Stanislaus County Rural Crimes Investigation Unit Detective Cody Williams, left, discusses the return of agricultural equipment with property owner Larry Betschart, a walnut grower from Oakdale. Williams located the stolen property after investigation that included use of a department helicopter.
Photo/Christine Souza
Dairy farmer Aaron Matheron of Hilmar speaks with Charlene Borrelli, a founder of Hilmar Farm Watch. Matheron’s dump truck was recovered hours after a photo of it was posted on the Farm Watch email service and Facebook page.
Photo/Christine Souza
To prevent crime, farmers, deputies use proven tools
Farmers and ranchers lose millions of dollars' worth of property each year to thieves who steal metal, equipment, crops and livestock. To solve crimes and recover property, agriculture and law enforcement keep a variety of proven tools in their crime-prevention toolbox, melding newer methods such as social media with more traditional techniques such as marking equipment and cooperating with sheriff's detectives who specialize in rural crime. Read more...

Drought plan omits allocations for farm water
A blueprint for managing water supplies during the 2014 drought indicates that enough water is now in storage to provide for human health and safety through the year, as well as meet mandated fisheries and habitat protection. Read more...

CFBF president's message: Groundwater: One-size-fits-all won’t fit anyone
If you're a government agency, how do your perpetuate your existence? Identify a crisis, "fix" it—which, in turn, creates a new crisis—and then "fix" that. Repeat as needed. Read more...

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