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
MCFB Endorsements for November 3rd Election
The MCFB PAEC interviewed candidates via Zoom on August 25th and 26th. Thank you to all our members who participated! The PAEC discussed the interviews at the September 10th Board of Directors meeting and the Board approved the following endorsements.
1st District: Glenn McGourty
Glenn is a familiar face for many agriculturalists in the county as he was the UCCE Viticulture and Plant Sciences advisor for Lake and Mendocino County since 1987 until his retirement this past July. Glenn is well versed in several key issues including the Potter Valley Project, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, Wildlife Services, emergency preparedness and more. Glenn is also a farmer as he and his wife Jan have 16 acres of vineyard, orchard and riparian woodland along the Russian River in Ukiah. As Glenn says, a farmer would make a great supervisor since they: know how to fix things and make them work, they know how to plan for the future, they make great neighbors and they are careful with their money. MCFB agrees that these are positive qualities for an elected official in the county and we encourage our members in the 1st District to vote for Glenn!
For more information, please visit: https://www.mcgourtyfor1st.com/
2nd District: Maureen, Mo, Mulheren
Maureen, or Mo as she is known to most, has been on the Ukiah City Council for the past six years. The 2nd District does not have the agricultural presence like the other areas of the county, but the 2nd District still plays a role in representing the needs of farmers and ranchers. Mo understands the importance of the water supply provided by the Potter Valley Project for both urban, agricultural and environmental needs. She worked to establish the recycled water project for the City of Ukiah which directly benefits farmers in the Ukiah Valley. As the city is looking at revising their general plan and related sphere of influence, MCFB is hopeful that we can work with Mo to ensure that any future annexation plans account for minimizing impacts to farming and ranching in the Ukiah Valley. We encourage our members in the 2nd District to vote for Mo!
For more information, please visit: https://www.mo4mendo.com/
To access the rest of this article, please visit the Members Only section
Nov. 3 Ballot, Prop. 15: Split Roll Tax
The MCFB Board voted to take a position to oppose Proposition 15 due to the increased tax burden that will be placed on farmers and ranchers. The proponents of Prop. 15 will tell you that there is no impact to agriculture, and this is simply not true! Prop. 15 defines real property for agriculture in a way that only includes the land itself. Anything else on the land, such as improvements and fixtures, are not protected and will be subject to reassessment. Farmers and ranchers will face tax increases on a wide range of improvements and fixtures such as fruit and nut trees, vines, fences, barns, irrigation systems, dairies, processing facilities, silos and tanks, paved roads, wind machines and more.
The measure doesn’t just increase property taxes for agriculture, but it also hikes property tax on critical support industries as well, like farm equipment dealers, transportation companies, and warehouses. Every step in the process of food production is exposed to higher taxes under this measure.
For additional resources, see below.
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