The California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) welcomed a new era of leadership at their 99th annual conference when they unanimously elected Jaimie Johansson their new CFBF President. AgNet West’s Gary Cooper was at the annual conference as the delegation welcomed Johansson into the top spot with a standing ovation.
Johansson started farming in 1993 and is primarily an olive producer in the Oroville area. “When I started it was originally 20 acres and we farm about 80 acres. Along the way we’ve gotten a little more diverse, but we started with olives and started an olive oil company,” Johansson said. “We sell a lot direct to consumers, farmers markets, and internet orders. It’s a great history that has really grown and shows that there are opportunities in agriculture for new crops and products in California.”
Johansson grew up in Humbolt County, not involved in the agriculture community, but always envied the comradery of the community. When the opportunity arose to join that fraternity with the original 20 acres of olives, he went back to his hometown and got some advice from some of those leaders. “So I went back to Humbolt County and met some friends in a restaurant. A successful dairy farmer and a guy I looked up to and worked for over some summers came up to me and said ‘I heard you started a farm’. I said yeah. He didn’t congratulate me and many years later I now know why he didn’t,” he said laughingly. “But he said to me, ‘When you get home you join farm bureau’. He said I need to get involved in the industry and support it. Support the people who made my opportunity possible.”
Johansson said he is honored to be leading this group and represent California agriculture on local, national and global levels. “The passion that this organization has for agriculture, and the opportunity to share that passion in terms of what our farmers are doing and also what they are up against,” Johansson said.
Listen to Johansson’s full interview.
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