Saturday, March 21, 2015

National Ag Day Bus Tour

In honor of National Ag Day, our Glenn County Farm Bureau hosted our 2nd Annual Bus Tour of Glenn County Agriculture. I'm so happy we got to share real farm stories with our local consumers. Here are a few pictures to share.

We started at Burreson's Blueberries. Dennis Burreson shared with us the history of the settlement of his place and all the work that went into growing blueberries in Glenn County. The moral of the story - they are hard to grow here.

Blueberries are delicious for bids too. In order to reduce crop loss from bird damage, Dennis bring is a falconer and 12 Falcons to protect his crop for 5 weeks. While it costs around $1000 a day for the falconer, it saves close to $5000 per day in lost blueberries. 
If you buy blueberries from Costco during the last week of May, chances are they came from this ranch right here in Orland.

The next stop was Walnut Avenue Ranch.
Need some sweet treats for Easter? Come here! They make almost everyt
hing in house! The prices were very reasonable too! You can even buy online -
They make chocolates and lots of nut brittles a by hand. 
If this was a smell-o-vision blog, you would be so hungry for brittle right now. It smelled amazing! 

The last tour stop was the Schager Dairy owned by Mike and Pat Schager. As a neat side note, my Grandfather and Pat's father were friends growing up in Willows, CA. :)

Mike and Pat milk about 500 cows. It might be hard to believe but that is small dairy. Mike estimated that to really be economically viable they would need to have 2,500 cows.
The cows live in a freestall barn which means the cows choose where to eat and sleep inside the barn. The floor is cement but the cows actual enjoy bedded mattresses. 
The milk truck visits once per day to empty this milk tank. Both Mike and Pat work full time on the dairy, every day. Much of Pat's work is paperwork. She has to provide a tremendous amount of reporting on water quality and nutrient management in addition to normal business paperwork and tracking the health of their herd. 
The cows come in twice per day for milking. Their dairy is unique in that they have three breeds - Jerseys, Holsteins and Brown Swiss. 

We had a great day touring! If you want to join us next time, call the office and order your tickets early. You can also check out the tours offered by Tehama County Farm Bureau and Butte County Farm Bureau.

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