Agriculture briefs

<b>Applications invited for Agropreneurs program</b>

New farmers and ranchers are invited to apply for the Sonoma County "Agropreneurs" summer program, which includes classes, field visits and chances to connect with experts in agriculture.

The program is administered by the UC Cooperative Extension. It includes nine, eight-hour Friday classes. Participants will receive help developing business plans and assistance in finding affordable agricultural land and other opportunities.

The classes, which begin June 6, are open to those with one to 10 years experience in agriculture. The cost is $650 and includes registration at Santa Rosa Junior College, materials, some lunches and a membership with California FarmLink.

The deadline to apply is April 15. For applications, go online to http://tinyurl.com/BFR2014 or contact Linda Peterson, 565-2648.

<b>California ranchers unprepared for drought</b>

Across California ranchers are telling UC Davis researchers they aren't ready for the water shortages and lack of forage that a continuing drought would bring.

More than one-third of the ranchers expect devastating impacts to their operations if drought conditions persist.

The researchers met with more than 60 ranchers as part of their survey of more than 500 statewide.

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