Describing Farm Bureau as an organization “that wants to go beyond making a statement by being determined to make a difference,” California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) President Jamie Johansson outlined priorities for CFBF during its 100th Annual Meeting in San Diego.
One area of ongoing emphasis will be in water policy, Johansson said, noting that Farm Bureau is prepared “to continue defending water rights and shaping water policy in 2019.”
“The strength of our water policy is the commitment to the idea that to meet California’s water needs, we do not need to sacrifice the water needs of one region over another farm community,” he said.
CFBF will remain actively engaged in policy discussions involving other natural resources, Johansson pledged, pointing out that California’s scourge of wildfires has demonstrated that “if we do not manage our resources, they quickly become liabilities.”
He said Farm Bureau would continue to fight back against expanding government regulation that hampers agriculture.
“That’s what ties us together at Farm Bureau,” Johansson said. “It’s the understanding that what’s bad for an almond farmer is bad for a rice farmer.”
Despite the difficulties, he said, “the opportunities have never been greater to farm and be in agriculture,” thanks to innovation and access to markets.
“What we have to do as Farm Bureau is to show this state that what we do best is create wealth” that benefits everyone involved in agriculture, including farm employees and people who work in transportation, marketing and other jobs, Johansson said, noting that “with water, sunlight, seed, good soil and some knowledge, you can grow something and you can sell it.”
Farm Bureau members today are much like their predecessors who founded the organization in 1919, he said, in their insistence “to make things better.”
“The success of Farm Bureau is as a volunteer gathering of individuals who understand that just like on our farms and ranches, actions speak louder than words,” Johansson said.
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 36,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of nearly 5.6 million Farm Bureau members.