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Ventura County Agriculture

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 12, 1993 | LEO SMITH
Saticoy will be home to a University of California agriculture education and research center if the wishes of the last surviving member of a longtime Ventura County farming family are fulfilled. Thelma Hansen, who died last year at the age of 95, bequeathed the entire family estate--$12 million in property, cash and securities--to her alma mater to be used to promote agriculture, said Larry Yee, director of the county office of the UC Cooperative Extension program.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 3, 2012 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
Nothing says easy, breezy Southern California like a palm tree - but in Fillmore, the Southern California icon has been unfronded. Eager for an infusion of Hollywood cash, the Ventura County agricultural town has taken down 26 queen palms, a tree that has lined downtown streets since 1940. Officials wanted to give film and TV producers a generic, small-town setting that could stand in for Iowa, Indiana or anywhere else in palm-free America. So one July night, a landscaper revved up his chain saws in the heart of the city's quaint downtown and, soon after, the Fillmore Film Commission - its slogan is "Film More in Fillmore" - announced the move in an email blast to location scouts.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 27, 2001 | FRED ALVAREZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For the second year in a row, Ventura County agriculture production topped the $1-billion mark last year--maintaining the county's position as one of the top farm regions in the state. The total crop income bucked a trend toward lower crop values elsewhere in the state, a phenomenon attributed to the county's reliance on high-value cash crops.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 4, 2008 | Valerie J. Nelson, Nelson is a Times staff writer.
Sheri Klittich, who developed programs to keep Ventura County's agricultural roots alive as the first administrator of a state-run trust that operates a demonstration farm near Santa Paula, died Nov. 20, a day after she turned 53. Klittich died at her home in Fillmore after a long battle with ovarian cancer and the autoimmune disease scleroderma, said a son, Jeff Klittich.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 1998 | NICK GREEN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The future of Ventura County agriculture may lie on Steve Smith's Santa Paula Canyon ranch, scattered among the avocado trees and lemon groves. Concerned that imports of inexpensive Argentine lemons and Mexican avocados are threatening two of the county's most lucrative cash crops, local agriculture officials are eagerly searching for alternatives.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 4, 2008 | Valerie J. Nelson, Nelson is a Times staff writer.
Sheri Klittich, who developed programs to keep Ventura County's agricultural roots alive as the first administrator of a state-run trust that operates a demonstration farm near Santa Paula, died Nov. 20, a day after she turned 53. Klittich died at her home in Fillmore after a long battle with ovarian cancer and the autoimmune disease scleroderma, said a son, Jeff Klittich.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 8, 2000 | DAVID KELLY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A voracious disease-carrying insect, the glassy-winged sharpshooter, has gone from mere annoyance to major disaster, throwing the Ventura County Agricultural Commission into chaos, costing growers millions of dollars and pitting farmer against farmer. "Just when I think things cannot get any worse, they get worse," said Earl McPhail, county agricultural commissioner. "I'm spending 80% of my staff time on this program. I can't afford to do that, but I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel."
