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Agriculture briefs

Published: Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 4:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 8:55 p.m.

Beretta named president of the Sonoma County Fair board

Doug Beretta, a west Santa Rosa dairyman, is the new president of the board for the Sonoma County Fair.

A third-generation farmer, Beretta graduated from Santa Rosa High and attended Santa Rosa Junior College. In 1996, Beretta and his wife, Sharon Dolcini Beretta, became partners in Beretta Dairy.

In 2006, the couple shifted their dairy to organic production and started shipping milk to Wallaby Yogurt Company.

“Sonoma County Fair is very near and dear to my family,” said Beretta, a fair board member since 2009. “I grew up showing animals at the Fair and have watched my kids do the same.”

Egg farmers sue to overturn Prop. 2

California egg farmers are asking the Fresno County Superior Court to declare Proposition 2 unconstitutionally vague.

The 2008 voter-approved initiative set standards for confining laying hens, including that the birds must be able to freely extend their wings. Farmers maintain the law doesn’t make clear how much room is enough.

“Given the ambiguity in Proposition 2 and the risk of criminal prosecution for violating it, egg farmers have no choice other than to challenge the validity of the law,” said Arnie Riebli, a Petaluma poultry farmer and the association’s president.

Jonathan Lovvorn, chief counsel of the Humane Society of the United States, the initiative’s sponsor, noted a federal judge in September dismissed a similar lawsuit filed by a Riverside County egg producer.

“When do we stop this and get on with implementing Proposition 2?” Lovvorn said.

Dec. 11 workshop on pest control

Farmers, crop advisers and pesticide applicators can attend a Dec. 11 workshop to learn about the use of dogs for avian pest control.

The workshop, sponsored by the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, also will discuss environmentally friendly systems to control gophers and other rodents. Other topics include pesticide safety regulations and requirements for handling hazardous materials.

The workshop, which offers four hours of continuing education credits, will be held from 8 a.m. until noon at the Farm Bureau office, 970 Piner Road, Santa Rosa.

Cost is $55 per person with advance registration by Dec. 4 and $65 with late registration. For registration and further details, contact Anita Hawkins at 544-5575 or

Compiled by Staff Writer Robert Digitale from staff and wire reports.

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