Towards the end of January, we mailed out our announcement regarding the MCFB Sweepstakes. In any other year, we would have celebrated at the Merced Fairgrounds with plenty of time to mingle and carry on through the evening. In place of that, we are holding a sweepstakes event will take place through the 2021 year and allows us to celebrate local agriculture in our own way.
We began this journey by taking our donations and giving back to community businesses while providing individuals something to look forward to during COVID 2.0. The Sweepstakes has been more than we would have anticipated due to the generosity of the community. Although it is not a typical raffle where you must pay to play, individuals from throughout the community have elected to participate in the donation aspect. We appreciate each of you who have taken the time to send in a small donation as we understand these are difficult times. You can find a recap of the winners and their prizes on page 24 of the Farm News.
Things have begun to pick up in other areas as well as various city plans are starting to come to the table. Both Livingston and Los Banos are conducting public outreach meetings on their General Plan Updates. Counties and cities are mandated to provide updates to their plans on a routine basis and local involvement is encouraged at all costs. If you have not participated in a General Plan, think of this document as a wish list for local officials and planners. It provides the opportunity to account for potential new growth, changes to zoning guidelines and direction as to how the agency or organization can develop during that time. You can find more on the plans and an opportunity to sign up for the e-blasts by checking out the links below:
City of Los Banos: www.losbanos2040.org
City of Livingston: www.livingstoncity2040.com
The County Supervisors are also holding their virtual Town Halls. While they are set virtually through Zoom given the pandemic, residents can hear from their elected representative, meet department heads and staff, learn about county projects and ask questions. You can register on the county’s website at www.co.merced.ca.us. Once on the main page, you can find Town Hall Meetings under the Community tab. Should you not be able to watch on Zoom, you can also view on Facebook live (@mercedcounty) or government access channels 95/96 (Comcast) and/or 99 (AT&T).
Town Hall dates are as follows:
District 1 – Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 6pm (can be reviewed on Facebook)
District 2 - Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 6pm
District 3 - Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 6pm
District 4 - Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 6pm
District 5 - Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 6pm (can be reviewed on Facebook)
I encourage you to engage with your local officials. Be involved as agriculture will need all an hands-on deck attitude!