Whiteside to speak in Turlock on farming

Carol Whiteside, founding president of the Great Valley Center in Modesto, will speak about the future of farming at California State University, Stanislaus, on April 22. The 6 p.m. talk by Whiteside, a former Modesto mayor, is titled "Central Valley Agriculture: A Survival Guide." The free event is part of the semiannual Agriculture Studies Speaker Series, sponsored by Yosemite Farm Credit. It will be in Room 118 in the Faculty Development Center on the Turlock campus.

Twenty-three dairy farmers in the Central Valley improved their protections against water pollution with the aid of a $999,997 state grant. The money was awarded in 2007 to Western United Resource Development, affiliated with the Modesto-based Western United Dairymen. The money helped with projects including irrigation of feed crops with manure at acceptable rates, recirculation of irrigation water, concrete pads to store manure and feed, and backflow prevention systems to protect water sources. The grant came from a water bond issue approved by California voters.

Almond processors continue to turn to the sun to power much of their operations. Hilltop Ranch Inc. has installed 58 solar panels at its plant near Ballico, and they supply 77 percent of its electricity. The system was built by JKB Energy of Turlock. Minturn Huller Cooperative Inc. has a system providing 60 percent of the power at its plant near LeGrand. The system came from Canadian Solar in San Ramon.

To submit items about agribusiness, call 578-2385, send a fax to 578-2207, or send an e-mail to