<b>Farm Bureau holds workshop for pesticide applicators</b>

The Sonoma County Farm Bureau will hold a Dec. 16 workshop in Santa Rosa for pesticide applicators and certified crop advisers.

The workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to noon at the Farm Bureau office, 970 Piner Road.

The workshop will cover information including the attraction of beneficial cavity nesting birds and the employment of barn owls. The workshop will also cover Olive Fruit Fly infestations and new regulations affecting the Hazard Communication Standard.

Advanced registration is required by Dec. 10. The cost is $55 per person. For information, contact the Farm Bureau at 707-544-5575 or info@sonomafb.org

<b>Giacomini family honored for conservation at Point Reyes dairy</b>

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company has been given the 2013 California Leopold Conservation Award, which honors private landowners for management of natural resources.

The cheese company is owned and operated by Bob Giacomini and daughters Karen, Diana, Lynn and Jill in coastal Marin County, where the family began milking cows in 1959.

The award, which includes a $10,000 prize, is presented by Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation.

"The Giacomini family is a shining example of how landowners in California can have a huge impact on healthy landscapes, clean waterways and a clean-energy future," Ashley Boren, executive director of Sustainable Conservation, said in a statement. "Rotational grazing of their cows keeps soils healthy and helps prevent harmful erosion into Tomales Bay, and their methane digester converts cow manure into clean, renewable energy that powers their dairy and cheese facility."

<b>Ag Department offers rural development grants</b>

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering nearly $10.5 million in rural development grants to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities designed to give them a competitive business edge.

Grants are available to help agricultural producers create new products, expand marketing opportunities, support further processing of existing products or goods, or to develop specialty and niche products. They may be used for working capital and planning activities.

The maximum working capital grant is $200,000; the maximum planning grant is $75,000.

Grant applications are due by Feb. 24. More information about how to apply is available on page 70260 of the Nov. 25 Federal Register. For information, visit http://1.usa.gov/18mMP3V

Press Democrat staff. Submit items to robert.digitale@pressdemocrat.com.

See more results from the June 5 primary election here