twitter icon facebook icon youtube icon instagram icon

Stories from the valley

An eventful year in the Sacramento Valley

Contributed by Steve Beckley

This past year I had the privilege of blogging about and photographing my home area of the Sacramento Valley.  It allowed me to see things in a new light and also have many new experiences. Here are a few highlights:


The Sacramento Valley is a melting pot where people of many cultures come together to make it a great place.  Photographing the Sikh Festival in Yuba City was a special day for me. What great people!  I also wrote a blog on a Princeton Portuguese Festa, which is celebrated by many first and second- generation immigrants from the Azores.  I had a wonderful time visiting with the monks at New Clairvaux in Vina that also are farmers and make great wine.

Sikh Festival


We need not worry about who is going to lead our Valley in the future.  This was reinforced by attendance at the Maxwell Rodeo, an event that is run by the high school youth.  A visit to my alumni Chico State’s Farm assured me that there were many students preparing to work in agriculture.  The Yolo County FFA Auction is where I met students that are also preparing for a future in agriculture.



There’s much beauty in our valley, but three particular places stood out: Bear Valley wildflowers in Colusa County, the Capay Lavender Festival and Mezger’s Zinnia Patch all make the valley a spectacular place.


I urge all in the valley to get up early and watch the sunrise, and take a moment in the evening to watch the sunset.  The moment I will not forget was a spectacular sunset in the Grimes area, over a flooded harvest rice field, and thousands of waterfowl.



I was fortunate to photograph and blog about many crops this year, including olives, wine grapes, rice mushrooms, peppers, cucumbers, malting barley, processing tomatoes and many more.  I also enjoyed meeting the farmers and ranchers that made it all go, including Rodeo Legend Cotton Rosser from Yuba County.

Cotton Rosser

I could fill several pages with the special moments and I hope you will go to the Sacramento Valley and California Rice websites and read the stories and blogs by a talented team.

The Sacramento Valley has survived another year of drought, but not without sacrifice from many.  Another group of people I have the pleasure of getting to know are the water managers and individuals working to insure our valley has the needed future water resources for the future.

I am looking forward to bringing you more from my home area in 2016.  Thanks for letting me show you a very special place.