Thank you first responders!

 

CalFire firefighters and other first responders deserve heartfelt thanks for protecting the historic Yanci Ranch and other properties when they created a firebreak that prevented the Lightning Complex wildfires from spreading in western Yolo County and beyond. The Yanci Ranch is one of the properties managed by Rominger Brothers Farms. It’s a working ranch where horseback riders can enjoy the scenery amid the beautiful oak woodlands in California’s Coast Range. A historic home is nestled within the foothills on the ranch where the Nate Yanci family once lived. The house was built following a fire on Christmas Day 1935 that destroyed a landmark home that Charles W. Scott built on the site in the mid-19th Century. Last week a CalFire crew drove through the Yanci Ranch to access the wildfire as it burned out of control east of Lake Berryessa. Fortunately, the firebreak spared the historic house and barns, as well as the multitude of wildlife that inhabit the 800-acre ranch. We’re ever so grateful to the first responders who risk their lives to protect the rest of the us.

Award-winning show pig

My 14-year-old son recently showed his market hog at the Yolo County 4-H Spring Show at the Yolo County Fairgrounds in Woodland. He named his pig “Cow,” which is a reflection of my son’s dry sense of humor. His spotted pig won the title of “Reserve Champion of All Other Breeds.” My son was rather pleased at his first venture into the world of show pigs. He’s already thinking of new names for his next hog!

Our Guard is up for the Guinda Fire

There is wildfire burning nearby and we’re keeping a close eye on it from our farm north of Winters, Calif. It’s called the Guinda Fire, and it has thus far burned more than 2,000 acres of rangeland in the Capay Valley, according to our 27-year-old son Justin, who recently became a volunteer firefighter in Winters. Some of our friends who live in the area have been evacuated. The temperature reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit today with a gusty north wind. The fire is spreading south and southwest, toward Lake Berryessa.

Tomato-fed Deer

These blacktailed deer are just some of the wildlife roaming around on our ranch. These does were caught grazing on our young tomato plants. They also eat the forage in the surrounding hills. Springtime means babies and we continually see fawns tagging along with their mothers. The does and their offspring typically travel in groups for safety. The other day we saw a fawn curled up underneath a tree while its mother was grazing nearby. Many different wildlife species live around here, including endangered and threatened species such as golden eagles and tricolored blackbirds. We are definitely into wildlife-friendly farming.

Getting Ready for the 4-H Spring Show

My son John is going to show his market lamb at the Yolo County 4-H Spring Show on Friday. He has been working hard to tame his female lamb, “Midnight,” who will be entered in the Natural Color category. Natural-colored sheep produce natural-colored wool, in contrast to white wool that is dyed. They can also be meat animals. The sheep show is this Friday at the Yolo County Fairgrounds in Woodland, California. The kids use halters to train their lambs to walk around in the show ring, but during the show, the lambs are not on halters, so it can be a little tricky to keep the animals under control. And there’s always the possibility that the judge will handle the lamb, so each kid needs to control their animal so it won’t try to escape. Wouldn’t you know, John’s very first lamb is supersized, already weighing over 120 pounds–hopefully she won’t try to bolt!

Behind the Scenes

It’s that time of year when farmers hold mandatory safety meetings for their employees. This one was facilitated at our farm shop by Tony Bruno of Armstrong and Associates Insurance Services and was conducted in Spanish. Agricultural employees must review illness and injury prevention, personal protection equipment and other safety measures that are critical in farming and ranching.  Soon there will be a county Farm Bureau meeting where the employees will update their skills in First Aid and CPR. It’s all part of the behind-the-scenes world of agriculture that takes place in the winter, before the upcoming crop season begins.