NEWS
October 6, 1994 | JOANNA M. MILLER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A quarantine on agriculture susceptible to Medflies was imposed for the first time Wednesday in Ventura County, encompassing 86 square miles of fields and homes within a 4.5-mile radius of the site where two fertile flies were found last week. The action, which has been expected since two mated female Mediterranean fruit flies were found in eastern Camarillo on Friday, came as inspectors confirmed Wednesday that an additional 10 flies were found in a grove at St. John's Seminary.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 1992 | PATRICK McCARTNEY
Two Ventura County ranchers and a former Camarillo mayor have been named as new directors to the Ventura County Fair Board by Gov. Pete Wilson, fair officials said. Wilson also reappointed director Earl McPhail, the Ventura County agriculture commissioner, to a second four-year term on the board. The governor appointed Sandi Bush of Camarillo, Robert B. Frost of Santa Paula and Thomas P. Pecht of Oxnard.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 1998
Whether or not SOAR flies at the ballot box in November, the Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources campaign is casting a growing shadow on the political landscape. Ventura County has spent decades lamenting the dwindling of its farmland even as it has done a better-than-average job of keeping development under control. This is a crucial year in which controls on growth are likely to become tighter, one way or another.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 17, 2004 | Fred Alvarez, Times Staff Writer
On the front lines of the battle to shield Ventura County farmland from crop-damaging pests, Linda Bellamy is bombarded by grim budget news. The veteran bug-trapper is a supervisor with the county agricultural commissioner's insect detection program, the first line of defense in preventing injurious pests from gaining a foothold against the county's $1-billion farm industry.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 13, 2003 | Fred Alvarez, Times Staff Writer
Environmental watchdogs called Wednesday for a drastic reduction in pesticide use in Ventura County agriculture, saying current practices continue to put farm workers, schoolchildren and residents at risk of toxic exposure.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 15, 2003 | Fred Alvarez, Times Staff Writer
Someone is swiping pesticides from growers on the Oxnard Plain, stirring concerns that Ventura County's agricultural industry has become a prime target for prowlers. Bandits have committed four large-scale burglaries of farm chemicals since the start of the year, including a heist last week in which thieves stole $50,000 in insecticides and fungicides from an Oxnard-area warehouse.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 15, 2002 | Gregory W. Griggs, Times Staff Writer
Local growers apparently avoided severe financial losses during the recent shutdown of the Port of Hueneme, although damage exceeded $2 million, officials said Monday. "We came through it with very few problems," county Agricultural Commissioner Earl McPhail said. "My understanding is that there wasn't much damage locally. I haven't heard anything different from the packinghouses."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 2002 | FRED ALVAREZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Although she is new to farming, Ojai apple grower Esther Wachtell wanted her grandkids to know something about the traditions of Ventura County agriculture and the workings of the harvest. So, as creator of Eve's Apples, she supplied a little temptation. Money. Five dollars an hour, to be exact. With that, she put five of her grade-school-age grandchildren to work last month sorting, sizing and shipping the Crimson Galas that sprout every summer in a 10-acre orchard at her Oak Knoll Ranch.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 7, 2002 | GREGORY W. GRIGGS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Ventura County strawberries again overtook lemons to become the region's premier crop in 2001 as local growers realized a third consecutive year of sales exceeding $1 billion. The total value of fruits, nuts, vegetables, plants, livestock and other agricultural production reached $1.05 billion last year, up nearly $6.6 million from production totals the previous year, according to county agricultural statistics released Tuesday. "I think this was a so-so year overall.
NEWS
November 17, 1994 | J.E. MITCHELL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A single, wild male Mediterranean fruit fly was discovered Tuesday in an orange grove on the grounds of St. John's Seminary in eastern Camarillo, state and Ventura County agriculture officials announced Wednesday. The discovery brought the total number of flies found in the 16-square-mile Medfly eradication zone to 64 since Sept. 29 when the first of the crop-destroying pests was discovered, said Douglas Hendrix, a spokesman for the state Cooperative Medfly Project.
BUSINESS
September 2, 1997 | LEO SMITH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Ventura County's climate, its proximity to the Port of Hueneme and the Pacific Rim, and the skills of its farming community make it an attractive agricultural region. The trick, industry leaders say, is taking full advantage of those attributes to keep ahead of the competition. And maximizing potential has been the purpose of a series of forums conducted by the Pacific Agribusiness Alliance, a collection of members of the local agricultural community.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2002 | FRED ALVAREZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Richard Rogers spends his days watching the grass grow, but it's not as easy as it sounds. That is because the lawn he is looking after stretches hundreds of acres across the Oxnard Plain, a carefully manicured meadow as flat as a carpet and green as a $100 bill. Turf is his trade. And as co-owner of Pacific Earth Resources, one of the largest sod producers in a state known for its evergreen lawns, he is on a mission to make everyone's grass just a little bit greener.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 2001 | FRED ALVAREZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The future of Ventura County's Valencia orange industry may be sprouting in a corner of the Rancho Filoso citrus orchard. For two years, University of California researchers have been thinning the fruit and pruning the trees on an acre of the Santa Paula ranch, using the riverbank parcel for an open-air experiment aimed at helping rescue the century-old industry from a decade of economic decline.
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