Political Action & Education Committee
The Farm Bureau Political Action and Education Committee (PAEC) focuses on a variety of local, state and federal issues that affect agriculture. The educational component provides information to the public so that the story of agriculture can be heard and understood. The political component works on numerous topics that include: land use, water, local government, taxes, air quality, state policy and federal legislation. The issues are dynamic and new topics are never in short supply.
Political Action & Education Committee Report
Reported by Peter Bradford, Committee Chair
November Presidential Election
There are undoubtedly many who believe there were major problems with the November Presidential Election. There has been enough name calling and accusations, it is time to move on. If anything can be learned, it is that all of us need to be actively supporting the candidate you choose to support and make sure you vote. Democracy will not last if you choose to do nothing.
In the never-ending saga of cannabis in Mendocino County, the county is now considering opening up MORE areas for cannabis production. The Planning Commission voted March 19th to approve allowing additional cannabis production under Phase 3 on agricultural zoned land and rangeland with anything from an administrative permit to a major use permit. It will now go to the Board of Supervisors on April 19th.
It is amazing that the supervisors will be considering a Phase 3 when Phase 1 is not working, permits are not being approved, there is minimal county oversight and the Sheriff’s Department and code enforcement are not funded enough to enforce what the supervisors have already approved.
At the March 23rd Board of Supervisors meeting there was discussion on ending the county contract with Wildlife Services, even thought the county just certified an EIR for the Integrated Wildlife Damage Management program at the end of 2019. The outcome was that the board voted to: (1) direct animal care staff to develop a fiscal analysis of the transition of animal control to animal care AND to develop the fiscal analysis of animal care taking on a non-lethal wildlife program. And (2) direct the ag department to work with Wildlife Services and bring back a range of options for modifying the existing contract (number of staff, urban focus vs. whole county, etc).
If members want the contract with Wildlife Services to remain as an option, then everyone needs to contact their supervisor and convey the importance of this program. Thank you to those of you who submitted written or oral comments for the March 23 BOS meeting.
To access the rest of this article, please visit the Members Only section
Farm Pac & Farm Team
Working to Protect Your Bottom Line
The biggest threat to farming is not an act of nature. The cumulative burden of increased taxes and regulations has a direct affect on your profitability.
No one person can face such obstacles alone. However, with Farm Bureau you have the tools to weather the storm.
Farm Bureau has two programs that directly impact your bottom line – the California Farm Bureau Fund to Protect the Family Farm (FARM PAC®) and the FARM TEAM.
These programs compliment each other and work to achieve one common goal – to protect people like you – California’s family farmers and ranchers.
FARM PAC is Farm Bureau’s political action committee, the muscle and voice representing farming interests in the political arena.
Farm Bureau does not utilize membership dues for making political contributions. This is why Farm Bureau created FARM PAC more than thirty years ago.
The voluntary contributions of members like you, allows Farm Bureau to make political contributions to candidates who are committed to working in the best interests of the state’s farmers and ranchers, regardless of their party affiliation.
When deciding whether or not to support a candidate’s re-election campaign, FARM PAC allows Farm Bureau to hold those lawmakers accountable for their actions while in office.
In addition to being able to make political contributions, Farm Bureau also saw the need for California’s family farmers and ranchers to tell their story, while weighing in on legislation and regulations.
FARM TEAM allows you to contact the lawmakers who make the decisions that impact your farming and ranching operations.
As a web-based program, you will receive email Action Alerts from FARM TEAM that enable you to send letters and participate in activities that influence public policy and the outcome of elections.
In a matter of minutes, from the comfort of your own home and at your own convenience – you can take part in the political process and ultimately work to protect California’s rich agricultural heritage.
There are many issues before lawmakers this year that will impact how you do business. A water bond intended to provide additional water storage and conveyance, eminent domain fixes, food safety regulations and legislation to reduce metal theft are all on the table.
Remember, Farm Bureau’s strength is in its numbers and you have the tools to contribute to that strength. Regardless of how you participate, it benefits agriculture, and ultimately, it benefits you.
“If I were running a business that grossed $10,000,000 per year, I would probably have my own attorney on staff or maybe more than one. However, much to my dismay, I do not gross even a fraction of that. So why is this relevant your ask? Our team of state and federal law makers has nothing better to do than make new and exciting laws for us to try and follow. Then let’s add ballot measures that seek to force us to cut dead trees down. Many of these laws and measures are thousands of pages of drivel and technical jargon. I run a one man freak show (some would call it a business) and it’s all I can do to get the work done that needs doing on a day to day basis. So when there is measure X on the ballot that is a 1400 page measure that might affect my business, how do I make an informed decision? I look to Farm Bureau. CFBF has a legal department whose job is to look out for the well being of agriculture. They read all 1400 pages of drivel and boil it down to something I can understand with a minimal amount of research.”Member since 2003
“Being a Farm Bureau member is important for many reasons, but to me the most important reason for being a member is that the people who often times are making decisions about what happens on my farm, elected officials, have no basis for those decisions other than preconceived ideas or what they are being told by individuals who don’t have my best interest in mind. Farm Bureau provides a strong, focused voice on my behalf to educate and influence these elected leaders so that I can continue to operate my business and support my family.”Former President and member since 2006
“Living in a state where the political power is concentrated in a few big cities, we need political clout, there is no stronger more supportive ally than Farm Bureau. Whether the issue is local, statewide or national, no one represents rural interests like Farm Bureau.”Former President and member since 1992