WHEEL News: Ventura County Ag March 2024

Special Topic

Our March special guest was Ventura County Ag Commissioner Korinne Bell! 

Commissioner Bell has worked for nearly two decades with the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, starting off as an Agricultural Inspector Biologist and then working in and overseeing programs from Pesticide Use Enforcement, Pest Exclusion, Agricultural Disaster Assessment, and publishing the annual Ventura County Crop Report. She was appointed to the position of Agricultural Commissioner last fall by the Board of Supervisors. 

Commissioner Bell provided CoLAB members with an overview of a few of the more than 30 programs managed within the Agricultural Commissioners Office before giving an overview of the two current agricultural pest quarantines plaguing Ventura County: HLB, a citrus disease that could destroy the citrus industry in Ventura County; and the Queensland Fruit Fly, a less “picky” bug that is impacting vegetable and fruit crop production in the Moorpark/Thousand Oaks area. 

Significantly, both these pests were found in residential fruit trees, and not in commercial growing areas. This highlights the need for property owners to ensure that any fruit trees on private property are appropriately cared for, and inspected regularly for pests and diseases. It is also critically important that private property owners with infected fruit trees comply with the recommendations and orders of the CDFA and USDA. If you have any questions, would like to speak to an expert about potential issues, or would just like more information about how you can help , please check out: ventura.org/saveourfood

Committee Reports


  • Lake Casitas is at 97%…and may even spill some overflow!
  • California snow pack has caught up – and passed – normal. 
  • United Water continues to release from Piru Dam, recharging the groundwater aquifer in the Oxnard region 
  • California Fish and Game Commission will hear arguments on whether to permanently list the Steelhead trout as endangered on April 17 and 18…even though the state Fish and Wildlife Department admits they have no tracking data to support such a listing. 


  • State Farm will not renew tens of thousands of home insurance policies in California 
  • Malls to housing in Simi Valley
  • No more 6% commission – but buying or selling a house may become more complicated.


  • BOS to vote on settlement with energy over General Plan on April 9 
  • Newsom holds press conference to urge voters to reject referendum to overturn SB1137 (oil setbacks) 
  • CalGEM whistleblower accuses Newsom administration of illegally blocking drilling permits 
  • Ventura County Planning Commission voted to support zoning ordinance amendment to establish program to allow limited battery energy storage facilities on agricultural and open space parcels.


  • The fight over regulating “Waters of the US” isn’t over. Lawsuit alleges EPA is failing to follow Supreme Court ruling regarding adjacent wetlands issue.
  • Biden takes his toughest stance yet on vehicle emissions reduction 
  • Regional Water Quality Control Board denies Chiquita Canyon landfill an expansion permit.

Land Use

  • Ventura County Planning Commissioner to vote on proposed zoning ordinance for ag food processing facilities on April 4. 
  • Ag food processing is a critical part of sustaining our local agriculture. Check out this 2015 EDC study outlining how allowing limited food processing in the County would increase agricultural gross revenues nearly $1 billion/year. 
  • Ventura County is getting a new RMA Director! Robert Mullane, former Ojai City Community Development Director, has been appointed as the new RMA Director, effective April 2024. 
Posted in

Louise Lampara

Louise Lampara currently serves as the Executive Director of CoLab VC, bringing a dynamic blend of leadership, innovation, and community engagement to the forefront of the organization. With a keen eye for strategic development and a passion for fostering collaborative environments, Louise has been instrumental in driving CoLab VC's mission forward.

Leave a Comment