State Assemblyman Robert Rivas. Photo provided by the office of Robert Rivas.


Assemblymembers Robert Rivas and Rudy Salas introduce legislation to maximize benefits of Sustainable Groundwater Management requirements

If approved, AB 252 would create a pilot program to support repurposing formerly irrigated agricultural land for less water-intensive uses.

Farmworkers in San Benito County. File photo by John Chadwell.


Assemblyman Rivas introduces Farmworker Wildfire Smoke Protections Act

If approved, the legislation would establish a stockpile of N95 masks to be distributed to farmers during a wildfire outbreak.

Zucchini harvested at Royal Greens Family Farm. Photo courtesy of Royal Greens Family Farm.


Application deadline approaches for second Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Program provides direct financial relief to producers for market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19.

Pasture-raised turkeys from Paicines Ranch. Photo courtesy of Paicines Ranch.


Turkey Time: Custom-raised for this unique holiday season

Local ranch offers pasture-raised birds for holiday meals.

Davenport during CZU Complex Fire. Photo courtesy of Bureau of Land Management.


Assembly Agriculture Committee examines impacts of wildfires on California agriculture

The hearing, led by State Assemblyman Robert Rivas, included speakers who talked of the effects on agricultural workers, farms and farmlands, economic impacts, and agriculture-based wildfire mitigation opportunities.

Fields near San Juan Bautista. Photo by Robert Eliason.


BL Special Report: What are agricultural easements, and do they preserve San Benito County’s rural character?

Mitigation measures ensure certain lands are cultivated in perpetuity.

Chileno Valley Ranch in Petaluma. Photo by Hector Joel Amezcua, UC CAES and courtesy of Devii Rao.


UC Cooperative Extension releases new ranch water quality planning tools

Instructor's guide provides resources and tools to plan and implement ranch water quality planning workshops and field days for grazing livestock producers, agency staff, and other stakeholders interested in grazing management and water quality.

Fields near San Juan Bautista. Photo by Robert Eliason.


BL Special Report: Why is prime agricultural land important, and what measures are in place to keep it?

Tax incentives and environmental reviews slow the pace of development.

Photo provided by UCCE.


University of California Cooperative Extension establishing tri-county Prescribed Burn Association

In partnership with the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County, UCCE of San Benito County recently received a Cal Fire grant to promote the use of prescribed fire in San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

Photo by Noe Magaña.


BL Special Report: What is prime agricultural land, and who keeps track of it?

The precise definition depends on the regulatory agency, and the context in which it’s used.

Haze and burned shrubs from the CZU fire. Photo taken on Sept. 14, provided by Devii Rao.


New study to investigate influence of cattle grazing on particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions from wildfires

Preliminary results expected by the end of August 2021.

Site visit with SBALT and funder at Phil Foster Ranch in San Juan Bautista. Left to right: Landowner Phil Foster (with shovel), Paul Hain, SBALT Board member, Karminder Brown, SBALT contractor, and Elizabeth Palmer, USDA NRCS (funder). Photo by Cathy Summa-Wolfe.


San Benito Agricultural Land Trust on path toward accreditation

SBALT will submit a pre-application for LTA accreditation in March 2021.

News Release

Gov. Newsom signs legislation from Farmworker COVID-19 Relief Package

State Assemblyman Robert Rivas said AB 2043 and AB 2165 will ensure farmworkers have access to workplace safety information and essential state services.

Farmworkers in San Juan Bautista. Photo by Robert Eliason.


Panetta pushes for farmworker funding in next COVID-19 Relief Package

Letter sent to House leadership requesting $1 million toward improving housing conditions.

Rivas at a farmworker food drive in Salinas. Photo provided by the office of Robert Rivas.

Government / Politics

State Assemblyman Rivas named chair of Assembly Agriculture Committee

Launching statewide agriculture tour in October.