Season 1

S1 E12: Bartell’s Backroads

California has long been a place with great scenery, diversity and creativity. Even with a challenging 2020, there are great places and interesting people hard at work. John Bartell, a reporter for ABC 10-TV in Sacramento, has spent years chronicling the hidden gems of our state in Bartell’s Backroads, where he “uncovers unique sights and …

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S1 E9: Raining Rice in the Sacramento Valley

It’s an annual occurrence throughout the Sacramento Valley; something countless motorists have seen while heading north of Sacramento – skilled pilots flying high-speed, GPS-guided airplanes, planting rice over a half-million acres of fields. Rick Richter of Richter Aviation in Maxwell, Colusa County, has been seeding rice fields since 1979. It’s not only his profession, it’s …

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Young salmon are released into the Sacramento River

S1 E7: Ocean Bound

In less than a minute, a large group of young salmon were released into the Sacramento River, en route to the Pacific Ocean. These were no ordinary fish. Equipped with small transmitters, these baby salmon are part of a pilot project by the California Rice Commission and UC Davis. Grown in rice fields of Yolo …

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Using a net to collect salmon in flooded rice field

S1 E6: Helping Salmon

Rice fields in the Sacramento Valley are remarkably productive and versatile. From spring into fall, they produce virtually all of America’s sushi rice. In the fall and winter, those same fields are home to millions of birds. What’s next? A promising pilot project could help inform us as to how rice fields can help restore …

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Gustavo Mendieta

S1 E5: Hard Work, Done Right

California rice has been grown for more than a century, and is known worldwide for consistently high quality and steady production. A lot of factors contribute to that reputation, including many people working hard behind the scenes. Gustavo Mendieta arrived in the Sacramento Valley with his family from Mexico in the 1970s, seeking opportunity. They …

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Virginia Getz and René Reyes

S1 E4: Ducks Love Rice

They are one of the world’s iconic birds. They quack and waddle on land, which is a sharp contrast to their grace in the water and air.  The Sacramento Valley is home to millions of ducks, and rice fields play a vital role in their lives. Helping ducks has been the passionate pursuit of Virginia …

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Kristin Sesser

S1 E3: Life is a Flyway

If you think your nearest highway packs a lot of traffic, it probably doesn’t hold a candle to the air traffic in the Sacramento Valley each fall and winter. This is the time of year for the massive and masterful Pacific Flyway Migration, where millions of birds travel thousands of miles. Fresh from harvest, Sacramento …

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