag Today Reporter

 

Bill Flournoy is a fourth generation cattleman in the city of Likely, nestled in California’s northeast Modoc County, and the upcoming CA Cattlemen’s Association president.

Many generations of his family contributed to the ranch, “We came here in 1871 to this valley and I live in the house where my Dad and Granddad were born,” said Flournoy. “I’ve got a grandson here–that’s fifth generation–and a granddaughter who is sixth generation, who help me.”

When the California Cattlemen’s Association meets with the California CattleWomen’s Association at their 98th Annual Convention, Flourney will begin a 2-year term  as president. The event will be be held from November 20-22 in Sparks, NV.

He was very modest about his new responsibility, “Well that’s kind of the way it ended up. I didn’t volunteer for this; I was asked to, and I am going to respect that. I believe in the California Cattlemen and that’s why I’m going to do the best job I can for them.”

Flournoy is very close to his two brothers, who are also his business partners. He noted, “We’ve been partners for forty-five years. We run a cook house, have breakfast and lunch together everyday, work together and get along pretty darn good.”

When asked to reflect on good and bad days on the ranch, he was surprisingly positive: “Oh yeah, I’ve worked this ranch all my life, and I haven’t  had very many bad days.  I’ve had some family die and that made bad days, but working on the ranch and with the cattle and the men that I’ve worked with, I can’t say I’ve had too many bad days. I’ve been pretty fortunate.”

For more information on the 98th Annual Convention, please visit the Cattlemen’s website.